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2,000-year-old Roman mosaic found in Lavish Villa in Naples – ARTnews.com

An ancient mosaic was discovered in a seaside villa in Naples, Italy. Roman emperor Augustus covered the site in a move that condemned the memory of the original owner.

First given the ancient Greek name Pausílypon, meaning “rest from anxiety,” Posillipo was an elite suburb of Naples during the Roman period. (Because the city limits have since changed, it is now located within the present-day city of Naples). The coastline along the Gulf of Naples was an attractive location for wealthy Romans to build elaborate retreats.

Among them is the Villa Vedius Pollio, also called the Imperial Villa, which was constructed by the upper-class Roman politician and wine merchant Publius Vedius Pollio during the first century BC. The residence was complete with a 2,000-seat Greek-style ballad and theater set on a rocky outcrop overlooking the bay.

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Archaeologists from the University of Naples Laurenthal have unearthed a mosaic floor from the first phase of the villa’s construction. Beneath the renovations commissioned by Augustus, a carpet of small white pebbles covered with a black double border, was found in part of the great room overlooking the bay.

“The stratigraphic date is still lost,” said excavation leader Marco Giglio, “but, depending on the style, the hall can date back to the late Republican or Augustan times at the latest.” statement.

Ancient mosaics unearthed at Villa Vedius Beaulieu, Posillipo, Italy.

Ancient mosaics unearthed at Villa Vedius Beaulieu, Posillipo, Italy.

The son of a freeman, Beaulieu gained a reputation for lavish taste and overwhelming cruelty, especially towards his slaves. On one occasion, Augustus dined at Beaulieu’s house, and when he broke the legs of a frosted glass, Beaulieu ordered him to feed it to a group of snakes. The slave fell to his knees and pleaded with the Emperor, who ordered the pond to be filled, all Beaulieu’s crystal dishes to be smashed, and the slave freed.

When Beaulieu died in 15 BC, he bequeathed his estate to Augustus with instructions to erect a monument at the site. Augustus raised a colonnade, known as the Porticus of Livia, which he dedicated to his wife—a kind of damn memoriae Or a denunciation of memory that attempts to formally erase a person’s existence from known record. The villa was passed on to every emperor until the reign of Hadrian, who died in AD 138, as imperial property.