A 13 square metre mosaic pavement which depicts pagan rites and oriental gods has been found by archaelogists working in the Catholic cathedral in central-northern Italy.
Superintendent of Archaeological Heritage in Emilia Romagna, Luigi Malnati, said, “this is one of the most important and interesting mosaics in northern Italy. It stands out for its size, design and refined technique.”
Discovery News was told by Renta Curina, the archaeologist in charge of the dig, “The size and design of the mosaic pavement suggest that it formed the floor of a huge room. We believe this was the residence of a wealthy Roman,”
It was fairly common in Reggio Emilia for Christian buildings to be built over preexisting structures. The discovery of naked figures in-acting three large mythological scenes, however, is rare.
One of the scenes shows a naked man falling into someone else’s arms while a woman holds a fish and another man holds two live ducks.
A second scene depicts a naked man wearing a crown of icy, gripping a lotus flower in his right hand and a lituss in his left.
It is the lotus flower and ivy crown which lead archaeologists to theorise that the mosaic honours the ancient cult of Oriental gods.
The 5th century bishop of Reggio Emilia is better known as Saint Prosper of Reggio. Saint Prosper is remembered on the 25th of June globally according to the general calendars but on the November the 24th locally.
In Pure Spirit
This looks to be simply one more Christian building that holds artifacts of Pagan interest. Have you been to Cathedral of Reggio Emilia or somewhere like Roslyn Chapel?