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Mermaid on a mosaic of Qasr Libya church (3)
ref. : en.1901.2019 | 8 January 2019 | by Francis Leveque
mosaïque | Second quarter of VIe century AD
Olbia / Théodorias , Libye ( Libye )

This late mosaic shows that church building helps to maintain the craftsmanship of the craftsmen in making mosaic floors and that the mythological themes persisted in a different religious context.

 

The Qasr Libya Museum (the ancient Olbia - Theodorias) houses the superb collection of mosaics taken from the floor of the nearby, Byzantine, Eastern Church. These Byzantine mosaics of the Eastern Basilica, laid between 539 and 540 AD, were discovered by Libyan dam workers in 1957.

50 mosaic panels, each measuring half a metre square, are displayed in groups of five on the walls, with informative labels in both Arabic and English.

This panel shows Triton fishing a fish but what interests us is the rudder he holds upside down in his left hand. Triton is, in Greek mythology, a sea god, son of Poseidon and Amphitrite, messenger of the waves. The upper part of his body is that of a man, the lower part that of a fish with a long tail.

Another mosaic panel of this church features a ship. Another mosaic of soil is also a ship.

 
        

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