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Detail_of_Geometric_Mosaic_-_2-3_Century_-_Zeugma_Mosaic_Museum_-_Gaziantep_-_Turkey_(5772

ZEUGMA MOSAICS

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ARTIFACTS IN THE MUSEUM

Dionysos Triumf mosaic (Above)

The persons can be identified as their names are shown: Dionysos, Nike and a maenad. Dionysos stands on one of two panthers pulling a wagon with spoked wheels. He has a nimbus. In his right hand he holds a thyrsos. He wears a long tunic . Next to him stands Nike, who handles the panthers. To the right a maenad dances with a cymbal. In ancient Greek religion and myth, Dionysus  is the god of the grape-harvest, wine making, orchards and fruit, vegetation, fertility, festivity, insanity, ritual madness, religious ecstasy, and theatre. The Romans called him Bacchus.

Nike was a goddess who personified victory in any field including art, music, war, and athletics. She is often portrayed in Greek art as Winged Victory in the motion of flight; however, she can also appear without wings as "Wingless Victory" when she is being portrayed as an attribute of another deity such as Athena. In Greek literature Nike is described as both an attribute and attendant to the gods Zeus and Athena.

Maenads were the female followers of Dionysus and the most significant members of the Thiasus, the god's retinue.

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Gaziantep Zeugma Museum Eros and Psyche mosaic (Above)

From the Enc. Britt.: According to Apuleius, the jealous Venus commanded her son Cupid (the god of love) to inspire Psyche with love for the most despicable of men. Instead, Cupid placed Psyche in a remote palace where he could visit her secretly and, by his warning, only in total darkness. One night Psyche lit a lamp and found that the figure at her side was the god of love himself. When a drop of oil from the lamp awakened him, he reproached Psyche and fled. Wandering the earth in search of him, Psyche fell into the hands of Venus, who imposed upon her difficult tasks. Finally, touched by Psyche's repentance, Cupid rescued her, and, at his instigation, Jupiter made her immortal and gave her in marriage to Cupid. This is a floor mosaic from the presence chamber in the Poseidon villa, representing the moment Psyche and her lover rejoin.

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Women at breakfast aka Drama Group mosaic

this mosaic must represent a scene from a comedy, even though the participants don't look like they are having a particularly good time. The inscription above the figures is one word: synaristôsas ("the women breakfasting together"), the title of a comedy by Menander (should be synaristôsai). There is a mosaic at Mitylene illustrating the same play, and also one at Pompeii. 

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Methiokos Mosaic 

The Zeugma site explains that the man Methiokos loved the girl Parthenope, who loved him too, but had made a vow to keep her virginity. She fled to Italy, devoting herself to the winegod Dionysos. However, Aphrodite could not accept she refused physical love, and transformed her into the demon Siren (woman's head, bird's body).

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Euphrates Mosaic 

The fluvial god Euphrates. Ancient Roman mosaics on display in the Zeugma Mosaic Museum 

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Oceanus and Thetys 2 mosaic

In Hesiod's Theogony, Oceanus was the son of Uranus (Heaven) and Gaea (Earth), the husband of the Titan Tethys, and father of 3,000 stream spirits and 3,000 ocean nymphs. In Homer's works he was the origin of the gods. As a common noun the word received almost the modern sense of ocean. Hence in details all sorts of "sea life" appear. The subject was popular, there is another mosaic of the name in the same museum.

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Dionysos and Ariadne mosaic

Daughter of Pasiphae and the Cretan king Minos. She fell in love with the Athenian hero Theseus and, with a thread or glittering jewels, helped him escape the Labyrinth after he slew the Minotaur, a beast half bull and half man that Minos kept in the Labyrinth. Here the legends diverge: she was abandoned by Theseus and hanged herself; Theseus carried her to Naxos and left her there to die or to marry the god Dionysus; or she died in childbirth on Cyprus.

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