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Villa Orpheus


The Orpheus mosaic. National Archaeological Museum, Tripoli (Libya). Photo Marco Prins. The Villa Orpheus or, to be precise, the Villa with the Orpheus Mosaic, is a bit to the northwest of the ancient city of Lepcis Magna. Like the Villa Selene, the Villa Nile, and the Villa Dar Buc Ammera, it was situated close to the beach.

The mosaic for which it has become famous consists of three zones of pictures. On the first row, we can see Orpheus with his lyre between the animals -ferocious beasts and friendly cattle- that are listening to his songs. It is obvious that the artist had really seen the wild beasts, which are rendered perfectly. The second tier shows fishermen and their catch, and the third row shows a hunter returning home, two birds, and a goatherd.


The Orpheus mosaic. National Archaeological Museum, Tripoli (Libya). Photo Marco Prins.
The Orpheus mosaic. National Archaeological Museum, Tripoli (Libya). Photo Marco Prins. The Orpheus mosaic. National Archaeological Museum, Tripoli (Libya). Photo Marco Prins. The Orpheus mosaic. National Archaeological Museum, Tripoli (Libya). Photo Marco Prins.
The Orpheus mosaic. National Archaeological Museum, Tripoli (Libya). Photo Marco Prins. The Orpheus mosaic. National Archaeological Museum, Tripoli (Libya). Photo Marco Prins. The Orpheus mosaic. National Archaeological Museum, Tripoli (Libya). Photo Marco Prins.
The mosaic from the Villa Orpheus is now in Libya's National Archaeological Museum in Tripoli. © Jona Lendering for
Livius.Org, 2007
Revision: 6 June 2007
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