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The Alexander Mosaic's Rippling Effect

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  1. Introduction
  2. The Battle of Issus
  3. How the mosaic has affected Western culture
  4. The inspiration
  5. Conclusion

The Alexander Mosaic is by far one of the greatest, most powerful of all Roman tesserae mosaics to date. Now preserved in unmatched fame, the mosaic originated around 100 B.C. and is quite large at eight feet eleven inches by sixteen feet nine inches. This beautiful mosaic was discovered during the excavation of Pompeii in 1831 in the Casa del Fauno (House of the Faun). Its ample size testifies that it was originally installed as a floor mosaic in the ancient Pompeii building (Cohen, 1997, pgs. 13 - 19).

Though there is some debate among academic scholars, many believe that The Alexander Mosaic illustrates the Battle of Issus (333 B.C.) that was waged between Alexander the Great and King Darius III, the Persian king and last of the Achmaenid dynasty. Still others argue that it could quite possibly depict the Battle of Gaugamela (331 B.C.), also fought by Alexander the Great and King Darius III. Experts believe that the mosaic was perhaps based upon The Battle of Issus (315 B.C.) by Philoxenos of Eretria, a Hellenistic painting that is now lost (Moreno, 2001, p. 46).

[...] The painstakingly tedious art form of arranging millions of tiny colored tesserae tiles in specific shapes is a technique that many artists today would most likely find far too tedious and laborious of a medium to utilize, making the mosaic that much more valuable, unique and special. This beautiful mosaic has been and always will be an inspiration to the modern artist, archaeologists, historians and everywhere for years to come. Of course this is not a work of art that only the expert or scholar can appreciate. Upon understanding what went into its creation, each of us can look upon it in awe. References Cohen, A. (1997). The Alexander Mosaic: Stories of Victory and Defeat. Trinity, LN: Cambridge University Press. Harris, Dr. B. and Zucker, Dr. [...]


[...] S. (2013). KhanaAcademy.org. ?Alexander Mosaic?. Kruck, Dr. W. AlexanderMosaik.de. ?Reconstruction of the Mosaic?. Moreno, P. (2001) Apelles: The Alexander Mosaic. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press. [...]

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