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Iconographic elements of nilotic scenes on byzantine mosaics pavements

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Chapter Summary

Nilotic scenes are a recurrent theme on mosaic pavements, wall paintings, wall and floor mosaics, reliefs and miscellaneous objects. Here the term 'Nilotic' applies to Nilotic landscapes which contain a limited number of elements, including the personification of the Nile, architecture of buildings etc., In this chapter the elements in Nilotic scenes are assembled, and the different designs and theories ascribed to the main issues, such as the form, time, function, and significance of the theme are assessed. To sum up, the Nilotic scenes depicted on the mosaic pavements demonstrate they incorporate all or some of the elements: the personification of the Nile appears only in secular buildings seldom in churches or synagogues probably as a measure of caution. Thus, they could most likely be the result of common models books, which were utilized by various artists who executed each of these pavements and served a mixed clientele.

Keywords:Byzantine Mosaics; Iconographic Elements; landscapes; models books; Nilotic Scenes



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