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The Mosaics Of The Nile Festival Building At Sepphoris And The Legacy Of The Antiochene Tradition

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Chapter Summary

Many geometric and figural mosaics have been discovered in Roman-Byzantine Palestine. Some have been described in preliminary reports and others have been discussed at length, addressing some key questions regarding the iconographic and stylistic study of ancient mosaics in the region. There is no doubt that the Antiochene workshop was a source of inspiration for the mosaicist in the Roman-Byzantine East, including Palestine, but we do not know if this was an absolute, unequivocal, and direct influence or if there was a predisposition to another source, not necessarily from Antioch, that played a role in shaping ancient Palestinian mosaic art. This chapter focuses on one building that has several mosaic pavements. The Nile Festival Building, constructed in Sepphoris in the early fifth century CE, affords an opportunity to study the nature and significance of the finds and to consider the possible sources of influence on the design of its mosaics.

Keywords: Antiochene tradition; mosaic pavements; Nile Festival Building; Palestinian mosaic art; Roman-Byzantine Palestine; Sepphoris



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