Monday, September 01, 2014
This Mosaic floor, from the 1st century C.E., at the House of Triptolemus in Pompeii is mentioned, along with many other simillar designs, in M.E. Blake’s ’The pavements of the Roman buildings of the Republic and the Early Empire’, Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome, Vol. VIII, 1930, pl. 39,3, VII, VII, 5, but her spelling of Triptolemus is different (Casa di Trittolemo) and her photos are low resolution b&w. I hope that in time I"ll publish here all her photos in a higher relolution and in color.
In this design we notice that the center is filled with the symbol of the six petals, which are actually more geometric product of using the compass than a vegetative motif. this six-petals symbol is surrounded by several hexagons, and, along with the star of David by three circles, which are surrounded by squares - so, all in all, we are confronted here with a complicated combination of geometrical elements.
This combination raises the question whether a symbol (like the Star of David) maintains its original meaning when it stops standing alone. A good illustration to this problem is the addition of two blue stripes to the blue Star of David in the Israeli flag, which changes the Jewish symbol (Star of David) into a symbol of the Jewish State.
the six- petals symbol combined with the Star of David symbol appears also, as mentioned by my teacher, Dr. Ze'ev Goldmann, in another three Mosaic Floors at the same place:
1. M.E. Blake, ibid. pl. 33, 4, Pompeii VI, VIII, 20
2. M.E. Blake, ibid. pl 38, 3. Pompeii VI, XVI, 7
3. M.E. Blake, ibid. pl 33, I. Pompeii VIII, V, 16 and 38
as well as in:
4. Ein Yael
Mosaic Floor, where it is surrounded similarily by a hexagon, but in combination with the apotropaic pelta symbol (Amazon Shield) , the Ivy symbol and with the geometrical elements of the Guilloche and the successive stepped triangles.
5. In Capernaum the six- petals symbol appears with the Star of David symbol on the same lintel along with many other symbols.
Thanks to Karl from
for letting me publish his photo here.