200 BC From the House of the Faun, Pompeii.
Museo Archeologico Nazionale Napoli
“In its entirety the mosaic measures 5.82 x 3.13m (19ft x 10ft 3in), and is made of around a million tesserae. It was discovered in the largest house in Pompeii, the House of the Faun, in a room overlooking the central peristyle garden of the house. It is thought that this house was built shortly after the Roman conquest of Pompeii, and is likely to have been the residence of one of Pompeii’s new, Roman, ruling class.
The mosaic highlights the wealth and power of the occupier of the house, since such grand and elaborate mosaics are extremely rare, both in Pompeii and in the wider Roman world.” source
It depicts the battle of Issus (333 BC) between Alexander the Great and Darius III of Persia. Alexander defeated the Persian army, and his strength is clearly visible in the mosaic, which portrays Darius with a fearful facial expression.
Despite being partially ruined, the two main figures are easily recognizable. The portrait of Alexander is one of his most famous ones, and the whole scene is very vivid. Alexander’s breastplate depicts Medusa, the famous Gorgon.
Oxyathres, the brother of Darius, is seen sacrificing himself to save the King.