Roman mosaic of Orpheus Taming the Animals 204 CE (1), originally uploaded by mharrsch.

Photographed at the Dallas Museum of Art in Dallas, Texas.

Orpheus Taming Wild Animals, Eastern Roman Empire, near Edessa
A.D. 194

Overall: 64 3/4 x 60 in. (1 m 64.46 cm x 1 m 52.4 cm)

Marble, mosaic

“The scene of Orpheus taming wild animals with music was very well known in the imperial Roman world. The idea of civilizing barbaric traits through the arts was a persistent cultural value throughout Roman times. A mystery cult promising initiates immortality was also associated with the poet Orpheus. This mosaic originated around the ancient Antioch area (now Antakya in Turkey) and is an especially distinguished example of the painterly tradition in mosaics.”