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Detail of the Nativity from the ceiling of the Martorana, Palermo, Sicily.

Sicily is home to a number of fine 12th Century mosaics executed by Greek (Byzantine) craftsmen with an Arab workforce.

Mosaic, as a term, is derived through generations of gradual change from the Greek mouseion, “appertaining to the Muses.” In the laterLatin there are the terms opus musivum “mosaic work, musivarius, mosaic worker,” but probably the English word “mosaic” is derived immediately from the French mosaique, which with its earlier form mousaique can only be borrowed from the Italian or Provençal and cannot be the descendant of the earlier French form musike.

Both “mosaic” and “museum” have there roots in the same Greek origin…The Mouseion being the first ‘museum’ founded in Alexandria in the timeof the Ptolomies (2nd Century BC).