Basílica de Carranque 2, originally uploaded by stavlokratz.

Where is Carranque?

Carranque is a town in the Toledo province, Castile-La Mancha, Spain. It is located in the Alta Sagra area of the province bordering the province of Madrid.

Carranque contains a Roman site protected as an archeological park by the Castile-La Mancha government. It is located by river Guadarrama, near a Roman road. It seems to be near the lost city of Titultiam. There are three main buildings, the ruins of a Roman mill and a modern interpretation building. The buildings date from the late 4th century and are thought to be related to the Hispania-born emperor Theodosius I.

carranque mosaico on Flickr – by themy2004

In 1983 a local peasant, Samuel López Iglesias, found a series of mosaics while plowing in the fields known as las Suertes de Abajo. These mosaics belong to the so-named Villa of Maternus. The interpretation facility exhibits objects found during the excavations. Carranque – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Océano on Flickr – by stavlokratz

In the Dining Hall a tilted floor formed a semicircular fountain with a mosaic of the god Oceanus, featuring crab antennas, claws and a wavy beard.

In the Greek and Roman world-view, Oceanus (Greek Ὠκεανός, Okeanos), was the world-ocean, which they believed to be an enormous river encircling the world. Strictly speaking, Okeanos was the ocean-stream at the Equator in which floated the habitable hemisphere (oikoumene).[1] In Greek mythology, this world-ocean was personified as a Titan, a son of Uranus and Gaia. In Hellenistic and Roman mosaics, this Titan was often depicted as having the upper body of a muscular man with a long beard and horns, and the lower torso of a serpent (cf. Typhon). On a fragmentary archaic vessel (British Museum 1971.11-1.1) of ca 580 BCE, among the gods arriving at the wedding of Peleus and the sea-nymph Thetis, is a fish-tailed Oceanus, with a fish in one hand and a serpent in the other, gifts of bounty and prophecy. In Roman mosaics he might carry a steering-oar and cradle a ship. Oceanus – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Briseis and Achilles mosaic- Wikipedia

The Ulysses giving Briseis back to Achilles mosaic above was also found in the dining room & depicts the return of the slave Briseis to Achilles as narrated in the Iliad.

What Iliad?

The Iliad (Ancient Greek Ἰλιάς, Ilias) is, together with the Odyssey, one of two ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer, a supposedly blind Ionian poet. The epics are considered by most modern scholars to be the oldest literature in the Greek language (though some believe that the works of the poet Hesiod were composed earlier, a belief that was also held by some classical Greeks).

Aquiles from Ulysses giving Briseis back to Achilles on Flickr – Photo Sharing!

The first word of the Iliad is μῆνιν (mēnin), “rage” or “wrath”. This word announces the major theme of the Iliad: the wrath of Achilles.

Briseida from Ulysses giving Briseis back to Achilles on Flickr – Photo Sharing!

When Agamemnon, the commander of the Greek forces at Troy, dishonors Achilles by taking Briseis, a slave woman given to Achilles as a prize of war, Achilles becomes enraged, and withdraws from the fighting. Without Achilles’ prowess in battle, the Greeks are nearly defeated by the Trojans. Achilles re-enters the fighting when his dearest friend Patroclus is killed by the Trojan prince Hector. Achilles slaughters many Trojans, and kills Hector. In his rage he then refuses to return Hector’s body and instead defiles it. Priam, the father of Hector, ransoms his son’s body, and the Iliad ends with the funeral of Hector.

Of the many themes in the Iliad, perhaps the most important is the idea of moral choice. Achilles believes he has two options: he can either live a long, unremarkable life at home or else he can die young and gloriously as a mercenary warrior. Military adventuring (that is, pillage and plunder) was a way of life in pre-Homeric times, and the many ruins of thick-walled cities and fortresses in the region give silent testimony to the fear that must have characterized life in the ancient world.

For some men, military adventuring is a more attractive choice than staying home on the farm. Death in battle leads to honor and glory—timae and kleos—which were important values of the day — more important than even right and wrong. One of the remarkable things about the Iliad is the way that Achilles, especially in Book 9, both embraces concepts of honor and glory and also rejects them. It should be noted that, despite the fact that he is the antagonist in the story, Hector probably best displays the qualities of an ancient Mediterranean hero. Many Greek myths exist in multiple versions, so Homer had some freedom to choose among them to suit his story. Iliad – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

mosaico on Flickr – Photo Sharing!

mosaico on Flickr – Photo Sharing!

mosaico on Flickr – Photo Sharing!

mosaico on Flickr – Photo Sharing!