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date: 20 November 2019

Hephaistionlocked

(fl 1st half of the 2nd century bc).
  • Martin Robertson

Extract

(fl 1st half of the 2nd century bc).

Greek mosaicist working in Pergamon (now in Turkey). The inscription Ephaistion epoiei (Gr.: ‘Hephaistion made’) appears in two lines on a cartellino in an emblema in the middle of a tessellated floor (Berlin, Pergamonmus) from a peristyle building (Palace V) at Pergamon associated with Eumenes II (reg 197–159 bc). The emblema was divided horizontally by a strip of marble; nothing remains of either part except traces of a myrtle garland at the top of the lower part and at the bottom centre a blue-grey area with the off-white piece of parchment on which the letters are in black. The cartellino is shown as held at the corners by blobs of scarlet wax, but that on the bottom right has broken, and the corner curls up, casting a shadow. This charming touch of untidiness recalls the account by Pliny (Natural History XXXVI.clxxxiv) of a famous floor, also at Pergamon, called the ‘Unswept Floor’, by ...

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[flourished]