sea-monster, detail of a mosaic at Pompeii (back-to-front)

Ancient Mosaics

A bibliography

sea-monster, detail of a mosaic at Pompeii

On this page is a reading list for Greek and Roman mosaics, covering the period c. 400 BC to AD 400. It is not intended to be comprehensive, but is simply a starting-point for further research. There is a bias towards Classical Greek and Hellenistic mosaics because this is the principal area of my research; the later sections of the list, covering the mosaics of the Roman Empire, are much more basic. There is a fuller bibliography for Roman mosaics on the website of the Association for the Study and Preservation of Roman Mosaics (ASPROM).

Comprehensive bibliographic listings for research on mosaics, including new discoveries, can be found in the Bulletin de l’Association internationale pour l’étude de la mosaïque antique (AIEMA), published from 1968 onwards.

On this page:
General books on ancient mosaics
Greek mosaics: Classical and Hellenistic periods
Mosaics in Italy
Mosaics in the Roman Empire

Books held in academic libraries in the UK can be located through COPAC. Some of the books listed on this page may be obtainable from Buckland Books, who specialise in supplying books about mosaics; but many of the older volumes are out of print (try the Advanced Book Exchange for second-hand copies).

Ruth Westgate

General books on ancient mosaics

R.J. Ling, Ancient Mosaics (London: British Museum, 1998)
K.M.D. Dunbabin, Mosaics of the Greek and Roman World (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999)
Ph. Bruneau, La mosaïque antique. Lectures en Sorbonne (Paris: Presses de l’Université de Paris-Sorbonne, 1987)
B. Andreae, Antike Bildmosaiken (Mainz: Von Zabern, 2003)
M. Donderer, Die Mosaizisten der Antike und ihre wirtschaftliche und soziale Stellung (Erlangen: Universitätsbund Erlangen-Nürnberg, 1989)
P. Fischer, Mosaic: History and Technique (New York & Toronto: McGraw-Hill, 1971)
H.P. L’Orange & P. Nordhagen, Mosaics from Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages (London: Methuen, 1966)

Congresses of the Association Internationale pour l’Étude de la Mosaïque Antique (AIEMA)

M.G. Picard & H. Stern (eds.), Colloque international sur la mosaïque gréco-romaine, Paris, 29 août–3 septembre 1963 (Paris: Éditions du CNRS, 1965)
H. Stern & M. Leglay (eds.), Deuxième colloque international pour l’étude de la mosaïque antique, Vienne, 30 août–4 septembre 1971 (Paris: Picard, 1975)
R. Farioli Campanati (ed.), Il Mosaico Antico. Terzo colloquio internazionale sul mosaico antico, Ravenna, 6–10 settembre 1980 (Ravenna; Edizioni del Girasole, 1983)
J.-P. Darmon & A. Rebourg (eds.), La mosaïque gréco-romaine IV. IVe colloque international pour l’étude de la mosaïque antique, Trèves, 8–14 août 1984 (Paris: Association Internationale pour l’Étude de la Mosaïque Antique, 1984)
P. Johnson, R.J. Ling & D.J. Smith (eds.), Fifth International Colloquium on Ancient Mosaics held at Bath, England, on September 5–12, 1987, Journal of Roman Archaeology Supplementary Series 9 (Ann Arbor; Part I, 1994; Part II, 1995)
C.M. Batalla (ed.), VI Coloquio Internacional sobre Mosaico Antiguo, Palencia-Mérida, Octubre 1990 (Guadalajara: Asociación Española del Mosaico, 1994)
M. Ennaïfer & A. Rebourg (eds.), VIIème colloque international pour l'étude de la mosaïque antique, Tunis, 3–7 octobre 1994 (2 volumes, Tunis: Institut National du Patrimoine, 1999)
D. Paunier & C. Schmidt (eds.), Actes du VIIIème Colloque International sur la Mosaïque Antique (2 volumes, Lausanne: Cahiers d’archéologie romande, 2001)
H. Morlier (ed.), La mosaïque gréco-romaine IX. Collection de l'École Française de Rome 352 (2 volumes, Paris: École Française de Rome, 2005)

Wall & vault mosaics

F. Sear, Roman Wall and Vault Mosaics, Römische Mitteilungen Ergänzungsheft 23 (Heidelberg: F.H. Kerle, 1977)
H. Stern, ‘Origins et débuts de la mosaïque murale’, Études d’Archéologie Classique 2 (1959) 99–121

Terminology

C. Balmelle et al., Le décor géométrique de la mosaïque romaine I: Répertoire graphique et descriptif des compositions linéaires et isotropes (Paris: Picard, 1985)
C. Balmelle et al., Le décor géométrique de la mosaïque romaine II: Répertoire graphique et descriptif des décors centrés (Paris: Picard, 2002)

These two volumes are intended to create a standardised vocabulary for describing the designs on ancient mosaics. Hundreds of motifs are illustrated and described in French, English, German, Spanish and Italian.
 

Greek Mosaics: Classical and Hellenistic periods

General

Ph. Bruneau, ‘La mosaïque grecque classique et hellénistique’, Archeologia (Warsaw) 27 (1976) 12–42
A.-M. Guimier-Sorbets, La mosaïque dans le monde grec, des origines jusqu'à la fin de l'époque hellénistique. Construction d'une banque de données. Recherches sur les banques de données en archéologie classique (PhD dissertation, 11 volumes, CNRS, Paris, 1989)
J.J. Pollitt, Art in the Hellenistic Age (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986) 210–229
C.M. Robertson, ‘Greek mosaics’, Journal of Hellenic Studies 85 (1965) 72–89
C.M. Robertson, ‘Greek mosaics: a postscript’, Journal of Hellenic Studies 87 (1967) 133–136
R.C. Westgate, Greek Mosaics of the Classical and Hellenistic Periods (PhD dissertation, 2 volumes, University of Manchester, 1995)
R.C. Westgate, ‘Hellenistic mosaics’, in D. Ogden (ed.), The Hellenistic World: New Perspectives (London: Duckworth/Classical Press of Wales, 2002) 221–251

Chronology and technical development

I. Baldassare, ‘La decorazione pavimentale: le tipologie più antiche e la introduzione del tessellato’, in R. Farioli Campanati (ed.), Atti del 1o colloquio dell’Associazione Italiana per lo Studio e la Conservazione del Mosaico, Ravenna, 29 aprile–3 maggio 1993 (Ravenna: Edizioni del Girasole, 1994) 435–450
Ph. Bruneau, ‘Prolongements de la technique des mosaïques de galets en Grèce’, Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique 93 (1969) 308–332
K.M.D. Dunbabin, ‘Techniques and materials of Hellenistic mosaics’, American Journal of Archaeology 83 (1979) 265–277
K.M.D. Dunbabin, ‘Early pavement types in the west and the invention of tessellation’, in P. Johnson, R.J. Ling & D.J. Smith (eds.), Fifth International Colloquium on Ancient Mosaics held at Bath, England, on September 5–12, 1987. Volume I., Journal of Roman Archaeology Supplementary Series 9 (Ann Arbor, 1994) 26–40

Context

I. Baldassare, ‘Pittura parietale e mosaico pavimentale dal IV al II sec. a.C.’, Dialoghi di Archeologia 3rd series, 2 (1984) 65–76
H. Joyce, ‘Form, function and technique in the pavements of Delos and Pompeii’, American Journal of Archaeology 83 (1979) 253–263
R.C. Westgate, ‘Greek mosaics in their architectural and social context’, Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies 42 (1997–98) 93–115
R.C. Westgate, ‘Space and decoration in Hellenistic houses’, Annual of the British School at Athens 95 (2000) 391–426
R.C. Westgate, ‘Life’s Rich Pattern: decoration as evidence for room function in Hellenistic houses’, in R. Westgate, N.R.E. Fisher & J. Whitley (eds.), Building Communities: House, Settlement and Society in the Aegean and Beyond (London: British School at Athens, 2007) 313–321

Pebble mosaics

C. Fiori, N. Tolis & P. Canestrini, Mosaici a ciottoli: capolavori e declino dell'arte musiva più antica da Pella a Delos (Ravenna: Girasole, 2003)
D. Salzmann, Untersuchungen zu den antiken Kieselmosaiken von den Anfängen bis zum Beginn der Tesseratechnik, Archäologische Forschungen 10 (Berlin: Mann, 1982)

Greece

Ph. Bruneau, Exploration Archéologique de Délos XXIX: Les mosaïques (Paris: De Boccard, 1972)
M. Bulard, Peintures murales et mosaïques de Délos, Monuments et Mémoires Piot XIV (1908)

Turkey

O. Bingöl, Malerei und Mosaik der Antike in der Türkei (Mainz: Von Zabern, 1997)
D. Salzmann, corpus of mosaics from Pergamon, forthcoming in Pergamenische Forschungen

Egypt

B.R. Brown, Ptolemaic Paintings and Mosaics (Cambridge, Mass.: Archaeological Institute of America, 1957)
W.A. Daszewski, Corpus of Mosaics from Egypt I: Hellenistic and Early Roman Period, Aegyptiaca Treverensia 3 (Mainz: Von Zabern, 1985)

Cyrenaica

I. Baldassare, ‘Mosaici ellenistici a Cirene e a Delo: rapporti e differenze’, Quaderni di Archeologia della Libia 8 (1976) 193–221

Mosaics in Italy

General

G. Becatti, ‘Alcune caratteristiche del mosaico bianco-nero in Italia’, in M.G. Picard & H. Stern (eds.), Colloque international sur la mosaïque gréco-romaine, Paris, 29 août–3 septembre 1963 (Paris: Éditions du CNRS, 1965) 15–27
G. Becatti, ‘Alcune caratteristiche del mosaico policromo in Italia’, in H. Stern & M. Leglay (eds.), Deuxième colloque international pour l’étude de la mosaïque antique, Vienne, 30 août–4 septembre 1971 (Paris: Picard, 1975) 173–192
M.E. Blake, ‘The pavements of the Roman buildings of the Republic and early Empire’, Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome 8 (1930) 7–159
M.E. Blake, ‘Roman mosaics of the second century in Italy’, Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome 13 (1936) 67–214
J.R. Clarke, Roman Black-and-White Figural Mosaics (New York: New York University Press, 1979)
J.R. Clarke, The Houses of Roman Italy, 100 BC–AD 250: Ritual, Space and Decoration (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991)

Sites and regions

G. Becatti, Scavi di Ostia IV: Mosaici e Pavimenti Marmorei (2 volumes, Rome: Istituto poligrafico dello stato, Libreria dello stato, 1961)
M.E. Blake, ‘Roman mosaics of the late Empire in Rome and vicinity’, Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome 17 (1940) 81–130
M. David, I pavimenti decorati di Milano antica. I secolo a.C.–VI secolo d.C. (Milan: Comune di Milano, Settore Cultura e Spettacolo, 1996)
M. Donderer, Die Chronologie der römischen Mosaiken in Venetien und Istrien bis zur Zeit der Antonine (Berlin: Mann, 1986)
M. De Franceschini, Villa Adriana: Mosaici—Pavimenti—Edifici (Rome: «L’Erma» di Bretschneider, 1991)
G. Gullini, I mosaici di Palestrina, Archeologia Classica Supplement 1 (Rome 1956)
various authors, Mosaici Antichi in Italia (Rome: Istituto poligrafico dello stato, Libreria dello stato, 1967–): a series of catalogues covering individual regions and sites, including the Palatine in Rome, Stabiae, Antium, Sardinia, and opus signinum pavements in and around Rome

Pompeii

Pompei: Pitture e Mosaici: topographical description of the decoration in all the excavated houses at Pompeii, in 10 volumes (Rome: Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana, 1990–2003)
B. Andreae, Das Alexandermosaik aus Pompeji (Recklinghausen: Aurel Bongers, 1977)
A. Cohen, The Alexander Mosaic: Stories of Victory and Defeat (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997)
M. De Vos, ‘Paving techniques at Pompeii’, Archaeological News 16 (1991) 36–60
E. Pernice, Die hellenistische Kunst in Pompeji VI: Pavimente und figürliche Mosaiken (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1938)
R.C. Westgate, ‘Pavimenta atque emblemata vermiculata: regional styles in Hellenistic mosaic and the first mosaics at Pompeii’, American Journal of Archaeology 204 (2000) 255–275

Sicily: Hellenistic

D. von Boeselager, Antike Mosaiken in Sizilien (Rome: Giorgio Bretschneider, 1983) 15–78
E. Pernice, Die hellenistische Kunst in Pompeji VI: Pavimente und figürliche Mosaiken (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1938) 6–30
B. Tsakirgis, ‘The decorated pavements of Morgantina I: the mosaics’, American Journal of Archaeology 93 (1989) 395–416
M. De Vos, ‘Pitture e mosaico a Solunto’, Bulletin Antieke Beschaving 50 (1975) 195–224

Sicily: Roman

D. von Boeselager, Antike Mosaiken in Sizilien (Rome: Giorgio Bretschneider, 1983)
A. Carandini, A. Ricci & M. De Vos, Filosofiana: The Villa of Piazza Armerina (Palermo: S.F. Flaccovio, 1982)
R.J.A. Wilson, Piazza Armerina (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1983)
R.J.A. Wilson, ‘Roman Mosaics in Sicily: the African Connection’, American Journal of Archaeology 86 (1982) 413–428

Conferences of the Associazione Italiana per lo Studio e la Conservazione del Mosaico (AISCOM)

R. Farioli Campanati (ed.), Atti del 1o colloquio dell’Associazione Italiana per lo Studio e la Conservazione del Mosaico, Ravenna, 29 aprile–3 maggio 1993 (Ravenna: Edizioni del Girasole, 1994)
I. Bragantini & F. Guidobaldi (eds.), Atti del II colloquio dell’Associazione Italiana per lo Studio e la Conservazione del Mosaico, Roma, 5–7 dicembre 1994 (Bordighera: Istituto internazionale di studi liguri, 1995)
F. Guidobaldi & A.G. Guidobaldi (eds.), Atti del III colloquio dell’Associazione Italiana per lo Studio e la Conservazione del Mosaico, Bordighera, 6–10 dicembre 1995 (Bordighera: Istituto internazionale di studi liguri, 1996)
R.M. Carra Bonacasa & F. Guidobaldi (eds.), Atti del IV colloquio dell’Associazione Italiana per lo Studio e la Conservazione del Mosaico, Palermo, 9–13 dicembre 1996 (Ravenna: Edizioni del Girasole, 1997)
[no editor], Atti del V colloquio dell’Associazione Italiana per lo Studio e la Conservazione del Mosaico, Roma, 3–6 novembre 1997 (Ravenna: Edizioni del Girasole, 1998)
F. Guidobaldi & A. Paribeni (eds.), Atti del VI colloquio dell’Associazione Italiana per lo Studio e la Conservazione del Mosaico (Venezia, 20–23 gennaio 1999) (Ravenna: Edizioni del Girasole, 2000)
A. Paribeni (ed.), Atti del VII colloquio dell’Associazione Italiana per lo Studio e la Conservazione del Mosaico (Pompei, 22–25 marzo 2000) (Ravenna: Edizioni del Girasole, 2001)
F. Guidobaldi & A. Paribeni (eds.), Atti del VIII colloquio dell’Associazione Italiana per lo Studio e la Conservazione del Mosaico (Firenze, 21–23 febbraio 2001) (Ravenna: Edizioni del Girasole, 2002)
C. Angelelli (ed.), Atti del IX colloquio dell’Associazione Italiana per lo Studio e la Conservazione del Mosaico (Aosta, 20–22 febbraio 2003) (Ravenna: Edizioni del Girasole, 2004)
C. Angelelli (ed.), Atti del X colloquio dell’Associazione Italiana per lo Studio e la Conservazione del Mosaico (Lecce, 18–21 febbraio 2004) (Tivoli: Edizioni Scripta Manent, 2005)
C. Angelelli (ed.), Atti del XI colloquio dell’Associazione Italiana per lo Studio e la Conservazione del Mosaico (Ancona, 16–19 febbraio 2005) (Tivoli: Edizioni Scripta Manent, 2006)
C. Angelelli & A. Paribeni (eds.), Atti dell’XII Colloquio dell’Associazione Italiana per lo Studio e la Conservazione del Mosaico (Padova-Brescia, 14–17 febbraio 2006) (Tivoli: Edizioni Scripta Manent, 2007)

Mosaics in the Roman Empire

Eastern provinces

J. Balty, ‘La mosaïque antique au Proche-Orient I: Des origines à la Tétrarchie’, Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt II.12.2 (1981) 347–429
J. Balty, ‘La tradition hellénistique dans la mosaïque et la peinture des provinces orientales’, in: O Ellenismos stin Anatole. Praktika A´ Diethnous archaiologikou synedriou, Delphi 6–9 Nov. 1986 (Athens: Europaïko Politistiko Kentro Delphon, 1991) 177–201
J. Balty, Mosaïques Antiques Du Proche-Orient: Chronologie, Iconographie, Interprétation (Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1995)

Greece

P. Asimakopoulou-Atzaka, Syntagma ton palaiochristianikon psephidoton dapedon tes Ellados II: Peloponnesos — Sterea Ellada, Byzantina Mnemeia 7 (Thessaloniki: Centre for Byzantine Studies, 1987)
Ph. Bruneau, ‘Tendances de la mosaïque en Grèce à l’époque impériale’, Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt II.12.2 (1981), 320–346
G. Hellenkemper Salies, ‘Römische Mosaiken im Griechenland’, Bonner Jahrbücher 186 (1986) 241–284
A. Kankeleit, Kaiserzeitliche Mosaiken in Griechenland (PhD dissertation, 2 volumes, Rheinischen Friedriech-Wilhelms-Universität, Bonn 1994)
M. Spiro, Critical Corpus of the Mosaic Pavements on the Greek Mainland, Fourth/Sixth Centuries, with Architectural Surveys (2 volumes, New York 1978)
S.E. Waywell, ‘Roman mosaics in Greece’, American Journal of Archaeology 83 (1979) 293–321

Cyprus

D. Michaelides, Cypriot Mosaics (Picture Book 7, Nicosia: Department of Antiquities, Cyprus, 1987; second edition, 1992)
C. Kondoleon, Domestic and Divine: Roman Mosaics in the House of Dionysos (Ithaca & London: Cornell University Press, 1995)

Turkey

L. Becker & C. Kondoleon (eds.), The Arts of Antioch: Art Historical and Scientific Approaches to Roman Mosaics and a Catalogue of the Worcester Art Museum Antioch Collection (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005)
O. Bingöl, Malerei und Mosaik der Antike in der Türkei (Mainz: Von Zabern, 1997)
L. Budde, Antike Mosaiken in Kilikien II: Die heidnischen Mosaiken (Recklinghausen: Aurel Bongers, 1972)
S.D. Campbell, ‘Roman workshops in Turkey’, American Journal of Archaeology 83 (1979) 287–292
D. Levi, Antioch Mosaic Pavements (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1947)
F. Cimok (ed.), Antioch Mosaics (Istanbul: A Turizm Yayinlari, 1996)
F. Cimok (ed.), Antioch Mosaics: A Corpus (Istanbul: A Turizm Yayinlari, 2000)
S.D. Campbell, The Mosaics of Antioch, Subsidia Mediaevalia 15 (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1988)
S.D. Campbell, The Mosaics of Aphrodisias in Caria, Subsidia Mediaevalia 18 (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1991)
S.D. Campbell, The Mosaics of Anemurium, Subsidia Mediaevalia 25 (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1998)

Syria

J. Balty, Mosaïques Antiques De Syrie (Brussels: Centre belge de recherches archéologiques à Apamée de Syrie, 1977)

Israel

R. & A. Ovadiah, Mosaic Pavements in Israel (Rome: «L’Erma» di Bretschneider, 1987)

Jordan

M. Piccirillo, I mosaici di Giordania (Rome: Quasar, 1986)
M. Piccirillo, The Mosaics of Jordan (Amman: American Center of Oriental Research, 1993)

North Africa

various authors, Corpus des mosaïques de Tunisie (multiple volumes, Tunis: Institut National d’Archéologie et d’Arts/Institut National du Patrimoine, 1973–)
A. Ben Abed (ed.), Stories in Stone. Conserving Mosaics of Roman Africa. Masterpieces from the National Museums of Tunisia (Los Angeles: Getty Publications, 2006)
A. Ben Abed, Tunisian Mosaics: Treasures from Roman Africa (Los Angeles: Getty Publications, 2006)
K.M.D. Dunbabin, The Mosaics of Roman North Africa (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1978)
M.H. Fantar et al., La Mosaïque en Tunisie (Paris: Éditions du CNRS; Tunis: Alif, 1994)
D. Parrish, Season Mosaics of North Africa (Rome: Giorgio Bretschneider, 1984)
M. Blanchard-Lemée, Mosaics of Roman Africa: Floor Mosaics from Tunisia (London: British Museum Press, 1996; also published in French as Sols de l’Afrique romaine: mosaïques de Tunisie)
A. Ben Abed-Ben Khader, E. de Balanda & A. Uribe Echeverría (eds.), Image in Stone: Tunisia in Mosaic (Paris: Ars Latina & Tunisian Agency for the Development of Heritage and Cultural Promotion, 2003)

Western provinces

J.-P. Darmon, ‘Les mosaïques en Occident I’, Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt II.12.2 (1981) 266–319
J. Lancha, Mosaïque et culture dans l’Occident romain, Ie–IVe siècles (Rome: «L’Erma» di Bretschneider, 1997)

Britain

P. Johnson, Romano-British Mosaics (Princes Risborough: Shire Publications, 1995)
R.J. Ling, ‘Mosaics in Roman Britain: discoveries and research since 1945’, Britannia 28 (1997) 259–295
D.S. Neal, Roman Mosaics in Britain (London: Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies, 1981)
D.S. Neal & S.R. Cosh, The Roman Mosaics of Britain: the first ever corpus, in 4 volumes (read more about this important project)
I: Northern Britain, incorporating the Midlands and East Anglia (London: Society of Antiquaries, 2002)
II: South-West Britain (London: Society of Antiquaries, 2006)
III: South-East Britain, including London (London: Society of Antiquaries, 2009)
IV: Western Britain, including Wales (forthcoming)
P. Witts, Mosaics in Roman Britain: Stories in Stone (Stroud: Tempus, 2005)
Mosaic, the journal of ASPROM (Association for the Study and Preservation of Roman Mosaics), 1974– (see the contents of the latest issue)

France

various authors, Recueil général des mosaïques de la Gaule (multiple volumes, Paris: Éditions du CNRS, 1957–)

Germany/Eastern Europe

W. Jobst, Antike Mosaikkunst in Österreich (Vienna: Österreichischer Bundesverlag, 1985)
A. Kiss, Roman Mosaics in Hungary (Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 1973)
Kl. Parlasca, Die römischen Mosaiken in Deutschland (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1959)
V. von Gonzenbach, Die römischen Mosaiken der Schweiz (Basel: Birkhäuser, 1961)

Spain & Portugal

various authors, Corpus de mosaicos de España (multiple volumes, Madrid: Instituto Español de Arqueología "Rodrigo Caro" del Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, 1978–)
main mosaic page mosaic articles mosaic links
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