Eirene Mansion

 

 

The Eirene Mansion mosaics  were restored in 2003-2004The Eirene Mansion mosaics were restored in 2003-2004

Whoever he was, he got everything he wanted and had paid for. A grand mansion, in the fashionable peristyle architecture appeared on the plot. So far, 668 sq.m of it have been excavated. The owner and his family lived and entertained guests in a spacious living section around a big atrium. Slaves and servants resided in a separate part of the building with a side door to the street, and enjoyed conveniences like running water in the kitchen.

The following centuries proved to be crucial for the ancient society which was morphing into a new, medieval one. Many a nobleman went bankrupt and many a commoner got rich and ascended the social ladder. It seems the owners of the mansion fared well in these turbulent times.

When Christianity became the official religion, they were influential enough to have a special shortcut built between their house and the near Bishop Basilica, without bothering with the fact that the new lane violated the city street planning.

The inhabitants of the mansion had enough money and enthusiasm to rebuilt the house after calamities like the Huns invasion of 441-442. They even made it better and more glamorous, and in the 4-5th centuries the building was adorned with lavish mosaics. Every room in the masters' quarter was equipped with  hundreds of thousands of minuscule pebbles floorings, pottery shards and glass smalt laid in intricate designs of geometrical figures, endless knot symbols, flowers and welcoming inscriptions to visitors.