Eirene Mansion

 

The Eirene Mansion mosaics are the work of local mastersThe Eirene Mansion mosaics are the work of local masters

One mosaic in the mansion outshone them all. Placed in probably the most important room, it bears a delicate image of Eirene, the Greek goddess of peace, framed by rich geometrical designs. According to some, the image was one of those pagan symbols that were gladly accepted in early Christian art, indicating that during the transitional period, when believers outnumbered temples in Philippopolis, the house was used as a makeshift church.

When they unearthed the mosaic, the amazed archaeologists immediately dubbed it Mansion Eirene.

The house was abandoned around the end of the 6th century when other important buildings in the area, like the Bishop Basilica, were also left to the elements.

While the rich family enjoyed the luxury furniture and running water in the Mansion Eirene, commoners in Philippopolis lived quite differently. They flocked in the southern parts of the city in the plain, occupying detached houses. Some of the homes of poor and middle-class citizens have been discovered, and research showed that in these areas of Philippopolis an insula could contain at least 10 houses, squeezed in two rows with five homes in each. The living space, however, was quite big by modern standards - every house covered about 200 sq.m.