Understanding the Small Basilica mosaics

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A stag from the Small Basilica baptisteriumA stag from the Small Basilica baptisterium

The sumptuous floor mosaics covering the floors of the churches in the Eastern and the Western Roman Empire in the 4-6th centuries, are made of all sorts of materials: marble, pebbles, ceramics, glass. For covering of large spaces, geometrical combinations of rhombuses, circles and rosettes are preferred, as they can repeat endlessly and form immense number of patterns

In Philippopolis, there is a local mosaic atelier, which decorates the floors of the big public buildings and the homes of wealthy citizens.

For the early Christians, these mosaics have their meanings and transcend messages. The stag, for example, is not in the baptistery of the Small Basilica by accident. The stag represents the soul of the Christian, aiming at the faith and the truth.

If you know how to read them, the mosaics of the Small Basilica will open before you.

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