Byzantine Pastoral Mosaic

Illustration

Rome and Byzantium
by Hagia Sophia Research Team
published on 11 January 2018

Detail from the pastoral compositions in the Great Palace mosaics.

The Great Palace Mosaic Museum was inaugurated in 1987 CE. The mosaics in the museum mostly depict animals and humans in nature, mythological, pastoral motifs and hunting scenes. Once located in today’s Sultan Ahmet District, the Great Palace of Constantinople was built by Constantine the Great. The Palace area extended from the Hippodrome to the coastline. Destroyed in the Nika Riot in the 6th century CE, the Great Palace was rebuilt by Justinian I. The mosaics, decorating the floors of the museum today date back to that restoration time. The mosaics are just one-seventh of the original work.

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