Hippo Regius has a fairly small collection of mosaics in comparison to other museums in North Africa, but the collection is nice. Here are a few highlights. For more, see the
Flickr Album. Click the images below to zoom in.
Panorama of Hippo Regius. Whether it was intended to accurately reflect the city or just highlight some of its monuments remains unclear. But note the emphasis on the sea. Hippo Regius was a Mediterranean city and as such distinct from inland Numidia.
This mosaic depicts not a hunt but the collection of wild animals to be killed for public spectacle in Roman amphitheaters. Pliny the Elder condescendingly said of Numidia that it produced “nothing remarkable except for its marble and wild beasts” (Natural History 5.2). These animals may have been killed in local amphitheaters or exported to Rome and killed there. If you look closely, you’ll see that a leopard has caught one of the trappers.
This mosaic depicts the Nereids, sea nymphs in Greek mythology. They ride hippocamps, or sea horses. Note again Hippo Regius’ connection to the sea.
A full view of the Mosaic of the Nereids. (The mosaics room in the museum at Hippo Regius is small, so it wasn’t possible to get a head-on picture.)
A decorated floor. If I recall correctly, it is from the nave of the one basilica that has been excavated.
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I’m really enjoying these!
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Thanks! There are thousands more (slowly) on their way.