Plato’s academy, mosaic from Pompeii, House of T. Siminius Stephanus.
Many mosaics of this period (II style, early first century B. C.) have a fine frame with an ornate festoon of leaves and fruit and comic masks.
Another good example from Pompeii is the doves mosaic (inv. 114281), but there are also specimens from elsewhere (Teramo). The chosen theme for this mosaic, possibly to underline the literary pretensions of the villa owner who commissioned it, is a group of philosophers characterised by the typical garments associated with Greek orators and philosophers of the classical period. The second and third figures from the left are thought to represent Lysias and Plato respectively, and in the background there is a view of the acropolis of Athens.
The elements surrounding the philosophers, the sacred gateway with vases, the tree and the votive column, are all typical of a mythological landscape.