Neptune and Amymone.

The house of Dionysus. Late 2nd century CE.

Paphos, Archaeological Park

Description:
The next panel, like the last one to the right, has no explanatory inscriptions but its interpretation is not particularly difficult. It illustrates the myth of Neptune and Amymone, of which there exist many variations. In general lines, the story is the following: Neptune, to revenge himself for losing Argolis (an area in Greece) to Hera, dried up all the rivers and springs of the area. Danaos sent his fifty daughters, one of whom was Amymone, to search for water advising them to do everything in their power to placate the god’s anger. During her search Amymone saw a deer and aimed at it with her bow. She missed, however, and the arrow fell near a sleeping Satyr who woke up and tried to ravish her. Suddenly Neptune appeared and chased the Satyr away with his trident. The god of water was immediately attracted to Amymone, and she, remembering her father’s words, gladly gave herself to him. The god, in return, revealed to her the spring of Lerna thus bringing an end to the terrible drought.

The mosaic illustrates the moment when Neptune, after having got rid of the Satyr, advances, trident in hand, towards Amymone. Cupid hovers between the two figures with a torch in his right hand and a rectangular parasol in his left which he stretches towards Amymone. In the lower foreground, a metal jug reminds us of the original purpose of Amymone’s wanderings.

Credits:
© 1998 Photo, text: W. A. Daszewski, D. Michaelidis. “Guide to the Paphos Mosaics”. Bank of Cyprus cultural foundation, 1998. P. 41, 44.
THE GALLERY OF ANCIENT ART
Keywords: floor mosaic Neptune Poseidon Amymone Danaide Danaides trident Amor Eros Amor Cupid jug torch parasol female clothes garments outerwear tunic chiton
HISTORY OF ANCIENT ROME