Contenuto in: Rivista di Archeologia vol. XLII - 2018
pp. 135-151, Figg. 3, Tavv. 4
The Santa Marta Project in the township of Cinigiano in southern Tuscany investigates a Roman, and medieval large rural site serving in the imperial period as a road-station with associated balnea. Excavation undertaken at the public bath-complex uncovered a series of mosaics, most of which belong to the later 2nd-3rd centuries AD. One, dated from the Severan period, is of great interest. It depicts the episode of the encounter between Mars and Rhea Silvia, who was raped by the god at the lucus Martis and who later conceived the twins Romulus and Remus. This is the second case in which the myth of the origin of Rome is represented on a mosaic in Roman Italy and the fourth in the whole Roman Empire. This paper offers a comprehensive contextual, iconographical and stylistic analysis of the mosaic. The selection of the legendary encounter witnesses the desire of the proprietor to display paideia and the sense of belonging to Roman culture.