Aula dei mensores by Francis Brenders-2

The mosaic of the Hall of the Grain Measurers, l’Aula dei Mensores

One of my favourite mosaics in Ostia is the representation of the misuratori del grano. This mosaic can be found at the end of the Via della Foce, at the right side, just across the Caseggiato del Serapide.

From left to right we see two men arriving with a bag of grain on their shoulder. The small figure in the middle is a kind of bookkeeper. In his left hand he holds a string with tokens. He looks up the man who is arriving from the left and raises his right hand with one finger in the air, telling the man that, since he brings in one bag, he has right to one token. The next figure is the supervisor of the action. He controls how the modius (the receptacle on the floor) is filled. In his right hand he holds the regulus, a ruler to smooth the grain to the level of the rim of the modius. The man behind the modius is emptying his bag and the last man has accomplished his job and leaves the scene.
misuratori del grano



Francis Brenders
If you want to read more about this cf. Elena Martelli, Sulle spalle dei saccarii, le rappresentazioni di facchini e il trasporto di derrate nel porto di Ostia in epoca imperiale, BAR International Series 2467, 2013.
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