A Dog Called Monnus: The Cane Monnus Mosaic of Ostia
The mosaic is a study in contradictions. The figures are rendered rather crudely yet the artist was careful to accurately depict each sea creature. The maritime theme is classic Ostia, while the addition of the Dog Monnus lends a sense of whimsy and humor. Is there an inside joke hidden by the passage of time?
The Cane Monnus Mosaic was probably created in the early 3rd century C.E. It is part of a late renovation of a very ancient structure near the Porta Romana. In fact, this is only one of several works created by a specific artist or team of artists working at Ostia in this time. The other two are adjacent to the Porta Marina, in the Caupona of Alexander and Helix and the Domus Fulminata. Both are visible today.
By restoring the Cane Monnus mosaic, visitors to Ostia will be able to inspect and compare the mosaics of these artists. Animal lovers will delight in seeing Dog Monnus leaping up toward the chariot. Those who love the sea will enjoy identifying each fish, and mythology buffs will be able to puzzle out the ancient drama that is taking place on the mosaic.
Become a Friend of Roman Ostia
Your contribution will directly fund the preservation of Ostia. With your donation today, you are funding the restoration of the Cane Monnus Mosaic, which has lain hidden from visitors’ eyes for decades. Want to uncover the mysteries of the Cane Monnus now?
Share this Article in Social Media