Cane Monnus covered cut

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A Dog Called Monnus: The Cane Monnus Mosaic of Ostia

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We are thrilled to announce that Friends of Roman Ostia, in consultation with the Superintendency of the Parco Archeologico di Ostia Antica, have elected to restore the Cane Monnus Mosaic as the inaugural fundraiser of our organization. Although it has lain hidden beneath a protective covering for decades, the Cane Monnus Mosaic has never been forgotten.

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?
Cane Monnus Mosaic Ostia antica scan upper site

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.
Cane Monnus Mosaic Ostia antica scan lower site

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?

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