Domus Romana

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					                                  ĦARĠA KULTURALI
                            NIBDEW B’QUDDIESA IR-RABAT

                                    GĦAŻLA TA’ BEJN

              DOMUS ROMANA JEW MDINA EXPERIENCE
                         RABAT, MDINA

                  WARA GĦAL KAFE GĦAND PERISTYLE KAFE’

                          L-ERBGĦA 14, TA’ MEJJU 2008

                             TLUQ FID-9 TA’ FILGĦODU

       ROTTA TAL-COACH

       QUDDIEM IL-KNISJA TA’ L-INGLIŻI, TRIQ RUDOLFU
       IT-TERMINUS TAS-SAVOY, TRIQ RUDOLFU
       ĦDEJN TLIET SIĠRIET, TRIQ DINGLI
       PJAZZA DINGLI, TRIQ DINGLI
       FOND GĦADIR IN-NAĦA TAL-BAĦAR, TRIQ IT-TORRI

       QUDDIEM TRIQ BISAZZA N-NAĦA TAL-BAĦAR, IX-XATT

   BILJETTI HUMA LIMITATI U JISTGĦU JINKISBU MINN
   NHAR IT-TNEJN 28 TA’ APRIL SA NHAR IT-TNEJN 12 TA’
   MEJJU 2008, MILL-KUNSILL LOKALI SLIEMA.

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 Domus Romana

The mosaic pavements in the ‘Roman house’ at Rabat rank among the finest and oldest mosaic
compositions from the western Mediterranean, alongside those of Pompeii and Sicily. They were
discovered in 1881 just outside Mdina in the remains of a rich and sumptuously decorated town
house of the Roman period.
These remarkably fine polychrome mosaic pavements were uncovered during the first
excavations at the site. At that time, architectural elements of the building were restored and a
number of rooms constructed over the remains to protect the mosaics.

The site was investigated further between 1920 and 1924 by Sir Themistocles Zammit, Malta’s
first Director of Museums. An upper hall was added to the existing museum so as to provide
more exhibition space and a more suitable entrance. Its neo-classical façade with a small front
garden was completed in 1925.

The mosaics are composed using two techniques. Small cubes of marble or stone are embedded
closely together in cement in a reticular manner. The very minuteness of the pieces, which are
not always set in straight lines but vary in direction to suit the artist’s requirements, brought out
greater definition in the work which sought to imitate painting.

Parts of these mosaics were created by highly-skilled artists working in specialized workshops
notably at Pergamum in Asia Minor, Antioch in Syria and Alexandria in Egypt, and were
exported for setting in mosaic floors finished off on the spot by itinerant or local artists.

The mosaic pavement surrounded by a Doric peristyle can be found in the lower floor of the
museum. The pavement shows two doves perched on the rim of a bowl. Other extremely fine
mosaics were found in the adjoining rooms. One image shows a charming little boy holding a
bunch of grapes in one hand and a pomegranate in the other. The iconography is generally taken
as an allegorical representation of autumn. Another equally fine mosaic was the centrepiece of
the mosaic pavement in what seems to have been the main entrance to the building. It shows a
nude male figure held fast by two women.

The best tradition of Hellenistic pictorial culture, together with the extremely fine technique,
undoubtedly qualify the mosaic compositions of the Roman house in Rabat among the finest
examples of Hellenistic mosaic art, dating probably from the first quarter of the first century B.C.




     Audio Visual Spectacular, Bringing 3000 Years of History Alive.The Mdina
     Experience is a perfect start to a day in Mdina the old capital of Malta. Journey
     through time and re-live the tragedies and triumphs brought to life before you.
The Mdina Experience is found in a Medieval building which is a Museum in
itself. Very modern Audio Visual Presentation of the Mdina History. The
history of Mdina and its suburb Rabat is as old and as chequered as the history
of Malta itself. Mdina, Malta’s medieval capital, can trace its origins back more
than 4000 years. Rabat can claim the origins of Maltese Christianity. It was
here in A.D. 60 that the Apostle St Paul is said to have lived after being
shipwrecked on the Islands. Both Mdina and Rabat are fascinating to tour for
their timeless atmosphere and their cultural and religious treasures.
Mdina has had different names and titles depending on its rulers and its role. It
was Melita to the Romans; Medina to the Arabs; and Citta’ Vecchia, the old
city, when Valletta became the lifeblood of the Islands. None describe it better
than its medieval name, Citta’ Notabile, the noble city.
It was home then, as now, to Malta’s noble families; some are descendants of
the Norman, Sicilian and Spanish overlords who made Mdina their home from
the 12th century onwards. Their Impressive palaces line its narrow, shady
streets. Mdina is one of Europe’s finest examples of an ancient walled city, and
unusual in its mix of medieval and baroque architecture.
Today Mdina has a quiet, restrained atmosphere in keeping with its noble
past. Lamplit by night, Mdina transforms itself into the ‘Silent City’.

Some of the Historic Eras which are brought "alive" include

                  The Romans & St.Paul



                  The Arab Domination



                  The Norman Period



                  The Knights of St. John & the French Rule

				
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posted:4/9/2010
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