chapter  7
DECORATION AND THE MEANING OF MOSAICS
Pages 18

Aristocratic houses in the Roman world were extravagantly decorated with marbles, mosaics and wall paintings. These schemes of decoration have received wide attention from both archaeologists and art historians, and their study offers insight into the social use of the Roman house. British patrons never achieved the high standards of the wealthier parts of the Roman world, but there is none the less a substantial body of decorative art from the province (Henig 1995). This chapter offers two rather different approaches to the study of interior design and decoration in the Romano-British house. In the first place it offers a brief review of the range and character of the decorative techniques employed. This completes our description of the fabric and craft of Romano-British houses. This evidence is best presented according to the technique employed, and for this reason we treat separately with the evidence of walls and then floors, rather than attempting to describe complete schemes of decoration within individual rooms.