© Ministry of Culture and Sports, © 27th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities
Aerial photography of the dionysos villa at Dion
The large "Villa of Dionysos", so called from the superb mosaic with the scene from the life of the god of wine adorning the floor of the main room, was built about A.D. 200 and is still one of the most impressive building complexes in ancient Dion. Behind a row of shops and workshops along one of the secondary streets in the east side of the side of the city, next to a bath complex, the floors of which are laid with large tesserae, was a courtyard with a ionic peristyle and a well that led to the east to the dining room of the large house, called tablinum by the Romans. This was followed by a number of smaller rooms, one of which, equipped with a semi-circular nice housing a statue of Dionysos with a horn in his left hand and a floor with tesserae laid in geometric shapes, was probably devoted to the cult of this god.

the most brilliant room in the entire building complex, however, was a banqueting hall almost square in plan with an area of about 100 sq.m., the floor of which was covered by a multicoloured mosaic with scenes from the Dionysiac cycle. The centre of the floor was occupied by a large panel flanked by three smaller ones above and below it. A band with a spiral-maeander design separates these "paintings" from a broad zone of chequer-board pattern around the walls, which formed the area in which the banquetting couches were placed. The main panel is given over to a stricking, epic subject, rendered with a certain affectation, despite the painterly intent by which it is informed: the triumph of Dionysos. The god is depicted frontally, naked in a chariot pulled by sea panthers, holding a rhyton in his raised right hand, and a thyrsos in his left. Next to him stands an aged Silenos wearing a hairy chiton, stupefied with fear. The panthers are led on reins by two sea Centaurs, each of whom carries a large vase on his soulders. The white colour of the tesserae of the background on which the scene unfolds contrasts with the violet/dark blue of the waves to give the figures a relief quality and monumental size. The panels that flank the main scene in groups of three depict theatrical masks. A number of bronze couch attachments probably formed part of the original furnishings of the room.

The general decoration of the house included statues of the imperial family, deities and also private individuals, which were found in the various rooms. Life in the villa came to a sudden end when a fire, possibly caused by an earthquake, swept through the building and reduced everything to ruins.
Mythological / Historic Persons