Revisiting the Roman domus in Rabat, Malta, through a consideration of its mosaic flooring


By: Antonio Caselli

Mosaics have a language of their own. Whether they exhibit figurative or geometric drawings, mosaics help to regulate the flow of movement within a building and often correspond to the function of rooms. Figurative mosaics were meant to be admired and discussed by the pater familias and his guests, whilst geometric mosaics decorated passage areas that did not require waiting, such as corridors and service areas. Floor mosaics can offer valuable insights into the spatial organisation within a house. This paper considers the floor mosaics of the Roman domus in Rabat, Malta, and explores how their direction, decoration, and arrangement can help to gain a better understanding of the internal layout of the house.