Neptune and Amphitrite

An impressive mosaic in the ruins of Herculaneum:

Neptune and Amphitrite

Most people are likely familiar with the ancient city of Pompeii that was buried by a series of eruptions of Mt. Vesuvius (near modern-day Naples, Italy) in 79 AD. Less commonly known is Herculaneum, another nearby city buried by the same eruptions.

One of the better-preserved buildings in the ruins of Herculaneum is now known as the House of the Neptune Mosaic — a modest-sized, but richly decorated home. Owned by an obviously wealthy family, the home includes a¬†Nymphaeum, an artificial grotto with a fountain. Against the back wall of the Nymphaeum is the above mosaic, after which this house has been named.

In the mosaic, a nude Neptune (the god of the sea) stands next to his scantily-clad wife, Amphitrite. According to legend, Neptune saw Amphitrite dancing with the Nereids on the island of Naxos, then carried her off and married her. Hopefully the owners of this house married in a healthier way.

Olympus E-M1III, M.Zuiko 8-25mm f/4 lens
f/11, 25mm, 1/60 sec, ISO 1250