Classic Court

Africa (Tunisia)

Roman, from the province of Africa, Mosaic with Imago Clipeata (Framed Portrait) of Bacchus. Mosaic: limestone, marble, and glass tesserae, about 140–160 CE. Toledo Museum of Art

The province of Africa, comprising parts of modern Tunisia and Libya, came under Roman rule during the Roman Republic when Rome defeated the Phoenician colony of Carthage in the Third Punic War (149–146 BCE). Romans who lived in Africa became rich from exporting olive oil, grain, wine, and exotic beasts to cities all around the Mediterranean. The province became a center for the production of fine mosaics. Workshops of skilled mosaicists decorated the floors and walls of the homes of the wealthy, both refined city houses and sprawling country villas.