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Narcissus Residential Building

The residential building called Narcissus was situated in the Northeastern part of the ancient city. Its name comes from the central image of the best preserved mosaic found there, which presents the myth of Narcissus. The building was found by chance when construction works started at Maria Luiza Blvd. 

The house is a representative of the peristyle residential buildings, specific for the Ancient Greek architecture. These type of buildings retained their significance during the period of the Roman Empire, especially throughout the territories of its provinces.

The peristyle courtyard with a pool lay in the centre of the plan composition of the house. It was surrounded by colonnades along all its sides. The ruins found in the Southern part were probably housework premises. In the Northern part a sequence of premises was found, situated one after another. The most outer one had a mosaic floor.

The image in the centre of that mosaic gives the name of the house. The mosaic is rectangular in shape, divided into three panels. Both side rectangular panels are covered with black and white geometric figures and the central square panel is recreating the myth of Narcissus. The scene with the selfish young man was made of small, up to 3 mm in size colour mosaic blocks called tesserae. Dophins were depicted in the four corners. The manner of execution of the mosaic gives reasons to assume that the house was built at the beginning of 3rd century AD - the greatest period for the development of Philippopolis. 

The mosaic with the myth of Narcissus is exhibited in the Regional Archaeological Museum - Plovdiv.


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Mosaic with the myth of Narcissus, Regional Archaeological Museum - Plovdiv  / K. Varbanov