Apr 21, 2008
Oct 26, 2005

Fragment of a Floor Mosaic: Adam and Eve

Fragment of a Floor Mosaic: Adam and Eve

late 400s-early 500s

Marble and stone tesserae

Overall: 142.9 x 107.3 x 5.7 cm (56 1/4 x 42 1/4 x 2 1/4 in.); Mounted: 142.9 x 107.3 x 7 cm (56 1/4 x 42 1/4 x 2 3/4 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1969.115

Did you know?

In the Syrian village where this mosaic was created, few people could read and even fewer had access to books. The images within the church educated the community, leading 5th-century Pope Gregory the Great to describe religious images as "books for the illiterate."


This mosaic panel representing the Fall of Adam and Eve once formed part of a much larger mosaic decorating the floor of an early Byzantine church in northern Syria. Here, Adam and Eve are portrayed sharing the forbidden fruit while covering themselves with large leaves. At the top of the panel, a Greek inscription reads, "And they ate and they were made naked," recalling the biblical text (Gen. 3:7) and highlighting the two moments in the biblical narrative of the Fall that are depicted here.

See also
MED - Byzantine
Medieval Art
Type of artwork: 

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