Roman mosaic showing skull with wheel | Photo: akg-images / Mondadori Portfolio / Luciano Pedicini
Roman floor mosaic showing skull with wheel. Object found in Pompeii and now is located in National Archaeological Museum, Naples.
The circle symbolizes here Fortune, which can bring wealth (shown as purple material, on the left), or poverty (goat skin, on the right). However, whether you are rich or poor, death is inevitable and affects everyone. Life, in turn, is shown as a skull of monkey (Romans had an ironic look) that sticks to a thread; when the line breaks, the soul (shown as a butterfly) is released.
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