Roman mosaic was discovered in Naples, possibly decorating house of Vedius Pollio | Photo: Uniwersytet L'Orientale w Neapolu
An ancient Roman mosaic has been discovered in the Pausilypon Archaeological Park in Naples, which dates back to the end of the 1st century BCE. According to the researchers, the mosaic probably decorated the living room of a luxurious villa, which could have been owned by Publius Vedius Pollio himself. However, this is still only a hypothesis.
Vedius Pollio was a Roman equestrian and friend of the first emperor Octavian Augustus. His father was a freedman, and he made a huge fortune by administering the province of Asia on his behalf. among others he owned a huge villa in Pausily on the Bay of Naples, where a breeding of predatory moray eels was established, to which he threw disobedient or making mistakes slaves. His brutal habits were known throughout Rome and greatly outraged the public.
Pliny the Elder, a Roman historian and writer from the 1st century CE, mentions that the ancient Romans greatly appreciated the taste of moray eel meat, which was delivered salted in tanks. It even came to the point that the richer Romans created their own moray eels on the property to have access to fresh fish.
After the death of Vedius in 15 BCE Emperor Augustus ordered the demolition, at least partially, of a rich friend’s villa.