An underground walk along secret gardens in our underground corridors. Through impressive mythological stories, colourful frescoes and stories from everyday life, the customs in and around nature in ancient Rome are revealed.
Man likes to surround himself with a natural environment in which he feels at home. Gardens can therefore be found everywhere and at all times. In ancient times one already speaks of the hanging gardens of the Babylonians. The Romans also loved gardens.
Within the iconography of the catacombs, pastoral and idyllic or paradisiacal representations play a very important role. According to the pagan belief of the Romans, an important person, and certainly a good person, went to the good, blessed part of the underworld: the Elysian fields or the Elysium, represented as the island of bliss. This island was far from the realm of gods and men. There is a continuous flow of cool air and the trees are loaded with flowers, that (according to Pindaros) sparkle like gold.
Themes depicting country life were very popular. It is therefore not surprising that pagan grave art often uses images of gardens, animals and mythological figures, whose lives were somehow related to this idyllic world.
These themes were also used in the art of Roman early Christian catacombs. The depictions are primarily shepherd figures (mainly sheep and ram carriers, but also resting and grazing shepherds) and motifs such as flowers (red flower buds), birds (e.g. peacocks and pigeons), pets, sea creatures, fishermen, decorative heads, fences, seasons, water basins and fountains.
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