MOVEMENT OF MOSAISTS IN GRECO-ROMAN CRETE
We discuss here the movement of mosaic artists in Greco-Roman Crete based on signatures found on mosaic floors of the Roman imperial period. We measure only five signed mosaics found so far in the island: one in Knossos, from the old British excavations, and the rest in west Crete, from excavations undertaken by the author in the ancient cities of Kydonia and Kissamos. Among them are cases where the signature contains the ethnic name of the creator. We examine these testimonies in comparison with the stylistic features of the mosaics to follow the movement of artists and technicians related to the mosaic art, towards Crete, during the imperial period. Crete, being the crossroads of the maritime roads of the empire, gradually became the melting pot for different kinds of art. The mosaic art in particular, which reappears here under Italian influence at the beginning of the 2nd century, later meets the ideas and style of the eastern Hellenized centers such as Antioch and Alexandria of Egypt. These ideas and tastes came with artists themselves, who either travelled as itinerants or were established permanently here as “art” emigrants.