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Finding Krateros

Exploring the Signatures on the Mosaics in the Roman Villa of Skala (Kefalonia)


  • Nikki Vellidis St Cross College, University of Oxford, UK



Abstract. Mosaic signatures provide an incredible and unique view into a sector of the ancient world that is often difficult to access. These signatures are formulaic – utilizing similar vocabulary, grammar, and phrasing. Therefore, when a signature deviates from the so-called “norm,” the unique aspects of the inscription should be carefully considered. This article analyses the figure of Krateros, a possible mosaicist or patron mentioned in two lengthy mosaic inscriptions from an Imperial Period villa on the Greek island of Kefalonia. Krateros was traditionally believed to be a mosaicist with an elaborate signature. However, this conclusion has been debated, and his identity and relation to the mosaic and villa speculated. This article aims to provide Krateros with an identity that considers the plethora of information supplied in the inscriptions.


2023-12-01 — Updated on 2024-06-07