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Sosus

*Sw=sos), artists.

1. Of Pergamus, a worker in mosaic, and, according to Pliny, the most celebrated of all who practised that art. He made the pavement of a room at Pergamus, on which he imitated, by means of little coloured pebbles, the floor of an unswept room after a banquet, whence it was called ἀσάρωτος οῖκος. The fragments of the meal, which had fallen to the floor, were exactly represented, and in the centre was a cantharus, with a dove drinking out of it, the shadow of whose head was seen on the water in the vessel, and other doves were sunning themselves on the edge of the cantharus. (Plin. Nat. 36.25. s. 60). An imperfect copy of the central part of this mosaic (at first mistaken for the original), was found in Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli, in 1737 (>Mus. Capitol. 4.69), and a more perfect copy was found at Naples in 1833. (Müller, Archäol. d. Kunst, § 163, n. 6.322, n. 4, ed. Welcker.) One or two other mosaics have been supposed by some antiquaries to be copies from works by Sosus, but on grounds entirely conjectural. (See Nagler, Künstler Lexicon, s. v.

We have no information respecting the artist's age or country, but it is clear that he must have lived during or after the decline of painting, which followed the Alexandrian period, when the art had degenerated to an ornament of luxury, when homely and even grotesque subjects were greatly admired (comp. PYREICUS), and when the elaborate imitation of minute details was prized above every other quality.

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