THE GALLERY OF MOZAICS
Leaving "the Gallery of the Gods" the visitor comes to another large hall where some very fine but rather damaged mosaics from Seleuceia and Xanthos are exhibited.
The ancient city of Seleuceia from where the two large mosaics- dated back to 2nd cent. B.C. have come, is pronounced as Seleuceia of Pamphylia and located in 25 km. Northeast of the ancient city of Side.
Among the mosaics unearthed by Prof. Jale İNAN between the years of 1978 and 1979 in Seleuceia, there appears a large sample decorated with the portraits of Solon, Thucydides, Lycurgus, Heredotos, Hesiod and Demosthenes. Name "Homer" is in the center of the mosaic. One other mosaic from the same location flaunts Orpheus pretentiously among wild animals. Orpheus, in mythology is known to be the famous mythical poet, son of Eagrus and Muse Calliope, who gave birth to him on the banks of the Hebrus in Thrace. Such was his power in song, that he could move trees and rocks and tame wild beasts thereby. When his wife, the Nymph Eurydice, died of a serpent's bite, he descended into the lower world, and so moved Persephone by the music of his song, that she permitted him to take Eurydice back with him to the upper world, on condition of his not looking round during his passage through the realm of the dead. In spite of this, his importance led him to gaze back, and Eurydice had to return forever to Hades.
Among the mosaics from the large basilica of Xanthos, is one that depicts Thetis bathing her child, Achilles, in the River Styx to make him invulnerable.
Thetis, in mythology is know to be the daughter of Nereus and Doris, wife of Peleus, and mother of Achilles. On many occasions she proved herself of assistance to the gods. When Zeus threatened by Hera, Athena and Poseidon, ´she called Briareus to his aid. When Hephaistus was cast out of heaven by Zeus, she took him and hid him nine years.
Again , when Dionysos was feeling before Lycurgus, she afforded his protection in the sea. Brought up by Hera, she was wooed by Zeus and Poseidon. But when Themis foretold that Thetis would bear a son who would be greater than his father, she was married against her will to immortal, Peleus. This marriage was the source of the greatest sorrow to her. Her attempt to make her only son Achilles immortal was frustrated by her husband, and caused an estrangement between them, and she was fated to see her glorious and godlike son cut of in the prime of life.
Another mosaic is decorated with the portraits of Eirene, the goddess of peace, and Euprepeia, the goddess of propriety. A third one shows the portraits of Atalanta and Meleagros hunting the Calydon boar. These mosaics date to the Byzantine period.