G. W. Bowersock comments on a mosaic currently displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Discovered in Lod (ancient Lydda), the mosaic, dating from around 300 CE, depicts a number of animals, many of them exotic. Bowersock the mosaic as a whole in light of the image of a vase, with handles depicting panthers in the mosaic’s center. He argues it derives from the Dionysian cult, and that it is transmuted here in a Judeo-Christian context, with allusions to Isaiah’s prophecy of the peacable kingdom.
The full essay is here: The Lod Mosaic by G.W. Bowersock | NYRBlog | The New York Review of Books.