Roman Mosaics in the J. Paul Getty Museum, by Alexis Belis
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This is the repository for Roman Mosaics in the J. Paul Getty Museum by Alexis Belis, published in March 2016 by the J. Paul Getty Museum. It is available online at and may be downloaded free of charge in multiple formats.

About the Book

Mosaics decorated domestic and public buildings across the broad expanse of the Roman Empire. Scenes drawn from mythology, daily life, nature, and spectacles in the arena enlivened interior spaces and reflected the cultural ambitions of wealthy patrons. Dating from the second through the sixth centuries AD, the mosaics in the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum exemplify Roman mosaic production from its center in Italy to major workshops in North Africa, southern Gaul (present-day France), and ancient Syria. In addition to its comprehensive catalogue entries, this publication provides a detailed examination of the contexts in which the mosaics were discovered and excavated. This volume documents all twenty-one mosaics in the J. Paul Getty Museum’s collection, presenting their artistry in new color photography.

Using this Repository

While stable, the structure and code of this repository are very much in a prototype stage. This is the second in series of multiformat publications using a new toolchain being built with Middleman, an open-source static site generator. (The first was Ancient Terracottas from South Italy and Sicily in the J. Paul Getty Museum.) Middleman and the other associated open-source software used here allow us to produce each format (e.g., PDF, EPUB, MOBI) from a single set of source files. Our aim is to use open web technologies and plain-text file formats to ensure the book's longevity and portability, while still achieving a high level of design and interactivity.

Getty Publications is currently at work on more such catalogues, and we are refining our approach and rebuilding large portions of the code—all with an eye toward releasing a stable, development-friendly version for broad use within the next year. Until then, making use of this existing project as the basis for new work is not recommended.

The content, on the other hand, is very stable. The research presented here has been thoroughly edited and peer-reviewed and meets the same standards the rest of our publications do. We are dedicated to maintaining the book for years to come at the permanent URL,, and in its various formats and incarnations. For any updates to the book, we will be following something between an app and traditional book publication model. Updates will only be made in regulated chunks as formal revisions and new editions and will always be thoroughly documented here in the repository, as well as in the Revision History included with each of the book's many formats.

The primary content pieces of the book can be found in the data and source directories. The master branch represents the current, published edition at all times, and the revisions branch, when present, will show changes currently under consideration. We invite you to submit suggestions or corrections via pull request on the revisions branch, by posting an issue, or by emailing us at


Roman Mosaics © 2016 J. Paul Getty Trust. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Proteus Middleman © 2014–2015 thoughtbot, inc. Proteus Middleman is free software and may be redistributed under the terms specified in the license.