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Square with Bucolic Landscape

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At the center of this finely woven square, a dancing shepherd wearing an animal-skin exomis (a short tunic fastened at the shoulder worn for exercise, riding, or labor) holds in the air what may be a libation vessel used for the ritual pouring of a liquid in honor of gods, heroes, or the dead. He is surrounded by a flock of leaping, horned animals. Two naked, dancing women, possibly nymphs, occupy opposite corners; the remaining corners are filled with plants, perhaps lotus. Pastoral scenes inhabited by figures associated with classical mythology were common on late antique textiles. Along with maenads and satyrs, shepherds and nymphs often made up Dionysos\u2019s entourage. Almost identical imagery is found on the lower part of a tunic in the collections of the Musée départmental des Antiquités in Rouen, France; this square may have been part of that tunic or one very similar to it.

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