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Roman mosaics were influenced by the Greek hellenistic era. 5th Century B.C. Abstract patterns in black and white. Late 5th B.C. animal and human figures introduced (Greek). 4th Century B.C. Mythological scenes. 3rd century B.C. Opus tessellatum originated in Sicily.
The tesserae are different coloured marble, tile, other hard stones, brick, glass, metal, pottery.
A.D. 1 geometric motive but by A.D. 40 human and animal figures were developing.
Emblemata were mosaic paintings made by artists in craftshops. They had all the shading and perspective common to wall paintings. After they were finished the emblemata were brought to a building and inserted into a prepared space in a floor as a centrepiece. These were made of many colours (polychrome)