HORREA EPAGATHIANA ET EPAPHRODITIANA
Ostica antica, Italy
The store building (horrea) was owned by two freedmen, Epagathus and Epaphroditus.
In the interior is a square courtyard, surrounded by a porticus with brick piers. On all four sides of the courtyard are rooms of varying size. The rooms are covered by cross-vaults. A long room in the south-west part, with a door leading to a shop, is partly covered by a barrel-vault. There are remains of white plaster. In the centre of the east side of the courtyard are two niches, identical to the ones in the second vestibule. They flank the entrance to a deep room, perhaps an office.
On the floor of the courtyard is a black-and-white mosaic with meanders, a swastika, a panther at the west end - resting with one paw on what seems to be part of a prey - , and a tiger at the east end. The panther was meant to be seen from the entrance, the tiger from the “office”. The mosaic belongs to the first building phase. The figurative panels, the slightly eccentric position of the “office” and the oblique walls of the vestibules testify to a very conscious attempt to create a visual axis in the building.
In the north-west and south-west part of the building are staircases. The lay-out of the first floor was similar to that of the ground floor.