The Topology of Roman Mosaic Mazes

by Anthony Phillips


The 46 Roman mosaic mazes that are well preserved and/or well documented enough for the maze-path to be intelligible fall into 25 distinct topological types, which in turn can be built out of seven elementary submazes. This understanding allows the theoretical reconstruction of some of the mazes that have been partially destroyed and signals instances of faulty restoration in some of those that appear more or less intact today.

Leonardo 23 (1992) 321-329 (reprinted in Michele Emmer, (ed.), The Visual Mind: Art and Mathematics, MIT Press 1993, 65-73)

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