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Why did the Romans make mosaics?

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Quick Answer

Romans made mosaics purely for decorative purposes, much like a mural or painting on a wall. Wealthy homeowners and nobles commissioned artists who specialized in the art of mosaics to create artwork for their homes.

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While mosaics began as floor decorations, they eventually grew in popularity and came to be used to decorate walls, ceilings and columns. These mosaics ranged from geometric and precise designs to intricate works of art modeled after the great works of the Greeks. In fact, the Romans borrowed the mosaic style from the Greeks but developed their own artistic style. Because mosaics required much time and precision, it was an art form generally enjoyed only by nobility and wealthy homeowners. Mosaics generally served as little more than an attractive decoration, but some Romans used them as a way to showcase their wealth and appreciation for art.

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