little testimonies are in Bronte of the Roman period, except some military
station (castrum) and outposts in banked places along the ancient
consular roads, risen to oppose the raids of the Syracuse's armies in the
territories around mount Etna.
The presence of Romans in our territory
is testified by Benedetto
Radice in his Historical
memories of Bronte: he talks about a place ("where
has never stood archaeologist's eye") where "two beautiful Roman
mosaics of the low empire, illustrated with animals and
human figures" were found.
The precious floor was found in
Erranteria district, near the Nelson Castle, in April of 1905,
while working in the fields.
On that occasion were found and measured remains
of walls of a building composed by three rooms (two rectangular
and one circular) adorned by floors in polychrome
The mosaic of the larger room was especially interesting with octagonal
squares, figures of animals and male and female bodies.
The works were immediately suspended, the three rooms measured and the
polychrome mosaics were photographed, and examined in-place, by the
famous archaeologist Paolo Orsi.
The Orsi describes also the figures placed at the center of
the medallions and the squares (in the relation that kept and
published in 1905, in the booklets XI – XII of the Lincei Academy):
The room is decorated with a "floor in
polychrome mosaic work, made of marble, silicon, limestone, and igneous
rock plugs; the field is divided by fillets into medallions and octagonal
The Orsi describes also the figures put at the center of medallions
«... a running Billy goat, surrounded by four
Salomon's knots, ...two female, one virile bodies,.. two geese, a wolf, a
bird on the branches, a roe deer. two rosette and a jellyfish ...»
He concludes writing that
«the technique of the mosaic alludes to the
times of Roman decadence».
The work on the field was suspended immediately.
Again the professor Orsi,
in his relation, promised a campaign of excavations for the autumn of the
same year, after what he «would have been able
to give better information about the shape, destination and age of this