3. Roma-Piadena Labyrinth


In the Roman Empire many floors were made as floor mosaic labyrinths of a characteristic Roman style with squares divided into 4 quadrants, and this interesting floor mosaic labyrinth has been found in northern Italy near Piadena and the famous violin maker town Cremona. This labyrinth will be analysed here.


Symbols and units:

See the section on labyrinths in roma style.


Contents for figures:


Fig. Rp1: Roma-Piadena Labyrinth

Fig. Rp2: Wave analysis

Fig. Rp3: Roma-Piadena variant AABA’.


Tegning af den romerske labyrint fra museet i Piadena


Fig. Rp1: Roma-Piadena Labyrinth

from about year 0 is here drawn as a square and as a circle. See photo in fig. i3 in section 1.


4 radial lanes, 4 quadrants, 3 identical

The Roma-Piadena Labyrinth consists of 4 quadrants, clearly divided by 4 radial lanes. The 3 quadrants are identical and the 4’ quadrant is hardly distinguishable by a quick glance. The 4 quadrants are traversed in turn.

From the start at the edge you walk directly towards the centre along a radial lane in a quadrant line, and from the centre and outwards the 1’ quadrant is then walked in a type of wave pattern, which is made more obvious by colouring the circle labyrinth in detail F. After finishing quadrant 1 you end at the outer edge and then you walk towards the centre again along the next radial lane precisely repeating everything in quadrant 2 and 3. In quadrant 4 you first move outwards away from the centre in an oscillating wave form and then when the outer edge is reached you turn to move inwards again to end up by the goal in the centre.


The 4 quadrants are here called A,A,A,B. After having walked through quadrant 1 you have the joy of repeating everything  in quadrant 2 and again in quadrant 3, and then experience a variation in quadrant 4. This is a good classic principle known from dance and music.


Tegning af Roma-Piadena labyrinten med visning af bølgeformen.

Fig. Rp2: Wave analysis

The Roma-Piadena Labyrinth complies with the elementary wave figures C and H of fig. r1 in section 4.


Quadrant = wave

Each quadrant is traversed in a type of wave form. In section 4 with roma type labyrinths there is given a survey of the elementary wave forms in fig. r1 for use for roma and troja labyrinths. From this survey it is seen that the Roma-Piadena labyrinth in quadrant 1 – 3 complies with wave form C, and in quadrant 4 with wave form H, here turned as in detail J.

So in northern Italy it has been noticed 2000 years ago that with 2 such simple wave figures as basis a very beautiful and interesting labyrinth can be made.



 Tegning af Roma-Piadena labyrint ændret til AABA' form


Fig. Rp3: Roma variant AABA’.

The Roma-Piadena Labyrinth has the pattern AAAB, i.e. where the pattern of quadrant 1 is precisely repeated in quadrant 2 and 3 and changed in quadrant 4. In music the form AABA is often used. This form cannot be fully obtained here. The form AABA’ is shown here, where A’ is seen to be A mirrored. A’ is walked in its wave figure from the outer edge and inwards while A is walked from the centre and outwards. In the quadrant line of A’ you walk from the centre and outwards while you in the 3 other quadrant lines walk towards the centre.




Contents of the other sections:


0    Labyrinths, summary

1    Labyrinths, introduction

2    Troja labyrinths

4    Labyrinths of roma style

5    Chartres Labyrinth in Chartres

6    Labyrinths of chartres style

7    Comparing labyrinth-examples