Dares and Entelle mosaic
Mural mosaic representing the fight between Daries and Entelle, second century AC, almost entirely preserved.
The only mosaic with this mythical theme inspired by the Eneid of Virgil.
Astonishing by its size (6ft x 6ft) and its condition, the mosaic is in the Villa Getty, Los Angeles.
The book by Virgil narrates the festivities organized to celebrate Anchise, Enee’s father who died one year before.
Enee sets up a fight ( forearm and hand protected by leather straps) with rich presents : a golden bull for the winner and a sword and helmet for the loser.
Dares is terrific fighter with a prodigious strength ( the only one able to face Paris). So no one dares participating in such a fight. But the old Entelle decides to take up the gantlet. He is still a superb pugilist.
The fight begins, each using his advantages : Daries speed and youth, Entelle weight and power. The fight lasts a long time. Entelle is about to hit Daries when he slips and falls. He gets up more furious than ever. Enee has to intervene to save Daries’ life.
Entelle is the winner. He receives the golden bull but he breaks it, shouting : " This is my last win, I give up my art. "