Worcester Art Museum

A tipsy Herakles (second from left) struggles to polish off one last bowl, in this second-century C.E. mosaic pavement entitled the Drinking Contest Between Herakles and Dionysus. The panel is part of a much larger mosaic pavement (see photo, opposite) in the dining room of an Antioch villa. Reclining at the center of the mosaic is the supremely confident wine god Dionysus, who raises his empty cup in a gesture of victory. Given its sumptuous setting, the mosaic seems to be inviting guests to indulge their appetites—albeit moderately.