Eric Meyers/Sepphoris Regional Project

DRINK AND BE MERRY. After an apparently extended bout of drinking with Dionysus, the god of wine, an inebriated Hercules is aided by a maenad and a satyr. His club rests beside him and the Greek word for “drunkenness” appears above the shoulder of the satyr. This depiction of an ancient symposium is part of a larger mosaic floor of the third-century C.E. villa at Sepphoris.

The freely depicted graven images suggest that, by the late second and early third centuries, the population of Sepphoris included a significant number of gentiles. No such images have been found in these areas from the earlier time of Jesus.