The Roman Labyrinth inside the Schwanberg Labyrinth

I had written quite different times here in the blog from and about the Schwanberglabyrinth. Among the rest, also that it would be no “real” Roman labyrinth. This is not right as I had to recognise now. Making the inquiries in Hermann Kern’s book Labyrinths and on the website of Andreas Frei about the Wiesenbronn labyrinth on the Antependium, I have found the right “model” for this type.

Here at first once again the original drafts for the Schwanberglabyrinth.

The 1st draft from January 1995

The 1st draft from January 1995

The final draft from March 1995

The final draft from March 1995

The Roman labyrinth, which as the first was constructed with two meanders, dates from around 250 AD and is found on a circular mosaic labyrinth in Avenches (Aventicum) in Switzerland. (Source: Hermann Kern, Labyrinthe, 1982, p. 120)
The mosiac labyrinth Avenches

The mosiac labyrinth Avenches (Source: Hermann Kern, Labyrinthe, 1982, Abb. 119)

In the left corner below is the entrance, then one follows the path from one sector to the next counterclockwise . The white stones are forming the path.

Here is a layout, but in mirrored form:

The layout drawing

The layout drawing

One traverses the sectors now in a clockwise direction. The typical path sequence for this labyrinth reads as follows: A-5-2-3-4-1-5-2-3-4-1-5-2-3-4-1-5-2-3-4-1-Z.

We have a Roman or sector labyrinth before us, that leads with four meanders to the middle. As the first reliable historic evidence comes from the mosaic labyrinth of Avenches from 250 AD, Andreas Frei suggests as a name for this type of labyrinth Avenches (250).

If we compare now the above final draft of March 1995 for the Schwanberglabyrinth with it, we will notice that this has one course more. This leads counterclockwise around the whole labyrinth.

The real Schwanberglabyrinth

The real Schwanberglabyrinth

What maybe still complicates recognising the pattern, is the fact that in the Schwanberglabyrinth the ways are to be seen and not the limitations. They are completely absent. Besides, the alignment is smoothened and the passages from one sector to the other are sloped. The labyrinth is simply carried over to the meadow quite freehand (better: freefoot).

Here a look at a geometrically correct drawing with constant path width and sloped changes of direction. There one understands the path’s system better.

Ariadne's thread

Ariadne's thread

I can imagine that one can quasi of one’s self find the idea of ​​the convoluted meanders through an intense preoccupation with the labyrinth and that the creators of the Schwanberglabyrinth have developed this type without having seen any model.

Nevertheless, the Schwanberglabyrinth contains a Roman labyrinth.

Related links

2 thoughts on “The Roman Labyrinth inside the Schwanberg Labyrinth

  1. Pingback: The Roman Labyrinth in three Variations | blogmymaze

  2. Pingback: A Labyrinth: From the Coffee Cup to a Meadow | blogmymaze

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