The Roman Labyrinth

This type of labyrinth dates back to Roman times and occurs until the 5th Century  AD. It is mainly known from mosaics and graffiti. This labyrinth was not intended to be used for walking, as we do today largely, though not exclusively.

Which is now the difference to the classical labyrinth? What does it distinguish from it and what makes it, nevertheless, to a labyrinth and not to a maze? Best of all, we look at one:

A Roman labyrinth

A Roman labyrinth

Though there are also variations regarding the form and the lines, however, mostly of the Roman labyrinths are rectangular. It shows a certain relationship to the meander. It has four sectors which must passed through in sequence, before one reaches finally the centre. The alignment is intertwined; the path in every sector turns at first inwards, makes a turnabout and turns after that outwards, to the next sector. This is a sort of spiral movement first inwards and then outwards, like the pendulous movement around the four turning points in the classical labyrinth.

The lines characteristics which makes it unambiguously to a labyrinth, are the following: There is only one unmistakable path which is devoured in itself, which is sometimes closer, sometimes farther from the middle, which leads definitely, without junctions or dead ends to the aim. And the way out is also the way in.

Design drawing

Design drawing

The rhythm and the “feeling” in this type of labyrinth are different than in the classical seven circuit labyrinth.
Because of that it should be more often built.

Here for those who want to know it more exactly, a scaleable design drawing to see, print or copy, as a PDF file.