Igeler monument and Nennig mosaic

Two Roman sites in the vicinity of Trier are of special interest. By the side of the main street of Igel, 8 km south-west of Trier, stands a striking sandstone column that was erected by the two Secundinii brothers, successful cloth merchants, in the first half of the third century (Fig. 20).24 Goethe came to Igel in 1792 and marvelled at the unique quality of the relief panels of the column. Its carving of two men perched high on a two-wheeled cart drawn by a trotting mule gives a wonderful impression of purpose and well-being. Originally the 23-metre high memorial was brightly coloured. A full-scale copy (1907) stands in the courtyard of the Rheinisches Landesmuseum in Trier.

Fig. 20 – Roman memorial, 23 m high (Igel, near Trier).

In the village of Nennig, near Remich on the river Saar, one can see the finest Roman mosaic found north of the Alps. Protected by a dedicated building and covering an area of approximately 10 metre x 16 metre, it vividly portrays musicians and gladiatorial combats between men and wild beasts (Fig. 21). In the second century AD it once graced the reception hall of a palatial villa. Then it disappeared beneath the soil until discovered by farmer Peter Reuter in 1852.

Fig. 21 – Floor mosaic of palatial Roman villa (Nennig, near Trier).

  1. Victor W. von Hagen, photographs by Adolfo Tomeucci, The Roads that Led to Rome (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1967) 186-9. []