From the recording Ode to Ancient Rome

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The Wisdom of Minerva (Original Composition For Lyre in the Ancient Chromatic Phrygian Mode)

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Minerva was the Roman goddess of Wisdom...

In this piece, I have experimented with a rare ancient lyre playing technique, whereby the strings are hit percussively, with a small wooden baton (like on a hammered dulcimer ) instead of being plucked with either the fingers of a plectrum. The first illustration of the hammered lye playing technique dates back to c.700BCE, in the illustrations of musicians on the Bas Reliefs found at the ruins of the Palace of Nineveh, in ancient Assyria.

This playing technique seems to have spread from ancient Mesopotamia to the Mediterranean, and may there is indeed evidence that this technique could have also been practiced in ancient Rome, as can be seen in the depictions of lyre players discovered in the ruins of Roman Villas on the island of Cyprus, in the famous Paphos Mosaics.