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Traditional Ancient Roman House

Traditional Ancient Roman House







Traditional Ancient Roman House

                                               Vestibule                                  Atrium                           Tablinum             Peristyle around Garden


Traditional Roman buildings in Herculaneum and Pompeii consisted of two parts. One was made of living quarters while another part part was a small open garden that was knows as hortus. Small open area was often surrounded by a peristyle of roofs that stood on row of columns. The central part of the Roman homes were usually taken by an atrium. It was a traditional center of the household. Originally it was a living room, master bedroom, but over time it gained a symbolic meaning for a family. Romans kept a bed here as a symbol of sanctity of marriage. It was used during wedding ceremonies. It was a small area with an opening in the roof on top. Rain water would be collected in the small reflective pool (known as impluvium) in the center of the room. During water overflow excessive water was collected in the underground tank. The layout of the whole was generally designed around this central area. Ancient residences had few windows open to the busy and loud streets and the whole design was intended to keep noise and people out rather than show its opulence or wealth.


The Tablinum was part of the private residence that was used for several purposes by different families. Some apparently used it as a reception room, other transformed this land into office or study room for the head of the family. Bedrooms (Latin term cubiculum) and private rooms like dining rooms (triclinium) were mostly situated on the second floor.


Several houses were transformed over time. Many house owners lost money after hitting economic hardships and had to rent out parts of the apartment. Separate entrances were constructed for people who rented these rooms so they could come and leave whenever they felt it without bothering the landlord.







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