idesign > Keystones > The Roman Domus

Rome, 4th Century BC

 

 

Vestibulum/Fauces

Atrium

Taberna

Cubiculum

Tablinium

Triclinium

Culina

Peristilium

Pictures

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roman domus picture from

image source: moonstruck.org

 

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Vestibulum  

domus vestibulum pic from vroma.org

image source: www.vroma.org

  "The exterior of a Roman house, normally quite close to the street, was relatively plain. Entering through the front door, one saw a long, narrow hallway leading from the front door into the atrium; this was the vestibulum, also called fauces (“throat”). The rooms on either side had separate doorways opening into the street and did not communicate with the rest of the house. Some doorways were adorned with wall paintings. The floor of the vestibulum often contained mosaics with a message for the visitor, such as “Greetings” or “Welcome Money,” though some warned would-be thieves to “Beware of the Dog” or depicted a watchdog like this one that would protect the family from unwelcome visitors". Info source: www.vroma.org
       
Atrium  

modern roman domus atrium picture from www.indiana.edu

image source: www.indiana.edu

  "This is really a reception room. This main part of the house, the main axis, is actually business space, not where people live in private. The classic scenario for conducting business among the Romans was a crowd of clients gathering at the house of their patron. Especially early in the morning, clients would gather at the house and wait for the patron to meet with them. Having clients flock to you like this was a symbol of success for the Romans". Info source: home.att.net
       
Cubiculum  

taberna pic from wwww.vroma.org

image source: www.vroma.org

 

"Even wealthy Romans often rented out the front rooms of their houses as shops. These rooms had separate doors that opened on to the street and did not connect with the rest of the house in any way. The actual door of the house opened into a long corridor that led into the atrium. The length of the hallway and the shops on either side served as a buffer from the noise and smells of the street. Info source: www.vroma.org

       
Tablinium  

tablinum picture from moonstruck.org

image source: www.indiana.edu

  "Its name has been derived from the material (tabulae, “planks”) of the “lean-to,” from which, perhaps, it developed. Others think that the room received its name from the fact that in it the master kept his account books (tabulae) as well as all his business and private papers. This is unlikely, for the name was probably fixed before the time when the room was used for this purpose. He kept here also the money chest or strong box (arca), which in the olden time had been chained to the floor of the ?trium, and made the room in fact his office or study. By its position it commanded the whole house, as the rooms could be entered only from the ?trium or peristylium, and the tabl?num was right between them". Info source: www.forumromanorum.org
       

Triclinium

 

triclinium pic from www.novaroma.org

image source: www.novaroma.org

 

  "This was the dining room. It was named for the three couches typically found inside. The couches, or lecti, was all-purpose, with different shapes and sizes used for everything from sleeping, to entertaining company, to dining". Info source: moonstruck.org
       
Culina  

culina drawing from www.vroma.org

image source: www.vroma.org

 
"The culina or kitchen was usually small, dark, and poorly ventilated, relegated to an obscure corner of the house. Wealthy matronae did not prepare meals; that was the job of their numerous household slaves, so it did not matter if the room was hot and smoky. Baking was done in ovens, whose tops were utilized to keep dishes warm. Embers from the oven could be placed below metal braziers for a form of “stove-top” cooking; some braziers were more elaborately decorated, like this bronze brazier from Chiusi". Info source: www.vroma.org
       
Peristilium  

peristilium picture from www.aragioruiz.org

image source: www.arangioruiz.org

 
"The peristylium, or peristylum, was adopted, as we have seen , from the Greeks. a spacious court (Fig. 89) open to the sky, but surrounded by rooms, all facing it and having doors and latticed windows opening upon it. All these rooms had covered porches on the side next the court (Fig. 89). These porches, forming an unbroken colonnade on the four sides, were strictly the peristyle, though the name came to be used of this whole section of the house, including court, colonnade, and surrounding rooms". Info source: www.forumromanorum.org
         
       

Pictures

 

roman interior picture from moonstruck.org

image source: moonstruck.org

 

 

roman domus plan from www.scudit.netimage source: www.scudit.net

 

roman domus section from home.att.netimage source: home.att.net

 

pic from www.uk-gamerz.comimage source: www.uk-gamerz.com

 

 

 

 

   
       
Links  

more about Roman Domus: moonstruck.org

more about Roman Life: home.att.net , www.forumromanorum.org

video tours of pompeian houses: www.pompeiisites.org

greek triclinae: www.utexas.edu

 

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