Private Buildings: villas, houses and shops Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Private Buildings: villas, houses and shops Deck (56):

Town Houses: What information can housing provide about life at P and H?

Purpose, activities carried out in room at diff time of day. Urban topography, fashion of day, growth in population, changes in economics and one or several earthquakes


Types of Housing: Briefly outline Wallace-Hadrill's four groups of housing.

1. shops and workshops, with 1 or 2 roomed residences behind or above (pergulae - upper floor)
2. large workshop residences of 2-7 rooms on ground floor, some with atrium and even richly decorated
3. average Pompeian house with 8-13 rooms, most integrated with a workshop/shop, symmetrical plan and common architectural features such as decorated atrium, tablinum and peristyle.
4. Largest houses designed for hospitality and large no. of visitors, with separate space for slave. Often has two atria, large ornamental gardens - some 2 peristyles - and richly decorated


Features of town houses: Describe the general appearance of house facades. What did the rooves look like?

The exterior was austere. few to none windows on street side, entrance located between shops/workshops.
No indication of rich decoration or elegance. Most doors made of wood. red tiled roofs usually flat or gently sloping.


Features of town houses: describe the developent of the water supply in Pompeii

- Prior to Augustus' reign, households relied on underground cisterns (tanks holding water) and cylindrical or marbled wells adjacent to the impluvium for access to water. By 1st C AD, many houses believed to have water connected via elaborate system of pipes that supplied service areas, gardens and fountains of private homes. (aqueduct, large lead main under ground, small pipes)


Villas: Where the villas located?

seated across Sarno Plain, 100 villas discovered.
12 villas uncovered at maritime hillside at Stabiea (5km S of Pompeii). Other side of P at Boscoreale uncovered more palatial residences e.g. Villa od Pisanella


Villas: How did they differ from town houses?

didn't look inward but designed to view sea or rolling countryside. Often built on diff levels, with terraces/belvederes (structure built for fine view), gardens, thermal baths, swimming pool etc.


Villas: what type of villa is the Villa of Papyri considered to be? What features made it fit this description?

Made for leisure and in imperical residence sue to dimension, extensive garden, terrace overlooiking sea, paved with finest mosaic every discovered, and marble and bronze structures


Villas: Why is called the Villa of Papyri?

contained the largest papyrus library every found. 1 800 rolls = writings of Epicurean philosophers and work of Philodemus of Gadara. Content covered topics as poetry, ethics, music, love, death.


Villas: What do the frescoes within the Villa of Mysteries depict?

Tablinum and triclinium painted in life size figures including continuous fresco that appear to show an initiation rite into Dionysiac mysteries.


Domestic Life: Who is the paterfamilias of the household?

the male head of a roman household. Could decide if child part of family or outcasted. Control children no matter what age until death/


Domestic Life: Comment on positive and negative aspects of being a woman in P.

- even if give birth, man must decide whether to accept into family
-controlled his daughter's finances even if married
- if death, girl/woman placed under guardianship of another male.
- stereotypical job - look after family


Domestic Life: List some common foods which were consumed by the people of P and H.

milk, egg, bread, cheese, olives, sausages, fish, poultry, meat, seafood, fruit, wine, cakes, nuts, oysters, olives, spices


Domestic Life: explain why the house was considered to be a sacred place. Describe the ceremonies and rituals that took place/

it was the centre of worship, religion and domestic ritual. they were associated with household gods: lares, penates, genius, ancestors, rites of passage.
Offering and prayers taken place at household alter (lararium) in atrium. It was the centre of family life, personal religion, business and political dealings = sacred


Describe timeline of typical day of a wealthy male in pompeii

- breakfast at sunrise =milk, bread, cheese
- visits by associates, clients and dependents for business and political ambitions, discuss aims and goals, support.
- accompany patrons to forum and other public buildings to conduct business, listen to court cases, attend polical meetings, carry out financial transactions and widen network

- return home for lunch = modest meal of cold meat, egg, veggies, bread and left over form previous dinner. -> some also visit hot food stands out of necessity or preference

- attend public bath complexes -> indulge in range of therapies e.g. massages

- return home for dinner or prepare to attend special dinner party -> divided into 3 phases with wine served throughout
gustatio (entre) e.g. eggs, veggies, sausages
Mensae Primae (main) meat, fish, veggies
Mensae Secundae (dessert) - fruit, cheese, cake
followed by salty dish e.g. oyster, so guests could drink alot of wine after meal.


how many houses has been excavated in P?

800 houses
range from 50 room mansions to modest family homes of a few rooms.


What floor is it less desirable to be in?

top floor


how is plant life in garden (open courtyard - peristyle) known?

from fresco depiction and plaster of root shapes, arch. can identify plant species grown at P and H.


How many blocks excavted in H?

4 blocks, many types of houses (no rich/poor areas)


Where are the shops?

housefront/streetfront (facade)
often front rooms of shops opened up to streets as shops.
could be workshops, bakeries, bars etc.


What does the houses look like from outside?

from outside - plain, uninviting, blank walls, heavy doors, narrow (although rare) windows
provided maximum security, privacy and lessened noise from city

hence, presence of inner courtyard, the peristyle


What did the peristyle feature?

overlooked garden
trees, shrubs, plants, flowers, statues, garden walls painted with nature or mythology scenes
not every house had it


What was the houses of wealthy like?

- extremely detailed, elaborate and unique
- no 2 houses are identical, esp. with wealthy.
- room function complex
cant compare these with modern functions.


What did the front of house look like?

door from street opened into narrow hallway - Vestibulum.
some had mosaic floor depicting a watchdog and message 'Cave Canem' (beware of the dog)


where would visitors be guided to when entering the house?

into large Atrium (sky lit entrance hall) contained the household shrines (lararium)


What and where were larariums located?

- most households and business included one of these.
- devoted to gods honoured by the family (lares= household gods or spirits) who protected the household based on occupation, what they are going thru, e.g. pregnancy= fertility god
- Like miniature temples at times
- bronze or terracotta figurines


Atrium: what was at the roof of it and directly below it?

an opening (compluvium) to let in air and light, directly below was the impluvium.


What was the point of impluvium?

collected water from roof which was then piped off tp houses water storage tank (cistern)


What was on either side of Atrium?

little room (alae), held images of family ancestors


what was the reception room called?



what was tablinum used for?

on one side of atrium, often opened up to peristyle and garden
where the head of household received clients and other visitors
business negotiations, discussions and meetings.


What was the dining room called? when was it introduced?

trinclinium, after Roman adoption of Greek practice of reclining while dining


Features of trinclinium:

1 or 2 per house
fitted with 3 couches around a table
some were set with meals when the eruption occured


What was the family room called?



What was the bedrooms called?



features of Cubicula?

- usually small and windowless
- not just for sleeping; private spaces where ppl could sew, weave and read.
- richly decorated


what was the kitchen called?



Features of Culina?

usually, small kitchens with an oven, bench and sink
not all houses had them.


What were the shops called?

tabernae usually located at front of house, but not always


function of peristyle?

general leisure and relaxation
entertaining and meeting with clients
multipurpose space
way to expand house and bring light in


function of atrium

open meeting room
religious ceremonies conducted


how were the houses built and what kinds of houses were found?

tended to built upwards and divide up large houses.
in P and H, middle class apartments as well small, one rooms flats for poorer ppl found


Entrance hall?



What are public spaces designed for?

designed and decorated to impress visitor and show status/wealth


When would another atrium be built?

when overcrowded. One private and one public activities. e.g. House of Faun and House of Vetti at P has two atria: 1 small and 1 large


when did peristyle began to be incorporated in houses?

2nd C BC with Roman adoption of Hellenistic taste for colonnades and porticoes.


What does Vitruvius state about peristyles?

garden essential feature for homes of pll holding public office


What did fountains symbolise in peristyle:

fountain: luxurious residence had many, House of Vetti had 4 fountains in peristyle


What did houses without space for peristyle do?

wall decorated with elements of nature/garden


Latrines and bathing facilities in houses?

latrines usually adjacent to or opened off the kitchen as bathrooms used same pipes for water supply.
bathing facilitates limited, hence public ones compensate for the lack of it.


How did the poor and wealthy deal with heat?

- poor suffer heat in Summer
- wealthy living sea side built terraces to catch summer breezes, with covered porticoes for shade.


How was winter dealt with?

dining rooms painted blacks to absorb head in house.
Charcoal burning braziers filled house with smoke
- wooden partitions, shutters, curtains or nets used to protect and warm house.


What was used as artificial and natural lighting? effect of inadequate lights?

inadequate even in grandest houses
- light entered via compluvium, windows or peristyles or courtyards
- artificial lighting: oil lamp, lanterns and candles

many ppl may have suffered eye strain due to poor light.


what kind of security was used as main entrance was open directly to busy streets?

- main door had bronze lock with L shaped key hole
- some had bolt on inner side of door, with possible diagonal bar fitted into cavity in floor for extra protection.
- iron grating fixed across compluvium to prevent thieves via roof


how did working villas come about?

Wealthy romans and Pompeians, annexed country farm and built residential quarters to stay in .


what was the purpose of dinner banquets and parties?

part of ritual that bound patron to his large network of clients and 'an essential tool of social and political control'


how did the wealthy display status and power at dinner banquets/parties?

through silver/glass ware and boast skills of his cook.