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Roman houseclick to hear

For wealthy Romans, family life unfolded in spacious luxurious houses whose rooms were arranged around open-air spaces.
Roman house bed chamber mosaic latrines kitchen dining room garden peristyle shop impluvium atrium vestibule tile fresco compluvium tablinum timber

bed chamber click to hear

Sleeping chamber whose only piece of furniture usually consisted of a bed made of wood or masonry.

mosaic click to hear

Collection of small fragments (e.g., stone, marble, terra-cotta) held together by mortar; it depicts a motif, and sometimes even very elaborate scenes.

latrines click to hear

Small comfortable room featuring a stone or marble bench with a crescent-shaped opening, connected to a waste channel with running water.

kitchen click to hear

Room where meals were prepared.

dining room click to hear

Dining area containing three beds arranged in a U shape that Romans would stretch out on while eating.

garden click to hear

Plot of land used to grow vegetables and decorated with flowers, shrubs, fountains and so forth.

peristyle click to hear

Colonnade surrounding the inner court.

shop click to hear

On the street side, the Roman house often included commercial spaces that were rented out to artisans and tradesmen.

impluvium click to hear

Basin in the central part of the atrium to receive rainwater.

atrium click to hear

The main room in the house; its central part was exposed to the open air to collect rainwater and let sunlight in.

vestibule click to hear

Entrance to the house that acted as the passage from public life to private life.

tile click to hear

Hard surface, usually made of baked molded clay, used as a covering for roofs.

fresco click to hear

Large mural painting that decorated the walls of houses during antiquity.

compluvium click to hear

Aperture built into the atrium roof to let rainwater pour into the impluvium.

tablinum click to hear

Hall separating the peristyle from the atrium.

timber click to hear

Framework of beams that supports the roof of the building and provides stability.