Rolf A. Tybout
|Published in:||Journal of Roman Archeology, 2001, v. 14|
During the last two decades a spate of publications forcefully brought to our attention the importance of the Roman house in the socio-political life of the élite in the late Republic and early Imperial period, both in Rome and in “provincial” towns like Pompeii, the metropolitan center of power setting the patterns for the lifestyle of local grandees. The focus is on the rôle of architecture in shaping the spatial, and thereby social, articulation of the domus. Literary sources concerning Roman domestic life and known for a long time are scrutinized for the light they might shed on the archaeological evidence, especially on the functions of rooms and other parts of the house. Roman wall-painting also attracts fresh attention in this context. The main focus in recent studies is on its synchronic formal variety, allowing painters, or perhaps rather their commissioners, to underline and at the same time refine the hierarchical organisation of space inherent in the architectural design.
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