Roman Houses

The Romans were famous for their buildings and culture and the Roman empire had a huge impact on the buildings in much of Europe.

The rich houses were elaborate. The rich families lived in single storey houses that were built around an atrium. An atrium was the term used for a central area, usually with no roof. The atrium had many rooms opening from it, and many included a water feature such as a pond with fountain.

The rich houses also had a second open courtyard know as a peristylum which included a garden, and was often a meeting point.

The rich Romans decorated their houses with coloured plaster walls and mosaic floors. The quality and size of your mosaics indicated your wealth and the most wealthy houses would have had elaborate mosaics in all rooms. These floors were made using large numbers of coloured mosaic tiles.

Underneath some of these mosaic floors was the Roman heating system or hypocaust. This was an under floor system.

Good examples of these Roman houses can be seen in places such as El Jem in Tunisia which has large numbers of Roman mosaics to view. In the UK Fishbourne palace is a good example.


Published on 18/11/2010

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