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Transcript of Domus Romana
Come inside and look around!
This is the atrium, or central hall. It was a large, open space
where visitors were received. This room also contains
the impluvium, which was a shallow pool for the collection of
rain water. This is the impluvium, the shallow basin located in the atrium.
This basin collects the rainwater that falls through the compluvium,
the opening in the roof directly over the pool. The water in the impluvium
helped to cool the interior of the house during the warm Mediterranean
summer months; the pool also added to the room's aesthetic appeal. This is the lararium, a shrine dedicated to the
worship of the guardian spirits of the household.
Each day the paterfamilias (head of household) would make offerings to these deities for the protection of home and family. The tablinum was the study, or office, for the
paterfamilias. Here, he would receive visitors
and conduct business. Under the floor there was
an opening in which a sort of lockbox was kept.
This box contained important documents, money,
and other valuables. The peristylium was the columned,
covered walkway around the open
garden area. Just off the kitchen area, there would have been a small room that was used as a latrina (bathroom). Most Roman houses did not have a full bathroom, such as we do today; Romans frequented public bathhouses for matters of personal hygiene. This is a photo of a public latrina. The culina was the area where servants would prepare the family's meals. Much like today's kitchen, the culina contained a stove top and oven. The cubiculum was the bedroom area. This room was used only for sleeping at night, unless someone was sick. The only furnishings in the room would have been a bed/couch, and perhaps a chair. The Romans did not furnish rooms extensively, but they did decorate their walls, floors, and ceilings very colorfully and ornately. The vestibulum was simply a narrow hallway within the house. The hortus was the garden area, surrounded
by the peristylium. Romans planted trees,
flowers, and shrubbery in this area. There were
also statues and fountains.