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If a house could speak, it would have a very clear story -Aeschylus, Agamemnon 37-38
Elspeth Wengren AHI 190a Winter 2011
Abbreviated Background of Greek Housing
Domestic organization and spatial segregation became especially significant to Greeks during the 5th century BCE. -This coincides with the establishment of Pericles citizenship law.
Spur of Hippodamian city planning in mid-5th century BCE Domestic architecture in Greece and Greek settlements began conforming to new standards based off organization, practicality and social acceptance. The Hellenistic period marks a change in Greek life. Early Greek city-states had been run by citizen elites, but with the rise of Alexander and through out his campaign in the 4th century BCE, Greek city-states became operated by kings.
As Greek and middle-eastern culture merged in the Hellenistic world, there was an increase in palatial construction. This trend was echoed in Greek domestic architecture as well, resulting in the establishment of the Greek prostas, pastas and peristyle type houses.
Greek Influence On Roman Housing
During the Republican Period, Roman traditionalists feared that the „over-exuberance‟ of Hellenistic cultural and its increasing influence would have a negative impact on the traditionally modest Roman way of life. However, elements of Greek domestic design, especially the Greek peristyle, would eventually be incorporated into the Roman architectural vernacular.
Side note: The Roman dining room, called the triclinium, came from the Greek word for couch, klinê, which were the couches used for eating in a reclining position, a ritual the Romans had inherited from both the Greeks and the Etruscans.
The RomanRegia today. (ARTstor.org)
House A vii 4 (Cahill 76) .400-348 BCE Typical Olynthian House.Greek Pastas Style Houses at Olynthus c.
The house as a whole is inwardlooking and centered around an open court at the centre or south of the building.An Olynthian Pastas House in a Paragraph or Less… The typical Olynthian house can be encapsulated as. “An individual structure occupied around 290 square meters in ground area and consisted of around ten rooms on the ground floor. Each house was normally entered via a single street door” (Nevett 46). space which was often supplemented by further apartments in an upper storey. . There is a strict separation from the street.
Window. were prevalent features throughout Greece and could run the length of the house.Additional Housing Information “Pastas. Court yard often doubled as a work space. Houses were founded on stone socles (bases) but the super structure was primarily mud-brick. or no. presenting blank walls to the streets. windows. Closed off to the public. Some had an attached shop or space that was either leased out or in some way used to increase income.” like a veranda. seen in the upper left Apulian Calyx Krater (Cahill 77) Small. .
edu/classics/dunkle/athnlife/d omestic.http://depthome.brooklyn. the gynaikonitis. Distribution of two storied houses in Olynthos (Cahill 83) .cuny.htm Some houses had a second story. which is believed to have been the women's quarters.
Reconstruction of House A vii 4 at Olynthus (Cahill 105) .
Left: Key to house plans and artifact distribution (Cahill 86) Below: Artifact distribution for House A vii 4 (Cahill 104) .
Olynthus (Cahill 87).Variations of the Pastas House Villa of the Bronzes. . Olynthos (Cahill 98) The House of Many Colors.
Greek Prostas Houses at Priene (ARTstor.org) .
Left: The basic Prostras house in Priene during the 3rd century BCE (ARTstor.org) .
when a second story was present -Loosely defined functions of space (other than the andron) .Shared characteristics with Pastas Houses: -A central court yard open to the sky -A men‟s andron (but typically smaller) -Small and high. windows -A gynaikonitis. or no.
.org) House plans and layout at Priene (ARTstor.org) Greek communal planning of grid streets and aligned rectangular block housing in Priene in the mid-4th century BCE.(ARTstor.
Peristyle Houses of Delos Mosaic Court in Dellos House of the Dolphins. by Asklepiades c.org) .100BCE (ARTstor.
org) . House of the Colline (ARTstor.Delos Peristyle.
150-100BCE (ARTstor. House of the Trident c.Delos.org) .
org) Views of the remainder of the peristyle court in the House of the Trident. Delos. To the Left: shows the view from what would be within. (PerseusDigitalLibrary.edu) .tufts. Above: shows the main entryway into the house.(ARTstor.
Revisiting Greek House Types Pastas Peristyle Prostas .
that a member of the elite who played a role in public life was expected to have clientes. Thus. Martial. but in a theoretical nature. Book 8. Pliny the Younger who authored two letters in the early 2nd century. Cicero.The Emergence of a Roman Atrium Housing in History History's Two Main Sources on Roman Domestic Architecture: Vitruvius. 2. in Italy. That the type of house a man lives represents and needs be appropriate to his social status. in his On Architecture. That there should be a distinction between intimate spaces occupied solely by the residents and those open to guests and visitors. Furthermore. Statius and Sidonius make passing references to Roman housing. From the writing of Vitruvius two main points stand out: 1. Petronius. while Petronius was the most influential author to discuss Roman behavior within houses. discusses the Roman House. giving detailed descriptions of two of his villas at Tusculum and Laurentium. . Roman Atrium Houses were developed to accommodate these criteria.
and then the assorted cubicula. The triclinium (dining room) was located to one side of the atrium.Inside an Early Atrium House A main entryway leading to an interior central atrium court. or an adjacent room. the dominus would receive guests. It is sometimes difficult to locate specific kitchens in Roman households of all periods. The lararium (household shrine) was often located in the atrium. The tablinum also acted as the area for the display of family archives. The tablinum was flanked by two other rooms the alae. often in the corner of the house. This room could be left open to both the front and rear. as often the family had portable braziers that could be easily set . An Atrium court differed from a peristyle in that most of the court was covered by extending the surrounding downward sloping roofs. Here. The central area left uncovered and open to the sky corresponds to the size of the central impluvium. but would then have had wooden partitions to close off the openings when desired. At the far end of the atrium would be the main reception room of the house the tablinum.
consider the atrium to have been derived from the Greek idea of central courtyards houses. The Atrium style house became a marker or Roman culture and spread throughout the entire Roman Empire. . both visible and accessible. flanked by the triclinium to one side and domestic space to the other. There were still no columns serving as structural support in early „AtriumTablinum‟ houses. The early Atrium houses. in the „Atrium-Tablinum‟ arrangement show close relation to the oecus-prostas arrangement. *Increased amount of domestic/public space. in combination with the Etruscan temple porches formed by large over-hanging eaves. the favored consensus regarding the origins of the atrium house.Additional Atrium Information Though we lack definitive evidence. dating back to the 6th century BCE at Megara Hyblaea. -But the tablinum at the center was open to the atrium for its full width. The addition of alae with the lararium -Rooms added specifically for display The three main rooms were directly aligned across the back. as in Greek peristyle houses. exemplified by the „prostas houses’ in Priene.
org) . Pompeii 3rd century BCE Plan and Reconstruction (ARTstor.Early example of Roman „Atrium-Tablinum‟ Design The House of the Surgeon.
org) Impluvium within the atrium (ARTstor.org) .Within the atrium (ARTstor.
The solution was to attach to the rear of the atrium complex a peristyle court. -As seen in the tetrastyle atria. Remains of a tetrastyle atrium at the House of the Faun. General trend towards more decorative architecture within private houses.org) .Incorporating the Peristyle in Atrium Housing Born of Roman desire to add a domestic part to their homes. Roman peristyles were consciously arranged to be symmetrical and revolve around a central feature. Columns entered the Roman domestic architecture vernacular. an popular idea that became the new Roman standard from the 2nd century BCE onward. Pompeii 2nd century BCE (ARTstor. but without sacrificing the atrium-tablinum layout that was so fitting to the daily lives of the Roman elite.
House of the Faun Pompeii. -tetrastyle atria -preferred axial layout -informal room arrangement (with the exception of the tablinum) Plan and view from the garden in the peristyle (ARTstor. with the inclusion of a peristyle. 2nd-1st century BCE -Developed Roman Atrium style. the design type that remained prevalent in Roman culture from the 2nd century BCE onward.org) .
cupid riding a a lion (ARTstor.org) Floor mosaic. for which the house has been named (ARTstor.org) .org) View from exterior looking through main entryway (ARTstor.Faun statue in courtyard.
org) .Reconstruction drawing of interior atrium (ARTstor.org) Interior view of atrium (ARTstor.
(ARTstor. but there was much variation. or alternatively the product of an eccentric owner" (Ellis 6). It is important to “bear in mind that only a few houses are preserved out of the many thousand that once existed. Both Greek and Roman house designs are not resolutely defined and unyielding. A unique design could thus be the surviving representative of a widespread trend. and practical needs at a specific time.Closing Notes Roman Atrium housing developed through the process of selecting Greek design ideas that were fitting for their own cultural. Traditional standards did exist.org) . social. the house plans discussed belonged to middle and upper class citizens. In both the Greek and Roman examples.
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