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Princeton University Press
Houses and Society in Pompeii and Herculaneum

Houses and Society in Pompeii and Herculaneum

by Andrew Wallace-Hadrill
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Few sources reveal the life of the ancient Romans as vividly as do the houses preserved by the eruption of Vesuvius. Wealthy Romans lavished resources on shaping their surroundings to impress their crowds of visitors. The fashions they set were taken up and imitated by ordinary citizens. In this illustrated book, Andrew Wallace-Hadrill explores the rich potential of the houses of Pompeii and Herculaneum to offer new insights into Roman social life. Exposing misconceptions derived from contemporary culture, he shows the close interconnection of spheres we take as discrete: public and private, family and outsiders, work and leisure.

Combining archaeological evidence with Roman texts and comparative material from other cultures, Wallace-Hadrill raises a range of new questions. How did the organization of space and the use of decoration help to structure social encounters between owner and visitor, man and woman, master and slave? What sort of "households" did the inhabitants of the Roman house form? How did the world of work relate to that of entertainment and leisure? How widely did the luxuries of the rich spread among the houses of craftsmen and shopkeepers? Through analysis of the remains of over two hundred houses, Wallace-Hadrill reveals the remarkably dynamic social environment of early imperial Italy, and the vital part that houses came to play in defining what it meant "to live as a Roman."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780691029092
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 07/28/1996
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 264
Product dimensions: 7.50(w) x 10.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Andrew Wallace-Hadrill is Professor of Classics at the University of Reading in England.

Table of Contents

List of Plates

List of Figures and Tables


Note on Form of References to Houses

Pt. I The Social Structure of The Roman House

Ch. 1 Reading the Roman House

Ch. 2 The Language of Public and Private

Ch. 3 The Articulation of the House

Pt. II Sampling Pompeii and Herculaneum

Ch. 4 Houses and Urban Texture

Ch. 5 Houses and Households

Ch. 6 Houses and Trade

Ch. 7 Luxury and Status

Ch. 8 Epilogue

Appendix: List of Houses Surveyed





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Houses and Society in Pompeii and Herculaneum 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
morbidromantic on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is more than just a book about Roman houses. This book first describes Roman houses and decoration and then puts them into context by delving into the Roman house as a status object, as a hierarchical space, and as a place for both leisure and work. This book really captures the nature of the Roman by describing what they used their space for. The author compares the Roman home to more modern structures for understanding, but the basis of the book is not to compare and contrast the two. It¿s definitely not the sort of book for someone who is looking for the basics, though. Sometimes, the way the houses are described seems more a mathematical equation than description of living/working space.