Reference : Maintaining an atrium house during the Principate in Ostia.
Scientific congresses and symposiums : Unpublished conference/Abstract
Arts & humanities : Archaeology
Engineering, computing & technology : Architecture
Maintaining an atrium house during the Principate in Ostia.
Mainet, Grégory mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département des sciences historiques > Histoire de l'art et arch. de l'antiquité gréco-romaine >]
6th International Congress of Construction History
du 9 juillet au 13 juillet 2018
Université Libre de Bruxelles
Universiteit Antwerpen
KU Leuven
Université Catholique de Louvain
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
[en] Construction History ; Roman Archaeology ; Ostia ; Atrium Houses ; Maintenance ; Domus a Peristilio
[en] The Roman upper-class houses are well-know thanks to Vitruvius' De Architectura and Pompeii's excavations. This atrium house form, as encountered in the Vesuvian cities, is typical of the late Republic and early Empire. At the same time, however, a new form of residential building - the insulae - progressively took the place of this kind of domus in Rome and Ostia. However, some of them were maintained over many centuries, as suggest the three atrium houses along the Vicus Patricius represented on a fragment of the severian Forma Urbis Romae (n°543).
Ostia is a good case study to investigate the maintenance of this architectural form in the Empire (sens temporel). Indeed, the urban growth of Ostia is continuous from the fourth century BC to the late Antiquity. Most of the houses built in late Republic and Early Empire are knocked down during this time, like the republican Casette Repubblicane (I, IX, 1) or the Augustean Domus con Portico di Tufo (IV, VI, 1) because the insulae became the common type of dwelling at the mouth of the Tiber during the second century AD. These destructions reflect many transformations in social practices of the Roman aristocracy in the harbour of Rome. Nevertheless, some households prefered to preserve their domus rather than construct new more profitable ones, as suggest the Domus di Giove Fulminatore (IV, IV, 3), the Domus della Nicchia a Mosaico (IV, IV, 2) or the Domus a Peristilio (IV, V, 15-16).
These ancient domus contrasted with the new insulae and they indicated the social rank of their owner in the new townscape. This paper will discuss the case of these Augustean houses in the imperial urban fabric of Ostia, with a focus on the Domus a Peristilio, owned by the familly of C. Fabius Agrippinus, consul suffect in 148 AD. Indeed, the excavations undertaken between 2002 and 2010 within the so-called Schola del Traiano (IV, V, 15-16) offer some stratigraphic evidence - unpublished - from the building yard to the demolition of this aristocratic house. These archeological investigations have made it possible to envisage many repairs and transformations that took place over time. This building maintenance betrays the homeowner's will to adapt his dwelling to technical progress, like water supplies, or the decorative program to the decorative fashion. All in all, this talk about the upkeep of atrium upper-class houses during the Empire re-evaluates the features of the society in Roman Ostia.
Art, Archéologie et Patrimoine - AAP
Researchers ; Professionals ; Students

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