Roman Villas explores the social structures of the Roman world by analysing the plans of buildings of all sizes from slightly Romanized farms to palaces. The ways in which the rooms are grouped together; how they intercommunicate; and the ways in which individual rooms and the house are approached, reveal various social patterns, which question traditional ideas about the Roman family and household. J. T. Smith argues that virtually all houses were occupied by groups of varying composition, challenging the received wisdom that they were single family houses whose size reflected only the owner's wealth and number of servants.
Roman Villas provides a meticulously documented and scholarly examination of the relationship between the living quarters of the Roman and their social and economic development which introduces a new area in Roman studies and a corpus of material for further analysis. The inclusion of almost 500 ground plans, drawn to a uniform scale, allows the reader to compare the similarities and differences between house structure as well as effectively illustrating the arguments.
Table of Contents
List of Figures, Author's Preface (Includes Acknowledgements), Editorial notes: notes on drawings
Part 1: 1. Aims and Scope of the Book, 2. Methods and Assumptions,
Part 2: Types of Plan: 3. Hall Houses, 4. Row-Type Houses, 5. Developed Forms of Row-House, 6. Developed Forms of Hall-House, 7. Problematic House-Types, 8. The Porticus-with-Pavilions: (i) Pavilions, 9. The Porticus-with-Pavilions: (ii): Porticuses, 10. The Elements and Forms of Villa Complexes, 11. Palaces, Peristyle Houses and Luxury Villas, 12. The Villas of South-East Europe,
Part 3: The Villa System in Operation: Modes of Change: 13. The Late Pre-Roman Iron Age Background, 14. Modes of Romanisation, 15. Patterns of Villa Development, 16. A Model of Development, Notes, Bibliography, Glossary, Index of Subjects, Index of Persons and Places.
John Smith is an Honorary Research Fellow at Institute of Archaeology, University College London. He was formerly the Head of Architecture at The Royal commission on The Historical Monuments of England. He is the author of numerous articles on Roman villas in learned journals.
'The book is a formidable achievement and will become a standard work of reference for years to come.' - Sussex Past and Present
`Roman Villas is a remarkable work..this book forms a very valuable addition to Roman Studies..without his very substantial contribution the study of the subject would be very much the poorer.' - Britannia, 1999
'Smiths work is deeply founded in a lifetimes experience and thinking about buildings and thus contains an unrivalled depth of understanding of architecture. It is thus a book which should be carefully read and absorbed by anyone with a serious interest in the archaeology of buildings or the Roman Empire.' - Archaeological Journal