It is alsounusual to have detailed information on earlier sequences since only thelatest buildings were fully exposed. Thesearchitectural ideas in turn generate the space experienced, where socialrelationships are articulated through systems of symbols and signs. The contrast that can be drawn between these houses and the palatialcoastal villas suggests that there was little direct overlap between the societiesrepresented by these two regional groups of housing. Itprovides a thorough description of the Roman domestic architecture of thisfrontier province, to set in contrast with more general surveys of houses inItaly and the empire at large. Lefebvrebelieves that each mode of production ancient, feudal and capitalist had itsown spatial order, and that shifts from one system to another necessarilyinvolved the creation of new types of space. The porticoes and peristyles were given greater prominence and importancein such buildings in the period after the social war late republic , and it wasafter this period that most of the grander villas were built. Once stone becamemore readily available, as the requirements of public building establishedmechanisms for its exploitation, the advantages of building in clay werediminished.
There is a risk that Faulknerunderstates the level of activity represented by the more ephemeral remainsof timber and earth-walled constructions, and his figures may therefore bebiased towards periods of busier masonry construction fig. It is likely that the portico became a setting for the promenade ambulatio and replaced some functions of the enclosed peristyle. Several houses of this type are known from aroundVerulamium. Circular houses of this later period were favoured inthe Midlands and their distribution matches the likely area of influence ofthe Corieltauvi tribe Keevill and Booth 1997. The character and chronology of change suggests that thechoice to build in stone was as much a matter of fashion as of economics.
My emphasis here, therefore, is on the imported andurban traditions that witness the influence of empire on province. In particular, fire destruction horizons repay attention. There was no axial symmetry to the layoutof these buildings, in which the entrance to the courtyard was flanked by asmall porters lodge. On one side of the main hall R5a was anapse-ended room where the host and principal guests may have reclined todine R5b ; on another was a heated chamber suitable for winter use R5c. Thereis no direct parallel for this building type from the eastern Mediterraneanor North Africa, although the open spaces of the courtyard buildings fromthis region may be more similar in character and function to the atrium thanhas been supposed Allison 1993: 67, Wallace-Hadrill 1997.
The origins of this Chalton-type house, andthe reasons for the comparative scarcity of the Continental-style aisled longhouse, have been much-debated Dixon 1982, Hamerow 1994. Later republican buildings were additionally equipped with alarge open garden surrounded by a colonnade towards the rear of thebuilding. Although theSeveran early third century , marble plan of Rome the Formae UrbisRomanae , illustrates several buildings of atrium-peristyle form, many of thesewould have been survivals from earlier periods Rodrguez-Almeida 1981. The lack ofdetailed stratigraphic accounts of the development of town houses is in parta reflection of the absence of any modern, large-scale, excavation of suchstructures. Like the aisled buildings,the later Roman circular houses were built over substantial stone foundations often more than 600 mm wide and were likely to have been high roofed. Town houses were morelikely to draw light into the buildings from secure and secluded innercourtyards, with the perimeter area occupied by the shops and workshopsthat made best use of the street frontages. In order toreview the role of Rome in the creation of Britains first urban society thisbook gives more weight to the evidence of literary sources than is currentlyfashionable.
Early texts suggest that it was the focusof many household activities, including cooking and weaving, and was wherethe household shrine was located. Allegory,history and myth made allusive reference to these powerful arguments. Whatever the reason for theirconstruction they illustrate the use of such round houses in a very Romancontext. There has been somespeculation as to when and how this happened, with particular reference tothe extent to which the design of atrium houses influenced their genesis Packer 1971. A house built at Watling Court c. A simple develop-ment of the form involved partitioning off a single rectangular room at theback of the building to allow for some separation of working and livingquarters fig. In most phases the ground floor flats had no kitchens or separatelatrines.
Mud and studcontinued in use in both Colchester and London, but in lesser circumstances. It seems somewhat churlish to complain that Romano-British housessurvive only as ruins, it could hardly be otherwise! Elements of the design of Bronze Agepalaces were repeated in the houses of the wealthy throughout antiquity. But in many places the retreat fromRoman architectural form had preceded these happenings. Perhaps themost important was the social and economic role of the property. Although these features can be described in purelypractical terms, they also reflected an essential concern with mans place inthe natural landscape. The design of these buildings was perhaps influenced byearlier, low status, houses. .
The Period 2 villa at Fishbourne had neatly built walls of stoneand probably dates c. The ideological realignments required by Roman authority mightexplain both the redundancy and reconfiguration of domestic space witnessedat this time. I think that it is useful to know how houseslooked, how they were designed and built. Thescattered nature of landholding in Italy Siculus Flaccus: 152 , added emphasisto the need for bailiffs and slave labour or sharecropping to work theseestates. Despite Vitruvius belief that the man of averagewealth had little call to offer hospitality On Architecture 6: 5. Buildings incorporated numerous references, some symbolic others explicit,which testified to rank and status.
From these ingredients descriptivehierarchies can be established in which patterns are identified, from whichthe social and economic uses of the buildings might be understood. Fifty or so other buildings presentplans which require only a modest amount of reconstruction in order to givea similar level of detail, but this remains a small and partial sample. It not certain that these earlierdevelopments influenced the architecture of Ostia, but it is safe to assumethat the pressures to build upwards encouraged the roofing-over of forecourtsand that this contributed to the reduced emphasis given to such space. Several such houses were built withinenclosures associated with important oppida complexes. For these the Rostovtzeff model, supportedby the evidence of classical sources, presumes the presence of a large, slave-run estate.
Research techniques were comparatively primitive when many ofthese sites were dug, and the published reports lack detail. Public rooms, such as baths and barns, gave way to residential suites. At Ostia multi-storied houses were essentially a second-century phenomenon, but at Romethey had been common from late republican times and it is here that thetype first developed Ward-Perkins 1981:1456. Such factors may have contributed to the shift towardsmasonry construction that followed the Hadrianic fire in London and theAntonine fire in Verulamium. In Britain we only have the evidence of thebuildings themselves.
Ovens associated with corn drying were inserted in the corridors andreception rooms of some town houses. Few societies have so richlydocumented their social arrangements, their beliefs and their vanities inarchitectural form. Only a small minority of the provincial populationwould have lived in towns; and it has been estimated that even in southernBritain villas did not form more than 15 per cent of the total number ofsettlements Hingley 1989: 4. Typically the long houses were up to 2428 m long 8090 ft. The first aisled buildingat Sparsholt, which was probably built in the second century, preceded theconstruction of the main winged-corridor house and contained a bath blockat one end. In palatial houses rooms can be set aside for highly specialised functions,and the presence of these may in turn reduce the functional range of adjacentchambers. Agriculture and industry provides an up-to-date assessment of our knowledge of the southern hinterland of Roman London and an area that was particularly open to influences from the Continent.