Sources for the Roman House

Books: (see also General Reference Works)

Clarke, John R. The Houses of Roman Italy, 100 B.C.-A.D. 250: Ritual, Space, and Decoration. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991.

Descoeudres, Jean-Paul. Pompeii Revisited: The Life and Death of a Roman Town. Sydney: Meditarch, 1994.

Gazda, Elaine K., ed. Roman Art in the Private Sphere: New Perspectives on the Architecture and Decor of the Domus, Villa, and Insula. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1991.

Wallace-Hadrill, Andrew. Houses and Society in Pompeii and Herculaneum. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994.

External Links:

Image List: The following images from the pages on this topic are available through the VRoma Image Archive; further information can be found by consulting the various slide indices. Images in the VRoma Archive may be used for non-commercial purposes, either by downloading the images or by linking to them; it is not necessary to write for permission, but we do ask that you credit the VRoma Project.

A few images have been linked to these pages from external sites, particularly Leo Curran's Maecenas web pages, which offer many excellent photographs of houses in Pompeii and Herculaneum. The cutaway drawing of a domus and the relief of a shop come from the Getty Museum's ArtsEdNet educational web site for children (although the accompanying text contains some mistakes).


drawing representative plan of Roman domus model of House of Tragic Poet—front model of House of Tragic Poet—back model of House of Tragic Poet—side Tuscan atrium
domus plan domus model domus model domus model atrium
Barbara McManus Naples Museum Naples Museum Naples Museum House of Sallust, Pompeii

wall painting of Cupids wall painting, first style wall painting, third style wall painting, third style—Medusa reconstructed compluvium
wall painting wall painting wall painting wall painting compluvium
Naples Museum House of Sallust, Pompeii Naples Museum House of the Vettii, Pompeii House of the Menander, Pompeii

fallen compluvium tile, bear spout vestibulum with Salve Lucrum impluvium with dancing faun reconstructed cubiculum from Boscoreale model of bedroom
tile vestibulum impluvium cubiculum cubiculum
House of Obellius Firmus, Pompeii House of Siricus, Pompeii House of the Faun, Pompeii Metropolitan Museum of Art Augst

painting detail—woman & reading child painting detail from Boscoreale cubiculum carbonized chest with bracket marks in wall model of culina culina in rustic courtyard
wall painting wall painting chest culina culina
Villa of Mysteries, Pompeii Metropolitan Museum of Art House of the Bicentenary, Herculaneum Museum of London House of C. Julius Polybius, Pompeii

painting detail—kitchen slaves oven and cooking pots cooking pots and brazier bronze brazier from Chiusi drawing of kitchen & slaves cooking
wall painting oven pots brazier culina drawing
Getty Museum, 50-75 CE House of Stags, Herculaneum Pompeii Brussels Museum of Art and History Saalburg Museum

painting detail—garden painting detail—bird in garden mosaic of Selene and Endymion peristyle with reconstructed roof painting detail—Venus on shell
wall painting wall painting mosaic peristyle wall painting
House of Neptune and Amphitrite, Herculaneum House of Marine Venus, Pompeii Tunis Bardo Museum House of the Vettii, Pompeii House of Marine Venus, Pompeii

painting detail—fountain in garden bronze garden sculpture fishpond with niches model of peristyle model of lararium in peristyle
wall painting bronze fishpond peristyle lararium
House of Marine Venus, Pompeii House of the Vettii, Pompeii House of Meleager, Pompeii Bonn Rheinisches Landesmuseum Bonn Rheinisches Landesmuseum

bronze lar statuette lararium painting in shrine poultry shop atrium towards tablinum tablinum
lar lararium shop tablinum tablinum
Munich Praehistorisches Museum House of the Vettii, Pompeii cast from EUR House of the Tragic Poet, Pompeii; modified from Curran House of Caecilius, Pompeii

carbonized wooden folding door plaster cast of wooden door plaster cast of wooden chest marble floor tiles wall painting from tablinum
door door chest marble tiles wall painting
House of the Bicentenary, Herculaneum Villa of Mysteries, Pompeii House of C. Julius Polybius, Pompeii Herculaneum House of Caecilius, Pompeii

painting detail, garlanded male & female triclinium with fountain & stone couches reconstructed lectus statue of woman on cathedra mosaic of women on cathedrae
wall painting triclinium lectus statue mosaic
House of Caecilius, Pompeii House of Julia Felix, Pompeii Tunis, Bardo Museum Uffizi Museum Trier Landesmuseum

wall painting, fourth style wall painting, fourth style—Dirce vestibulum, looking toward atrium house facades on street vestibulum with mosaic
wall painting wall painting vestibulum houses mosaic
House of the Vettii, Pompeii House of the Vettii, Pompeii House of the Tragic Poet, Pompeii Houses of Trellis & Wooden Partition, Herculaneum Pompeii

painting of Priapus vestibulum with wounded bear & Have vestibulum with watchdog mosaic
wall painting mosaic mosaic
House of the Vettii, Pompeii House of the Bear, Pompeii House of P. Paquius Proculus, Pompeii

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revised January, 1999
Barbara F. McManus