A Model of a Roman Town House

Originally Published in 1933

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IN response to many requests coming from all over the country, the Museum is about to publish an accurate scale model of a Roman Town House typical of the residences found during the excavations at Pompeii, Herculaneum, and other south Italian cities and belonging to the period of the first century B. C. and the first century A. D. The model, which measures about two by four feet and stands ten inches high, is printed on watercolor paper mounted on cardboard; it is in sections and is accompanied by full directions for assembling and coloring. It was designed by Mr. George B. Roberts to whom the editor is indebted for the following summary of the principal features.

Atrium of a model Roman House
Plate IX — The Atrium in the University Museum Model of a Roman Town House

The front, with its shops opening on the side-walk, is adapted from the ‘House of the Faun,’ and the pavement of the fauces and the atrium are from the same source. The walls of the atrium [Plate IX] are from the ‘House of Sallust,’ which is of the same period. The peristyle, tablinum (or master’s office), and large triclinium (or dining-room) are copied from those in the ‘House of the Tragic Poet.’ On the floor of the exedra (open-air living room) is the famous Alexander mosaic from the ‘House of the Faun.’ One cubiculum is copied from the Boscoreale cubiculum now in the Metropolitan Museum in New York.
By incorporating individual rooms from various Pompeian houses into the model, it is possible to illustrate how, as frequently happened, an ancient house might be enlarged, altered, and redecorated according to the fashions of successive periods, until it finally illustrated the main steps in the development of domestic architecture through three centuries of Roman history.

Cite This Article

"A Model of a Roman Town House." Museum Bulletin IV, no. 5 (October, 1933): 139-140. Accessed July 25, 2024. https://www.penn.museum/sites/bulletin/1242/

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