The Romano-African Domus : studies in space, decoration, and function
The introduction (chapter I) will present the topic of the present research in two paragraphs. The one will discuss the problems relating to the study of domestic art in Roman Africa and the approach of scholars to them in order to highlight the new aspect of this research. The second one will describe the methodology that will be used in the study of the relationship between architectural forms and mosaic decoration of African domestic architecture during the high and late Empire (Maps 1-2). The following chapters will describe eight room-types in term of architectural layout and mosaic decoration. By following the imaginary route of an ancient guest visiting the Romano-African house, the analysis will begin with the description of the spaces of higher accessibility: the vestibulum as the point of transition from outside and inside and its annexed spaces such as audience-chamber, cella ianitoris, and room for storing sportulae (chapter 2); and the peristyle as a passageway to rooms arranged around it (chapter 3). The analysis of the peristyle as an open space will be followed by the study of the secondary courtyard in chapter 4. The discussion will continue with the description of the reception rooms as public spaces where the house-owner received his selected guests: main triclinium (chapter 5), secondary triclinium (chapter 6), and assembly-rooms (chapter 7). The analysis will end with the description of the most private parts of the house: the cubiculum as the room of a more selective admission (chapter 8) and the private apartments as the spaces reserved for the members of the master's family (chapter 9). Conclusions will follow in chapter 10. The whole analysis will be carried out with the support of the catalogue listing the main Romano-African houses.