Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Visitors, inhabitants, space and power in the Pompeian house
Author: Anderson, M. A.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2005
Availability of Full Text:
Full text unavailable from EThOS.
Please contact the current institution’s library for further details.
This dissertation explains the internal workings of Pompeian domestic space in terms of the activities of daily life and the architectural spaces designed to contain, control, and condition them. It examines spatial, visual and power relationships between visitors and inhabitants within the ancient built environment. The phenomenological effects caused by architecture played a much more significant role in the conduct of social relationships, the implementation of power and the coordination of daily life than has been recognised previously. This study approaches the Pompeian house as a cultural artefact that preserves the decisions, priorities and daily life of its inhabitants. That the house played such a dynamic role in the social life of ancient Romans is well documented by the ancient sources. It was a power base and centre of political operations, the public image of its inhabitants, and the locus for most social interactions between its owner and the outside world. At the same time, archaeological remains testify that the houses in Pompeii were filled with a variety of humble activities involving the daily routines of slaves or servants, household production, provisioning and maintenance. Spatio-visual aspects of the built environment were crucial to the successful coordination of such a variety of functions. This dissertation presents new computerised techniques and methodology for the objective and scientific examination and quantification of these spatio-visual phenomena, including the use of geographical information systems (GIS). The analysis of the effects of accessibility and visibility on social relationships presented by this research is a step towards a detailed understanding of the agency of individual house owners and inhabitants. This research reveals the logic behind Pompeian houses, reaching new conclusions regarding the use of space, and addressing the reasons behind house forms, decoration and artefact distributions and their spatial and morphological aspects. A Roman citizen did not go out to work; rather life found him at home and came inside. The form of the Pompeian house is a reaction to, and an attempt to control, this situation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available