Daily Life in Ancient Rome (Peregrine Books), Edition: 1st by Jérôme Carcopino; H.T. Rowell (ed.); E.O. Lorimer (trans.)

By Jérôme Carcopino; H.T. Rowell (ed.); E.O. Lorimer (trans.)

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Extra info for Daily Life in Ancient Rome (Peregrine Books), Edition: 1st ed. 1941

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Alternatively, it might be a low table of wood or bronze with three or four adjustable supports (trapezophores) or a simple tripod whose folding metal legs usually ended in a lion's claw. As for seats, remains of these are - not without reason - more rarely found in the excavations than tables. 57 Also they appear in literature as the distinguishing property of the master who is teaching in a schola** or, in connexion with religious ceremonies, as the property of the frater arvalis of the official religion,50 of the head of certain esoteric pagan sects, and later of the Christian presbyter.

Almost every­ where, the higher you went in a building, the more breathless became the overcrowding, the more sordid the promiscuity. 97 If it had been re­ tained for the use of one privileged possessor, it was occupied by the retainers of the owner of the domus. 98 Whether we speak of the luxurious and elegant domus or of the insulae - caravanserias whose heterogeneous inhabitants needed an army of slaves 56 HOUSES AND STREETS and porters under the command of a servile steward to keep order among them - the dwelling-houses of the Urbs were seldom ranged in order along an avenue, but jostled each other in a laby­ rinth of steep streets and lanes, all more or less narrow, tortuous, and dark, and the marble of the 'palaces' shone in the obscurity of cut-throat alleys.

This compact floor was designed to exclude unwelcome or injurious exhalations and to slow down the rise of temperature. It will be noticed that in this device the heated surface of the suspensurae was never greater than the surface of the hypocaustum and its working demanded a number of hypocauses equal to, if not greater than, the number of hypocausta. It follows therefore, that this system of furnaces had nothing to do with central heating and was not applicable to many-storeyed buildings. 68 Moreover, even in the buildings where such a furnace system existed, it never occupied more than a small fraction of the house: the bathroom in the best-equipped villas of Pompeii or the caldarium of the public baths.

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