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Chapter Summary

This chapter provides some concluding remarks on the book Roman Villas in Central Italy: A Social and Economic History. The aim of the book has been to examine the role and function of elite villas in Roman society and economy, bringing together literary and archaeological data, in the regions of Central Tyrrhenian Italy, where villas had a great diffusion from the late second century B.C. The analysis of the body of archaeological data assembled in the book for the regions of Tuscany, Latium and Umbria, albeit fragmentary, has shown the deep discrepancies which exist between the "idea" of villas, as constructed in literary works, and the "reality" of villas, as revealed by the physical evidence. The typology of villa architecture in the mid-Empire may reflect a change in the social function of villas. Villas, maritime or rural, had complex ideological and economic dimensions, which evolved and shifted through the centuries.

Keywords: Central Tyrrhenian Italy; economic history; Roman villas; social history; villa architecture



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