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Housing In Late Antiquity: Thematic Perspectives

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Chapter Summary

This chapter gives an overview of various aspects of late antique housing, referring to the key works and contributions in this field. Archaeological remains represent the best evidence for the appearance and function of late antique residential buildings. Late antique written sources include descriptions of villas and houses, as do earlier works. To understand the layout, function and appearance of housing in Late Antiquity, social factors must be born in mind. Changing socio-political relations in Late Antiquity directly affected the layout of prestigious aristocratic residences. In particular, there was an increasing need to accommodate large reception spaces and dining facilities necessary for the fulfillment of 'public' tasks within a domestic context. Early Medieval cities developed new features, which in many cases originated in Late Antiquity. The legacy of Late Antiquity was equally obvious in the countryside, where large numbers of rural villas continued to survive long into the Medieval Period.

Keywords: aristocratic residences; Early Medieval cities; late antique housing; socio-political relations



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