Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 02 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

During late antiquity, the aristocratic house worked as an architectural social filtering system. Many structures of the private residence were used and combined to create, or to strengthen, an impression of social superiority. Ancient sources and archaeological evidence show clearly that light played a key role as an aesthetic element within this aristocratic housing scheme. The function of many key architectural and ornamental features were dependent on lighting. Hence the crucial importance of taking into consideration the ‘variable light’ in any attempt of architectural restitution of domus or villas. This chapter proposes to go deeper into the analysis, attempting to determine whether light should be regarded as a simple variable of aesthetic enhancement or whether, like any other ‘hard’ structures of the house, it should be considered as a fully structuring feature of the aristocratic residential space.

Keywords: late antiquity, Roman villa, elite, aristocracy, self-representation, filtered light, reflected light, glass, oculus, hearth

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.