Civil wars and executions continued, culminating in the victory of Octavian, Caesars adopted son, over Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC and the annexation of Egypt. Octavians power was unassailable and in 27 BC the Roman Senate formally granted him overarching power, the imperial period of Rome lasted approximately 1,500 years compared to the 500 years of the Republican era. The first two centuries of the empires existence were a period of unprecedented political stability and prosperity known as the Pax Romana, following Octavians victory, the size of the empire was dramatically increased. After the assassination of Caligula in 41, the senate briefly considered restoring the republic, under Claudius, the empire invaded Britannia, its first major expansion since Augustus. Vespasian emerged triumphant in 69, establishing the Flavian dynasty, before being succeeded by his son Titus and his short reign was followed by the long reign of his brother Domitian, who was eventually assassinated.
The senate appointed the first of the Five Good Emperors, the empire reached its greatest extent under Trajan, the second in this line. A period of increasing trouble and decline began with the reign of Commodus, Commodus assassination in 192 triggered the Year of the Five Emperors, of which Septimius Severus emerged victorious. The assassination of Alexander Severus in 235 led to the Crisis of the Third Century in which 26 men were declared emperor by the Roman Senate over a time span. It was not until the reign of Diocletian that the empire was fully stabilized with the introduction of the Tetrarchy, which saw four emperors rule the empire at once. This arrangement was unsuccessful, leading to a civil war that was finally ended by Constantine I. Constantine subsequently shifted the capital to Byzantium, which was renamed Constantinople in his honour and it remained the capital of the east until its demise. Constantine adopted Christianity which became the state religion of the empire. However, Augustulus was never recognized by his Eastern colleague, and separate rule in the Western part of the empire ceased to exist upon the death of Julius Nepos.
The Eastern Roman Empire endured for another millennium, eventually falling to the Ottoman Turks in 1453, the Roman Empire was among the most powerful economic, cultural and military forces in the world of its time. It was one of the largest empires in world history, at its height under Trajan, it covered 5 million square kilometres. It held sway over an estimated 70 million people, at that time 21% of the entire population. Throughout the European medieval period, attempts were made to establish successors to the Roman Empire, including the Empire of Romania, a Crusader state. Rome had begun expanding shortly after the founding of the republic in the 6th century BC, then, it was an empire long before it had an emperor
Terracotta, terra cotta or terra-cotta, a type of earthenware, is a clay-based unglazed or glazed ceramic, where the fired body is porous. The term is used to refer to the natural, brownish orange color, of most terracotta. This article covers the senses of terracotta as a medium in sculpture, as in the Terracotta Army and Greek terracotta figurines and European sculpture in porcelain is not covered. Glazed architectural terracotta and its version as exterior surfaces for buildings were used in Asia for some centuries before becoming popular in the West in the 19th century. In archaeology and art history, terracotta is used to describe objects such as figurines not made on a potters wheel. An appropriate refined clay is formed to the desired shape, after drying it is placed in a kiln or atop combustible material in a pit, and fired. The typical firing temperature is around 1,000 °C, though it may be as low as 600 °C in historic and archaeological examples. In some contexts, such as Roman figurines, white-colored terracotta is known as pipeclay, as such clays were preferred for tobacco pipes, fired terracotta is not watertight, but surface-burnishing the body before firing can decrease its porousness and a layer of glaze can make it watertight.
It is suitable for use below ground to carry pressurized water, for garden pots or building decoration in many environments, most other uses, such as for tableware, sanitary piping, or building decoration in freezing environments, require the material to be glazed. Terracotta, if uncracked, will ring if lightly struck, painted terracotta is typically first covered with a thin coat of gesso, painted. It has been widely used but the paint is only suitable for indoor positions and is much less durable than fired colors in or under a ceramic glaze. Terracotta sculpture was rarely left in its raw fired state in the West until the 18th century. Terracotta/earthenware was the known type of ceramic produced by Western and pre-Columbian people until the 14th century. Terracotta has been used throughout history for sculpture and pottery as well as for bricks, in ancient times, the first clay sculptures were dried in the sun after being formed. They were placed in the ashes of open hearths to harden, only after firing to high temperature would it be classed as a ceramic material.
Terracotta female figurines were uncovered by archaeologists in excavations of Mohenjo-daro, along with phallus-shaped stones, these suggest some sort of fertility cult and a belief in a mother goddess. The Burney Relief is a terracotta plaque from Ancient Mesopotamia of about 1950 BC. In Mesoamerica, the majority of Olmec figurines were in terracotta
Aqua Claudia was an ancient Roman aqueduct that, like the Anio Novus, was begun by Emperor Caligula in 38 AD and finished by Emperor Claudius in 52 AD. Together with the Aqua Anio Vetus, Aqua Anio Novus, and its main springs, the Caeruleus and Curtius, were situated 300 paces to the left of the 38th milestone of the Via Sublacensis. The total length was 45–46 miles most of which was underground, the flow was about 190000 cubic metres in 24 hours. Directly after its filtering tank, near the mile of the Via Latina, it finally emerged onto arches. It is one of the two ancient aqueducts that flowed through the Porta Maggiore, the other being the Anio Novus and it is described in some detail by Frontinus in his work published in the 1st century, De aquaeductu. Nero extended the aqueduct with the Arcus Neroniani to the Caelian hill, the aqueduct went through at least two major repairs. It was said that the Aqua Claudia was used for 10 years, the first repair was done by Emperor Vespasian in 71 AD, it was repaired again in 81 AD by Emperor Titus.
The Aqua Claudia maintained its structure and appearance for so long partly because of roman pozzolana mortar
Roman technology is the engineering practice which supported Roman civilization and made the expansion of Roman commerce and Roman military possible for over a millennium. The Romans achieved high levels of technology in large part because they borrowed technologies from the Greeks, Celts, all technology uses energy to transform the material into a desirable object or uses some form of mechanics combined with another form to make something better. The cheaper energy is, the wider the class of technologies that are considered economic and this is why technological history can be seen as a succession of ages defined by energy type i. e. human, water, peat and oil. The Romans used water power, and watermills were common throughout the Empire and they were used for cereals milling, sawing timber and crushing ore. They exploited wood and coal for heating, there were huge reserves of wood and coal in the Roman Empire, but they were all in the wrong place. Wood could be floated down rivers to the urban centres but otherwise it was a very poor fuel.
If this was improved by being processed into charcoal, it was bulky, nor was wood ever available in any concentration. Diocletians Price Edict can give us a glimpse of the economics of transporting wood, the maximum price of a wagon load of 1,200 lbs of wood was 150 d. The maximum freight charge per mile for the wagon load was 20 d. per mile. Room heating was better done by charcoal braziers than hypocausts. But hypocausts did allow them to exploit any poor-quality smoky fuels like straw, vine prunings, hypocausts allowed them to generate a humid heat for their baths. The Romans worked almost all the coalfields of England that outcropped on the surface, but there is no evidence that this exploitation was on any scale. After c.200 AD the commercial heart of the Empire was in Africa, there was no large coalfield on the edge of the Mediterranean. However, the aeolipile was an engine, inefficient as a stationary engine. The first useful steam engine did not use steam pressure at all, Roman technology was largely based on a system of crafts, although the term engineering is used today to describe the technical feats of the Romans.
The Greek words used were mechanic or machine-maker or even mathematician which had a wider meaning than now. There were a number of engineers employed by the army. The most famous engineer of this period was the Greek Apollodorus of Damascus, normally each trade, each group of artisans—stonemasons, glass blowers, etc
The Roman Forum is a rectangular forum surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings at the center of the city of Rome. Citizens of the ancient city referred to this space, originally a marketplace, as the Forum Magnum, here statues and monuments commemorated the citys great men. The teeming heart of ancient Rome, it has called the most celebrated meeting place in the world. Many of the oldest and most important structures of the ancient city were located on or near the Forum, the Roman kingdoms earliest shrines and temples were located on the southeastern edge. Other archaic shrines to the northwest, such as the Umbilicus Urbis and this is where the Senate—as well as Republican government itself—began. The Senate House, government offices, temples, over time the archaic Comitium was replaced by the larger adjacent Forum and the focus of judicial activity moved to the new Basilica Aemilia. Some 130 years later, Julius Caesar built the Basilica Julia, along with the new Curia Julia, eventually much economic and judicial business would transfer away from the Forum Romanum to the larger and more extravagant structures to the north.
The reign of Constantine the Great saw the construction of the last major expansion of the Forum complex—the Basilica of Maxentius and this returned the political center to the Forum until the fall of the Western Roman Empire almost two centuries later. This is the case despite attempts, with success, to impose some order there, by Sulla, Julius Caesar, Augustus. By the Imperial period, the public buildings that crowded around the central square had reduced the open area to a rectangle of about 130 by 50 metres. Its long dimension was oriented northwest to southeast and extended from the foot of the Capitoline Hill to that of the Velian Hill, the Forums basilicas during the Imperial period—the Basilica Aemilia on the north and the Basilica Julia on the south—defined its long sides and its final form. The Forum proper included this square, the buildings facing it and, originally, the site of the Forum had been a marshy lake where waters from the surrounding hills drained. This was drained by the Tarquins with the Cloaca Maxima, because of its location, sediments from both the flooding of the Tiber and the erosion of the surrounding hills have been raising the level of the Forum floor for centuries.
Excavated sequences of remains of paving show that sediment eroded from the hills was already raising the level in early Republican times. As the ground around buildings rose, residents simply paved over the debris that was too much to remove and its final travertine paving, still visible, dates from the reign of Augustus. Excavations in the 19th century revealed one layer on top of another, the deepest level excavated was 3.60 metres above sea level. Archaeological finds show human activity at that level with the discovery of carbonised wood, an important function of the Forum, during both Republican and Imperial times, was to serve as the culminating venue for the celebratory military processions known as Triumphs. Victorious generals entered the city by the western Triumphal Gate and circumnavigated the Palatine Hill before proceeding from the Velian Hill down the Via Sacra, from here they would mount the Capitoline Rise up to the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus on the summit of the Capitol
The Colosseum or Coliseum, known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, is an oval amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy. Built of concrete and sand, it is the largest amphitheatre ever built, the Colosseum is situated just east of the Roman Forum. Construction began under the emperor Vespasian in AD72, and was completed in AD80 under his successor, further modifications were made during the reign of Domitian. These three emperors are known as the Flavian dynasty, and the amphitheatre was named in Latin for its association with their family name, the building ceased to be used for entertainment in the early medieval era. It was reused for purposes as housing, quarters for a religious order, a fortress, a quarry. Although partially ruined because of damage caused by earthquakes and stone-robbers, the Colosseum is depicted on the Italian version of the five-cent euro coin. The Colosseums original Latin name was Amphitheatrum Flavium, often anglicized as Flavian Amphitheatre, the building was constructed by emperors of the Flavian dynasty, following the reign of Nero.
This name is used in modern English, but generally the structure is better known as the Colosseum. The name Colosseum has long believed to be derived from a colossal statue of Nero nearby. This statue was remodeled by Neros successors into the likeness of Helios or Apollo, Neros head was replaced several times with the heads of succeeding emperors. Despite its pagan links, the statue remained standing well into the era and was credited with magical powers. It came to be seen as an symbol of the permanence of Rome. This is often mistranslated to refer to the Colosseum rather than the Colossus, however, at the time that the Pseudo-Bede wrote, the masculine noun coliseus was applied to the statue rather than to what was still known as the Flavian amphitheatre. The Colossus did eventually fall, possibly being pulled down to reuse its bronze, by the year 1000 the name Colosseum had been coined to refer to the amphitheatre. The statue itself was forgotten and only its base survives. The name further evolved to Coliseum during the Middle Ages, in Italy, the amphitheatre is still known as il Colosseo, and other Romance languages have come to use similar forms such as Coloseumul, le Colisée, el Coliseo and o Coliseu.
The site chosen was an area on the floor of a low valley between the Caelian and Palatine Hills, through which a canalised stream ran. By the 2nd century BC the area was densely inhabited and it was devastated by the Great Fire of Rome in AD64, following which Nero seized much of the area to add to his personal domain
The Etruscan civilization is the modern name given to a powerful and wealthy civilization of ancient Italy in the area corresponding roughly to Tuscany, western Umbria, and northern Lazio. Culture that is identifiably Etruscan developed in Italy after about 800 BC, the latter gave way in the 7th century BC to a culture that was influenced by ancient Greece, Magna Graecia, and Phoenicia. The decline was gradual, but by 500 BC the political destiny of Italy had passed out of Etruscan hands, the last Etruscan cities were formally absorbed by Rome around 100 BC. Politics were based on the city, and probably the family unit. In their heyday, the Etruscan elite grew very rich through trade with the Celtic world to the north and the Greeks to the south, archaic Greece had a huge influence on their art and architecture, and Greek mythology was evidently very familiar to them. The study excluded recent Anatolian connection, the ancient Romans referred to the Etruscans as the Tuscī or Etruscī. Their Roman name is the origin of the terms Tuscany, which refers to their heartland, and Etruria, which can refer to their wider region.
In Attic Greek, the Etruscans were known as Tyrrhenians, from which the Romans derived the names Tyrrhēnī, Tyrrhēnia, the word may be related to the Hittite Taruisa. The Etruscans called themselves Rasenna, which was syncopated to Rasna or Raśna, the origins of the Etruscans are mostly lost in prehistory, although Greek historians as early as the 5th century BC, repeatedly associated the Tyrrhenians with Pelasgians. Strabo as well as the Homeric Hymn to Dionysus make mention of the Tyrrhenians as pirates, pliny the Elder put the Etruscans in the context of the Rhaetian people to the north and wrote in his Natural History, Adjoining these the Noricans are the Raeti and Vindelici. All are divided into a number of states, the Raeti are believed to be people of Tuscan race driven out by the Gauls, their leader was named Raetus. Historians have no literature and no original Etruscan texts of religion or philosophy, much of what is known about this civilization is derived from grave goods, another source of genetic data on Etruscan origins is from four ancient breeds of cattle.
Analyzing the mitochondrial DNA of these and seven other breeds of Italian cattle, the other Italian breeds were linked to northern Europe. Etruscan expansion was focused both to the north beyond the Apennine Mountains and into Campania, some small towns in the sixth century BC disappeared during this time, ostensibly consumed by greater, more powerful neighbours. However, it is certain that the structure of the Etruscan culture was similar to, albeit more aristocratic than. The mining and commerce of metal, especially copper and iron, led to an enrichment of the Etruscans and to the expansion of their influence in the Italian peninsula and the western Mediterranean Sea. Here, their interests collided with those of the Greeks, especially in the sixth century BC and this led the Etruscans to ally themselves with Carthage, whose interests collided with the Greeks. Around 540 BC, the Battle of Alalia led to a new distribution of power in the western Mediterranean, from the first half of the 5th century BC, the new political situation meant the beginning of the Etruscan decline after losing their southern provinces
Sponges are the basalmost clade of animals of the phylum Porifera. Sponges have unspecialized cells that can transform into other types and that often migrate between the cell layers and the mesohyl in the process. Sponges do not have nervous, digestive or circulatory systems, most rely on maintaining a constant water flow through their bodies to obtain food and oxygen and to remove wastes. Sponges are similar to animals in that they are multicellular, lack cell walls. Unlike other animals, they lack true tissues and organs, and have no body symmetry, the shapes of their bodies are adapted for maximal efficiency of water flow through the central cavity, where it deposits nutrients, and leaves through a hole called the osculum. Many sponges have internal skeletons of spongin and/or spicules of calcium carbonate or silicon dioxide, all sponges are sessile aquatic animals. Although there are species, the great majority are marine species. A few species of sponge that live in food-poor environments have become carnivores that prey mainly on small crustaceans, most species use sexual reproduction, releasing sperm cells into the water to fertilize ova that in some species are released and in others are retained by the mother.
The fertilized eggs form larvae which swim off in search of places to settle, sponges are known for regenerating from fragments that are broken off, although this only works if the fragments include the right types of cells. A few species reproduce by budding, the mesohyl functions as an endoskeleton in most sponges, and is the only skeleton in soft sponges that encrust hard surfaces such as rocks. More commonly, the mesohyl is stiffened by mineral spicules, by spongin fibers or both, demosponges use spongin, and in many species, silica spicules and in some species, calcium carbonate exoskeletons. Demosponges constitute about 90% of all known species, including all freshwater ones. The fragile glass sponges, with scaffolding of silica spicules, are restricted to polar regions, fossils of all of these types have been found in rocks dated from 580 million years ago. In addition Archaeocyathids, whose fossils are common in rocks from 530 to 490 million years ago, are now regarded as a type of sponge, the single-celled choanoflagellates resemble the choanocyte cells of sponges which are used to drive their water flow systems and capture most of their food.
This along with studies of ribosomal molecules have been used as morphological evidence to suggest sponges are the sister group to the rest of animals. Some studies have shown that sponges do not form a group, in other words do not include all. Recent phylogenetic analyses suggest that comb jellies rather than sponges are the group to the rest of animals. By the 1950s, these had been overfished so heavily that the industry almost collapsed and their microscopic endosymbionts are now being researched as possible sources of medicines for treating a wide range of diseases
Pliny the Elder
In the latter number will be my uncle, by virtue of his own and of your compositions. Pliny is referring to the fact that Tacitus relied on his uncles now missing work on the History of the German Wars. The wind caused by the sixth and largest pyroclastic surge of the eruption would not allow his ship to leave the shore, and Pliny probably died during this event. Plinys dates are pinned to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD79 and a statement of his nephew that he died in his 56th year, Pliny was the son of an equestrian, Gaius Plinius Celer, and his wife, Marcella. Neither the younger nor the elder Pliny mention the names and their ultimate source is a fragmentary inscription found in a field in Verona and recorded by the 16th century Augustinian monk Onofrio Panvinio at Verona. The reading of the inscription depends on the reconstruction, but in all cases the names come through, whether he was an augur and whether she was named Grania Marcella are less certain. Jean Hardouin presents a statement from a source that he claims was ancient, that Pliny was from Verona.
Hardouin cites the conterraneity of Catullus, additional efforts to connect Celer and Marcella with other gentes are highly speculative. Hardouin is the scholar to use his unknown source. He kept statues of his ancestors there, a statue of Pliny on the facade of the Duomo of Como celebrates him as a native son. He had a sister, who married into the Caecilii and was the mother of his nephew, Pliny the Younger, whose letters describe his work and study regimen in detail. In one of his letters to Tacitus, Pliny the Younger details how his uncles breakfasts would be light and simple following the customs of our forefathers. This shows that Pliny the Younger wanted it to be conveyed that Pliny the Elder was a good Roman and this statement would have pleased Tacitus. Two inscriptions identifying the hometown of Pliny the Younger as Como take precedence over the Verona theory, one commemorates the youngers career as imperial magistrate and details his considerable charitable and municipal expenses on behalf of the people of Como.
Another identifies his father Lucius village as Fecchio near Como and it is likely therefore that Plinia was a local girl and Pliny the Elder, her brother, was from Como. Gaius was a member of the Plinii gens and he did not take his fathers cognomen, but assumed his own, Secundus. As his adopted son took the same cognomen, Pliny founded a branch, no earlier instances of the Plinii are known. In 59 BC, only about 82 years before Plinys birth, Julius Caesar founded Novum Comum as a colonia to secure the region against the Alpine tribes, whom he had been unable to defeat
A fountain is a piece of architecture which pours water into a basin or jets it into the air to supply drinking water and/or for a decorative or dramatic effect. Fountains were originally purely functional, connected to springs or aqueducts and used to drinking water and water for bathing and washing to the residents of cities, towns. Until the late 19th century most fountains operated by gravity, and needed a source of higher than the fountain, such as a reservoir or aqueduct. In addition to providing drinking water, fountains were used for decoration, Roman fountains were decorated with bronze or stone masks of animals or heroes. In the Middle Ages and Muslim garden designers used fountains to create versions of the gardens of paradise. King Louis XIV of France used fountains in the Gardens of Versailles to illustrate his power over nature, the baroque decorative fountains of Rome in the 17th and 18th centuries marked the arrival point of restored Roman aqueducts and glorified the Popes who built them.
By the end of the 19th century, as indoor plumbing became the source of drinking water. Mechanical pumps replaced gravity and allowed fountains to recycle water and to force it high into the air, the Jet dEau in Lake Geneva, built in 1951, shoots water 140 metres in the air. The highest such fountain in the world is King Fahds Fountain in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, fountains are used today to decorate city parks and squares, to honor individuals or events, for recreation and for entertainment. A Splash pad or spray pool allows city residents to enter, get wet, the musical fountain combines moving jets of water, colored lights and recorded music, controlled by a computer, for dramatic effects. Drinking fountains provide clean drinking water in buildings, parks. Ancient civilizations built stone basins to capture and hold precious drinking water, a carved stone basin, dating to around 2000 BC, was discovered in the ruins of the ancient Sumerian city of Lagash in modern Iraq. The ancient Assyrians constructed a series of basins in the gorge of the Comel River, carved in rock, connected by small channels.
The lowest basin was decorated with carved reliefs of two lions, the ancient Greeks were apparently the first to use aqueducts and gravity-powered fountains to distribute water. In the 6th century BC the Athenian ruler Peisistratos built the fountain of Athens. It had nine large cannons, or spouts, which supplied drinking water to local residents. Greek fountains were made of stone or marble, with water flowing through bronze pipes, most Greek fountains flowed by simple gravity, but they discovered how to use principle of a siphon to make water spout, as seen in pictures on Greek vases. The Ancient Romans built a system of aqueducts from mountain rivers and lakes to provide water for the fountains
A sanitary sewer or foul sewer is an underground carriage system specifically for transporting sewage from houses and commercial buildings through pipes to treatment or disposal. Sanitary sewers are part of a system called sewerage or sewage system. Sewage may be treated to water pollution before discharge to surface waters. Sanitary sewers serving industrial areas carry industrial wastewater, separate sanitary sewer systems are designed to transport sewage alone. In municipalities served by sewers, separate storm drains may be constructed to convey surface runoff directly to surface waters. Sanitary sewers are distinguished from combined sewers, which combine sewage with stormwater runoff in the same pipe, sanitary sewer systems are considered beneficial because they avoid combined sewer overflows. To overcome these disadvantages, some cities built separate sanitary sewers to collect only municipal wastewater, the decision between a combined sewer system or two separate systems is mainly based on need for sewage treatment and cost of providing treatment during heavy rain events.
Many cities with combined sewer systems built prior to sewage treatment have not replaced those sewer systems, in the developed world, sewers are pipes from buildings to one or more levels of larger underground trunk mains, which transport the sewage to sewage treatment facilities. Vertical pipes, usually made of precast concrete, called manholes, depending upon site application and use, these vertical pipes can be cylindrical, eccentric or concentric. The manholes are used for access to the pipes for inspection and maintenance. They facilitate vertical and horizontal angles in otherwise straight pipelines, pipes conveying sewage from an individual building to a common gravity sewer line are called laterals. Branch sewers typically run under streets receiving laterals from buildings along that street, larger cities may have sewers called interceptors receiving flow from multiple trunk sewers. Design and sizing of sanitary sewers considers the population to be served over the life of the sewer, per capita wastewater production.
Commercial and industrial flows are considered, but diversion of surface runoff to storm drains eliminates wet weather flow peaks of inefficient combined sewers. Pumps may be necessary where gravity sewers serve areas at lower elevations than the treatment plant. A lift station is a gravity sewer sump with a pump to lift accumulated sewage to a higher elevation, the pump may discharge to another gravity sewer at that location or may discharge through a pressurized force main to some distant location. Most of the solids are removed by the tanks, so the treatment plant can be much smaller than a typical plant. In addition, because of the vast reduction in solid waste, because the wastestream is pressurized, they can be laid just below the ground surface along the lands contour
A villa was originally an ancient Roman upper-class country house. Since its origins in the Roman villa, the idea and function of a villa have evolved considerably, after the fall of the Roman Republic, villas became small farming compounds, which were increasingly fortified in Late Antiquity, sometimes transferred to the Church for reuse as a monastery. Then they gradually re-evolved through the Middle Ages into elegant upper-class country homes, in modern parlance, villa can refer to various types and sizes of residences, ranging from the suburban semi-detached double villa to residences in the wildland–urban interface. In ancient Roman architecture a villa was originally a house built for the élite. The Roman villae rusticae at the heart of latifundia were the earliest versions of what later, not included as villae were the domus, a city house for the élite and privileged classes, and insulae, blocks of apartment buildings for the rest of the population. In Satyricon, Petronius described the range of Roman dwellings.
Another type of villae is the villa marittima, a seaside villa, a concentration of Imperial villas existed on the Gulf of Naples, on the Isle of Capri, at Monte Circeo and at Antium. Examples include the Villa of the Papyri in Herculaneum, and the Villa of the Mysteries, wealthy Romans escaped the summer heat in the hills round Rome, especially around Tibur (Tivoand Frascati, such as at Hadrians Villa. Cicero allegedly possessed no fewer than seven villas, the oldest of which was near Arpinum, pliny the Younger had three or four, of which the example near Laurentium is the best known from his descriptions. Roman writers refer with satisfaction to the self-sufficiency of their latifundium villas, archeologists have meticulously examined numerous Roman villas in England. The grand villa at Woodchester preserved its mosaic floors when the Anglo-Saxon parish church was built upon its site, grave-diggers preparing for burials in the churchyard as late as the 18th century had to punch through the intact mosaic floors.
The even more palatial villa rustica at Fishbourne near Winchester was built as an open rectangle. Villae rusticae are essential in the Empires economy, two kinds of villa-plan in Roman Britain may be characteristic of Roman villas in general. The more usual plan extended wings of all opening onto a linking portico. The other kind featured a central hall like a basilica. The villa buildings were often independent structures linked by their enclosed courtyards, timber-framed construction, carefully fitted with mortises and tenons and dowelled together, set on stone footings, were the rule, replaced by stone buildings for the important ceremonial rooms. Traces of window glass have been found, as well as ironwork window grilles, with the decline and collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the fourth and fifth centuries, the villas were more and more isolated and came to be protected by walls. In England the villas were abandoned and burned by Anglo-Saxon invaders in the fifth century, in regions on the Continent and territorial magnates donated large working villas and overgrown abandoned ones to individual monks, these might become the nuclei of monasteries