Friday, March 30, 2007

Insulae: Roman apartment buildings

Originally uploaded by ImperialRome.
In Roman architecture, insulae (singular insula) were large apartment buildings where the lower and middle classes of Romans (the plebs) dwelled. The floor at ground level was used for tavernas, shops and businesses with living space on the higher floors.
The urbanization of the larger Roman cities caused a great demand for housing which was within a comparable vicinity of the city center and real estate was therefore at a premium. As such, private houses were a luxury which only the wealthy could afford. This led to a majority of the inhabitants of the inner city living in apartment and tenement housing called insulae.

No comments: