chapter  9
Pages 13

One of the purposes of the portico was to guide visitors to the main rooms of the house. The evidence of the mosaic floors presented in Chapter 7 indicates that some of the more important rooms may have been used in cult practice, an observation which can occasion little surprise given the importance attached to private mystery religions in late antiquity. This does not mean to say, however, that these houses should be viewed as religious rather than domestic buildings or that the cult activities required the complete reinvention of domestic space. Rather the needs of religious ritual involved an additional layering of activities. In most houses, regardless of the arrangements for worship, the main rooms were dining rooms and audience halls.