chapter  11
27 Pages

Palaces, peristyle houses and luxury villas

The title may prompt a question: why lump together an administrative function,an architectural form and a standard of living? The justification for so doing is that they are closely linked insofar as all three are of essentially Roman rather than provincial origin and inspiration. A palace is a seat of government, whether of the emperor or the governor of a province, and the administrative functions it provided for were much the same in any part of the Empire; it was occupied by someone to whom luxury came naturally by virtue of position and wealth and to whose office Italian forms of planning were appropriate to cater for its bureaucratic and social complexity.