Culture and Society at Lullingstone Roman Villa

Culture and Society at Lullingstone Roman Villa

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Culture and Society at Lullingstone Roman Villa paints a picture of what life might have been like for the inhabitants of the villa in the late third and fourth centuries AD. The villa today, in the Darent Valley, Kent, has an unusual amount of well-preserved evidence for its interior decoration and architecture. Seventy years on from the commencement of the excavation of the site, this study draws on the original reports but also embraces innovative approaches to examining the archaeological evidence and sheds new light on our understanding of the villa's use. For the first time, the site of Lullingstone Roman Villa is surveyed holistically, developing a plausible argument that the inhabitants used domestic space to assert their status and cultural identity.

An exploration of the landscape setting asks whether property location was as important a factor in the time of Roman Britain as it is today and probes the motives of the villa's architects and their client. Lullingstone's celebrated mosaics are also investigated from a fresh perspective. Why were these scenes chosen and what impact did they have on various visitors to the villa? Comparison with some contemporary Romano-British villas allows us to assess whether Lullingstone is what we would expect, or whether it is exceptional. Examples from the wider Roman world are also introduced to enquire how Lullingstone's residents adopted Roman architecture and potentially the social customs which accompanied it.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 62 pages
  • 205 x 255 x 10mm | 254g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 40 figures (colour throughout); 40 Figures
  • 1789692903
  • 9781789692907

Table of contents

Preface and Acknowledgements

Chapter One: Introduction

Chapter Two: The villa within its landscape setting and the role of topography in the owner's self-representation
Landscape setting
Ancillary buildings
Circular shrine and temple-mausoleum
Comparable villas
A further case study: Chedworth

Chapter Three: The choice and use of mosaics in the fourth century villa: how the patron presented his cultural identity and status through pavements
Grand designs
The central room
The seasons
The apse
Europa and the bull
The inscription
An incongruous combination?
Classical literature in other Romano-British villas

Chapter Four: Conclusion

Additional reconstructions of the villa
Online sources
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About Caroline K. Mackenzie

Caroline K. Mackenzie read Classics at Pembroke College, Cambridge. After Cambridge, she continued her studies at law school where she was awarded a distinction and then practised as a Private Client solicitor in London for over a decade. Caroline subsequently pursued a teaching career, first as a law lecturer and then as Head of Classics at a preparatory school in Sevenoaks, Kent. In 2018 Caroline was awarded a Master of Arts with distinction in Classical Art and Archaeology at King's College London.

Caroline teaches and leads a variety of courses on Latin and Greek, and on Classical Art and Archaeology; she has lectured for English Heritage who invited her to deliver a study day including a private tour of Lullingstone Roman Villa.
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