Vicus Collis Viminalis
The Taberna of Senex Caecilius

A taberna is a room (perhaps one of several) in a Roman house which has its own entrance from the outside and does not lead into the interior of the house. Hence, it can be used as a shop or a simple shed in which to keep various things not suitable for storage indoors. Often there is a brick counter to display goods by the entrance. Inside there is usually one or more back rooms. Normally a floor is added, cutting the tall room in half, to create two low floors, the upper floor being called the pergula. This cramped space might house very poor tenants, perhaps a client family loyal to the family who inhabits the house.

The little shop at the front of my domus is for rent. Although it is small, it does enjoy a favorable location here on the vicus Collis Viminalis. At the moment, I am undecided about the tenant, but the inquiries have been both numerous and varied: a tailor, a barber, a bookseller, a perfumer, an herbalist, a potter, and an assortment of innkeepers.

Watch this space for developments in the coming months; work goes slowly.

In the interim, would you like to try your hand at recalling those Latin roots you learned with this little quiz? Match the items for sale in the column on the left with their vendors in the column on the right. The answers can be found by scrolling to the bottom of this page.

 1. books and scrolls
 2. bouquets and garlands
 3. bread and baked goods
 4. paints and unguents
 5. rings and signets
 6. shoes and sandals
 7. sweetmeats and confections
 8. tunics and cloaks
 9. vegetables and produce
10. wines
a. anularius
b. holitor
c. librarius
d. pastillarius
e. pigmentarius
f. pistor
g. rosarius
h. sagarius
i. sutor
j. vinarius


Leaena Meet Leæna, the most recent addition to my household. I'm hoping that she will develop the hunting skills of her mother, a country cat named Cleo, and live up to her namesake: a lioness!


Some of the preceding information comes from Daily Life in Ancient Rome, written by Jérôme Carcopino and published in 1968 by Yale University Press (New Haven).

Vicus | Ianua | Fauces | Atrium | Library | Tablinum | Kitchen | Triclinium | Lavatory | Cubiculum
Taberna | Viridarium | Museum | Mausoleum | Tabularium | Odeum | Scriptorium | Tropaeum
Exedra | Peristylium | Hortus | Lararium | Baths | Farm | Ludi | Album | Schola

1=c, 2=g, 3=f, 4=e, 5=a, 6=i, 7=d, 8=h, 9=b, 10=j