Ancient Roman furniture | Latin Texts..Supellex domus Romanae | Litterae Latinae

I remember the first time I visited Pompeii. We were walking through the streets worn out by the carts that had passed there 2000 years earlier. It was truly a magical feeling to experience so up close the residues of every day Roman life. In the midst of this it started pouring down. Dressed in elegant Hawaii shorts, I took cover. In our disappointment to not be able to continue our walk, we learned of the wallpaintings showing furniture of the time. Marvellous. Now, almost just as good, listen to the audio of a Latin text describing Roman furniture.

Level: Lower intermediate


Supellex domus Romanae

Et in atrio domus Romanae et in peristylo, exigua erat supellex. In triclinio autem semper erat mensa, aut quadra aut orbis. Harum mensarum multae erant pulcherrimae et magni pretii. Plinius maior de duabus mensis scripsit, quarum alteri pretium fuit decies centena milia sestertium, alteri paulo minus.

Convivae circum mensam in sellis non considebant sed ex tribus mensae lateribus erant lecti, in quibus novem convivae accumbebant, terni in singulis lectis. Lignea aut aenea erat sponda lecti in quam torus et cervical et vestes stragulae impositae sunt.

Lectus cubicularis erat altior quam lectus triclinarius et scamno ascendebatur. Varia erant genera sellarum in domibus Romanis; sed cathedra, in qua feminae plerumque sedebant, erat simillima nostris sellis. Omnium sellarum lautissima erat eburnea sella curulis curvis pedibus, in qua quidam magistratus sedebant.

Pulcherrimae erant lucernae Romanorum, quarum multa exempla adhuc exstant. Aliae fictiles, aliae erant aeneae, sed omnes summa arte confectae. Lucernae, aut in mensas aut in alta candelabra imponebantur, aut etiam laquearibus dependebant. Non autem claram lucem praebebant.

–Scudder, J. W., First Latin Reader

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