Free «Roman Villas and Roman Otium» Essay Sample

The origin of a Roman villa was originally a country house in Rome built for the upper class during Roman republic and Roman Empire. According to the elders in Rome, two kinds of villas were found; Villa Urbana, a country seat that was easily reached from or any other city. The Villa Rustica was a farm house estate that was permanently occupied by servants who generally possessed the estate power over. Villa Rustica was centered on villa itself, perhaps, it was seasonally occupied. It was under the concentration of Imperial villas, near Naples and Bay, especially on Isle of Capri, at Antium (Anzio) or at the Monte Cicero.  Some of the wealthy Romans went to the hills round Rome escaping summer heat, especially on the Frascati (Hadrian’s Villa). On the other hand, Roman Otium is seen as the Latin term, it has different or variety of meanings that include leisure time whereby a person enjoys eating, resting, playing and contemplation with academic endeavors. This paper compares the Roman Otium and Villas. It explains how the two differs and how they are similar. The paper then concludes by explaining the advantages of the Villas and Otium to the Roman history and economy.

The word Otium in ancient Romans had implications that ranged from a pause through ease and then leisure to inactivity with sheer indolence. The pursuit for Otium was Roman class’s way of life. After that, when using archaeological evidence and literally texts, the talk compares villas elite ideals and the physical evidence on the ground, this will reveal how some instances unfold. Talking about Maritime villas case as exemplary, though they are severally represented in the literature as luxurious, extravagant, costly leisure retreats, the maritime villas served as very important sites for production, the aspect downplayed the literary sources that made agriculture to have an upper class on ideology. Villas’ frequent locations are highly urbanized and are close to very large cities or the imperial residences suggesting that they maintained representational function. In fact, there is a republican to imperial period villas which once served as the status symbol of wealth Otium and power representing owner’s public personas.

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The Roman villa, whether as the extravagant Otium villas form or as the modest farmsteads, once there is landmark formation from the social and spatial relationships of rural countryside is comprehended by the people who live in the landscape and through it. The studies about villas in Rome will frequently appear in the form of the lavish publications and the singles and sites that create demands on the research that was trying to produce comprehensive summary of cumulative evidence mass. Villa holds central place in history of the western architecture. On peninsula in the antiquity, also, during Renaissance, the idea to build a house from the city in natural setting captured imagination of the wealthy architects and patrons. The archaeological and literary evidence that brought together that reminds the Roman Villa, less than the spectacular mighty aqueducts, monumental buildings and bridges being greatest achievements of the Roman civilization. The combination of Roman thought and the public architecture and Roman engineering and planning resulted in fact that these villas were practical and could be described as the most appropriate living space ever constructed in the human history.   

Villa also designates different types of structure that ensures sharing of a natural setting or the setting /agrarian purpose. Taking into consideration the architecture and villa might be constructed for farming and referred to it as the Villa Rustica while the living quarters referred to as the Villa Urbana. Villa was architectural that depended on literal descriptions while otium meant the pleasure and luxurious places. Otium depended mostly on the geographical or environmental effects and architectural designs. The designs attracted the wealthy Romans to spend their holidays. On the same, the geographical and environmental factors contributed more in Otium whereby, the summer and winter also, or weather changes forced the wealthy Romans to choose the best places to spend their time.


Both Otium and Villa depended on each other, for instance, Villas were architects while otium was the leisure. These is why through looking for Leisure, or otium, the Romans also liked good looking art thus finding Villas with otium in them. Through Otium pursuit, the art of Roman House living in the Imperial Age was rewarded when Roman Villa was introduced. As a way of leisure life to Roman classes, the economy was stabilized. This architecture and art should be maintained and preserved for it is the heritage of the country and also helps the country to generate income. The archaeological and literary evidence that is brought together reminds us of the Roman villa and less spectacular than the mighty aqueducts, monumental buildings and bridges, nonetheless, it is one of the greatest achievements by the Roman civilization. The otium was also practical and agreeable living space as the ones constructed in the human history.


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