Chapter

The Form and Function of <i>Tabernae</i>

Claire Holleran

in Shopping in Ancient Rome

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199698219
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741326 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199698219.003.0004
The Form and Function of Tabernae

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The commercial unit of the taberna (or έργαστήριον) played a central role in the retail trade of Rome. This chapter begins by establishing an architectural typology for these units, which is then applied to the archaeological remains of Rome, as well as to the Italian cities of Ostia and Pompeii, demonstrating the ubiquity of tabernae in Roman urban centres. It explores the archaeological, literary, and legal evidence for the function of these units, demonstrating that while many tabernae likely housed shops, as is commonly assumed, they could be used for a wide variety of commercial activities, accommodating workshops, offices, bars, and housing the services of barbers, doctors, fullers, bakers, and many others. Tabernae could also be used as living accommodation, most commonly in conjunction with a commercial function.

Keywords: taberna; έργαστήριον; Ostia; Pompeii; shop; workshop; services; offices

Chapter.  24319 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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