Stamped bricks began to be used in Rome during the 1st cent. bc. Except for the brickstamps of military units throughout the Roman empire, these inscriptions became historically and archaeologically important documents only after the fire of Rome in ad 64, when there was an unprecedented demand for fired bricks as a great rebuilding programme was instituted. For more than a century the building activity in the city made large‐scale production of bricks profitable. The raw materials were available close at hand, esp. in the lower Tiber valley on estates largely owned by members of distinguished Roman families, often of senatorial rank. From the mid‐1st cent. ad the content of the stamps becomes more exact and more complex, indicating where the bricks were produced, and eventually including the names of the owner, the foreman, and the workers employed there. In ad 110 the names of the consuls appear in a brickstamp for the first time.
Subjects: Classical Studies.