Published online by Cambridge University Press: 29 September 2022
This chapter focuses on the interactions that took place in the homes of the leading families of the late Republic, with particular emphasis on those that continued, albeit in changed form, at the imperial court. In exploring this theme, priority is given to written and archaeological evidence from the late Republic and early Augustan era, rather than later evidence, which may be suspected of anachronism. Topics covered include the personnel of the aristocratic household, the social rituals that took place there, the role of the household as a node of patronage, and the development of Republican houses as physical spaces. The chapter also argues that the rise of the great dynasts of the late Republic provoked anxieties similar to those that existed in the court culture of the Principate regarding the asymmetrical relationship between emperor and courtiers, and the outsized power of particular freedmen.