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Domus, Family, and Inheritance: the Senatorial Family House in Late Antique Rome*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 March 2012

Julia Hillner*
University of Manchester


Scholars have traditionally believed that the late antique city of Rome concretely reflected the organization of late Roman senatorial society in terms of gentes. It is assumed that grand senatorial houses, each occupied by the leader of a gens, and passed down from father to son, characterized the urban landscape. This has led to a number of conclusions about the diachronic and synchronic aspects of domestic property ownership in late antique Rome.

Copyright ©Julia Hillner 2003. Exclusive Licence to Publish: The Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies

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Earlier drafts of this paper were delivered to the M6 Medieval Seminar, University of Manchester, on 11 October 2001 and to the Annual Conference of the American Academy of Religion, Toronto, on 25 November 2002. I would like to thank Klaus Rosen (Bonn), Federico Guidobaldi (Rome), Kristina Sessa (Berkeley), Marios Costambeys (Liverpool), all the members of the Late Antiquity Group at the University of Manchester, and the anonymous readers of the Journal of Roman Studies for critical comments and advice. I am especially grateful to Kate Cooper and Conrad Leyser (both Manchester) for their acute critique and constant encouragement. Responsibility for remaining errors is mine alone. All translations are my own.


1 It is impossible to cite here the complete evidence for the identification of the house as belonging to Gregory's family perhaps as early as the fifth or the first half of the sixth century. See, for example, Lanciani, R., Ruins and Excavations in Ancient Rome (1897), 349Google Scholar; Wuescher-Becchi, E., ‘Le memorie di S. Gregorio Magno nella sua casa del Monte Celio’, Dissertazioni della Pontificia Accademia Romana di Archeologia 8 (1903), 419–50;Google Scholar A. M. Colini, Storia e topografia del Celio nell'antichità (1944), 205; G. Ferrari, Early Roman Monasteries. Notes for the History of the Monasteries and Convents of Rome from the 5th through the 10th Centuries (1957), 142; and, more recently, Steinby, E. M. (ed.), Lexicon Topographicum Urbis Romae, vol. 2 (1995)Google Scholar (hereafter LTUR II) s.v. ‘S. Andreas quod appellatur Clivus Scauri, Monasterium’, 40, and s.v. ‘Domus: Gregorius I (Anicii Petronii?)’, 112; R. Markus, Gregory the Great andhis World (1997), 10.

2 The term ‘monument (monumento)’ is used by A. Giardina, ‘Conclusion’, in W. Harris (ed.), The Transformations of Urbs Roma in Late Antiquity (1999), 287. Giardina discusses the rise of the senatorial domus as a predominant social factor in late antique urban life, a phenomenon first recognized by Guidobaldi, F., ‘L'edilizia abitativa unifamiliare nella Roma tardoantica’, in Giardina, A. (ed.), Società romana e impero tardoantico, vol. 2 (1986), 165237Google Scholar. Both scholars write in a long tradition of assigning famous archaeological remains of senatorial houses in the late antique city of Rome to specific gentes, from M. Besnier, L'Ile tibérine dans l'Antiquité (1902), 64–5, who located ‘la demeure familiale de la gens Anicia’ on the Tiber Island, to the various late ancient domus gentiliciae mentioned by LTUR II, see s.v. ‘Domus: Aradii’, 36; s.v. ‘Domus: Caecilii’, 71; s.v. ‘Domus: Postumii’, 163; s.v. ‘Domus: Turcii’, 204–5; s.v. ‘Domus: Valerii’, 207. See also Panciera, S., ‘Ancora sulla famiglia senatoria africana degli Aradii’, in Mastino, A. (ed.), L'Africa romana, Atti del IV Convegno di Studio, Sassari 12–14 dicembre 1986, vol. 4.2 (1987), 559–60,Google Scholar on the domus of the Aradii, and idem, ‘Un protettore di Spoleto’, Spoletium. Rivista di arte, storia e cultura 34.5 (1990), 16, on the domus of the Turcii.

3 See note 2 and also, for example, LTUR II s.v. ‘S. Erasmus’, 233–4, where the author of the entry (G. de Spirito) connects the monastery of S. Erasmus to a domus Aniciorum and a domus Valeriorum on the Caelian Hill.

4 Eck, W., ‘“Cum dignitate otium”. Senatorial domus in imperial Rome’, Scripta classica israelica 16 (1997), 188Google Scholar.

5 Hillner, J., ‘Jedes Haus ist eine Stadt’: Privatimmobilien im spätantiken Rom, unpub. diss. (2001)Google Scholar. For example, Publius Ampelius, the praefectus urbi of A.D. 370, bequeathed his house to a female relative, very likely his daughter, some time before 397, and not to his son Priscus Attalus: Symmachus, Epp. 5.53 and 66. Definitely younger than his brother Vulcacius Rufinus, consul in A.D. 347, was Naeratius Cerealis, consul in A.D. 358, who seems to have inherited the house of their father, Naeratius Palmatus, on the Cispius, while his brother owned a house on the Quirinal, see LTUR II s.v. ‘Domus: Vulcacius Rufinus’, 172–3, s.v. ‘Domus: Naeratius Cerealis’, 79; Iacopi, I., Boilettino d'arte ser. 6, 6 (1980), 15 and 20Google Scholar.

6 For Saller, R.'s definition of the Roman family see his Patriarchy, Property and Death in the Roman Family (1994), 79CrossRefGoogle Scholar and passim. For the application of his model to the late Roman family Shaw, B., ‘The family in Late Antiquity. The experience of Augustine’, Past and Present 115 (1987), 3;CrossRefGoogle Scholar G. S. Nathan, The Family in Late Antiquity. The Rise of Christianity and the Endurance of Tradition (1997), 160. For republican to late antique inheritance strategies, E. Champlin, Final Judgements. Duty and Emotion in Roman Wills, 200 B.C.–A.D. 250 (1991), III; R. Saller, Patriarchy, Property and Death, 163–4, 170; A. Arjava, Women and Law in Late Antiquity (1996), 62.

7 Champlin, op. cit. (n. 6), 103; Saller, op. cit. (n. 6), 163–4, 170; Arjava, op. cit. (n. 6), 62.

8 Saller, op. cit. (n. 6), 91 n. 60, 169–70.

9 Nathan, op. cit. (n. 6), 31 and 167. An example is the case of Jerome's friend Paula, who, through her mother, a member of the Maecii Gracchi, claimed descent from the Scipiones and Gracchi of the Republic (Hieronymus, Ep. 108.1 and 3); see also Ammianus 28.4.7, where the historian is making fun of those senators who give themselves famous names. See also the careful and thorough study by Jacques, F., ‘L'ordine senatorio attraverso la crisi del III secolo’, in Giardina, A. (ed.), Società romana e impero tardoantico, vol. 1 (1986), 1225,Google Scholar on the lineages of the late Roman senatorial families.

10 See Bruun, C., ‘Missing houses: some neglected domus and other abodes in Rome’, Arctos 32 (1998), 88–9Google Scholar. For an in-depth discussion of honorific inscriptions of private origin dating from Late Antiquity see H. Niquet, Monumenta Virtutum Titulique. Senatorische Selbstdarstellung im spätantiken Rom im Spiegel der epigraphischen Denkmäler (2000), 25–33.

11 Kajanto, I., ‘Un'analisi filologico-letteraria delle iscrizioni onorarie’, Epigraphica 33 (1971), 4;Google Scholar J. P. Rollin, Untersuchungen zu Rechtsfragen römischer Bildnisse (1979), 105–6; G. Lahusen, Untersuchungen zur Ehrenstatue in Rom. Literarische und epigraphische Zeugnisse (1983), 101–8; A. Kolb, Die kaiserliche Bauverwaltung in der Stadt Rom. Geschichte und Aufbau der ‘cura operum publicorum’ unter dem Prinzipat (1993), 37 n. 21; Eck, op. cit. (n. 4), 171; F. A. Bauer, ‘Einige weniger bekannte Platzanlagen im spätantiken Rom’, in R. Colella et al. (ed.), Pratum Romanum. Richard Krautheimer zum 100. Geburtstag (1997), 49–51.

12 CIL VI. 1777 = ILS 1258. The completion given by CIL VI.8.3 p. 4757 reads: ‘parenti publice privatimq(ue) reverendo; ut <eum> statua{e} ipsius domus <i.e. in domo ipsius posita> honoraret, insignia <i.e. statuam insignibus eius ornatam> constitui locarique curavit.’

13 It should be noted that Niquet, op. cit. (n. 10), 247–50, has recently challenged even the general assumption that the inscription refers to a son of Vettius Agorius Praetextatus at all. On the basis of her profound analysis of the exact wording of the inscription, especially the details regarding Praetextatus’ cursus honorum, she reaches the conclusion that the Senate was the origin of the homage.

14 See, for example, the honorific inscriptions of Atteius Insteius Tertullus, praefectus urbi in A.D. 307/8, and of Attius Insteius Tertullus Populonius, corrector of an unknown province in A.D. 350, discovered in a house on the Velia north-east of the Basilica of Maxentius (CIL VI. 1696; CIL VI. 1697; see Jones, A. H. M. and Martindale, J. R., Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire, vol. 1 (1971)Google Scholar (hereafter PLRE I) s.v. Tertullus (6) and (7)). See also the honorific inscriptions of Naeratius Scopius, consularis Campaniae at some point after A.D. 358, and of Naeratius Cerealis, consul in A.D. 358, found in the same area on the Cispius (CIL VI.1744a = 31916a, CIL VI.1744c = 31916b; CIL VI.1745, see PLRE I s.v. Cerealis (2) and Scopius); and see below the case of the Valerii.

15 F. Guidobaldi, in LTUR II s.v. ‘Domus: Nummii’, 147, hints at this problem in a reference to the second- and third-century inscriptions of the Nummii, discovered in the area of a presumed property of the late antique Nummii, when he states (CIL VI.1748; CIL VI.31378b; CIL VI.32024-32025; CIL VI.32026 = 41225b): ‘È notevole comunque in questo caso la documentazione di una certa continuità della proprietà nell'ambito di uno stesso nucleo familiare, anche se non si può del tutto escludere che il materiale epigrafico più antico sia stato in parte trasferito da un'altra precedente abitazione …’

16 A famous example is the case of the Turcii. From epigraphic evidence we know about a property of Lucius Turcius Apronianus Asterius in or after A.D. 346 on the Cispius (CIL VI. 1769) and about the property of a (Turcius) Secundus in the second half of the fourth century in the same area (see K. J. Shelton, The Esquiline Treasure (1981), 31–3 and nos 1, 5–12, 17). Firm in their belief that the properties must have been identical and Asterius and Secundus, therefore, related, scholars have used this evidence to reconstruct the family stemma of the Turcii in various ways, yet without coming to a consensus about the nature of the relationship; see Panciera, op. cit. (n. 2, 1990), 16, and the debate between Shelton, K. J., ‘The Esquiline Treasure: the nature of evidence’, American Journal of Archaeology 89 (1985), 152CrossRefGoogle Scholar and Cameron, A., ‘The date and the owners of the Esquiline Treasure’, American Journal of Archaeology 89 (1985), 142–4CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

17 Symmachus, Epp. 3.12; 3.88; 7.18.

18 CIL VI.1699; LTUR II s.v. ‘Domus: Q. Aurelius Symmachus s. Eusebius’, 183: ‘Dato che il ritrovamento si verificò appunto sul Celio, nell'area dell'attuale Ospedale Militare, è logico pensare che l'eventuale domus fosse quella di famiglia e che quindi appartenesse prima a Symmachus padre.’

19 CIL VI. 1782 = ILS 2947.

20 A large number of Symmachus' letters deal exclusively with this issue, see Epp. 1.10; 1.12; 2.59; 2.60; 6.66; 6.70; 6.77; 7.18; 8.42; 9.17; 9.50.

21 Symmachus, Epp. 5.53 and 66; see also above n. 5.

22 For Attalus' house on the Caelian Hill see Symmachus, Ep. 7.18; for the relationship between Ampelius and Attalus PLRE I s.v. Ampelius (3) and Attalus (2).

23 Gregorius Magnus, Ep. Appendix I (MGH Epp. II); LP 1.312 (domus); Johannes Diaconus, Vita Gregorii 1.6 (doma).

24 Gregorius Magnus, Dial. 4.36.

25 See Saller, op. cit. (n. 6), 91 n. 60, 170. See also Kaser, M., Das römische Privatrecht, vol. 2 (2nd edn, 1975), 554Google Scholar.

26 For familia meaning ‘agnatic family’ in this context, see Saller, op. cit. (n. 6), 76.

27 Digest 31.69.3–4 (Papinianus). Emancipated children no longer had the right to be appointed heir, having already received their share of the patrimony with their emancipation, see Kaser, M., Das römische Privatrecht, vol. 1 (2nd edn, 1971), 697–701 and 733–5;Google Scholar vol. 2 (1975), 473 n. 25.

28 Digest 31.88.15 (Scaevola). The testator was apparently Greek.

29 Digest 32.38.3 (Scaevola).

30 Kaser, op. cit. (n. 25), 554. It should be noted that Justinian changed this (see CJ 6.38.5 and Just., Nov. 154.2) by allowing the binding of property holdings to personae incertae up to four family generations.

31 See Saller, op. cit. (n. 6), 169.

32 Digest 50.16.203 (Alfenus Varus); see Saller, op. cit. (n. 6), 81.

33 Orr, D. G., Roman Domestic Religion: A Study of the Roman Household Deities and their Shrines at Pompeii and Herculaneum (1999), 34–5Google Scholar, 43–4, 54; idem, ‘Roman domestic religion: the evidence of the household shrines’, in H. Temporini (ed.), Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt II, 16.2 (1978), 1562–75.

34 Prudentius, Contr. Symm. 1.197–214; 2.445. For discussion of the household deities in a late antique context see now Salzman, M. R., The Making of a Christian Aristocracy. Social and Religious Change in the Western Roman Empire (2002), 155–6Google Scholar. The persistence of the household shrines in Late Antiquity is further confirmed by the fact that the term lararium was first used only by the Scriptores Historiae Augustae, at the end of the fourth century: Marcus Antoninus 3.5 and Tacitus 17.4; see Orr, op. cit. (n. 33), 84.

35 The term was still used by Christian writers in the fifth and the sixth centuries to designate a residence, see, for example, Sidonius Apollinaris, Carm. 9.292; Ep. 1.9, 1. 3; Cassiodorus, Var. 1.17, 4; 3.21; 6.1,6. The worship of household deities (lares, genius, and penates) was prohibited by a law issued by Theodosius, Arcadius, and Honorius in A.D. 392: CTh 16.10.12.

36 CTh 7.8.16 (A.D. 435). It was established that, if a consularis owned two nouses which were because of his rank exempt of the munus of quartering, only one of them remained so after having been left to members of his family. For the munus of quartering, see W. Goffart, Barbarians and Romans. The Technique of Accomodation A.D. 418–584 (1980), 42–3.

37 To his friend Iulius Naucellius Symmachus mentions two domus he could give to guests: Symmachus, Ep. 3.14. Furthermore he owned the house on the Caelian Hill (Epp. 3.12; 3.88; 7.18). Symmachus also mentions building work in two houses, but it is not clear whether these were identical with each other or one of the other three attested houses: Epp. 9.50 and 6.70. If they were not identical, Symmachus owned at least five houses in Rome. For the villae see Epp. 2.52; 2.57; 2.59; 3.55; 3.82; 6.32; 6.60; 6.66; 6.72; 6.8.

38 Cassiodorus, Var. 4.51; see for him PLRE II s.v. Symmachus (9). There are other cases apart from the Symmachi. The praefectus urbi of A.D. 367/8 Vettius Agorius Praetextatus, for example, owned a domus on the Aventine, which his son inherited, but he is also mentioned, together with his wife Fabia Aconia Paulina, on a fistula found outside the Porta Esquilina, where further epigraphic evidence attests this family's property, see LTUR II s.v. ‘Domus: Vettius Agorius Praetextatus’, 164 and PLRE I s.v. Praetextatus (1). Another case is Anicia Faltonia Proba, of whom Jerome reported that the Visigoths had destroyed a number of her domus in Rome in A.D. 410: Hieronymus, Ep. 130.7.

39 Symmachus, Ep. 7.18 to Priscus Attalus: ‘When I recently came back from the bay of Formio to my Caelian lar I learned that you have been away from home for a long time’ (‘Proxime de Formiano sinu regressus in larem Caelium domo iamdiu abesse te conperi’). For the bequest to his son see above n. 18.

40 Ammianus 27.3.4; for a discussion of this event see Rougé, J., ‘Une émeute à Rome au IVe siècle. Ammien Marcellin XXVII, 3, 3–4: Essai d'interpretation’, Revue des études anciennes 63 (1961), 60–1CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

41 Symmachus, Ep. 1.12, dating from before A.D. 377. He calls the house aedes nostrae, but gives an account of the work, which he was told to supervise by his father, that makes it clear that not he but his father would enjoy it in the future: ‘It was the duty of the censors to watch over the buildings they had erected; you wanted me to do this job. (…) Listen then how much my care has achieved in our house (…). This is all you need to know. I will continue to inform you as soon as I see a progress in the building work’ (‘Censorum notio fuit spectare opera, quae locassent; hoc me negotium curare voluisti. (…) audi igitur quantum in aedibus nostris cura promoverit (…). hactenus est, quod scire debueris. deinceps tantum adiciemus cognitione tuae, quantum aedificatione viderimus accedere’).

42 In Ep. 6.70 Symmachus complains about the fact that one of his houses was very badly constructed since the previous owner had been more interested in getting the setting ready to invite guests and therefore had neglected the proper building work (‘domi corruptorum parietum discidia sarciuntur, quia frequentationem soliditati conditor primus antetulit et antiquior ei visa est celeritas utendi quam securitas succedentium’). From this it can be concluded that Symmachus bought the house since it is hard to believe that he would have talked about a relative in such a disparaging way. When Symmachus got married in A.D. 370 his father in any case gave him a house in Ostia: Symmachus, Ep. 1.6.1; see D. Vera, Commento storico alle relationes di Quinto Aurelio Symmacho (1981), 271; A. Marcone, Commento storico al Libro VI dell'Epistolario di Q. Aurelio Simmaco (1983), 152–3.

43 CTh 6.2.13; CTh 6.2.16.

44 Orr, op. cit. (n. 33, 1978), 1579; H. Flower, Ancestor Masks and Aristocratic Power in Roman Culture (1996), 196 and 209–10; see also Digest (Ulpian) defining the house of a couple as ‘where they installed the lar for the marriage’ (‘ubi larem matrimonio collocarent’).

45 Symmachus, Ep. 3.14: ‘A house indeed which was good enough for you when you were young and ambitious, living there with your children, should suit you even now, since you are now old and modest and since your children are distributed in other houses’ (‘siquidem domus, quae tibi prius ambitioso per aetatem iuventae et habitanti cum liberis satisfecit, senilem moderationem distributis in alias domus filiis non debet offendere’). See PLRE I s.v. Iulius or Iunius Naucellius (1).

46 Saller, op. cit. (n. 6), 123–4, 131.

47 Eck, op. cit. (n. 4), 165; see also Kaser, op. cit. (n. 25), vol. 2, 211–15; Arjava, op. cit. (n. 6), 50.

48 Symmachus, Rel. 34.12; Symmachus, Ep. 9.150; see A. Chastagnol, Les Pastes de la préfecture de Rome au Bas-Empire (1962), 145; Vera, op. cit. (n. 42), 271.

49 CTh 3.30.2 (very fragmentary) = CJ 5.37.22 (A.D. 326): ‘nec vero domum vendere liceat, in qua defecit pater, minor crevit, in qua maiorum imagines aut videre fixas aut revulsas non videre satis est lugubre.’

50 For the interpretation of the term imagines as ‘wax masks’ see Flower, op. cit. (n. 44), 32–6 and, in this special case, 265.

51 See for a discussion of this custom Saller, op. cit. (n. 6), 89–91 and Flower, op. cit. (n. 44), passim.

52 Flower, op. cit. (n. 44), 265. See, for example, Pliny, NH 35.2.6: ‘There were different things to be looked at in our ancestors’ halls; not statues executed by foreign artists, not bronzes or marbles, but in separate cupboards were displayed wax masks, so that there were images to accompany funerals of the gens' (‘aliter apud maiores in atriis haec erant, quae spectarentur; non signa exteriorum artificum nee aera aut marmora: expressi cera vultus singulis disponebantur armariis, ut essent imagines, quae comitarentur gentilicia funera’); see also Sallust, Jug. 85.66.

53 Flower, op. cit. (n. 44), 221, who cites evidence ranging from Polybius (6.53–4) to Tacitus (Ann. 2.27).

54 See Grubbs, J. Evans, Law and Family in Late Antiquity. The Emperor Constantine's Marriage Legislation (1995), 330–42Google Scholar, especially 338–9. Flower, op. cit. (n. 44), 265, wonders whether Constantine chose the term maiorum imagines because late Roman aristocratic society knew what these were, and whether the constitutio, consequently, reflects social reality. She does not, however, take into account the highly rhetorical style of late Roman imperial legislation; see on this Kaser, op. cit. (n. 25), 8.

55 See above n. 9.

56 See above nn. 18 and 19. For evidence of similar enterprises in senatorial residences see Niquet, op. cit. (n. 10), 26–31.

57 CIL VI.32026 = 41225b.

58 M. Dondin Payre, Exercise du pouvoir et continuité gentilice. Les Acilii Glabriones (1993), 142. The house of Glabrio Faustus is mentioned in the Codex Theodosianus as domus ad Palmam (CTh 1.2–3). It can be identified as the domus Palmata of Albinus, recorded in the Variae of Cassiodorus, which has been located near the Forum Transitorium (Var. 4.30). See for this house Longhi, G. Marchetti, ‘Senatus ad Palmam, porticus curva e porticus absidata’, Rendiconti della Pontificia Accademia di Archeologia 25–26 (19491951), 183229;Google Scholar LTUR II s.v. ‘Domus: Albinus’, 28; LTUR II s.v. ‘Domus: Anicius Acilius Glabrio Faustus’, 99; Bauer, op. cit. (n. 11), 35–6; Steinby, E. M. (ed.), Lexicon Topographicum Urbis Romae, vol. 4 (1999)Google Scholar, s.v. ‘Palma (ad Palmam)’, 53.

59 For Naeratius Cerealis and Naeratius Scopius see above n. 5; for the fistulae aquariae see G. Gatti, Bullettino della commissione archeologica 33 (1905), 245 = L'Année épigraphique 1906, 133; de Caprariis, F., Bullettino della commissione archeologica 92 (19871988), 124Google Scholar n. 45; see LTUR II s.v. ‘Domus: Neratii’, 144.

60 See for this attitude towards the implications of the gens in Late Antiquity, Nathan, op. cit. (n. 6), 167.

61 As Salway, B., ‘What's in a name? A survey of Roman onomastic practice from c. 700 B.C. to A.D. 700’, JRS 84 (1994), 133,Google Scholar shows, many late Roman senators imported the names of connections rather than direct ancestors into their nomenclature, a custom of which Ausonius, Opuscula I. praefatiunculae 1.9–12 disapproved. The incorporation of the maternal gentilicium to complement the lack of aristocratic ancestry on the father's side had been common since the first century.

62 See Jones, A. H. M. and Martindale, J. R., Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire, vol. 2 (1980)Google Scholar (hereafter PLRE II), stemma 25; E. Wirbelauer, Zwei Päpste in Rom. Der Konflikt zwischen Laurentius und Symmachus (498–514) (1993), 22 n. 61 and 59 n. 212. For Albinus’ ownership of the house see above n. 58.

63 Vita Mel. graec. 14.

64 Vita Mel. graec. 14: τὴν οἰκίαν τοῦ μακαρίου Πινιανοῦ; Vita Mel. lat. 14: ‘habebant’.

65 Its precise location is in the grounds of the Ospedale dell'Addolorata and the area to the east. It was situated alongside the Arcus Caelimontani and features building activity in the first and second centuries; see the summary of the state of research by B. Brenk, ‘La cristianizzazione della Domus dei Valerii sul Celio’, in W. Harris (ed.), The Transformations of Urbs Roma in Late Antiquity (1999), 71–4 and 75–7.

66 CIL VI.1532 = ILS 1191; for the relationship with Melania see PLRE I s.v. Melania (2), Publicola (1), Maximus (17) and stemma 30; E. A. Clark, The Life of Melania the Younger (1984), 83, Jacques, op. cit. (n. 9), 215–18.

67 CIL VI. 1684–94.

68 ILCV 1592.

69 The possibility of Melania's ownership was first stressed by M. Rampolla del Tindaro, Santa Melania Giuniore Senatrice Romana. Documenti contemporanei e note (1905), 173, who is opposed by de Rossi, G. B., ‘La Basilica di S. Stefano Rotondo, il monastero di S. Erasmo, e la casa dei Valerii sul Celio’, Studi e documenti di storia e diritto 7 (1886), 238;Google Scholar Lanciani, op. cit. (n. 1), 345; Chastagnol, op. cit. (n. 48), 210–11; and, recently, by Brenk, op. cit. (n. 65), 71; see also 97–8. Rampolla's argument that the Greek version of the Vita is the original one has been superseded by the acceptance that both versions originate from a common Urtext, the language of which is, however, still debated, see Clark, op. cit. (n. 66), 5; S. Wittern, Frauen, Heiligkeit und Macht. Lateinische Frauenviten aus dem 4. bis 7. Jahrhundert (1994), 44.

70 For this see below the stemma of the Valerii and Aradii.

71 The inscription is published by Panciera, op. cit. (n. 2, 1987), 555: ‘[Deo Merc]urio Ι [L]arum P[e]natium Ι [c]omiti adque custodi Ι Aradii Proculus et Ι Rufinus vvcc et XV[viri]’. The excavations that brought the inscription to light in 1945 also revealed building structures and decorative material, which strongly suggest that the site was once a private dwelling of high standard. The archaeological remains have been dated to the late second or early third century A.D., see Panciera, op. cit. (n. 2, 1987), 559–60.

72 Chastagnol, op. cit. (n. 48), 210–11.

73 See Panciera, op. cit. (n. 2, 1987), 564–5, and his discussion of the fact that Chastagnol has literally ‘created’ Proculus to fill the gap between the Valerii Aradii and Valerius Severus.

74 Vita Mel. graec. 5–6. The passage does not make it clear whether they lived with Melania's or with Pinianus' family.

75 However, the dedicatory inscription to the lares by the two Aradii found on the Via Latina confirms neither that it had come down to Lucius Aradius Valerius Proculus from his ancestors, nor that he transmitted it to his son (as assumed by Panciera, op. cit. (n. 2, 1987), 565–6, and, subsequently, LTUR II s.v. ‘Domus: Aradii’, 36). In view of the lack of archaeological evidence from the house at the Via Latina to confirm ownership by the Aradii in the third century or the continuity of ownership by the Aradii after Lucius Aradius' death, we could conclude that it had been acquired by Lucius Aradius when he founded his family.

76 See Clark, op. cit. (n. 66), 97, according to whom Gerontius' ‘emphasis on the couple's staggering wealth serves mainly to highlight the spectacular nature of their renunciation’.

77 Vita Mel. graec. 14.

78 Lanciani, op. cit. (n. 1), 345: ‘There must be some inaccuracy in the account [i.e. of the house's sale after the destruction by the Visigoths]. (…) the house was discovered in 1554, 1561 and 1711 in such a wonderful state of preservation that we must exculpate the Goths from the charge of having pillaged and gutted in 410.’

79 Brenk, op. cit. (n. 65), 79.

80 Greg., Ep. 9.28. To be sure, the xenodochium Valeriorum is mentioned here without indication of location. Yet a later attestation in the Liber pontificalis (LP I, 473) from the time of Pope Stephanus III shows that it was situated near the Lateran, therefore in the area of the former Valerii/Aradii residence; see Brenk, op. cit. (n. 65), 72–3.

81 See Plutarch, Cic. 8.3 and 6; Cicero, har. resp. 31 for Cicero's move; for his household deities: Cicero, dom. 108; for Quintus’ move, Cicero, Att. 1.14.7; for the letting of their father's house: Cicero, ad. 2.4.2. See for the urban property holdings of the senatorial families of the Republic and Early and High Empire, E. Rawson, ‘The Ciceronian aristocracy and its properties’, in M. I. Finley, Studies in Roman Property (1976), 85–9; see also Eck, op. cit. (n. 4), 188.

82 Pliny, NH 35.2.7.

83 Guidobaldi, op. cit. (n. 2) passim; idem, ‘Le domus tardoantiche di Roma come sensori delle trasformazioni culturali e sociali’, in W. Harris (ed.), The Transformations of Urbs Roma in Late Antiquity, JRA Supp. Ser. 33 (1999), 53–68.

84 A point made by Eck, op. cit. (n. 4), 190.

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