The Rise and Fall of the Roman Villa Part 1

Birgitta Hoffmann

An exploration of the Roman idea of living in the countryside

Romans saw themselves as a nation of farmers, who had suddenly got rich. Senators were assessed on their land holdings, and in the Republic their involvement in trade was very much regulated.
Consequently, their houses in the country were frequently a combination of an economic unit, producing surplus that could be sold at market as well as the residence (for at least part of the year) of the owner, who may or may not also be living in the town and be involved in government.
These ideas travelled with the Romans when their empire expanded and in the provinces were adapted to serve local traditions and climate requirements. This course is designed to explore the different aspects of Roman life in the country and how it changed over time. Each lecture is designed to stand on its own, but also to create a larger narrative over the course of the year.

28th September Where does it all start? Iron Age to mid-Republican farms

5th October      Talking about your favourite topic I. Cato and Varro on agriculture and living in the villa

12th October    The farm villas of Campania – Boscoreale and beyond

19th October    Big business – Settefinestre and the Ager Cosanus

26th October     Half-term

2nd November   Starting a colonia – villas and the centuriatio

9th November.  Talking about your favourite topic II: Cicero and Pliny on living in the  villa

16th November  What is a suburban villa?

23rd November  Seaside villas in Campania and elsewhere

30th November  Villas in the mountains – Nemi, Lake Como and elsewhere

7th December    The Imperial villas – setting the tone?

Please note all lectures will be recorded and distributed to the participants at the beginning of the next week. This should allow participants from different time zones, or those working catching up with the lectures.

Day:     ThursdaysTime:   19.00-21.00 pm BST/GMT

10 weeks, starting 28th September 2023 with one week break on May 18th


Virtual Learning Environment: Zoom (The lectures are recorded)


Single lecture:

Price Early Bird Minimum No. Maximum No.
£12 8 50


Bookings for the whole course:

Price Early Bird Minimum No. Maximum No.
£120 8 50

To book, please use the attached order form or the Eventbrite link:  . You can also contact Birgitta Hoffmann for the BACS details.

Birgitta Hoffmann
55 Broadwalk, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5PL
email: mobile: 07377 791562