The Houses

Dwellings for the citizens were built within the residential blocks delimited by the streets. The domus could be on a single or two floors, with rooms arranged around a columned courtyard.

At Libarna the first evidence of residential architecture dates back to the period between the end of the first century BC and the beginning of the first century AD. Remains were brought to light in large part of the so-called “amphitheatre neighborhood” and along the “theatre road.” Nowadays it is hard to understand the phases and arrangement of the houses, due to the fragmentary documentation provided by the excavations and also because of the spoilages carried over after the abandonment of the site.
The first phase of the two blocks adjacent to the amphitheatre can be dated to the late-Roman republican/Augustan period (late 1st century BC – end of the 1st century AD). At that time each block was divided into a large healthy domus and three more modest dwellings with a partially covered courtyard and rooms with commercial function (tabernae).

At the end of the first century AD the blocks underwent a sort of architectural conversion, probably related to the construction of the amphitheatre. The two large houses with atrium and peristyle were divided into lots, while a requalification took place allowing for manufacture and commerce, with shops, workshops for wool dyeing (fullonicae) and a physician’s study.
Libarna never had a demographic growth that would justify the presence of dwellings on more levels destined to host several families (insulae).