"A Roman Villa." Hummetroth by leics
Hummetroth Travel Guide: 0 reviews and 3 photos
Thanks to Trekki ....I'd never have visited (or even found) this place myself.
I didn't even know about the Limes Germanicus, the border defences that the Romans built across Germany. They had so much trouble with the German tribes, and the frontier was a pretty rough place to be. A line of forts, and earthworks and walls which, at their height, stretched from the North Sea to Regensberg in Bavaria.
Where there were long-standing Roman defences, just the same as elsewhere in any country occupied by the Romans, you will find villas. They are not all the massive country houses which we might imagine. Many were simply the house where the owner of a large and prosperous farm might live.
Nor were they necessarily lived-in by Romans. Those who 'kept in' with the occupying forces might do very well for themselves.........and adopting the customs, culture and behaviours of occupying powers is a very good way a 'keeping in' with them.
This is a 'Villa Rustica', a countryside big house...probably a wealthy landowner, with plenty of fertile land. Like most Roman villas it is placed on a gentle slope, facing sout or south-west.
It dates from the 2nd century AD, and the owner was wealthy enough not only to install Roman central heating (a hypocaust system, with a furnace providing hot air to warm the floors which was then channelled up through the walls in flues.....very efficient) but also to build his own bath house. this is, imo, surprisingly near the house...more or less attached. Fear of fire meant bath houses were more usually placed at some distance from the main buildings (as were kitchens, for the same reason).
It even had its own small temple to Jupiter, set to one side of the main building complex.....originally with a truly massive statue on a column (10m high), bits of which were found in various places when the site was excavated.
I enjoyed wandering around the site (managing to find a small piece of mosaic 'tile' .... tessera) and particularly enjoyed the rather lovely Germano-Celtic fertility sculpture in the photo. Not the original (that's in a museum) but even so. Apparently it is linked with a cult which was common in Roman Rheinland.
So....if you are in the area you could enjoy exploring this little villa site too. It's free, it has easy access and easy parking.......and it's interesting.
There's a really detailed Wiki page about this villa, but it's in German.
- In a nutshell:A Roman villa
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