Publication Date

April 2019


Christopher Parslow


Classical Civilization, College of Letters


English (United States)


This thesis explores villa lifestyles and the practice of otium in the early Empire of ancient Rome. Literary sources from Horace, Statius, and Pliny the Younger are close read to explore the villa as a literary metaphor that was used to create a representation for the author and the patron. Archaeological sites that are considered to have belonged to Horace and Pliny the Younger and consulted to understand the villa as a site for authors and patrons to construct their identities and control their representations. Looking at discrepancies between written and archaeological accounts of villas outside of Rome presents the villa as a physical space that was harnessed in order to explore relationships inside of the city. The distance between the city and the country or seaside villa is not often as far as it may seem: Horace, Statius, and Pliny the Younger connected themselves to productivity and overall sponsorship of the Roman Empire through their time at leisure.



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