Roman Kitchens - Ancient Roman Houses
Welcome to Quatr.us Study Guides!

Roman Kitchens


Roman cooking braziers - Picture thanks to VROMA

Poor Romans in the countryside most often lived with their whole family in one room of a small apartment building. So they didn't have a separate kitchen. Instead, they cooked over a small fire or on a charcoal brazier, either in the courtyard or in their room (in bad weather). Poor Romans who lived in the city generally didn't have a courtyard, so they cooked on the brazier in their room, or they bought food in restaurants or from street vendors, already cooked.


A Roman oven from the House of the Stags,
Herculaneum - thanks to VROMA

Rich people had kitchens in their houses, but they didn't go cook in them themselves - they made their slaves cook dinner for them. Because of this, Roman kitchens were generally small and crowded, and not very nice, and in the back of the house where nobody would see them.

These kitchens had built-in clay ovens, with a sort of burner on top like our stoves, only heated by a charcoal fire inside them. And they had wooden cupboards, like ours, to keep the dishes and food in. They had potracks for the pots and pans.

Roman Silverware and Dishes
Roman Dining Rooms
Roman Food
Roman Houses
Roman Bedrooms

Bibliography and further reading information on Roman kitchens:

Ancient Roman Homes, by Brian Williams (2002). Easy reading.

A Roman Villa: Inside Story, by Jacqueline Morley (American edition 1992). For kids, with lots of pictures.

Ancient Rome (Eyewitness Books), by Simon James (2004). Also for kids, with lots of great photographs.

The Roman Banquet : Images of Conviviality, by Katherine Dunbabin (2004). By a specialist, for interested adults. What Roman dinner parties were like, and how they were different from Greek ones.

Houses and Society in Pompeii and Herculaneum, by Andrew Wallace-Hadrill (1996). By a leading expert in ancient architecture.

Roman Architecture
Ancient Rome
Quatr.us home


Please help other teachers and students find us: link to this page from your class page.
Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.
Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.
Sign up for more free articles and special offers in Quatr.us' weekly newsletter:
We will never share your e-mail address unless you allow us to do so. View our privacy policy. Easy unsubscribe links are provided in every email.
Check out our new ebook: Short and Simple: Ancient Greek Myths! - just out! Twenty-five easy to read, illustrated stories, from Pandora to Medea, Icarus, and the Trojan Horse (you can read these online as samples). Get it this week for just $14.99, five dollars off the regular price of $19.99.
Cite this page
  • Author: K.E. Carr
  • Title:
  • Site Name: Quatr.us Study Guides
  • Publisher: Quatr.us
  • Date Published:
Did you find what you needed? Ask your teacher to link to this page so other people can use it too! Send it in and win a Quatr.us "Great Page!" award!
Sign up for more free articles and special offers in Quatr.us' weekly newsletter:
We will never share your e-mail address unless you allow us to do so. View our privacy policy. Easy unsubscribe links are provided in every email.
Comment on This Article
Quatr.us is loading comments...
(Comments will appear after moderation, if they are kind and helpful. Feel free to ask questions, and we'll try to answer them.)
Cite this page
  • Carr, K.E. . Quatr.us Study Guides, . Web. 16 October, 2017
ADVERTISEMENT