1902 Encyclopedia > Architecture > Roman Houses in Other Places (eg in the Houran, Syria)

(Part 79)

Roman Houses in Other Places (eg in the Houran, Syria)

Numerous remains of Roman houses are found in all the colonies, and notices of many in England will be found in the Archaeologia, and other archaeological publications. They are not of sufficient importance to be quoted here, but they serve to show that the Romans carried with them into other lands the same habits, and even practiced the same mode of construction which they adopted at home. One very remarkable exception exists, viz., in the Hauran in Syria. The edifices there were first, we believe, noticed by Humboldt. They have since been described in detail by Mr. Cyril Graham and others, and have been admirably illustrated by Count Voguë. The country was conquered by the Romans at the end of the 1st century A.D., and the houses, &c., seem to range in date from that time, or, perhaps, earlier, to the end of the 4th. They are contained within stone walls, forming small towns, and so numerous that sixty of these walled cities have been counted, all now desolate, but in many cases remaining almost perfect even to the doors, shutters, and paving of streets. The remains are chiefly of houses whose walls are of basalt. The rooms are 12 to 20 or 25 feet square, with strong, arched ribs thrown across, supporting a ceiling of thick slabs of basalt. Some of these are as much as 18 by 12 feet, and 6 inches thick. The doors and shutters are of the same material, often paneled as though of wood. A specimen of these, and also some of the carvings, are in the British Museum.

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