Caroline K. Mackenzie
Review Kathryn Krakowka
This book offers a unique interpretation of the Lullingstone Roman Villa in the Darent Valley of Kent, exploring how its inhabitants used space to assert their position in society, as well as their cultural identity.
The first section of the book looks at the position of the villa and its ancillary buildings in the wider landscape, focusing on how the hills and views of the river valley might have been used to impress visitors. The second section turns to the interior of the building, particularly the central room and apse, exploring how the position and use of certain mosaics and inscriptions were used to highlight the villa owner’s wealth and education, perhaps in an attempt to emulate Roman aristocrats.
Richly illustrated with photographs of mosaics and wall-paintings from the villa, as well as reconstruction drawings of how both the interior and exterior may have looked during the Roman period, it takes the reader on an in-depth, but not remote, tour of the villa.