They might be hazardous if they caught fire and, in certain cases, collapsed. The rich elite resided in "domuses," which were vast single-family mansions. These houses were far superior to the insulae. The majority of Roman homes featured comparable characteristics and rooms. They were usually built with brick or stone and had flat roofs. There were two types of housing for the poor: the sodicum and the infirmeria. A sodicum was a small apartment within a large building where tenants would gather for security reasons and share expenses. Infirmities included all types of illness and disability that prevented a person from working.
The most important thing for future homeowners to understand is that ancient buildings can be dangerous if not handled properly. Structures have significant potential to harm those who handle them negligently or incorrectly. Even when structures are used exclusively for their intended purpose, accidents can still happen. Modern builders should take note!
Homes, meeting places, workshops, bathhouses, stores, toilets, and even an amphitheater might be found inside Roman communities, in addition to temples. The settlements were quite huge and planned in such a way that the roadways would span the town and form distinct blocks known as insulae. These were the largest housing developments of their time and can still be seen in many cities around the world.
The homes in these towns were usually made of stone or brick and had floors covered with wood or dirt. There might have been some sort of heating system used during cold seasons but mostly they were just kept cool by natural springs or by using fans. There were also hot houses where flowers, vegetables, and fruits were grown under glass covers for winter consumption.
Public buildings were usually located near important roads or intersections, so that travelers could find them easily. These might include courts, theaters, basilicas, and other public spaces where people could come together for meetings or entertainment.
Private dwellings consisted of one room only, which was used for living in at least three ways: eating meals there, sleeping in it, and working in it. If more space was needed, a balcony or patio could be added on top. Most homes didn't have any running water nor electricity, but they did have flushable toilets. Garbage was collected daily and taken away for incineration or composting.
There were no shops in ancient Rome.
The Tenements of Rome The insulae, which typically consisted of six to eight apartment blocks erected around a central courtyard and stairway, housed impoverished employees who couldn't afford a standard domus, or dwelling.
They were also used as temporary housing for those involved in military activities or government offices. The insulae became a permanent part of the city's architecture and development industry was launched when they were first constructed.
The number of insulae built in Rome varies according to the source. One estimate is that there are several thousand tenement buildings in the city. Another study puts the total at about 16,000 units. There are also estimates that range from 20,000 to 25,000 insulae in Rome. It has been suggested that this makes the Roman Empire's largest housing project.
Rome wasn't just building tenements. She was also building roads, bridges, and public facilities such as libraries and arches. All of these requirements led to the need for a large workforce not invested in farming. This explains why you will always find a large population of non-farmers in urban centers -- people working in construction, trade, and service industries.
In conclusion, the Romans built hundreds of thousands of insulae during their time on earth.
Caecilius' dwelling, for example, was fairly prevalent in Roman times. Apartment buildings were frequently many floors tall. The lowest floor usually had a shop area while the rest of the floor space was divided into several large rooms called apartments. These were often rented out as housing for tourists or as lower-class single rooms.
The lowest level of a Roman house was called the vico. It usually consisted of one open room with no windows and only one door leading outside. There was usually a fireplace here for heating and cooking. A small bed called a cot was used by children too young to go to school. An icon showing a man sleeping in a chair indicates that this is where Caecilius slept during his visit to Rome.
The next level up was the sala. This was another large room with more doors (and sometimes windows) than the vico. It could be used for various purposes including dining rooms, living rooms, and workshops. The top floor was called the attic. It had fewer rooms but was easier to heat than the lower levels because it was not directly exposed to the weather.
In wealthy families, there might be more than one residence within the walls of a single building.