Skip to main content

In Photos: Ancient Home and Barracks of Roman Military Officer

Commander's digs

Roman military commander house.

(Image credit: Ministero Dei Beni E Delle Attività Culturali Del Turismo)

Archaeologists in Rome have recently discovered a 1,900-year-old home that would have belonged to a Roman military commander. It is located beside a barracks that housed Roman soldiers. The home has 14 rooms as well as the remains of a courtyard, fountains and pools. The home was discovered during a construction project to expand Rome's Metro C line of their subway system. [Read more about the discovery.]

Geometric patterns

roman military house

(Image credit: Ministero Dei Beni E Delle Attività Culturali Del Turismo)

Excavations are ongoing, but the remains of mosaic floors made with white marble and grey slate have been discovered in several of the rooms. Many of the mosaics are decorated in a variety of geometric motifs.

Elaborate patterns

roman military house

(Image credit: Ministero Dei Beni E Delle Attività Culturali Del Turismo)

Some of the mosaics are simple mixes of white and grey, while others form much more elaborate patterns.

Deities fighting?

Roman military house

(Image credit: Ministero Dei Beni E Delle Attività Culturali Del Turismo)

One of the few mosaics found in the commander's home that has a non-geometric design. It appears to show two individuals (deities possibly) fighting.

On a perch

Roman military house

(Image credit: Ministero Dei Beni E Delle Attività Culturali Del Turismo)

Another non-geometric mosaic in the military commander's house, this one shows a bird perched on a branch.

Barely hanging on

roman military house

(Image credit: Ministero Dei Beni E Delle Attività Culturali Del Turismo)

Archaeologists found the remains of plaster paintings hanging on the walls of the remains of the commander's house. Little of the paintings survive, although they appear to have incorporated rectangular geometric images.

Plaster painting

roman military house

(Image credit: Ministero Dei Beni E Delle Attività Culturali Del Turismo)

A close-up of one of the better-preserved plaster wall paintings can be seen here. It's unclear exactly what the image shows.

More discoveries to come

roman military house

(Image credit: Ministero Dei Beni E Delle Attività Culturali Del Turismo)

Excavations and conservation in the commander's house and adjacent military barracks are ongoing, and more discoveries may be made in the future.

Into the maze

roman military house

(Image credit: Ministero Dei Beni E Delle Attività Culturali Del Turismo)

The mosaics in this area of the house display a mix of elaborate geometric motifs, including a maze like design.