VR Veranes

A representation space as a symbol of power

As to the part devoted to the storage of produce, it is divided into rooms for oil, for presses, for wine, for the boiling down of must, lofts for hay and chaff, storerooms, and granaries, that such of them as are on the ground floor may take care of liquid products for the market, such as oil and wine; while dry products, such as grain, hay leaves, chaff, and other fodder, should be stored in lofts.

Collumela, De re rustica, Book 1, 6, 9-10.

The roman villa of Veranes is placed in the council of Gijón, next to the ancient roman route between these territories and their capital, Asturica Augusta (Astorga). The archaeological remains that can be seen at Veranes belong to the residential area (pars urbana) of a great building erected during the Late Roman Empire (4th century) over the previous remains of a relevant rustic settlement.

This great manor house belonged to a prominent owner, probably named Veranius, was renovated and ampliated three times along the 4th century. The mansion was inhabited until the 5th century. The ensemble organizes along four terraces excavated on the slope, over an area of approximately a hectare. Attending to its typology, it can be defined as a linear type villa with a gallery of compound block.

The main entrance of the villa is in the western flank, it gives access to the north courtyard. To the left we find the service area, with the grain store (horreum), kitchen and oven, and to the right are the accesses to the rest of the rooms. A long roofed gallery leads to the representation rooms, located in the eastern area of the complex, and destined to social and political life. To the south there was a living room or exedra, a great dining room or triclinium with an apse, and the baths or termae in the south front of the villa.

To the north outstands the room of the lord (diaeta) and a rectangular space preceding the main reception room (oecus) paved with a polychrome mosaic. In this room the dominus of Veranes received his clienteles and public or private embassies, and he exercised his domain over people and lands to a level almost like the very emperor. The configuration of these rooms allows to suppose that the ceremonial tour made by visitors started at the entrance in the north courtyard, then leaded through the roofed gallery opened to the south to arrive to the main representation rooms.

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