The spectacle of production: a Roman imperial winery at the Villa of the Quintilii, Rome

Emlyn Dodd, Giuliana Galli, Riccardo Frontoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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The elites of many past cultures have sought to romanticise agricultural labour—often the source of their wealth and hence their status. A recently discovered winery at the Villa of the Quintilii on the Via Appia Antica, near Rome, provides only the second known example from the Graeco-Roman world of an opulent wine production complex built to facilitate vinicultural ‘spectacle’. The authors present the architectural and decorative form of the winery and illustrate how the annual vintage was reimagined as ‘theatrical’ performance. Dating to the mid third century AD, the complex illuminates how ancient elites could fuse utilitarian function with ostentatious luxury to fashion their social and political status.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)436–453
Number of pages18
Issue number392
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2023. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Roman archaeology
  • Rome
  • ancient wine
  • viticulture
  • agriculture
  • Villa of the Quintilii
  • Gordian
  • Classics
  • Ancient history
  • ancient production
  • winery
  • Roman Italy
  • monumental architecture
  • wine production
  • performance
  • agricultural economy
  • elite display
  • viniculture


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