a peasant's hut or cottage (Varro, R.
3.1, 3; Cic. pro Sest.
43, 93). It
is probable that these dwellings in country districts long retained the
primitive material for the walls of wooden planks, or sometimes wattles,
stuffed with turf. (For the same material generally
in ancient times, see Fest. Ep.
p. 12; cf. TABERNACULUM
) The roof was
of thatch (Vitr. 2.1
; Isid. Orig.
15.8, 4 cf. Ov. Fast. 3.184
); sometimes of bark (Plin. Nat. 16.35
). As regards shape, in the earliest times there
is no doubt that the hut was circular [for the origin of this shape, see
Vol. 1. p. 654], with a
conical roof covered with thatch, turf, or skins, and kept in place by
branches or logs slung over it, as is. seen in the pottery
“hut-urns,” of which an example is given. From this shape was
Hut Urn, from Alba. (British Museum.)
that of the Tholos at Athens and the Aedes. Vestae at Rome [PRYTANEUM
p. 514 a]. How long
it was retained for the huts in Italian rural districts it is impossible to
say, but we may assume that it was gradually superseded by a rectangular
form, though the rude material for the walls and roofs was in the poorer
districts unchanged. (Cf. Verg. Ecl. 1.69