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Roman Tables or Mensa

Roman home decor made much more use of tables (mensa) than Greek decor; in fact, there were tables to suit every purpose. Tables were specially designed to hold lamps or ornaments, and many tricliniums contained a large inbuilt center dining table made possibly of concrete, with a polished stone or mosaic top. Tables were often elaborately carved and decorated, and could be round or square depending on their purpose. Some also had adjustable legs, so that the height could be altered. The table gave a better opportunity than even couches or chairs for artistic workmanship, especially in the matter of carving and inlaying the legs and top.

All manner of materials were used for table supports and tops: stone wood, solid or veneered, precious metals, probably in thin plates only. The most expensive were the round tables made from cross sections of the citrus tree. The wood was beautifully marked and single pieces could be ordered from three to four feet in diameter.

Roman Table
Roman Table Top,
underside

Special names were given to tables of certain types. The monopodium was a table or stand with only one leg support, used especially to hold lamps or toilet articles. The abacus was a table with a rectangular top having a raised rim; it was used for plates and dishes, in the place of the modern sideboard. The delphica had three legs.









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