Designing for Luxury on the Bay of Naples Villas and Landscapes (c. 100 BCE – 79 CE) (Oxford: Oxford University Press 2014)

This study explores Roman luxury villa architecture and the Roman luxury villa lifestyle to shed light on the villas’ design as a dynamic process related to cultural, social, and environmental factors. Roman villas expressed a novel architectural language which was developed by designers appropriating the existing stylistic and thematic vocabularies of Hellenistic and Roman architecture. Zarmakoupi seeks to describe and explain the ways in which this architecture accommodated the lifestyle of educated leisure and an appreciation of the Roman landscape, and how, in doing so, it became a cultural phenomenon and a crucial element in the construction of Roman cultural identity. In their effort to accommodate the Greek style, Romans created something completely unprecedented in the history of architecture. Through an analysis of five villas from around the bay of Naples (c. 100 BCE – 79 CE), the volume shows that in designing for luxury, Romans developed a sophisticated interplay between architecture and landscape, an interplay which is still seen in architectural design today.

Edited volume

Zarmakoupi_Papyri_edited_book2010_coverThe Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum. Archaeology, Reception, and Digital Reconstruction (Berlin and New York: De Gruyter 2010)

The Villa of the Papyri is a unique archaeological site and has been very influential in the field of classical studies. The papyri (the only intact library to survive from Greco-Roman antiquity) and bronze sculptures found in the villa have contributed to our knowledge of the ancient world and the villa has become for us the “ideal model” of Roman luxury villa culture.

This volume brings together papers delivered by experts in various fields addressing the cultural significance of this ancient site in its contemporary Roman context as well as its cultural reception from its discovery over two hundred and fifty years ago to the most recent excavations in the late twentieth century. They also explore the ways in which digital archaeology can assist our efforts to understand and investigate ancient sites. Topics treated include the Villa’s architecture, decoration, and content (i.e., wall-paintings, sculptures, and papyri); their reception since the 18th century; and the current state of knowledge based on the recent partial excavations in the Villa, presented here in English for the first time. Furthermore, the use of digital models of the Villa that incorporate the data from the new excavations and a discussion on the ways in which such models may be used for educational and research purposes are also presented.

Articles in peer-reviewed journals

“Shaping the city of late Hellenistic Delos”. Journal of Ancient Architecture 2 (2021).

“Delos, entrepot mediterraneen: 2. “Le stockage dans les maisons : entre économie domestique et économie « portuaire »”, in Entrepôts et lieux de stockage dans le monde gréco-romain antique, Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique Supplément 58, edited by V. Chankowski, C. Virlouvet, and X. Lafon, 195-207 (Athens and Paris: École française d’Athènes 2018).

“Balancing Acts Between Ancient and Modern Cities: The Ancient Greek Cities Project of C. A. Doxiadis”, Architectural Histories 3(1): 19 (2015), 1-22

“Les maisons des négociants italiens à Délos: structuration de l’espace domestique dans une société en mouvement”. Cahiers « Mondes anciens » 7 (2015)

“Hellenistic & Roman Delos: the city & its emporion”Archaeological Reports 61 (2015), 115 – 132

“The city of late Hellenistic Delos and the integration of economic activities in the domestic sphere”. CHS Research Bulletin Vol. 1, Issue 2 (2013)

The Quartier du Stade on late Hellenistic Delos: a case study of rapid urbanisation”. NYU ISAW Papers 6 (2013)

“The architectural design of luxury villas around the bay of Naples”. AMOENITAS.Rivista di Studi Miscellanei sulla Villa Romana 1 (2010), edited by M. Aoyagi and C. Angelelli, 33-41

“Τα χαρακτηριστικά των ρωμαϊκών επαύλεων της Καμπανίας. [The characteristic features of Roman villas in Campania]” Αρχαιολογία και Τέχνες [Archaeology and the Arts] 114 (2010), 50-58

Chapters in books

“Roman Luxury Villas: Environmental Considerations and Seasonal Uses”, in The Archaeology of Seasonality, Studies in Classical Archaeology, edited by Rubina Raja and Achim Lichtenberg, 243-262. Turnhout: Brepols.

“The pintermediality of landscape in the decorum of Roman villas”. In Principles of Decoration in the Roman World, edited by A. Haug and T. Lauritsen, 177-192 (Berlin, De Gruyter, 2020).

“Harbors in the sacral-idyllic landscapes of early Roman luxury villas”. In Paesaggi domestici. L’esperienza della natura nelle case e nelle ville romane – Pompei, Ercolano e l’area vesuviana, edited by A. Anguissola, M. Iadanza, R. Olivito, 145-154 (Pompei: Collana di Studi e Ricerche del Parco Archeologico, 2020).

“Between public and private: The Italian houses of late Hellenistic / Roman Delos”. In Anthropology of Roman Housing, Antiquité et sciences humaines 5, edited by Alexandra Dardenay and Nicolas Laubry, 237-258 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2020).

“Between conceptual and perceptual space: The representation of landscape in Roman wall paintings”. In Περὶ γραφικῆς. Pittori, tecniche, trattati, contesti tra testimonianze e ricezione, Archeologia e Arte Antica, edited by Eva Falaschi and Alessandro Poggio, 173-196 (Milan: Edizioni Universitarie di Lettere Economia Diritto, 2019).

“The urban development of late Hellenistic Delos”. In Ancient Urban Planning in the Mediterranean: New Research Directions, edited by Daniel Millette and Samantha Martin-McAuliffe, 28-49 (London: Ashgate, 2018).

“Landscape at the “Villa of Poppaea” (Villa A) at Torre Annunziata”. In Roman villas in the Mediterranean basin, edited by G.P.R. Métraux and A. Marzano, 85-96 (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2018).

“Urban Space and Housing in Roman Macedonia: Thessaloniki, Philippi, Amphipolis and Dion”. In La domination romaine sur les communautés du Nord Égéen (IIe s. av. J.-C. – IIe s. apr. J.-C.): Entre ruptures et continuities, MELETHMATA, edited by J. Fournier and M.-G. G. Parissaki, 263-297 (Athens: National Hellenic Research Foundation, 2018).

“The statue monument of C. Billienus in the Stoa of Antigonos Gonatas on Delos”. In Visual Histories: Visual Remains and Histories of the Classical World, Studies in Classical Archaeology, edited by Catherine Draycott, Rubina Raja, Katherine Welch and William T. Wootton, 254-264 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2018).

“Τόπος και εντοπία: τα Συμπόσια της Δήλου (Topos and Entopia: The Symposia of Delos)”. In Τόπος Τοπίο, Τιμητικός Τόμος για τον Δημήτρη Φιλιππίδη (Topos Topio, Honorary Volume for Dimitris Philippidis) 63-70 (Athens: Melissa, 2018).

“Το εμπορικό τοπίο και η οικιακή αρχιτεκτονική της υστεροελληνιστικής πόλης της Δήλου (The commercial landscape and domestic architecture of the late Hellenistic Delos).” In Ήρως Κτίστης: μνήμη Χαράλαμπου Μπούρα (Heros Ktistes: in memory of Charalambos Bouras), vol. 1, edited by M. Korres, S. Mamaloukos, K. Zampas and F. Mallouchou-Tufano, 199-212 (Athens: Melissa, 2018).

“La mobilité sociale à Délos: quelques remarques à partir de la culture matérielle et des documents épigraphiques”. In Social Dynamics under Roman Rule Mobility and Status Change in the Provinces of Achaia and Macedonia, MELETHMATA 74, edited by A. D. Rizakis, F. Camia and S. Zoumbaki, 133-157  (Athens: National Hellenic Research Foundatio, 2017)

“The spatial environment of inscriptions and graffiti in domestic spaces: the case of Delos”. In Inscriptions in Private Spaces, edited by Rebecca Benefiel and Peter Keegan, 50-79 (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2016)

“Die Hafenstadt Delos”. In Häfen und Hafenstädte im östlichen Mittelmeerraum von der Antike bis in byzantinische Zeit. Aktuelle Entdeckungen und neue Forschungsansätze, Byzas vol. 19, edited by F. Pirson, S. Ladstätter, and T. Schmidt, 553-570 (Istanbul: Ege Yayinlari / Zero Books, 2015)

“Was there a villa culture in Roman Greece?”. In Farms and villae rusticae in Greece during the Roman period, MELETHMATA 68, edited by A. Rizakis and F. Camia, 742-751 (Athens: National Hellenic Research Foundation, 2013)

Porticus and cryptoporticus in Roman luxury villas: architectural design and cultural implications”. In Pompeii: Cultural Standards, Practical Needs, edited by K. Cole, E. Poehler and M. Flohr, 41-52 (Oxford: Oxbow books, 2011).

“Light design concepts in Roman luxury villa architecture”. In Licht – Konzepte in der vormodernen Architektur, edited by U. Wulf-Rheidt and P. Schneider, 167-181 (DAI Diskussionen zur Archäologischen Bauforschung 10) (Regensburg: Schnell und Steiner, 2010).

“The digital model of the Villa of the Papyri: issues of reconstruction”. In The Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum: Archaeology, Reception, and Digital Reconstruction, edited by M. Zarmakoupi, 181-193 (Berlin and New York: De Gruyter, 2010).

“Designing the landscapes of the Villa of Livia at Prima Porta”. In Essays in Classical Archaeology for Eleni Hatzivassiliou 1977-2007, edited by D. Kurtz et al., 269-276 (Oxford: Studies in Classical Archaeology, The Beazley Archive Series, 2007).

Chapters in Companions / Handbooks (refereed) 

“Private Villas”. In Blackwell Companion to Roman Architecture, edited by C. Quenemoen and R. Ulrich, 363-380 (Oxford: Blackwell, 204).

“Entertainment and public buildings”. In Blackwell Companion to Roman Republican Archaeology, edited by J. DeRose Evans, 33-49 (Oxford: Blackwell, 2013).

Chapters in Exhibition catalogues (refereed)

Co-authored with David Gissen and Jennifer Stager, “An Archaeology of Disability”. In Biennale Architettura 2021. How will we live together?, curated by Hashim Sarkis, 54-57 (Venice: La Biennale di Venezia, 2021).

“The grandeur that was the Villa dei Papiri”. In Buried by Vesuvius: The Villa dei Papiri at Herculaneum, edited by K. Lapatin, 47-55 (Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2019).

Chapters in Conference Proceedings

Co-authored with M. Athanasoula. “Υποθαλάσσια έρευνα στη Δήλο και Ρήνεια (2014-2016, Ε.Ε.Α. & Ε.Ι.Ε.): Τα βοηθητικά λιμάνια της υστεροελληνιστικής και ρωμαϊκής Δήλου” [The Delos Underwater Survey Project (2014-2016): The complementary harbors of late Hellsnistic and Roman Delos]. In Περὶ τῶν Κυκλάδων νήσων – Το Αρχαιολογικό Έργο στις Κυκλάδες [The Archaeological Work in the Cyclades], edited by D. Athanasoulis et al. Athens (forthcoming)

Co-authored with M. Blömer, F. Brouns, A. Duplouy, S. Feuser, S, Malmberg, S. Merten, C. Videbach, “Ancient Cities: Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age”. Kiel-UP • DOI:

Co-authored with M. Athanasoula. “Υποβρύχια αρχαιολογική έρευνα στη βορειοανατολική πλευρά της Δήλου (Συνοικία του Σταδίου)” [Underwater archaeological investigation of the northeast side of Delos (Stadion District)]. In «Βουτιά στα περασμένα», η υποβρύχια αρχαιολογική έρευνα, 1976-2014 [“Diving in the past”, The underwater archaeological research, 1976-2014], edited by A. Simosi and A. Sotiriou, 91-102 (Athens 2018)

“Το ερευνητικό πρόγραμμα των αρχαίων ελληνικών πόλεων του Κ. Α. Δοξιάδη” [The research project on Ancient Greek Cities of C. A. Doxiadis]. In Η ιστοριογραφία της αρχιτεκτονικής στην Ελλάδα μεταξύ 20ου και 21ου αιώνα [The historiography of architecture in Greece between the 20th and 21st century], edited by A. Giakoumakatos (Athens 2016).

“The peristylium-garden in Roman luxury villas: an architectural and cultural history”. In Städtisches Wohnen im östlichen Mittelmeerraum. 4. Jh. v. Chr. – 1. Jh. n. Chr (Akten des internationalen Kolloquiums vom 24.–27. Oktober 2007 an der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften), edited by S. Ladstätter and V. Scheibelreiter, 621-631 (Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2010)

“The Roman villa and its cultural landscape from the late Republic to the early Empire”. In Common Ground: Archaeology, Art, Science and Humanities: The Proceedings of the 16th International Congress of Classical Archaeology, Boston 2003, edited by A. Brauer, C. Mattusch and A. Donohue, 245-248 (Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2006)

“Villa Anguillara Sabazia near lake Braciano”. In Proceedings of the Villa Seminarium. Roman Villas around the Urbs: Interaction with Landscape and Environment, Rome 2004, edited by B.S. Frizell and A. Klynne, 151-8 (Rome: Swedish Institute at Rome, 2005).