compluvium


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Related to compluvium: The impluvium

compluvium

compluvium, B
The aperture in the center of the roof of the atrium in a Roman house, sloping inward to discharge rainwater into a cistern or tank.
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Under the compluvium (the opening that let the rain in), the impluvium was more than just a cistern, for the image of the sky was caught in it, and light was reflected upwards to the roof and surrounding rooms, as well as reaching them from above.
The compluvium let in light and air, and prevented the interior from becoming too stuffy, dark and dingy.