Impluvium


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Related to Impluvium: cubiculum, Tablinum, Peristylium

Impluvium

A pool for receiving water draining from the roof in an ancient Roman atrium.

impluvium

impluvium, A
In ancient Roman dwellings, a cistern set in the atrium or peristyle to receive water from the roofs.
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This core will have consisted of two rooms flanking the entrance passage, an atrium court with (so the standard pattern would lead us to expect) a central impluvium basin, and on the far side a string of rooms opening on the atrium court rather than the garden, a tablinum as at present with a slightly wider opening (6) but probably with only a window, not a full opening, on the garden; a side room (5) of which the original opening on the atrium is still visible; and another side room or more probably a passage to a garden plot behind (7).
This large central hallway typically had a fair sized rectangular hole in the roof (compluvium) through which rainwater fell and collected in an impluvium (no 4) or catchment pool.
In addition to its longstanding relationship with Ramsar, Evian also initiated the APIEME (Association Protection Impluvium de l'Eau Minerale Evian) over 15 years ago in Evian, France to help ensure the continued protection of the Evian resource.
In contrast, in this chthonic realm the pool is a vestigial impluvium (too vestigial, perhaps), which in Roman and Arabic prototypes collected rain from the heavens above and served almost as a mysterious eye to the earth below.