Re: A room with three couches?

From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Wed Jun 03 1998 - 09:00:42 EDT

At 06:02 AM 6/3/98 -0400, Carl W. Conrad wrote:
>About a year ago Jonathan found some interesting diagrams of a triclinium
>at Pompeii at this web-site, if anyone is interested in following it up:

Please be aware that the above pictures include a modern wooden chair and
some other things that are probably not authentic. Also, in this image,
people lie prudishly separate, but several people would lie on a side of a
triclinium, e.g. 3 on a side, and they would lie close - remember how John
leans his head back into Jesus' chest in one of the descriptions of the
last supper?

Question: I'm now having a hard time visualizing John 12:2, where Jesus is
reclining at table with others, including Lazarus, and Mary annoints the
feet of Jesus and wipes them with her hair. If Jesus were at one of the two
ends, I could see how this could work physically. I assume if he were not,
that his feet would be inaccessible? In the pictures I've seen, people
don't dangle their feet, they keep them up on the triclinium, but wouldn't
it be fairly normal to prop yourself up with a bunch of cushions and dangle
your feet over, even if you were lying close to someone else?

I suppose that the triclinium, which puts your feet into semi-public space,
is one reason that foot washing was so important in those days!

I was just looking for some other URLs I had used a year ago, but they are
protected or missing now, especially the ones from Tulane, which I remember
as having good images, showing how people would lie on them - . However,
here are a few more interesting triclinium pictures from various sources.

Here's a plan for a roman house with a triclinium:

Here's a picture of the remains of a triclinium in Corinth:

Texcel Research

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