Urban planning     Urban environment

Urban environment in the Early Byzantine period
  The most widespread Early Byzantine dwelling was the independent house, which, in an urban environment, formed one element in a densely built-up block. Rich urban mansions abound in the eastern provinces of the Empire. Antioch, Apamea, Palmyra, Paphos, Athens, Argos, Carthage, Ravenna, Stobi, are among the many cities where such extensive houses have survived. These normaly feature a peristyle courtyard and a large reception room (Triclinium); some have secondary salons and informal dining rooms, lavatories and private baths. Decoration was opulent, with fountains, sculptures, and mosaic or opus sectile floors and revetment. The reception/dining room (Triclinium) was a rectangular hall often ending in a single apse, inside which was placed a semi-circular couch (stibadium or accubitum) surrounding a semi-circular table (sigma table). The number of apses increased according to the landlord's needs: triconque triclinoi are fairly common. Urban palaces share the same characteristics in a grander scale. They feature a number of independent wings serving both private and public functions, several courtyards, and grandiose reception rooms. The Triclinium of the Lausus Palace at Constantinople had seven apses, and the Great Palace Triclinium no less than nineteen.
  Another type of urban dwelling is the apartment building, examples of which have been found at Ephesus, but this, too, was reserved for the rich. Poorer dwellings are known in Anemurium, Sardis, Philippi, Caricin Grad, and usually consist of rearranged earlier structures. In the sixth century, large urban houses were adapted to the increasingly rural needs by the addition of kilns, wells and mangers

See also: Apameia; Athens