The Cushion Shop

Credit: Ann Raia, 1999. Museo dela Civilta Romana.

Now that the first draft of The Third Daughter has been – more or less – hammered out, I’m experimenting a little. I look for images from the ancient world which depict everyday activities and use them to improve my descriptions of Julia Tertia’s childhood and upbringing. I am indebted here to websites like the wonderful VRoma, which I started using as a teacher. Many of the contributors are also teachers, uploading their work purely to help other educators, students and interested people. It is one of those sites which remind you how the Internet is supposed to be.

Above is a relief sculpture showing a cushion shop in action – on the left, the owner is watching as his assistants display what I think is a pattern-book to his clients. Above is a display of fringed cushions along with swathes of material. All I have to do is put Junia and her mother Servilia into that shop, and imagine the colors and materials.

2 thoughts on “The Cushion Shop”

    1. I don’t think there is any direct evidence but it makes so much sense and would be a good explanation of how similar patterns got from one end of the Empire to another.


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