• Harriet I. Flower
Living reference work entry


The study of the Roman vicus involves a wide-ranging consideration of local neighborhoods in both urban and rural contexts. The vicus defined the political, administrative, and religious subdivision of Roman settlements. At the same time, such an investigation reveals the framework, articulation, and character of local, everyday life. Vici were the basic building blocks of the Roman community.


Vicus (plural vici) is a Latin term that refers to a variety of small settlements, whether in town or in the countryside, in Rome or in Roman territory, or elsewhere. It has been related to the Greek oikos (house), but its meaning is closer to amphodon (street), kome (village), or to the Oscan eituns (neighborhood). Like many Latin words, this (seemingly technical) designation has a variety of overlapping and contrasting uses. Much controversy among scholars has resulted, with the debate recently becoming more polarized. Evoking both “house” and “street,” vicusbasically...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ClassicsPrinceton UniversityPrincetonUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Jeffrey A. Becker
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Classical and Near Eastern StudiesBinghamton University - SUNYBinghamtonUSA