The villa in the 4th century CE
The 4th century was a time of transition, between the final throes of an Empire-wide crisis and the reappearance of a more stable period in which the later villa appeared. A genuine renewal affected every part of the villa, although the drive to improve its appearance did not – no doubt due to a lack of resources – entirely break with the heaviness of previous architectural schemes.
The layout of the residence, which had remained static since the 2nd century, was altered. The size and distribution of the rooms were changed, and the dimensions of the main reception room were doubled. Although the interior décor displayed no signs of luxury, an entire wing of rooms was heated by a hypocaust flue system, perhaps during longer stays and in the wintertime.
The agricultural sections of the villa were radically altered, allowing for renewed control over the estate's production. The major Early Empire warehouse was torn down and a metallurgy workshop was temporarily located within its walls. New wine-making equipment took its place in the second half of the 4th century, and a smaller (200 sq. m) wine cellar was built next to the cattle shed. These new arrangements reveal an attempt to diversify the sources of profit for the sake of the estate's economic stability.