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Antique Triclinium Rugs

The Triclinium rug consists of four rugs. There is a main rug that is relatively large. Two runner rugs are placed on the sides of this one lengthwise. Across the top is another area carpet that has a length equal to the width of the main rug and the two runners beside it. The grouping is large; it is meant to fill the entire space of a room. This grouping makes it possible to put a low dining room table in the middle and pillows around the outside for eating, coffee, and conversation.

The origin of the triclinium table is thought to have originated in the Roman Empire, with the practice continued to be carried out in several different cultures. The word “triclinium” specifically refers to three sides of a low table with couches placed on these three sides to accommodate eating in a reclining position. The fourth side of the table was open to allow for service to the table. The open side of the table was placed so that it faced the entrance to the room.

These antique rugs and their accompanying table and customs were a sign of wealth. In some Roman households, this setting was for formal meals only, and the everyday meals for the family were served in another room. In Roman households, the triclinia is often adjoining the bath. This is the original form of the custom. The Greeks later adopted that practice. The use of the couches for dining faded away. Still, the tradition of the triclinium rug and eating on the floor using floor cushions around a low table continues in formal settings throughout the Middle East today.

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