Before the imperial period, in Rome, the lecti triclinaris were each composed of three padded pillows, and were placed around a central dining table on three sides so that nine diners could converse freely.
Half lying down, the Romans would eat on their left side and took their place on the lecti according to an order of importance.
In late antiquity, the triclinium was replaced by the stibadium, a large semicircular-shaped sofa with a table in the middle.
A similar structure is depicted in the floor mosaic of the hall of the “Small Hunt” in the Villa del Casale, in the outdoor breakfast scene, where the protagonists lying on a semicircular striped mattress are in close contact with the surrounding rural landscape.
The stibadium was initially created for outdoor use on hunting trips or religious ceremonies. Its structure, at first very light, covered with a large cushion padded with leaves, was later made of wood, then replaced by brickwork forms.