Painting from Pompeii, now in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale (Naples), showing a banquet or family ceremony, before 79 AD
The Roman dining-table of four sides, with three low couches (lecti) placed round it so as to leave the fourth side free for the servants. The lecti, arranged for three persons each, were broad,
cushioned places, lower towards the outside and sloping upwards with a
side support; on each of the three places was a pillow, on which the
diners, as they lay at table, supported themselves with their left arm,
their feet being towards the outside.
The allotment of the nine places
was made in accordance with strict rules of etiquette. The middle couch,
lectus medius, and the one on its left, lectus summus (the highest), were appointed for the guests, the former for the most distinguished guests; that on its right, lectus imus (the lowest), was for the host, his wife, and a child or a freedman.
On the lectus summus and imus, the place of honour (locus summus)
was on the left side, on which was the support of the couch, and
consequently the most convenient seat. The place appointed for the chief
person of the company, the locus consularis, was, however, on the lectus medius, and not on the left, but on the right and unsupported side, next that of the host, who took the first place of the lectus imus.
Although the meeting hasn’t been made official yet, the news was confirmed to CNA by a high ranking member of the Anglican Communion in Rome. Other sources have since confirmed that the meeting will be held Oct. 5.
While the schedule has yet to be completely defined, Pope Francis and Welby are set to meet amid two busy days in Rome for the Anglican primate.
The two will celebrate First Vespers in San Gregorio al Celio Oct. 5. The next day they will have a private meeting that could signal a new phase in ecumenical relations.
Welby will likely have a meeting at the Gregorian University and another at the Lay Center, an educational institution based in Rome. The Lay Center welcomes ecumenical students from other Christian churches and ecclesial communities, as well as those from non-Christian religions.