The triclinium served as the dining room. It contained couches with soft stuffed cushions arranged around a low table, which was fixed in place. Since the table was small, slaves would have served the food in courses, then cleared and washed the table between courses. The triclinium walls would have been decorated with wall paintings and the floors usually would have had mosaics or marble tiles. The males lounged on the couches to dine, while females and old men sat in chairs with a back called cathedra. Women were not allowed to dine with any males outside of the family unless chaperoned by a male family member. Thiswas done to protect the woman's reputation among other things.