OECUS, the Latinized form of Gr. oIkos, house, used by Vitruvius for the principal hall or saloon in a Roman house, which was used occasionally as a trichnium for banquets. When of great size it became necessary to support its ceiling with columns; thus, according to Vitruvius, the tetrastyle oecus had four columns; in the Corinthian oecus there was a row of columns on each side, virtually therefore dividing the room into nave and aisles, the former being covered over with a semicircular ceiling. The Egyptian oecus had a similar plan, but the aisles were of less height, so that clerestory windows were introduced to light the room, which, as Vitruvius states, presents more the appearance of a basilica than of a triclinium.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)