Thursday, May 31, 2007
The forum and the Palatine
Outside the Colosseum is the ruins of the Forum (where daily life took place.)
Down the road is the Hill they called the Palatine.
The Palatine came to prominance during the reign of Augustus Caesar (who started out as plain Octavian until he was named as Julius Caesars heir).
Augustus wanted to build a summer residence the like of which had never been seen before.
So he built a house, like no other house. It was larger than any house that had been built before. As our guide said "Who of you has a stadium and a stables attached to your home?"
They needed a new word to describe the new house that he had built. It became known as The Palatine, after the hill it had been built on. The word still survives in our modern language. We know it as Palace. :)
The walls were covered with tablets of marble and other semi precious stones like Porphyry, a volcanic rock that the Romans mined from existance in Egypt.