Nero and the wonders of CGI

Many of you may have visited Rome, and seen the Forum Romanum, Trajan’s Column and the incredible sight that is the Colosseum. On the slopes of the Esquiline Hill, near the Colosseum, is a little visited ruin. Most people walk right by without even noticing it. Special appointments have to be made to see it, and during both my visits to the city, I haven’t managed it. The underground ruins belong to what was once the grandest structure in Rome, the emperor Nero’s Domus Aurea, or Golden House.

New finds there over the last few years have added greatly to the knowledge of this building, which was demolished after Nero’s death and fall from grace. Thanks to the wonders of modern computers, archaeologists have recently been able to reconstruct some of the rooms of this amazing palace. Check it out here; if you happen to be in Italy this summer, make sure you visit the exhibition about the Domus Aurea. It’s on until September 18th.

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  1. Fabitaromunass
    Posted 20 May 2011 at 23:32 | Permalink

    Phwoar! Look at this bad ass website! Love the cover art on the front, looking forward to this book now!

  2. benkane
    Posted 21 May 2011 at 08:58 | Permalink

    @Fabitaromunass: 😉

  3. Posted 22 May 2011 at 13:08 | Permalink

    I wish I could go to italy 🙁

  4. PaulfromEboracum
    Posted 22 May 2011 at 16:32 | Permalink

    The idea of Nero’s palace is mind-blowing and he has a very bad press all things considered. I have a Nero coin and it is has been my lucky talisman as he fiddled because he was concerned/ emotional not because he was mad. If he was why would he have let the plebs into his gardens to avoid the disaster. I have no doubt that like most of the in-bred hierarchy he was deeply flawed, but in comparison to other emperors he showed a “social awareness” not present in most.

  5. stevie b
    Posted 29 May 2011 at 11:24 | Permalink

    am gutted have just made the pilgrimage to rome ,and done a non stop 7hr tour round the great city ,(my poor wife!!)wish i had known about said find,it has taken them 3 years to advance the underground as they keep finding ruins ,so everything stops for the planning a further trip next year so hopefully can see it.AMAZING CITY.

  6. benkane
    Posted 29 May 2011 at 18:25 | Permalink

    @stevie b: Rome is amazing, isn’t it? Then there’s the mithraeum under a church 5 mins walk from the Colosseum, the newly opened House of Augusutus, and so many other places. It’d be easy to spend a week there and not see it all. Sounds like you had a great trip all the same.

  7. Mike Reed
    Posted 29 August 2011 at 12:29 | Permalink

    I’ve been to Rome before Ben, but not for a long time. In fact I got to know it before I got to know London! I’m also one of the guilty ones who overlooked that interesting building each time I visited the Forum. I hold my hand up and say that, even last time I was there, the Forum was just a mass of well-preserved ruins (as I perceived them at the time) apart from the noticeable columns of the Temple of Saturn and the Arches of Titus and Septimus Severus. It’s funny you should point that out, bearing in mind that a Roman palace (or a series of them) has (have) been excavated. I can definitely take your word for it’s connections with Nero, but I’ve also heard that a summer palace of Vespasian has also been discovered in the Rome area. I’m still not clear on all this as there’s been some confusion and ambiguities involved, but I aim to squeeze in a trip to Rome before Christmas (for business reasons), and if I can manage it I’ll get some more info on that. The Forum’s a fantastic place though, and I will do some drawing studies and major paintings of it next time I go.

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