The Golden House Of Nero Essay Research

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The Golden House Of Nero Essay, Research Paper The Golden House of Nero After years of fighting and civil wars, order was finally established throughout the Roman empire during the first century AD with the rule of Augustus. Peace and prosperity followed with the reign of Augustus and with the emperors that came into control after him, and it was during this time that Roman architecture began to move away from the traditional Hellenistic and Greek influences and generate its own style. It was also during this time that Rome was subjected to numerous horrendous fires that destroyed much of the city when it was under the control of the emperor Nero. Considered a tyrant and self-centered even for an aristocrat at the time, Nero became very unpopular towards the end of his reign,

but not before he was able to commission the construction of a marvelous villa for himself stretching over two hundred acres in the center of Rome where the fires had destroyed most of the original buildings. Commonly called The Golden House of Nero, it was originally given the more formal name of Domus Aurea, and was and still is considered one of the most extravagant projects ever ordered by a Roman emperor to be created. The most significant and majestic feature of the Domus Aurea is the Esquiline wing, or the main palace, located about two hundred meters northeast of the Coliseum, formally known as the Flavian Amphitheater. After the fires of 104 AD, Trajan had his engineers fill in the Esquiline wing of the Domus Aurea so as to secure the elevated terrace for his Baths. By

covering the Esquiline wing with earth, it was free from pillaging, fires, considerable wearing from weather, and other harmful effects over the years. Unfortunately, only a sizable fragment remains of the palace, and the original extent of the scores of rooms that have been recovered is unknown. Much can be extrapolated from these remaining bits of the structure, though, and like a puzzle, archeologist and architects have been able to piece together the scraps and come to fairly detailed conclusions. One major point that has been looked at closely but has not been completely decided upon is the original number of stories the palace contained. There are no indications of a second story beyond the two narrow staircases back in the upper north service area of the wing. Because of

the building code at the time and of how the vaults preclude throughout the supposition that there were once wooden stairs, it is highly unlikely that a grand staircase was constructed that does not remain today. Although the Romans were not inclined to building massive interior staircases, the complete lack of convenient access argues against a congruent upper level. Also, the rooms along the south facade and surrounding the five-sided courtyard and the octagonal chamber were considered the more important rooms and decorated richly with gilded and painted stucco, marble paneling, and perhaps even mosaic. If these rooms were in the mere basement of the palace, they would have been ornamented in the same fashion as the service rooms and corridors to the north. Not only that, but a

full upper story would have cut down drastically on the amount of sunlight reaching the five-sided court and octagonal chamber and its surrounding rooms. It is generally assumed that the narrow staircases in the rear led to more service rooms or summer quarters, but this is not for certain and there is a possibility that at one point a massive staircase was in fact built, leading to a grand upper level. Another assumption that has been made about the Esquiline wing has to do with the original middle feature of the palace. Naturally people have postulated that Nero?s architect, Severus, intended the five-sided court to serve as the center point of the wing, but it is possible that the octagonal chamber was actually intended to be the original north-south axis. Some indications of