18.543 Imperial Palace
Roman Empire Roman Empire
Home Page
Roman Empire
Childrens Section
Children's Section

The Imperial Palace

palatine-01.jpg - 33602 Bytes

The Palatine Hill eventually came to be dominated by the massive palace complex of the Roman emperors. If Augustus had intially lived in a relatively modest house on the hill, then his successors showed no such restraint.
Above is the view onto the main facade, looking from Circus Maximus. Immediately below is the most likely reason for the location of the palace; the view down onto the Circus Maximus.

palatine-maximus-01.jpg - 38262 Bytes

palatine-augustana-01.jpg - 35596 Bytes

The most impressive ruins remaining today are those of the Domus Flavia and the Domus Augustana, both built by emperor Domitian. The Domus Flavia was the official part of the palace in which emissaries might be received or state banquets might be held. The Domus Augustana meanwhile was the emperor's luxurious private residence.
Fountains played a great part in the splendour of the great palace. Above is the court yard of the Domus Augustana with its large central fountain. Below is another fountain, the oval fountain which could be viewed from the dining hall of the Domus Flavia.

palatine-fountain-01.jpg - 29941 Bytes

palatine-03.jpg - 37687 Bytes

Above is yet another fountain, the octagonal fountain of the Domus Flavia.

palatine-02.jpg - 32742 Bytes

Also part of Domitian's palace, was this open area known as the Stadium. Opinions are divided on if this was a stadium for exercising horses or merely a large garden.
The oval enclosure at one end of it is an addition made by the Ostrogothic king Theodoric in the 6th century.
Below is the so-called Exhedra, which is believed to have held a balcony from where to survey the area of the Stadium.

palatine-exhedra-01.jpg - 38548 Bytes

civilta-45.jpg - 47023 Bytes
Model of Rome in the days of Constantine the Great
Museo della Civilta, Rome