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House of Augustus, Rome

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The House of Augustus, or the Domus Augusti (but also Domus Augustea), is the first major site upon entering the Palatine Hill in Rome, Italy. It served as the primary residence of Augustus during his reign. The Domus Augusti should not be confused with the Domus Augustana (also known as the Domus Augustiana), which is a part of the vast palatial complex constructed by Emperor Domitian on the Palatine in 92 AD.ConstructionAfter being awarded tribunica potestas for life in 23 BC, Octavian decided to buy the house of Quintus Hortensius on the Palatine and made it his primary place of residence. The comparative modesty of the Domus Augusti was in keeping with the return to traditional ideals promoted during the Augustan period, as indicated by Suetonius in the quote below. The Domus Augusti was located near the Hut of Romulus and other sacred sites which relate to the foundation of Rome. In antiquity this residence contained two levels, each leading to a garden courtyard. The bottom floor is not accessible today, but it is possible to make out the basin of a fountain and the rooms beyond it that were paved in coloured marble.The Domus Augusti in contemporary timesSuetonius (c. 70 AD - after 130 AD), lawyer and secretary of the imperial palace, wrote of Augustus and his palace: It is generally agreed that he was most temperate and without even the suspicion of any fault. He lived at first near the Forum Romanum, afterwards on the Palatine in a modest dwelling remarkable neither for size or elegance, having but a short colonnade with columns of local stone and rooms without any marble decorations or handsome pavements. For more than 40 years he used the same bedroom in winter and summer.
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TripAdvisor
  • Such a lovely site. Makes you wonder at the marvel of the engineers and builders from years ago and the power of the elite. Well worth a visit.  more »
  • Our guide said thatthese tours might be being phased out! If so, hopefully only for a short time while greater access is prepared for the site. In the meanwhile, seek this tour -- House of Livian and ...  more »
  • As others have said, you can only do this as, and the House of Livia, part of a pre-planned visit. We did our visit as part of a Walks of Italy tour. Our guide, David, was an instructor in archaeology...  more »