ROME: Lavishly frescoed rooms in the houses of the Roman Emperor Augustus and his wife Livia are opening for the first time to the public on Thursday (Sep 18), after years of painstaking restoration. The houses on Rome’s Palatine hill where the emperor lived with his family are re-opening after a €2.5 million (US$3.22 million) restoration to mark the 2,000 anniversary of Augustus’s death - with previously off-limit chambers on show for the first time.
From garlands of flowers on Pompeian red backgrounds to majestic temples and scenes of rural bliss, the rooms are adorned with vividly coloured frescoes, many in an exceptional condition. Restorers said their task had been a complex one, with bad weather during excavation threatening the prized relics of a golden era in the Eternal City. Read more.
Rome - The Villa of Livia, home of the beloved wife and trusted adviser of the Emperor Augustus, has opened its doors to the public after being partially restored to its former splendor on the occasion of the 2,000-year anniversary of the emperor’s death in 14 BC.
"It was the imperial family’s place of rest and relaxation," explained Rome Archeology Superintendent Mariarosaria Barbera of the villa on in the Prima Porta suburb on the outskirts of Rome, which Livia Drusilla (37 BC-14 AD) made her domain after becoming Augustus’ third wife.
Legend has it that Augustus fell in love with Livia at first sight, while he was still married to his second wife, Scribonia, and she was married and six months pregnant. Read more.
Augustus, who died 2000 years ago, was the first emperor of Rome. He brought peace after the turmoil in the republic after the assassination of Julius Caesar when he defeated the forces of Antony and Cleopatra. But despite this, two millennia after he bestrode the world, his mausoleum lies in disrepair under piles of rubbish while his celebrated stables, only discovered five years ago, are to be reburied due to lack of funds.
There’s a rich agenda of special and extravagant events in Rome as it celebrates the 2000th anniversary of the death of Augustus. The city is packed with cultural events, from special exhibitions to the re-enactment of ancient Roman rites. But the restoration of these important monuments are a step too far – one that simply can’t be afforded. Read more.
He was Rome’s first emperor, the founder of a world-dominating imperial dynasty, and a builder of roads and stunning temples who brought peace to a far-flung empire; a man so powerful the Roman senate named a month after him. Now, on the 2,000th anniversary of the death of the emperor Augustus, the city of Rome is getting ready to honour its favourite son by saving his mausoleum from shocking neglect.
Built in 28BC and as broad as a city block, the cylindrical mausoleum has seen better days after being sacked, bombed and built upon down the centuries. It was used as a bullfighting ring and a concert hall before it was finally abandoned, recently becoming a hangout for prostitutes and a handy toilet for tramps. Read more.
An enduring mystery of archaeology involving a well-known historical site in ancient Rome is being quietly unraveled in Indiana, thanks to a sophisticated computer simulation created by Ball State University digital artists.
The simulation, crafted by the Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts (IDIA) and commissioned by Indiana University’s School of Informatics and Computing, re-creates the Campus of Mars. The site was built around 9 B.C.E. for the Emperor Augustus just outside the city walls of ancient Rome.
By integrating precise NASA historical data on the movements of the sun and moon with archaeological surveys of the site, researchers can examine suspected solar alignments involving structures that were part of the campus. Read more.
NASA data, simulations used to connect Egyptian obelisk, Augustus’ ‘Altar of Peace’
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — An Indiana University archaeo-informaticist has used virtual simulations to flip the calendar back thousands of years and show for the first time the historical significance of the unique alignment of the sun with two monuments tied to the founder of the Roman Empire.
For nearly a half-century, scholars had associated the relationship between the Ara Pacis, the “Altar of Peace” dedicated in 9 BC to then-emperor Augustus, and the Obelisk of Montecitorio — a 71-foot-high granite obelisk Augustus brought to Rome from Egypt — with Augustus’ Sept. 23 birthday.
Prevailing research had found that on this day, the shadow of the obelisk — serving as the pointer, or gnomon, of a giant sundial on the plaza floor — would point toward the middle of the Ara Pacis, which the Roman Senate had commissioned to recognize the peace brought to the Roman Empire through Augustus’ military victories. Read more.
Two penises engraved on a 2,000 year old stone may shed light on the foundation of the city of Aosta in northern Italy, revealing its deep connection with the Roman emperor Augustus.
Named Augusta Praetoria Salassorum by the Romans — who captured it from the local Salassi people in 25 B.C. to control strategic mountain passes — Aosta boasts several monuments dedicated to Augustus.
"But the newly discovered stone tells even more about Aosta’s connection with the Roman emperor. It reveals the city was built under Augustus’ sign during the winter solstice," Giulio Magli, professor of archaeoastronomy at Milan’s Polytechnic University, told Discovery News. Read more.
To the east of the famous Isis temple on the island of Philae in Upper Egypt, workers and archaeologists are busy at work. They are cleaning and restoring the massive stone blocks that once formed the temple of Hathor, which is being rebuilt and restored in order to be officially inaugurated next month.
Time has since taken its toll on the temple, which was built by King Ptolemy VI and extended during the reigns of Ptolemy VII and Roman emperors Augustus and Tiberius. Many of the temple’s stone blocks have deteriorated; its walls, meanwhile, are riddled with cracks.
According to antiquities ministry officials, the temple’s deteriorated blocks have been replaced with new ones, while fallen blocks have been returned to their original positions. Poor restoration work undertaken previously, meanwhile, has been corrected.
The temple consists of a colonnaded kiosk bearing 14 Hathor-headed pillars, a pronaos (vestibule) and a cult terrace facing the Nile River. Among the temple’s most impressive reliefs is one depicting a group of musicians performing before an assembly of ancient Egyptian deities. (source)