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Palatine Hill is the most central (in relation to the city) of the Seven Hills of Rome and is believed to be one of the oldest parts of the city. Bronze Age relics were unearthed at Palatine Hill when Emperor Augustus ordered portions of the area excavated in the first century. Today, Palatine Hill is very close to the Forum and the Colosseum, making it a perfect complement to time spent at either of these attractions. Palatine Hill does require a ticket to enter and the entry can be found near the Arch of Titus in the Forum. Tickets can be purchased at the Colosseum or at the gate.
From 510 BC to 44 BC, Rome was in its Republican period. During this time, many aristocratic and affluent Romans made their residences on Palatine Hill. Many of the Palatine Hill ruins that have been excavated in subsequent centuries are the remains of these houses, and other artifacts including statuary that honored ancient Roman deities. The post-Republic period, or the Imperial Age, saw several emperors residing in their palaces on the hill. You cannot only see ruins of the House of Augustus on Palatine Hill, but also those of Domitian and Tiberius. The Emperor Augustus also commissioned the construction of a temple to Apollo next to his residence. The remains of the temple can also be seen at this popular attraction in Rome.
When you visit Rome and explore the Palatine Hill ruins with a knowledgeable guide, you will learn that the site plays significantly in the mythological traditions of ancient Rome. Roman mythology indicates that the cave known as the Lupercal was located on Palatine Hill. This was the spot where the infant, would-be founders of Rome were discovered by a she-wolf who suckled them and kept them sustained. After being raised by a great uncle who had murdered their father, they decided to murder him and found a city on the banks of the Tiber. Romulus ultimately took the life of his brother Remus, and the name Rome was born.
Among the most historically significant of all the excavations has been the House of Augustus on Palatine Hill. In the summer of 2006, archaeologists unearthed what they believed to be the house where Augustus himself was born (formally referred to as the Palatine House). There are two levels that overlook an atrium. They discovered gorgeous mosaic flooring, frescoed walls, and other important artifacts. The residence overlooked the Arch of Constantine and the Colosseum, and is to this day, one of the most picturesque places from which to view the city of Rome below. The House of Augustus on Palatine Hill was not the only significant ruin excavated in recent years. The Casa di Livia, thought to be the house of the wife of Augustus, Livia, is also located on this hill. Another exciting discovery has been the Temple of Cybele, a very ancient site where Romans from antiquity worshiped Cybele, also known as Magna Mater.
If you are planning a trip to Rome, you will probably hear a lot of information about the various attractions related to the famed Seven Hills within the city walls of Rome. You should definitely consider visiting the Palatine Hill ruins as a part of an overall exploration of the city’s most ancient and historically significant sites. Seeing attractions like the House of Augustus and the House of Tiberius are worth the trek on their own.
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