Friday, June 8, 2012

Palatine Hill

According to legend, Romulus and Remus were brought up here by a wolf in a cave. Traces of Iron Age huts, dating from the 9th century B.C. have been found on the Palatine Hill, providing archaeological support for the area's legendary links with the founding of the Eternal City. The Palatine Hill is 40 metres high, with beautiful views of the Roman Forum, on one side, and the Circus Maximus on the other. 

The Palatine was a very desirable place to live, becoming home to some of the city's most famous inhabitants. Even Cicero, the great orator, had a house here, as did Catullus, the lyric poet. Augustus was born on the hill and continued to live here in very modest circumstances, even when he became emperor. Later many emperors  built their domains here and at one point the entire hill was covered with imperial palaces. 
During the Middle Ages, churches and convents were built on the hill. Later, almost the entire Palatine Hill was owned by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, who created an ornate botanical garden on top of the ruins. The heart of the Palatine Hill was formed by Domitian's palace, the largest of Rome's palaces for three centuries.

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