Once upon a time, the center of the whole world
I know it’s not easy…I was there, as an avid internet shopaholic as I am, browsing through whole internet trying to figure out the best way to see Colosseum is exhausting but hopefully it helped and believe me, once you get it done, it’s really rewarding!
Today we are finally going to see Palatine Hill! We are huge history buffs that love to learn from different cultures, from East to West especially about certain periods really heavy on interesting stories. To me, ancient Rome is definitely on the high list of this topic. Not to mention the incredible mythology, combined with philosophy and psychological insights, they deeply infuse humanity.
Palatine Hill is the center of ancient Rome, according to Roman mythology, the Palatine Hill was the location of the cave, known as the Lupercal, where Romulus and Remus were found by the She-wolf Lupa that kept them alive.
Another legend occurring on the Palatine is Hercules’ defeat of Cacus.
Cacus was a fire-breathing giant and the son of Vulcan. after the monster had stolen some cattle. Hercules struck Cacus with his characteristic club so hard that it formed a cleft on the southeast corner of the hill, where later a staircase bearing the name of Cacus was constructed.
Palatine Hill is the center of Rome, and plays a very important role to history.
“Palatine” is the origin of the word “palace”. “palazzo” in Italian and “palais” in French also derive from “Palatine”.
There are so many stories about the Rome empire history that fascinated me, but I would like to just share some of it that reminds me when I was in Palatine Hill:
The first emperor Augustus, who was born on Palatine Hill in 63 BC and lived here in a modest house, Domus Augustus, slept in the same small bedroom for 40 years on a low bed.
Later on, in 81 AD, Domitian expand the palace, had an official wing (Domus Flavia). According to legend, Domitian was fearing assassination therefore had all the wall of the courtyard covered with shiny marble so he could see the reflection if anyone who intend to stab at him from behind.
Several days prior to the assassination, Minerva who was his protector goddess, had appeared to the emperor in a dream. She announced that she had been disarmed by Jupiter and could no longer give Domitian her protection. therefore, the Emperor believed that his death would be at midday. As a result, he was always restless around that time. On the day of the assassination, Domitian was distressed and repeatedly asked a servant to tell him what time it was. The servant, who was one of the plotters, lied to the emperor, telling him that it was already late in the afternoon. Domitian relieved and went to his desk to sign some decrees. Stephanus the assassinator, who had been fake an injury to his arm for several days and wearing a bandage to allow him to carry a concealed dagger…stabbed Domitian to death.
And not to forget the most notorious emperor – Gaius Caligula Julius Caesar, In AD 40, Caligula began implementing very controversial policies that introduced religion into his political role. Caligula began appearing in public dressed as various gods and demigods such as Hercules, Mercury, Venus and Apollo.
Reportedly, he began referring to himself as a god when meeting with politicians and he was referred to as “Jupiter” on occasion in public documents. when he made a significant attempt at expanding into Britannia, he even challenging Neptune in his campaign. Caligula was only 28 when he was attacked in the Cryptoporticus beneath the imperial palaces on the Palatine Hill.
I admitted that I was so shocked when my first time seen this part of history from a BBC show- I, Claudius. All the power, rotten, bloody desire mingled together, written in history again and again…
I know, I know, there were some tragic stories, and now we face them back they seem like a great drama resource for thousands of years, but also the triumphs were the greatest of all time. The West was born here, and the spirit is never gone. we were on the Palatine Hill, where once was the center of the world. it bring me to tears that I can be here with my love see all of the trace of history.
Sadly we couldn’t stay too long in the palatine hill but we enjoyed it deeply. As far as highlight I suggest not to miss the Circus Maximus, Domus Flavia, House of Livia and House of Augustus. Pretty soon, I’ll be discussing the Roman forum on the next chapter.
Maybe using this beautiful excuse we will be back to Rome next time. 🙂
Have you been to Palatine Hill? which ruin is your favorite and why? feel free to share with me here!
Tips of visiting Palatine Hill:
To see other attractions of Rome stories and tips, click to see the individual post:
Fontana di Trevi (Trevi Fountain)→ Pantheon & Fontana del Pantheon→ Obelisco Della Minerva (Elephant and Obelisk)→ Church of St. Louis of the French (San Luigi dei Francesi) → Largo di Torre Argentina→ Capitoline Museums