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Domus Aurea


Definition: When the great fire in Rome of A.D. 64 destroyed two-thirds of the city of Rome, Nero decided to use burned area of the Esquiline Hill for what is called the domus aurea or golden house -- new palace buildings with fountains, bath houses, dining areas, and an artificial lake. Rooms in the domus aurea were decorated in gold. There was also extensive use of marble, ivory, and jewels. Nero made innovative use of mosaics. A 37m high bronze statue of Nero modeled on the Colossus of Rhodes was placed near the entrance. The colosseum may have been named for this colossal statue of Nero.

It was partially torn down and built over by later emperors. The lake was drained. Vespasian began the colosseum on the area of the lake bed. The Baths of Trajan, which were dedicated in 109, were also built on the area of the Domus aurea.

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Also Known As: Golden House
Celer and Severus were the architects responsible for Nero's Domus Aurea and for its revolving ceiling dome.

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