The House of Augustus | Attraction Guides | History Hit

The House of Augustus

Rome, Lazio, Italy

Lucy Davidson

02 Jun 2021

About The House of Augustus

Located on the eminent Palatine Hill, The House of Augustus was the modest home of Ancient Rome’s first emperor, Augustus. It is located close to the so-called Hut of Romulus and other sites that have a connection to the foundation of Rome.

The House of Augustus should not be confused with Domus Augustana, which was the later palace of the emperors of Rome.

History of The House of Augustus

From 1865, under commission by Napoleon III, Pietro Rosa began excavations of what is now referred to the House of Livia. This included a superficial excavation of The House of Augustus.

In 1937, Alfonso Bartoli conducted further surveys of the area and discovered archaeological remnants of collapsed vaults, and from 1956, extensive excavations began which revealed a further set of rooms.

The grandnephew and heir of Julius Caesar, Augustus, lived in the house for many years. He purchased the land in around 41/40BC. Soon after, the spot was struck by lightning, so Augustus declared the land public property and dedicated a temple to Apollo Palatinus there. The land around the site became the Emperor’s home.

Whilst considered to be relatively small, especially when compared to the Imperial Palace built at a later date, the House of Augustus contains a vivid collection of frescoes.

In the 2000s, further work revealed that the house would have originally been much larger.

Open to the public since 2008, the House of Augustus has been carefully restored and offers a fascinating insight into the life of one of ancient Rome’s most prominent figures.

The House of Augustus Today

Today, the house is open to visitors, who can enjoy walking around the site, including through what would have originally been Augustus’ private bedroom and study, which he slept in during both the winter and summer for over 40 years.

There are extremely imaginative audio-visual and laser displays which illustrate what all of the different rooms would have been used for.

It is recommended that visitors employ the use of a guide for the house and other related historical sites in the area to make the most of their visit.

Getting to The House of Augustus

From the centre of Rome, the House of Augustus is reachable in around 10 minutes by car, via Via Cavour. There are also regular bus and metro services which depart from the centre of the city every few minutes, and take between 20 and 25 minutes to reach the site. By foot, it takes around half an hour to reach the site, via Via Nazionale.

 

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