316 IH- Southern Quarters. ROME.
d. The Palatine:
House of Livia (Domus Liviae), recognizable by its modern
zinc roof. This house, the only one of the kind in the midst of
the palaces of the emperors, is believed to have been the house of
Tiberius Claudius Nero, the father of Tiberius, to which his mother
Livia also retired after the death of Augustus, to marry whom she
had divorced her first husband. The entrance is at the E. corner.
A flight of six steps descends to the mosaic pavement of the vaulted
Vestibulum, whence we enter a quadrangular Court, originally partly
covered, opening off which are three chambers opposite the entrance.
The admirable Murai Paintings here will bear comparison with any of
the kind known. The principal pictures in the Central Room represent
large Windows whence a view of mythological scenes is obtained ; on the
right is Io guarded by Argus, while Mercury approaches to releaseher;
on the wall opposite the entrance are Polyphemus and Galatea (almost
obliterated). The two smaller sacrifìcial scenes in the corners, above,
are painted to imitate ancient easel-pictures, which like the mediaeval
altar-triptychs could be closed by two folding shutters or wings. On
the left wall are leaden water-pipes (found under the floor) with in¬
scriptions from which the ownership of this house has been gathered.
The walls of the Room on the Right are adorned with magnificent
garlands of flowers and fruits, from which masks and other Bacchanalian
objects depend between columns ; the walls of the Room on the Left are
divided into brown panels edged with red and green, above which are light
arabesques between winged figures on a white ground. Adjoining the right
side of the court is the oblong rectangular Triolinium, or dining-room,
recognizable by the modern inscription, with walls painted bright red.
The two large centrai paintings represent landscapes with small sanctua-
ries (Diana, Hercules). On the entrance wall, above, are two glass vases
with fruits. On the wall opposite the entrance visitors should notice the
flange-tiles inserted between the stucco facing and the external wall to
preserve the paintings from damp. The other rooms of the house, on
the upper floor, were connected with the court by a narrow staircase
(closed). They may be entered from the outside (to the right).
The lofty square substructure on the W. peak of the hill, over¬
grown with evergreen oaks, belonged to a Tempie of the Magna
Mater (Cybele), founded here in 191 B.C., when in consequence of
a sibylline oracle the sacred stone of Cybele was brought from
Phrygia to Rome. Though more than once injured by fire, this
tempie retained its primitive form throughout the entire imperiai
period. Fragments of the shafts, capitals, and bases of peperino
columns once covered with white stucco are scattered about. On
the right side of the tempie is a (headless) statue of Cybele, of good
Between the Tempie of the Magna Mater and the House of Livia
must have stood several other shrines of great antiquity, including the
House of Romulus (Casa Romuli), which was a circular wattle hut on
a stone substructure, and was shown as late as the 4th cent. A.D.
as the house of the founder of Rome or of his foster-father Faustulus.
Excavations were begun here in 1907. Massive Stone Walls with masons'
marks, resembling the Servian walls (p. xxx), may be seen. Beneath one
of these was discovered a tomb with terracotta vases of the 5th cent. B.C.,
so that the walls are evidently of a later date, and are perhaps connected
with a restoration of the fortifications of the Palatine after the invasion
of the Gauls (p. xxxi). These walls intersect and have partly destroyed
two large circular cisterns of earlier date, vaulted over, like the Career
Mamertinus (p. 309), by over-lapping courses of stones.