The Emperor's Palace
The Villa Jovis, or Villa of Jupiter, situated on the summit of the Monte Tiberio on the Italian island of Capri, was the final residence of the Emperor Tiberius, as well as the house of the Roman government between the years 26 and 37 A.D.
Indeed, as the most grandiose Roman villa on the island, the structure reflects the pomp and prominence of its original inhabitant.
The site was re-discovered in the 18th century by the archaeologist Norbert Hadrawa, and was subsequently ravaged by excavations that depleted the villa of what little remained of any value, including its original marble floors. The excavation and restoration of the Villa Jovis began once again in 1932, under the direction of the Italian archaeologist Amedeo Maiuri, and was finished in 1935.
At the height of its beauty, Tiberius’ residence was a massive expanse covering 1.7 acres of land, with a difference of elevation of 40 meters between its various terraces.
Because of its elevation 354 meters above sea level, it was difficult to procure water in the area, thus the original construction included a cistern with a capacity of 80,000 cubic meters to collect rainfall. Of the original structure, only eight levels of walls and staircases remain today, but Maiuri’s excavation confirmed that the Villa Jovis was a magnificent example of the splendour of 1st-century Roman Architecture.
In his conception and construction of the property, Tiberius clearly prioritized seclusion, perhaps because of his persistent fears of assassination.
During the 1st century, it was rumoured that Villa Jovis was the site of lavish celebrations, and there was intense speculation about the debauchery in which Tiberius engaged in the privacy of his palace, away from public scrutiny.
Historians have since called these depictions into question, and many describe Tiberius as an introverted and taciturn individual who preferred the long periods of solitude and quiet that the Villa Jovis afforded him. Perfidious or withdrawn as Tiberius may have been, Villa Jovis would have been an appropriate setting for this larger than life historical figure.Any suggestions?
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