The Palatine Hill is one of the seven hills of Rome. It is probably the site of some of the first settlements, as traces of archaic houses from the 10th century BC has been found there. Roman mythology indicates the western side of the Palatine Hill as the site of the dwelling of Romulus, and the cave where Romulus and Remus were supposed to have been raised by the she-wolf was on the western slope of the hill. During the republican era the Palatine Hill was the perferred quater for the ruling elite, and this tradition was continued when the roman emperors built their palaces on the hill. In the end the imperial palaces covered the entire hill.
The name of the hill has at least two possible etymologies. It can be derived from the latin word ‘palus’, meaning marsh or swamp, with reference to the areas of the Forum Romanum and the Velabrum before they were drained. Alternatively it can stem from ‘Pales’, an old pastoral deity, whose main feast was on April 21th, coinciding with the mythological date of the foundation of Rome. Later the word ‘palatium’ was associated as much with the imperial palaces as with the hill, and with time gave rise to the very word ‘palace’.
From republican times the House of Livia, the House of Augustus and the House of the Griffins have survived, the latter below the Domus Flavia. The imperial palaces are the Domus Tiberiana, the Domus Flavia, the Domus Augustana and the Domus Severiana.
Not all parts of the hill is accessible to tourists, but the imperial palaces, the House of Livia and the Farnese gardens can be visited.
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Pages referring to "Palatine Hill"
- Annex of Tiberius' palace
- Arch of Constantine
- Basilica of Maxentius
- Domus Publica
- Forum Romanum
- House of the Vestal Virgins
- Piazza Bocca della Verità
- Santa Maria Antiqua
- Spring of Juturna
- Temple of Augustus
- Temple of Jupiter Stator
- The Seven Hills of Rome