London: Experts have virtually
reconstructed the first house built by the controversial Roman
emperor Nero accused of nearly destroying ancient city of Rome
itself by allegedly setting the Great Fire in 64 AD.
The magnificent residence on the Palatine hill, where
the emperor lived in the first years of his reign, was built
around 60 AD but destroyed in Great Fire that devastated Rome.
The reconstructed house of Nero, who became emperor
at just age 17 in 54 AD, will open to the public at the end of
the summer, according to Italian authorities.
Stretching for about 1.2 miles along key
archaeological sites of ancient Rome, the exhibition, which
runs until September 18, aims to show the many faces of Nero
(37 - 68 AD), the `Discovery News` reported.
Notorious for being a cruel megalomaniac tyrant who
persecuted early Christians, had his stepbrother, two of his
wives and even his own mother murdered, Rome`s fifth emperor,
Nero, has never been held dear in Roman history.
The palace, named Domus Transitoria, was an
architectural masterpiece which stretched from the Palatine,
where Nero first lived with his granduncle and adoptive father
Claudius and his mother Agrippina, to the gardens of Maecenas
on the Esquiline.
Built around 60 AD, it was ruined in the Great Fire
four years later and was replaced by the Domus Aurea, one of
the most opulent palatial complexes ever constructed. After
his death, subsequent emperors officially destroyed most of
whatever remained of Nero`s first castle after the great fire.
But excavations, which begun in the 18th century,
brought to light some fragmentary complexes. "Based on the
archaeological evidence, we have produced the first ever 3D
virtual reconstruction of the complex," Rossella Rea, Director
of the Colosseum, said.