Augustus, the first ruler of the Roman Empire was known for his peaceful time as emperor. He improved the tax system and further developed the already impressive road network. He was also responsible for the first postal service in Rome as well as the city’s first fire and police force.
As ruler, he did much to encourage family life and went as far as making adultery illegal and offering benefits to families with three or more children. All of this combined to make him a prominent figure in Roman history – a position cinched by his final words, “Did you like the performance?” in which he refers to the acting and regal authority that he used as emperor. Suiting for such an emperor, Augustus was buried in a marble mausoleum he began constructing forty years before his death in 14AD.
Known as a man who enjoyed the finer things in life, the modern world got a taste of his luxuries when his home was discovered in the 1960s. A tiny fragment of fresco was found among other ruins which led researchers on a quest to find the source. What they found is four rooms of breathtaking murals at the home of one of Rome’s richest men of the day.
The home was used in 30BC and after almost half a century of secrecy, the home of Augustus is now open to the public. The beautiful frescos cover walls and ceilings and the original painters, believed to be Egyptian slaves, left a bit of their own signature behind as well in some graffiti found in one of the rooms.
It is believed the home was built on top of a lupercale, or grotto, where early Romans went to worship Romulus and Remus, believed to be the founders of the great city. Inside the frescoes are too delicate to be viewed by more than five individuals at a time, but despite this the home and its ancient works of art are gaining in popularity.
Tickets to enter the home of Augustus are 11 Euro and also allow admission to the Forum, the Home and the Coliseum. The home is open to the public in limited numbers from 8:30 am until one hour before sunrise. The entrance to Augustus’ home is on via di San Gregorio, 30