Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Hello my Friend and Welcome.

The picture above was taken at Caesar’s Palace alright, just not the one on the Palatine Hill in Rome. Admittedly the complex they’ve built in Las Vegas is pretty impressive… now, but let’s see what it looks like in 2,000 years.

Extrior of the REAL Caesar's Palace
A recent archaeological dig on the Palatine, a hill where the luxurious palaces and villas of the Caesars and other affluent Roman citizens once stood, has uncovered a richly decorated cavern. The cavern in question lies beneath the palace of Augustus, Rome’s first Emperor. He lived from 63 BC to 14 AD and is mentioned in Luke 2:1with the famous words, “In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled.” I expect we’ve all heard that a time or two while attending Christmas services.

This chamber lies roughly 50 feet beneath the surface. While there have been rumors that it is the Lupercale, the room where Romulus and Remus were nursed and the Romans held annual celebrations in honor of the legendary founders of Rome, most people believe it to be a private dining room. The 125 sq. ft. grotto is circular in design and adequate to comfortably house a triclinium, three Roman dining couches arrange in a U-shaped pattern.
Boring in Through the Ceiling
No one has entered the area since the cave is close to collapse. Instead, they drilled a hole through the ceiling and inserted a light and remote camera to see what was there. What they found was a ceiling encrusted with seashells, marble and mosaics. The walls have rectangular panels filled geometric shapes and flowers. The floor, which is not in good shape, also has elaborate mosaics.
Ceiling Decorations

It is well known that many Roman Emperors, including Nero and Caligula, had small dining rooms built into the natural hollows in the rock underneath their multi-storied palaces. If you’ve ever lived in home with a basement, you know that the temperature remains very comfortable even on the hottest of days. It’s not hard to imagine old Augustus slipping away on a hot night and descending a stairway to his private retreat where he could recline in comfort and dine on delicacies.
Remnants of the Mosaic Floor
So are we looking at the spot where the great emperor feasted with a small circle of friends on roasted peacock tongues seasoned with fermented fish sauce? We very well could be. One wall of the room displays a white eagle, the symbol of the Roman Empire during the reign of Augustus.
Until next time, we wish you Peace and Blessings.
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Christine Henderson said...

You always give us some interesting insights on history. Thanks!

Gale said...

How interesting... the boat I lived on as a child was 50 feet long, and thats actually quite a ways down. Doesn't sound like it was made out of natural grotto! Makes me curious what secrets were told there...and whether this room was known to most or kept as a place to hide if necessary (an ancient "underground bunker" for the head of state?) Fascinating!