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Site For Lavish Roman Banquets Found

Archaeologists recently discovered an ancient hall in Italy. Researchers at the Oriental University of Naples have claimed that an Emperor and people, with higher social positions, used to organise parties there around 2,000 years ago. The place is situated in the seaside residence of Vedio Pollione (or Publius Vedius Pollio), a Roman knight, a successful wine merchant and politician who lived in the First Century BCE.

In a Facebook post, the University mentioned: “The villa, located on a cliff in Posillipo, was famous for its parties in which Emperor Augustus (the first Roman Emperor) also participated. The living room, located below the villa’s springs, is thought to date back to the late Republican Age or the First Century AD.

The New York Post has quoted archaeologists as saying that the hall was decorated with a carpet made of black and white mosaics. Excavation Leader Marco Giglio of the L’Orientale University of Naples stressed: “Ours is still a hypothesis. A stratigraphic dating is still missing, but based on the style that hall could date back to the late Republican Age or Augustan at the latest.” He expressed hope that the excavation would certainly bring to light what could have been the home of Pollio.

While investigating the upper baths of the residence and its terrace that were used to stock weapons during the Second World War, researchers discovered that parties used to take place at that hall, as the property also has a 2,000-seat Greek-style theatre on rocky land, and an odeon, a building used for musical performances. Under the service areas of the baths, archaeologists found a floor made of tiny white tiles with a black frame. The floor belonged to a large hall overlooking the sea.

Archaeologists have further claimed that 2,000-year-old imperial villa in Pausilypon belonged to Roman Emperor Augustus (or Caesar Augustus or Octavian, born Gaius Octavius; September 23, 63 BC – August 19, AD 14), who had reigned from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. He had spearheaded the transformation from Republic to Empire following the death of his great-uncle and guardian, Julius Caesar (July 12, 100 BC – March 15, 44 BC).

Archaeologists are of the opinion that Pollione was a close aide of Emperor Augustus. However, Pollione might have embarrassed the Emperor for which the former was subjected to something similar to Damnatio Memoriae (erasure from official records) after his demise. Hence, the rediscovery of the villa’s floor could provide various information regarding Pollione’s life and the history of the villa. According to researchers, Augustus had reigned from 27 BC, while Pollione perished 12 years after that in 15 BC. After Pollione’s demise, his fabulous Neapolitan villa passed into the hands of the Emperor. Soon after Emperor Augustus inherited Pollione’s assets, he radically transformed the villa in an attempt to erase all traces of its original owner. In fact, Augustus transformed the place into service rooms for his personal spa.

Meanwhile, the excavation, funded by the Italian Ministry of Culture on the basis of an agreement with the Superintendency for Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape of the Campania Municipality, engaged in a project in order to enhance the archaeological park of Posillipo.

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