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the foundation of the City, it is clear they used only thatch or shingles as a covering for their houses, which at the same time consisted of no more than one story in height; the Laws of the Ædiles also forbidding the walls of private buildings to be made of a greater thickness than eighteen inches, English measure: subsequent regulations, indeed, fixed the height of houses at sixty or seventy feet '.
In the time of Horace, who wrote in the reign of Augustus, every man, who was rich enough, had his country-seat in the charming Campania ; and the district of Naples, Baiæ, Puteoli, &c. was preferred, being the most beautiful sea coast in the world, according to the poet's own words,
What place on earth with charming Baiæ vies.
All were confessedly inferior to the celebrated villa of Lucullus, situated near Naples, which had more the air of a magnificent town than a rural seat. Here this luxurious and accomplished Roman general not only caused hills on the coast to be cut through, for the purpose of conducting the ocean into a lake, which he had been at the expense of forming on his estate, but directed whole bays of the sea to be dammed up, for the sake of covering them with marble structures, that he might indulge in his love of artificial variety. This exorbitant luxury in building, which Horace notices in various familiar passages of his
1 Dionysius Halicarnassensis, lib. 1.
2 Francis's Translation of “ Nullus in Orbe, sinus Baiis," &c. Epistle 1. Baiæ was the winter retreat of the Romans; while Tibur, Tusculum, Preneste, Alba, Cajeta, Mons Cir
ceius, Anxur, and the more airy situations in the mountains, were their favourite retirements during the heats of summer, Juvenal also notices the rage for erecting villas which prevailed in his time :
Centronius lov'd to build; and now the shore,
Badham's Translation, Satire 14.
Lyric Poems, kept constantly increasing, and perhaps was carried higher by no one than by his patron and friend Mæcenas himself.
Some idea of the extent and peculiar construction of the Golden House of Nero is to be obtained from Suetonius's description'. He states, that in nothing was the Emperor more prodigal than in building; and that in this house the vestibule was lofty enough to admit under it a colossal statue of the founder, no less than one hundred and twenty feet in height, and that the palace extended by three colonnades a mile in length. In the centre was an immense lake, surrounded with buildings, having the appearance of a town; and, within the compass of the domain were cornfields, vineyards, pastures, and woods, stocked with a variety of animals both wild and tame. The interior of the palace was overlaid with gold, and enriched with jewels and mother-of-pearl. The rooms devoted to public
1 In his Life of Nero Claudius Cæsar.
entertainments are represented as arched with vaults of ivory, or with ceilings so contrived as to scatter fragrant flowers amongst the guests ; besides which, they were furnished with pipes for conveying into different parts aromatic waters and sweet-smelling unctions. The chief banqueting-room in this palace is described as completely circular in plan, and fitted with a very ingenious piece of mechanism, made to revolve, producing the effect of day or night, in imitation of the celestial hemisphere'. The baths, equally magnificent in their plan, were supplied with salt water from the Mediterranean, and with warm water, conducted by rivulets from the hot springs of Baiæ. After an enormous expense had been thus lavished, and which nothing but the revenue of an empire could have afforded, Nero merely observed, he had at last completed a habitation fit for a man,
| Those who are acquainted with the Diorama exhibitionroom in the Regent's Park, London, will have an excellent idea of the facility of producing an effect of this kind.
With the materials of this palace it is said the Temple of Peace, the Baths of Titus, and the Amphitheatre of Vespasian were afterwards partly constructed. Of the Temple of Peace, built by Vespasian, the only remains are three very large arches, the soffits of which are enriched with octagonal panels, and certainly do not convey any competent idea of that splendour which authors have related that this palace originally displayed. History, indeed, records that it was not only the most superb, but the largest palace in the universe, after the Golden House was destroyed, which is rather extraordinary; the dimensions given to it, if they are correct, viz. three hundred feet in length and two hundred feet in width, being nothing uncommon for the magnitude of a palace. The exterior of the building is said to have been covered with large sheets of gilt bronze; it was adorned with the finest statues, pictures, marbles, and other rich ornaments; besides which the citizens here deposited their treasures as in a place of security, under the protection