Nero's Golden House - Domus Aurea
Welcome to Quatr.us Study Guides!

Nero's Golden House

Golden House
Golden House of Nero, Rome

September 2016 - After the Great Fire of Rome in 64 AD, the Roman Emperor Nero took advantage of the space where many buildings had burned down to build himself a new palace right in the middle of downtown Rome, which he called the Golden House (Domus Aurea). We know about the Golden House in two ways. The Roman historian Suetonius describes it for us, and also archaeologists have found it and excavated it (and you can visit it in Rome today).

brick wall with plaster ceiling

The Golden House was certainly very luxurious. For example, it had an eight-sided dining room with a ceiling that was painted with the moon and stars. On nice evenings, according to Suetonius, you could open up the ceiling so that the real sky would be above you while you were eating.

In front of the Golden House, Nero put an enormous statue of himself, covered with gold. It was called the Colossus, because it was so big. The Roman Colosseum is named after this statue.

Learn by doing: go see a place where there has recently been a big fire
Famous wall paintings from the Golden House

Bibliography and further reading about the Golden House (the Domus Aurea):

The Domus Aurea and the Roman Architectural Revolution, by Larry F. Ball (2003).

Roman Architecture, by Frank Sear (1983). The standard college textbook.

The Architecture of the Roman Empire: An Introductory Study, by William MacDonald (1982). Actually not so introductory, but it's got great illustrations that really make the building techniques clear.

Roman Imperial Architecture, by J. B. Ward-Perkins (1992). A more detailed textbook, and harder going.

More about the Emperor Nero
Nero and the Christians
Colosseum

Domitian's Palace
More Roman Architecture
More about Ancient Rome
Quatr.us home


LIMITED TIME OFFER FOR TEACHERS: Using this article with your class? Show us your class page where you're using this article, and we'll send you a free subscription so all your students can use Quatr.us Study Guides with no distractions! (Not a teacher? Paid subscriptions are also available for just $16/year!)
Please help other teachers and students find us: link to this page from your class page.
Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.
Cite this page
  • Author: K.E. Carr
  • Title:
  • Site Name: Quatr.us Study Guides
  • Publisher: Quatr.us
  • Date Published:
Did you find what you needed? Ask your teacher to link to this page so other people can use it too! Send it in and win a Quatr.us "Great Page!" award!
Sign up for more free articles and special offers in Quatr.us' weekly newsletter:
We will never share your e-mail address unless you allow us to do so. View our privacy policy. Easy unsubscribe links are provided in every email.
Comment on This Article

Does your class page honor diversity, celebrate feminism, and support people of color, LBGTQ people, and people with disabilities? Let us know, and we'll send you a Diversity Banner you can proudly display!
Looking for more?
Quatr.us is loading comments...
(Comments will appear after moderation, if they are kind and helpful. Feel free to ask questions, and we'll try to answer them.)
Cite this page
  • Carr, K.E. . Quatr.us Study Guides, . Web. 23 April, 2017
ADVERTISEMENT