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(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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THE ROMAN EMPERORS IN MARBLE. 1
25
ferent species roamed about. Golden boats, and struc-
tures representing cities, mirrored themselves in the largest
of lakes. In front of the palace, in a projecting fore-
court, the triple colonnade of which measured a thousand
feet, stood a statue, in bronze compounded of gold and
silver, of Nero Apollo, a hundred and twenty feet high ;
a Avork of Zenodorus the Greek, the greatest sculptor of
the time, and according to Pliny, a master of the art of
bronze-casting, already then dying out. The walls with-
in the palace which were not covered with the finest
frescoes and stuccoes were inlaid with gold, precious
stones and mother-of-pearl ; the floor, with the costliest
mosaics, of which one can hardly form an idea, without
calling to mind that in a citizen’s house in a country town
on Vesuvius, such a mosaic floor has been found as the
so-called Alexander’s battle. The ceilings of the ban-
quet halls were covered with plates of ivory, from between
the crevices of which, a shower of odors was spread over
the guests. The largest banqueting-hall was a rotunda,
the ceiling of which—probably adorned with pictures of
the stars—moved day and night at an equal pace with
the vault of heaven. Baths in the palace were fed by
ducts that brought in part sea water, in part water from
the sulphur springs between Rome and Tivoli. " Now
I begin, finally, to live like a human being," said Nero,
when the palace was inaugurated.
The enormous building was like a city by itself. The
collection of older imperial palaces, rebuilt, which covered
the Palatine hill, formed one wing of the golden house.
Over the hillock, called Velia, which on the south side of
the Roman market juts out from the Palatine, the palace
ascended the Esquiline hill, and took in several quarters
there. The valley between Esquilinus and Coelius was

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