Latin Language Blog

Discovery of the Month: Nero’s Revolving Dining Room Posted by on May 27, 2015 in Roman culture

Salvete Omnes!

Today we will be starting a new monthly post (like the text spotlight posts) in which we relive and explore the discovery of a Roman artifact, place, or item. Today, we will be focusing on the fabled rotating dining room of Nero!

The legendary dining hall has been discovered in Rome’s Palatine Hill. The dining hall was discovered whilst archaeologist were excavating the Golden House (Domus Aurea) which was built for Nero (54 to 68AD).

Bust of Nero at the Musei Capitolini, Rome

Bust of Nero at the Musei Capitolini, Rome


Gaius Suetonius Tranqullus

According to the Roman historian, Suetonius, the dining hall is said to have had a revolving wooden floor in order to allow guests to gaze upon all facets of the room including the painted ceiling with stars. Furthermore, it was described as have panels from which flower petals and different types of perfumes would shower upon the tables.

Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, the recently departed head of the British School at Rome, an archeological institute, said: “People have been trying to find the rotating dining room for a long time. We don’t have much idea about it except for what Suetonius tells us. It could have had a revolving floor, or possibly a revolving ceiling. “If they really have discovered it, that would be exciting.”


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About the Author: Brittany Britanniae

Hello There! Please feel free to ask me anything about Latin Grammar, Syntax, or the Ancient World.