A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America
A wall built around Rome by the emperor Aurelian in the third century A.D. wasn't enough to keep the barbarians out, and now, 1,800 years later, parts of the Aurelian Wall have fallen victim to heavy rains. An 18-foot-high section of the wall on the southern edge of the city collapsed following a spring storm. Representatives of Rome's city council said the ruined portion would be reconstructed following a technical investigation. Heavy rain was also blamed in the collapse of a chunk of ceiling in Nero's palace, the Domus Aurea or Golden House, which was reopened to the public a few years ago following 20 years of restoration. While much of the palace was razed by Vespasian following the mad emperor's death in A.D. 68, about 150 rooms remain beneath central Rome.