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Rome Reports

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Rome exposes wonderful secrets of its best emperor: Trajan


Beneath the Eternal City hide previously unknown great wonders, like this one. On Aventine Hill, one of Rome's seven famous hills, in a parking lot like any other, archaeologists descend almost 33 feet to access a hidden treasure – a house with five spacious rooms with high ceilings where 2,000-year-old frescoes haven't lost their color. The archaeologists believe this to be the house where the emperor Trajan lived before ascending to the throne. 

The rooms are still closed to the public, but the Italian capital has been studying the tracks left by the great emperor in works like this one... or this one – a 35-mile aqueduct built under Trajan's orders. It carried water from Lake Bracciano to the Trastevere area.

Trajan didn't only expand the empire's territory, but also built impressive civil works throughout the area – sometimes to cover the marks left by his predecessors like Nero. This large cistern on a thermal water source was built by the emperor above his Golden House. Trajan reduced it to rubble. 

These videos can be seen in the “Trajan. Building the empire, creating Europe” exposition, organized for the 1,900th anniversary of his death. 

The exhibit is right in the middle of the Eternal City and will remain open until September 2018. Trajan's portraits, statues and objects from the period that were previously hidden are on display there. The goal is to raise awareness of the figure who began the Golden Age of the Roman Empire. 

Trajan came to power in 98 A.D. He was the first non-Roman emperor and is remembered for more than being a great soldier and governor. The emperor was considered the best, so much so that people wished prosperity upon his successors by saying, “May you be better than Trajan.”