House of Paullus Aemilius Lepidus

model of Roman house

You see an elegant domus which once belonged to Paullus Aemilius Lepidus, who was suffect consul in 34 and censor in 22 BCE. You remember that his first wife, Cornelia, was the daughter of Scribonia, whom Augustus divorced to marry Livia. The poet Propertius wrote a long elegy (4.11) in the voice of Cornelia, in which she speaks to her husband from beyond the grave. You are startled to realize that Cornelia's statue still stands in a corner of the atrium of this house; in death as in life, Cornelia is a notable presence. Click on her name to find out how you can converse with her.

You enter through a long, narrow vestibule which opens out into a beautiful atrium. Bright blue sky shines through a central opening in the roof and the sunlight sparkles on the water in the rectangular pool beneath the opening. A small shrine stands in one corner of the atrium. Click here for a plan of the whole house.

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