According to Italian news sources ASCA-AFP, ruins of a villa in all probability belonging to Emperor Vespasian (Roman emperor from 69 – 79 AD) were discovered about 70 kilometers (circa 44 miles) northeast of Rome on August 6. Coincidentally, Italy is commemorating the two thousandth year of Vespasian’s birth this year.
The villa is situated in the little village of Falacrine in the province of Rieti in what used to be the Sabine territory in antiquity.
Leading the group of international archeologists on this dig is Filippo Coarelli, a professor from the University of Perugia. Coarelli stated:
“The villas of this period generally don’t bear any inscriptions which makes it difficult to attribute ownership. But there are many indications, including the location, that lead us to believe that this is the villa where the Emperor Vespasian was born.”
Using small shovels and scalpels, the archeologists worked for four years close to an ancient necropolis and a little church of probable medieval origins when they uncovered the perimeter of this villa.
Part of a 14 thousand square meter complex (about 150,000 square feet), the building was constructed with luxury features; grand reception halls decorated with multi-colored marbles from north Africa, columns and private thermal baths. Some rooms have floors covered in delicate mosaics.
According to the archeologists, a villa of this type could only be built for an extremely wealthy family such as that of Vespasian.
Tito Flavio Vespasiano became emperor of the Roman Empire in 69 AD following a turbulent and unstable period that led to the death of Nero. Vespasian ruled for 10 years and gave birth to the Flavi dynasty. His name is tied to the construction of the Coliseum which was actually inaugurated under Titus in 80 AD. Vespasian also built the new forum and the Roman public baths (and instituted the taxes that went along with them).