First Oculus

02020-09-26 | Uncategorized | 3 comments

High overhead, an open hole, or oculus, invited the sky in. Rome’s Pantheon uses the same device to magnificent effect, but Nero’s Octagonal Room did it first.

Reassessing history’s most maligned ruler.


  1. Nancy

    A very interesting article about Nero. Thanks for sharing.

  2. JaneParhamKatz

    I enjoyed the Smithsonian article on a new look at Nero. How much truth has vanished into history’s shadows. Trump often came to mind in descriptions of Nero’s personality and lack of ability to govern Rome, a teenager thrust into the position of Emperor with no clue how to handle the job, no concern for the people but rather just for his own interests.

    The description of how daylight, allowed in through the Octagonal Room’s oculus and angled windows, danced around the room during the course of the sun made me think of Santa Fe sunlight playing through our houses.

    I spent one day in Rome, at the Coliseum and environs. I never heard of that 200-acre palace that Nero built. I loved the Coliseum…to stand right there! We were on a frickin’ one-week Mediterranean cruise and had to get back to the ship before it left port. Never again. I would have spent 1 month in Rome! However, I was grateful for a few hours in Rome, then in Florence – where we spent our short time with David, Naples – where we visited Herculaneum and I bought a black leather coat from a man selling out of his car. I think that was his wife’s coat!

    I digress. Thank you dear Ottmar for this post. By the way, I am currently falling in love with your Las Nubes! You captured the fluid movement of the clouds.

  3. JaneParhamKatz

    Now I find out a number of other writers have already compared Trump to Nero!


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