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Royal Chamber 1

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Royal Chamber 1
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Photo Comments

View looking into the central room of the interior of the "Royal Chambers of the "Royal Theater" at the Herodium. Here the king could host his guests and offer them refreshments before or during the performances.

The "Royal Chambers" were centrally located at the top of the cavea—overlooking the seating of the cavea, the orchestra area, and the stage.  The Royal Box was composed of two stories.  This picture is of the central room of the lower story.

The rooms were decorated with plaster reliefs and colorful wall paintings.  The theater and room were probably redecorated in anticipation of the visit of Marcus Agrippa, Augustus's right-hand man, in 15 or 14 BC.  The walls have evidence of at least two layers of frescos.

The walls have three longitudinal registers.  The walls of the Royal Room were decorated with wall paintings in the secco technique [painting on dry plaster] and stuccowork.  

The bottom register was decorated with lively-colored frescos with "margins" that imitate Herodian masonry.

The middle register was divided vertically by stuccowork pilasters and decorated with painted 'hanging pictures' that were suspended by imaginary 'strings' and 'nails.'  The pictures imitate windows with open shutters affording views of imaginary landscapes.  These scenes evidently stressed the achievements of Augustus and Marcus Agrippa—for example, the victory at the Battle of Actium, the conquest of Egypt, etc. 

The upper register was composed of stucco reliefs.