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Royal Chamber Fresco

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Royal Chamber Fresco
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Photo Comments

View of the lower register of the fresco paintings in the central room of the interior of the "Royal Chambers of the "Royal Theater" at the Herodium. The lower one is decorated with lively colored frescos with "margins" that imitate Herodian masonry.  Because of the "holes" in the top layer of plaster, it is evident that at least two coats of plaster had been applied to the wall—the first, when the room was created, and the second just before Herod entertained Marcus Agrippa, Augustus's right-hand man here in 15 or 14 BC.


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 walls have three longitudinal registers.  The bottom one is decorated with lively-colored frescos with "margins" that imitate Herodian masonry.  The middle register had imitation "windows"—the "shutters" of which were "open."  In the open "window" were a variety of scenes, evidently stressing 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 plaster reliefs.