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The way we were: extravagance

By Ian Irvine  

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton together during the filming of 'The VIPs' at Borehamwood in London. Image: PA

121AD

Suetonius, the Emperor Hadrian’s secretary, describes the extravagance of the Emperor Nero (54-68 AD) in his history, The Twelve Caesars:

“There was nothing however in which he was more ruinously prodigal than in building. He made a palace extending all the way from the Palatine to the Esquiline [two of the seven hills of Rome], which at first he called the House of Passage, but when it was burned…

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