The Roma Ieri Oggi site is a vast resource of old and wonderful photographs of Rome. It’s rather a pity that these are being embedded in an on-site “viewer”, to make it hard to download the things. But in them we see Rome before Mussolini made his necessary but destructive changes.
Today he posted a very useful item, showing something which I have long wanted to see. It’s a photograph of the Colosseum, from 1920, from an unusual angle:
Today much of the stuff on the right is gone, demolished by Mussolini and replaced by the Via del foro imperiali.
But notice the platform, against the wall to the right of the Colosseum:
This is – this must be – the base of the colossal statue of Nero, from which the Flavian Amphitheatre drew its name of “Colosseum”. The statue was 100 foot tall, and was erected outside of Nero’s Golden House. Of course it is long gone – it was converted into a statue of Sol, after Nero’s fall, and resited here, and was melted down at some unknown date thereafter.
The base also is gone today, demolished by Mussolini; but there it is in the photograph; and we owe Roma Ieri Oggi a great debt for allowing us to see it!