The first nucleus of the Roman Empire

From Wikipedia:

The Palatine Hill, (/ˈpælətaɪn/; Latin: Collis Palatium or Mons Palatinus; Italian: Palatino [palaˈtiːno]) which is the centremost of the Seven Hills of Rome, is one of the most ancient parts of the city and has been called “the first nucleus of the Roman Empire.” The site is now mainly a large open-air museum while the Palatine Museum houses many finds from the excavations here and from other ancient Italian sites.

Imperial palaces were built here, starting with Augustus. Before imperial times the hill was mostly occupied by the houses of the rich.

The hill originally had two summits separated by a depression; the highest part was called Palatium and the other Germalus (or Cermalus). Using the Forma Urbis its perimeter enclosed 63 acres; while the Regionary Catalogues of the 4th century enclose 131 acres.

According to Livy (59 BC – AD 17) the Palatine hill got its name from the Arcadian settlers from Pallantium, named from its founder Pallas, son of Lycaon. More likely, it is derived from the noun palātum “palate”; Ennius uses it once for the “heaven”, and it may be connected with the Etruscan word for sky, falad.

The name of the hill is the etymological origin of the word palace and its cognates in other languages (Greek: παλάτιον, Italian: palazzo, French: palais, Spanish: palacio, Portuguese: palácio, German: Palast, Czech: palác, etc.).

The Palatine Hill is also the etymological origin (via the Latin adjective palatinus) of “palatine”, a 16th century English adjective that originally signified something pertaining to the Caesar’s palace, or someone who is invested with the king’s authority. Later its use shifted to a reference to the German Palatinate. The office of the German count palatine (Pfalzgraf) had its origins in the comes palatinus, an earlier office in Merovingian and Carolingian times.

Another modern English word “paladin”, came into usage to refer to any distinguished knight (especially one of the Twelve Peers of Charlemagne) under Charlemagne in late renditions of the Matter of France.”

From the Online Etymology Dictionary:

palate (n.)

late 14c., “roof of the mouth of a human or animal; the parts which separate the oral from the nasal cavity,” from Old French palat and directly from Latin palatum “roof of the mouth,” also “a vault,” which is perhaps of Etruscan origin [Klein], but de Vaan suggests an IE root meaning “flat, broad, wide.” It was popularly considered to be the seat of the sense of taste, hence transferred meaning “sense of taste” (late 14c.), which also was in classical Latin.”

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