Ancient “Rotating Restaurant” Found

It’s kind of a status thing for a large city to have a tall tower with a rotating restaurant. Toronto’s CN Tower has one, the Calgary Tower has one, Vancouver has one (I think it’s called Harbor Centre) and so on.

Turns out that the ancient Emperor Nero, he of the great fire of Rome fame, the very Caesar under whom the apostles Peter and Paul were both martyred, had a similar idea. Archaeologists found a rotating dining room in his palace:


The purported main dining room, with a diameter of over 16 metres, rested upon a four-metre wide pillar and four spherical mechanisms that, likely powered by a constant flow of water, rotated the structure.

The discovery was made during routine maintenance of the fragile Palatine area, officials said.

Latin biographer and historian Suetonius, who chronicled his times and wrote the biographies of 12 Roman rulers, refers to a main dining room that revolved “day and night, in time with the sky.”

Read the whole article. Modern people are tempted to look on everything in the ancient world as impossibly backward. You especially find this attitude among skeptics of religion and of Christianity in particular. I think this story is fascinating because it proves that anvient people weren’t stupid.



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