Tiberius' Villa on Capri

So, Im watching something and it is showing the ruins of his villa, and it got me to wondering something.

Why did it fall into ruins, when we have other buildings from roughly the same time that have been in constant use? It would seem to me that some rich family might have bought it from a later emperor and moved into it.

I don’t know the specifics of Tiberius’ villa but in general I think there are almost no actual dwellings surviving from this period. The structures that have survived more of less intact are public buildings such as temples/churches, for instance the Pantheon in Rome.

eta I should have asked, have you got examples of houses that are still in use after 2000 years? I can’t think of any.

Tiberius had cats. They couldn’t get anyone willing to put up with the stink when it went n the market.

While I’m not sure this had anything to do with it, I know a lot of the buildings on Capri were damaged by Vesuvius, and the Bay of Naples became a lot less fashionable after the eruption. Plus, after Tiberius died, nobody could get rid of the “old man sex” smell. The Playboy Mansion will probably fall into ruins after Hef dies for much the same reason.

Tower of Hercules in Spain was still in use, and even given a bit of a facelift in the late 1700s [an additional story was added to handle modern equipment] and it is actually still fundctioning as a light house. Not sure if I can find my pictures of it, I think they were in my moms house when it burned with most of my stuff from teh 70s.

The roman build Baths in Bath are still there, and were in use up until this century, and in Nimes, le Maison Carree has been in constant use since its construction - was converted into a christian church back in the day. Amphitheaters are still dotted around france spain and northern africa.

On Sicily and Sardinia, there are stacked stone structures still in use as grainaries and shepherds huts.

And surely there were ancient crazy cat ladies who wouldnt mind the smell … =)

None of which is an example of a villa remaining in use as a house.

That doesn’t seem to me to be quite so obvious.

There are plenty of examples of rulers from more recent centuries just abandoning castles, palaces or country houses. If you have vast estates, enormous financial resources and dozens of residences, letting a few palaces go to ruin isn’t that big a deal. You are probably using only some of your houses regularly anyway. For whatever reason, you stop using one of them. You have no pressing need to sell it and so it simply joins the list of houses you might use but, in practice, never do. You keep it in part because there is always the possibility that one of your successors might want to revive its use. Any surrounding estates (perhaps not a major factor on Capri) can also remain productive. Of course, unmaintained, the building will quickly begin to decline. But that’s no big deal either, as you would probably prefer to give it a makeover anyway if you ever decided to stay there.

The Baths of Bath were in ruins in Anglo Saxon times, so that’s really not an accurate comparison.

The center of Split, Croatia, is Diocletian’s palace, which dates from the early 4th century.

My WAG is that the sort of monumental buildings that had a chance of surviving weren’t the sort of buildings most would like to live in.

OK, I can’t find anything definitive in a brief scan of Google, but when I was at the Tower of Hercules they said it had been in ruins and then was almost completely rebuilt, including replacing much stone which had been removed and re-used by locals building other things. The foundations are Roman, but it’s not true to say that it’s been in continuous use as a lighthouse, or even in continuous useful existence.

Diocletian’s palace in Split is, by and large, a roofless ruin with the houses etc of the city built inside it. The only bit that sticks in my mind as having a roof was the part that was pretty quickly converted to become a Christian church, hence it stayed up because it was a public building. It’s a very, very cool place, by the way.