E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
originally meant a dwelling on the Palatine Hill of Rome. This hill was so called from Pals, a pastoral deity, whose festival was celebrated on April 21st, the birthday of Rome, to commemorate the day when Romulus,
the wolf-child, drew the first furrow at the foot of the hill, and thus laid the foundation of the Roma Quadrata, the most aneient part of the city. On this hill Augustus built his mansion, and his example was followed by Tiberius and Nero. Under the last-named emperor, all private houses on the hill had to be pulled down to make room for The Golden House, called the Palatium, the palace of palaces. It continued to be the residence of the Roman emperors to the time of Alexander Severus. (See PALLACE.)