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An aerial view of the city center seen from the east. Visible are the Tiber River, Circus Maximus, Palatine, and Colosseum.
A typical street scene. Shops are on the first floor of apartment buildings. In the background are seen the arches of an acqueduct.
Aqueducts supplied Rome with clean water brought from sources far from the city. In this view, we see an aqueduct carried on piers passing through a built-up neighborhood.
A typical view along the banks of the Tiber River between the Aventine and Transtiberim near the Pons Probi.
An aerial view over the Tiber Island. The Circus Maximus is seen in the distance. At the south end of the island is seen the sanctuary of Asclepius. Linking the island to the city are two bridges, which still are in use today: the Pons Fabricius and the Pons Cestius.
Rome had many small private bathing establishments. Starting with the reign of Augustus, impressive public baths were built in various neighborhoods of the city. These were more than places to wash but were lavishly decorated with opus sectile on the floors and walls, sculpture, and they offered a range of cultural and athletic facilities. In this image, we see the Baths of Trajan on the Oppian Hill opposite the Flavian Amphitheater. These baths seem to have inspired the design of the great Baths of Caracalla and Baths of Diocletian, both built in the third century AD.
The Circus Maximus housed the track used for chariot races. Closely associated with the founding of the city (the legendary "Rape of the Sabine Women" took place here), the complex was rebuilt many times. In the period illustrated by Rome Reborn, the circus is thought to have accommodated several hundred thousand spectators. In this image we see the circus, the imperial palace on the adjacent Palatine Hill, and the Septizodium. The latter was an enormous fountain commissioned by Septimius Severus and erected between the circus and the southeast corner of the Palatine Hill.
The Colossus of the Sun. This statue, made of bronze, was originally erected as a portrait of Nero in the vestibule of his palace, the Domus Aurea ("Golden House"). When Hadrian built the Temple of Venus and Rome over the vestibule, he ordered the statue moved to this spot next to the amphitheater. At some point, the head of Nero was replaced by that of the sun god. Commodus replaced the head with a representation of Hercules. The Severan emperors restored the head of the sun god. The base of the statue (17.6 meters x 14.75 meters) has been excavated. Of the statue itself nothing survives, but it is known from illustrations on imperial coins minted in the third century AD.
An aerial view of the Flavian Amphitheater ("Colosseum") seen from the south. The amphitheater was started by Vespasian and dedicated under his son, Titus. It was used to stage gladiatorial games, animal hunts, and the execution of prisoners. The structure could hold up to 50,000 spectators, whose seating reflected their social status.
The Flavian amphitheater ("Colosseum") had four levels above ground for the seating and the arena. Below the arena was a subterranean level where animals used in the hunts were penned. A tunnel linked the amphitheater to the nearby Ludus Magnus, where the gladiators lived and trained; another tunnel was reserved for the use of the emperor and his entourage so that they could have secure entrance and exit into the building. Atop the Colosseum was the velarium, or awning, which protected the spectators from the sun.
At the center of the Colosseum was the arena, a wood-planked surface covered with sand (Latin: harena) to absorb the blood spilled by the violent sports events conducted in the amphitheater. One typical activity was the hunting of wild animals. They were kept penned below the arena floor, where they were forced through shoots and guided into elevators when needed for an event. The elevators, some of which are seen in this image, were operated manually by slaves. When an elevator reached the arena, a trap door opened to let the animal out. The hunters had to keep a wary eye all around them because they could never be sure where the next animal would emerge from the bowels of the building.
The plaza on the west side of the Flavian Amphitheater hosted a great fountain, perhaps 58 Roman feet high, known as the Meta Sudans. Originally built in the Augustan age, it was rebuilt under Domitian toward the end of the first century AD. The monument is set on a significant spot: the point where four, or possibly five, of the 14 Augustan regions met. Just to the south of the fountain looms the Arch of Constantine.
Western end of the Roman Forum. In the foreground is the Rostra Augusti. In the background are (left to right) the Temple of Saturn, the Temple of Vespasian, and the Temple of Concordia. For more information, click here.
The northern side of the Roman Forum with the Curia Iulia in the foreground, next to which is the Basilica Aemilia. In the distance is seen the Temple of the Divine Julius Caesar on the east side of the Forum plaza. The Curia was the principal place where the Senate met. For more information, click here.
In this image we see the interior of the Curia Iulia. The senators sat on chairs arranged on the three deep steps on either side of the hall. The presiding officers sat on the platform at the end of the hall opposite the grand doorway leading to the Forum Romanum. The structure survived into modern times because it was converted into a church in the early Middle Ages. Fragments of its opus sectile floor and wall covering are still preserved. For more information, click here.
A view of the Arch of Septimius Severus next to the Rostra on the western end of the Roman Forum. The arch was erected in 203 AD in honor of Severus' victories over the Parthians and for restoring order to the state after the chaos resulting from the assassination of Commodus in 192 AD.
The statue of Marsyas with the statues of the ficus, olea, vitis. This statue group was located in the Roman Forum between the Tribunal Praetoris and the Rostra Augusti. Nothing of the group survives except illustrations on the nearby anaglyphs of Trajan and imperial coins.
A fly through version 2.2 of the model on Vimeo (5:20 minutes). Various landmarks and parts of the city are indicated by subtitles. The itinerary starts over the Tiber River, proceeds past the Circus Maximus, turns north toward the Colosseum and nearby Baths of Trajan. From there we see the Temple of Venus and Rome, Basilica of Maxentius, the Theater of Pompey, and the Pantheon. We return to the city center, flying over the Capitoline and finish our tour by descending into the Roman Forum. Innumerable video itineraries can be generated through the digital model. This is just one example.
Introduction to the exhibition, "Hi-Tech Romans." The video makes heavy use of Rome Reborn 2.2. The exhibition was shown at the Museum Het Valkhof, Nijmegen, The Netherlands (September, 2011 to January, 2012); Rheinisches Landesmuseum Bonn (March 2012 to August 2012); Museon, The Hague, The Netherlands (October, 2012 to August, 2013); and Technopolis, Belgium (October 2013 to August, 2014). The video is posted here with the kind permission of the organizer of the show: Museon, The Hague, The Netherlands.
A short documentary about ancient Rome produced by the Royal Ontario Museum for its Eaton Gallery of Rome, where 500 artifacts from the Roman world are displayed. Like the video developed for "Hi-Tech Romans," this video makes heavy use of version 2.2 of Rome Reborn. Both videos illustrate the utility of the digital model as a resource for museums and schools. The video is posted here with the kind permission of the Royal Ontario Museum.
Bernard Frischer, Project Director of Rome Reborn, and Steven Zucker, Dean of Arts and Humanities of The Khan Academy, view a video of the Rome Reborn model (version 2.2) and chat about the project and the city.