Rome Reborn 2.1: A tour of the ancient city in A.D. 320

This video clip presents a short, low-resolution sample exploration of ancient Rome using the Rome Reborn 3D digital model. The tour begins over the Tiber River near the Circus Flaminius and Tiber Island. It continues past the Circus Maximus, Septizodium, Arch of Constantine, Meta Sudans, Colossus of the Sun, Flavian Amphitheater, Temple of Venus and Rome, and ends in the Roman Forum.

Rome Reborn is an international initiative to use 3D digital technology to illustrate the urban development of the ancient city from the first settlements in the late Bronze Age (ca. 1000 BCE) to the depopulation of the city in the early Middle Ages (ca. 552 CE). Thus far, the Rome Reborn team has concentrated on modeling the city as it might have appeared in 320 CE when it reached the peak of its development with a population estimated to be ca. 1 million people occupying ca. 25 sq. km. of space inside the late-antique walls and using ca. 7,000 buildings.

An interactive earlier version of this model, called Rome Reborn 1.0 (9 million polygons) has been available at no cost since 2008 in the Gallery of Google Earth, where it is called “Ancient Rome 3D.” This present version (October 2010) is called Rome Reborn 2.1. It has over 650 million polygons and still a work in progress. Before being released to the public as an interactive product capable of being explored in real time over the Internet, we need to review and correct the model archaeologically; and find a suitable technology platform for making such a massive model available to Internet users. Work is underway to address both issues.

Meanwhile, we offer this video exploration of the model, which we hope will already be found useful by students and teachers of ancient Roman topography and by the general public.

A longer version in higher resolution is available on YouTube at:

This video is copyright 2010 by Bernard Frischer. All rights reserved. The 3D models comprising Rome Reborn 2.1 are copyright: 2007 by The Regents of the University of California; 2007 by the CNRS, Bordeaux; 2009 by the Universite’ de Caen; and 2010 by Frischer Consulting, Inc. All rights reserved. For additional credits, please see the end of the video.

For more about this project, see:

For further information about this video, please write or call the project director, Prof. Bernard Frischer at:

cell: +1.310.266.0183
personal webpage:

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