If you’ve ever wondered what the world looked like to an ancient Roman, now’s your chance to cruise over the ancient vista and explore its many grand sites.
A new 3D digital model of ancient Rome has been launched that allows users to virtually explore the capital of the Roman Empire in the fourth century CE. The fourth iteration of Rome Reborn: Flight over Ancient Rome was released this month by Flyover Zone, a US-based educational company that offers virtual tours of ancient historical sites.
The latest version features better graphics and allows users to explore the city from a bird's-eye view plus a ground-level perspective that features expert descriptions of 43 monuments and buildings, including the Colosseum, Pantheon, Baths of Caracalla, and the Roman Forum.
The tour of Rome Reborn 4.0 shows the ancient capital as it stood in 320 CE. This was a crucial time after the Western Roman Empire had passed its heyday – the “Pax Romana” – and cracks were just beginning to show. It was still the most populous city in Europe by a long shot, home to around 1 million people who lived and worked in approximately 7,000 buildings spread over 13.6 square kilometers (5.3 square miles).
Remarkably, an estimated 99 percent of the ancient city has vanished, leaving behind just a small scattering of ruins. If you’ve ever had the opportunity to visit Rome, the city you walked around is found some 7 meters (22 feet) above the ancient city seen in these maps.
The map is based on a digital scan of a physical model held at the Museum of Roman Civilization in Rome. To ensure the map remains accurate, the team enlisted the help of a team of archaeologists, historians, architectural experts, and engineers.
If you want to access the tour, you’ll need to sign up for the company’s streaming platform, Yorescape. In light of this latest release, the company is offering one week of free access at: https://yorescape.page.link/rome.
You can catch a sneak peek of the tour in the video player above.
“Yorescape Rome Reborn 4.0 is the culmination of more than 27 years of collaborative international work in using digital tools to research cultural history and bring it to life. By making the Rome model available through the virtual tour called Flight over Ancient Rome, we hope to make it easy and enjoyable for people to learn about the ancient world city and its cultural heritage,” Bernard Frischer, archaeologist and founder of Flyover Zone, said in a statement.
“Teachers can use this and other tours on Yorescape to take their students on virtual field trips to the cultures they are studying. Armchair travelers can explore great heritage sites without having to leave home. Yorescape can help travelers to prepare for a trip to Rome, get more out of a trip by using it once they have arrived, and keep their memories alive once they return home. Our goal is not to replace real-world tourism but to enhance it,” added Frischer.