1. A longer version is available on YouTube at:

    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.

    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: romereborn.virginia.edu.

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

    cell: +1.310.266.0183
    email: bernard.d.frischer@gmail.com
    personal webpage: frischerconsulting.com/frischer

    # vimeo.com/11805593 Uploaded 102K Plays 4 Comments
  2. Director: Jorge Molina
    Latin Voice-over: Jose Luis Vidal
    Exposición "Pompeya bajo Pompeya"
    Producida por : BigThings

    On August 24, 79 Mount Vesuvius literally blew its top, spewing tons of molten ash, pumice and sulfuric gas miles into

    Vesuvius erupts, 1944the atmosphere. A "firestorm" of poisonous vapors and molten debris engulfed the surrounding area suffocating the inhabitants of the neighboring Roman resort cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiae. Tons of falling debris filled the streets until nothing remained to be seen of the once thriving communities. The cities remained buried and undiscovered for almost 1700 years until excavation began in 1748. These excavations continue today and provide insight into life during the Roman Empire.

    An ancient voice reaches out from the past to tell us of the disaster. This voice belongs to Pliny the Younger whose letters describe his experience during the eruption while he was staying in the home of his Uncle, Pliny the Elder. The elder Pliny was an official in the Roman Court, in charge of the fleet in the area of the Bay of Naples and a naturalist. Pliny the Younger's letters were discovered in the 16th century.

    Wrath of the Gods

    A few years after the event, Pliny wrote a friend, Cornelius Tacitus, describing the happenings of late August 79 AD when the eruption of Vesuvius obliterated Pompeii, killed his Uncle and almost destroyed his family. At the time, Pliney was eighteen and living at his Uncle's villa in the town of Misenum. We pick up his story as he describes the warning raised by his mother:

    "My uncle was stationed at Misenum, in active command of the fleet. On 24 August, in the early afternoon, my mother drew his attention to a cloud of unusual size and appearance. He had been out in the sun, had taken a cold bath, and lunched while lying down, and was then working at his books. He called for his shoes and climbed up to a place which would give him the best view of the phenomenon. It was not clear at that distance from which mountain the cloud was rising (it was afterwards known to be Vesuvius); its general appearance can best be expressed as being like an umbrella pine, for it rose to a great height on a sort of trunk and then split off into branches, I imagine because it was thrust upwards by the first blast and then left unsupported as the pressure subsided, or else it was borne down by its own weight so that it spread out and gradually dispersed. In places it looked white, elsewhere blotched and dirty, according to the amount of soil and ashes it carried with it.


    My uncle's scholarly acumen saw at once that it was important enough for a closer inspection, and he ordered a boat to be made ready, telling me I could come with him if I wished. I replied that I preferred to go on with my studies, and as it happened he had himself given me some writing to do.

    As he was leaving the house he was handed a message from Rectina, wife of Tascus whose house was at the foot of the mountain, so that escape was impossible except by boat. She was terrified by the danger threatening her and implored him to rescue her from her fate. He changed his plans, and what he had begun in a spirit of inquiry he completed as a hero. He gave orders for the warships to be launched and went on board himself with the intention of bringing help to many more people besides Rectina, for this lovely stretch of coast was thickly populated.

    He hurried to the place which everyone else was hastily leaving, steering his course straight for the danger zone. He was entirely fearless, describing each new movement and phase of the portent to be noted down exactly as he observed them. Ashes were already falling, hotter and thicker as the ships drew near, followed by bits of pumice and blackened stones, charred and cracked by the flames: then suddenly they were in shallow water, and the shore was blocked by the debris from the mountain.

    For a moment my uncle wondered whether to turn back, but when the helmsman advised this he refused, telling him that Fortune stood by the courageous and they must make for Pomponianus at Stabiae. He was cut off there by the breadth of the bay (for the shore gradually curves round a basin filled by the sea) so that he was not as yet in danger, though it was clear that this would come nearer as it spread. Pomponianus had therefore already put his belongings on board ship, intending to escape if the contrary wind fell. This wind was of course full in my uncle's favour, and he was able to bring his ship in. He embraced his terrified friend, cheered and encouraged him, and thinking he could calm his fears by showing his own composure, gave orders that he was to be carried to the bathroom. After his bath he lay down and dined; he was quite cheerful, or at any rate he pretended he was, which was no less courageous.

    Vesuvius from space Meanwhile on Mount Vesuvius broad sheets of fire and leaping flames blazed at several points, their bright glare emphasized by the darkness of night. My uncle tried to allay the fears of his companions by repeatedly declaring that these were nothing but bonfires left by the peasants in their terror, or else empty houses on fire in the districts they had abandoned. Then he went to rest and certainly slept, for as he was a stout man his breathing was rather loud and heavy and could be heard by people coming and going outside his door. By this time the courtyard giving access to his room was full of ashes mixed with pumice stones, so that its level had risen, and if he had stayed in the room any longer he would never have got out. He was wakened, came out and joined Pomponianus and the rest of the household who had sat up all night.

    They debated whether to stay indoors or take their chance in the open, for the buildings were now shaking with violent shocks, and seemed to be swaying to and fro as if they were torn from their foundations. Outside, on the other hand, there was the danger of failing pumice stones, even though these were light and porous; however, after comparing the risks they chose the latter. In my uncle's case one reason outweighed the other, but for the others it was a choice of fears. As a protection against falling objects they put pillows on their heads tied down with cloths.

    Elsewhere there was daylight by this time, but they were still in darkness, blacker and denser than any ordinary night, which they relieved by lighting torches and various kinds of lamp. My uncle decided to go down to the shore and investigate on the spot the possibility of any escape by sea, but he found the waves still wild and dangerous. A sheet was spread on the ground for him to lie down, and he repeatedly asked for cold water to drink.

    Then the flames and smell of sulphur which gave warning of the approaching fire drove the others to take flight and roused him to stand up. He stood leaning on two slaves and then suddenly collapsed, I imagine because the dense, fumes choked his breathing by blocking his windpipe which was constitutionally weak and narrow and often inflamed. When daylight returned on the 26th - two days after the last day he had been seen - his body was found intact and uninjured, still fully clothed and looking more like sleep than death.

    Shrieks of the People

    In a second letter to Tacitus, Pliny describes what happened to him and to his mother during the second day of the disaster:

    Pompeii home. Ashes were already falling, not as yet very thickly. I looked round: a dense black cloud was coming up behind us, spreading over the earth like a flood.'Let us leave the road while we can still see,'I said,'or we shall be knocked down and trampled underfoot in the dark by the crowd behind.'We had scarcely sat down to rest when darkness fell, not the dark of a moonless or cloudy night, but as if the lamp had been put out in a closed room.

    You could hear the shrieks of women, the wailing of infants, and the shouting of men; some were calling their parents, others their children or their wives, trying to recognize them by their voices. People bewailed their own fate or that of their relatives, and there were some who prayed for death in their terror of dying. Many besought the aid of the gods, but still more imagined there were no gods left, and that the universe was plunged into eternal darkness for evermore.

    There were people, too, who added to the real perils by inventing fictitious dangers: some reported that part of Misenum had collapsed or another part was on fire, and though their tales were false they found others to believe them. A gleam of light returned, but we took this to be a warning of the approaching flames rather than daylight. However, the flames remained some distance off; then darkness came on once more and ashes began to fall again, this time in heavy showers. We rose from time to time and shook them off, otherwise we should have been buried and crushed beneath their weight. I could boast that not a groan or cry of fear escaped me in these perils, but I admit that I derived some poor consolation in my mortal lot from the belief that the whole world was dying with me and I with it."

    # vimeo.com/3532431 Uploaded 6,004 Plays 0 Comments
  3. This is a video of my reconstructions of the Roman town of Ostia. The Ostia Antica Park is one of the largest and most important italian archaeological sites of the ancient Rome. With his fifty hectares, its buildings and its streets, it testifies the development of a large urban and commercial center during the imperial age. Ostia was the most important port of the antiquity, the gate of Rome on the Mediterranean sea.

    This ancient roman town is located at the mouth of the Tiber, hence its name: in fact 'ostium' in latin means 'mouth of the river'. It was a quite large town and for its importance and extension it was called 'the second Rome'.

    I have visited the town many times during my life and each time I was amazed by its monuments, its mosaics, its architecture. I have projected myself in a imaginary world, trying to picture the buildings around me. This reconstruction is the product of my researches and long study of the roman architecture that ended up with the modeling of a huge 3d model (around 15 million of polygons) representing the whole town - and part of the neighborhood.
    According to my knowledge (and please let me know if I am wrong), this is the first time this town has been entirely reconstructed in 3D.

    I have produced many still images and packaged them into a iOS app, a sort of archeological guide based only on 3d images. You can find more info about the iOS apps on my web site at:


    or searching 'ostia antica' in the Apple Store.
    If you enjoyed watching this video, I would be really glad to read your comments. Drop a line here or just click 'I like'. I will know you appreciated my work....

    Thank you

    # vimeo.com/66959713 Uploaded 6,625 Plays 0 Comments
  4. A quiet visit to Pompei,with the pacing of rememberance of ancient times.

    DIRECTOR & CAMERA: Jorge Molina
    EDITION : Gloria Peiró
    MUSIC : Ludi Scaenici


    In 364 BC, Rome was afflicted by a terrible pestilence. In order to appease the anger of the Gods, LUDI SCÆNICI were created which featured "Ludiones" (Etruscan dancers and actors) who "dancing to the sound of tibias without singing themselves and without miming the meaning of the song, moved, not without grace, in the Etruscan manner" (Livy VII, 2). This was the first example of a musical performance on the ancient Roman scene not tied to ritual, theatre or circus.

    The group LUDI SCÆNICI was founded by Cristina Majnero and Roberto Stanco (curricula in italian language) who have been doing research on this subject for many years, collaborating with, among others, Dr. A. M. Liberati, director of the Museo della Civiltà Romana (Roman Civilisation Museum) in Rome. They have also composed the music for the CD-ROM "Viaggio virtuale nell'antica Roma" (Virtual trip through Ancient Rome) by "Altair 4 Multimedia", edited by Mondadori New Media. It has win the critics special mention of the "Festival International Multimedia - 8° Prix Mobius 2000" at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. With Quinto Fabriziani they have composed the music for the sonorization of the ancient roman part in the Chieti Museum.

    LUDI SCÆNICI had play in Italy, France, Spain and Switzerland. The group plays among other places in "Tarraco Viva" 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 e 2004 for Museum of History of Tarragona", in "La musica a traves de los siglos" for "Centro de Historia" in Saragozza and at the "III Festival romano de Andelos" always in Spain. They have performed also in "Terra di Storia" at Borgoricco (Padova), in "Forme Etrusche" for the "Sapientia - Ass. Cult. Marcello Creti" in Sutri (Viterbo), for the Archeological Museums in Chieti and for the Archeological and Etnographic Museum in Modena, where they have make some conferences-concerts. They performed in romans amphitheatres as Roselle (Grosseto), Carsulae and Ocricolum (Terni) and in archeological areas like Ostia antica (Roma), Tridentum (Trento), Bliesbruck and Le Fa in France. They had play at "Augusta Raurica" (Augst) in 2002, 2003, 2004 (Switzerland) and for the C.R.A.M. (Center of Archo-Musical Reserch) at Montalto di Castro (Viterbo). They have collaborated with the University of Tarragona and with the University "La Sapienza" in Rome.

    In 2001 has issued by Minstrel editions "E TEMPORE EMERGO" the first CD of the group. The music of this CD has been selected in 2003 for "Tarraco" a DVD talking about the history of Tarragona, made by the UNESCO.

    The music, the musical instruments, the dance

    No musical fragments exist at all but there is plenty of existing material available for the study of the musical culture in the ancient Roman times.We are lucky that a few musical instruments of the period have survived and there is an abundance of figurative illustrations of wind, percussion, string, hydraulic and bellow instruments. This material together with descriptions by Latin authors has enabled us to reconstruct these instruments and therefore allow us to here their sounds and combinations. Some of these instruments are still being used in various regions of the Mediterranean, Africa and the Middle East - a living testimony to the artistic and cultural exchanges that occurred then as they continue to do so today.

    We also have a vast amount of images available in ceramics, frescoes and mosaics of dance, with dancers held in suggestive poses typical of the period, often they are depicted holding small musical instruments such as cymbals or crotales. We are able to produce a plausible choreography thanks to the large number of image that in some cases are like representations of dance sequences.

    Costumes and accessories

    Particular care has been taken in the choice of materials, colours and accessories for the costumes that LUDI SCÆNICI use in their performances. Natural fibres are used and enriched with accessories reproducing jewellery and footwear, therefore producing in the most suggestive way ancient Roman image on stage.

    The show

    In its concert version, the group LUDI SCÆNICI is composed by five musicians and two dancers. Several musical instruments are introduced during the performance of several pieces that alternate music and dance with solo pieces for individual instruments. The make-up, construction, intonation, use and technique of the principle instruments are discussed.

    In some pieces, texts of the era are recited in Latin.

    # vimeo.com/3307145 Uploaded 2,299 Plays 1 Comment

Latin and Roman Etc....

Kimber Tate

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