Ancient Rome Digitally Rebuilt in its Entirety

I am constantly frustrated staring at ruins and trying to imagine how cool they must have been in their prime.

Sure, some of the better maintained ruins give you a decent idea of what they were once like, but man, wouldn’t it be cool to go back in time and see for yourself!

It was such a thought that launched Rome Reborn.

Rome Reborn is a $2 million computer rendition of how Eternal City must have looked during its heyday in AD 320. According to a recent article by Tracy Wilkinson, the project, now stored at the University of Virginia, “is the largest and most complete digital simulation of a historic city ever created.” The astounding fact that 7,000 buildings have been digitally recreated for the project seems to suggest that this is probably true.

Sadly, only a small portion of the project is currently available online–although there are plans to make the entire city viewable within the year.

I was a bit surprised to discover that the results aren’t startlingly realistic–like toady’s video games–but they are startlingly accurate. All it needs is some Gladiators and a Second Life contract…