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What did ancient Rome look like?

There's an animation studio that put together cinematic quality recreations of some notable temples and buildings from ancient Rome, worth looking at here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XxA4CX_Ip8

and I have to say that an even better title so far I'm concerned would be 'Look at how much better things are without cars!'

I've heard that there's a Gladiator movie that also did a good job capturing the look of Rome but I haven't gotten around to seeing it yet -- the one with Russell Crowe, apparently.

Posted by
4978 posts

Really impressive, including the colors on, and within, the buildings! And pedestrians and horses, but no scooters, either. And no Tabacchi shops, or a spot for a quick espresso. Ancient Rome was apparently a lot less cluttered.

Russel Crowe spent a lot of the movie wandering through a wheat field, brushing his right hand along the tops of the wheat. There was a bit of combat in the arena, too. Kind of like a hockey game, but without ice or skates.

Posted by
2588 posts

but plenty of carts filling the streets

And dung. Lots and lots of dung.

Posted by
3789 posts

Interesting. A bit utopian, but I'll take it. Interesting awnings over the Colosseum. I have read there were awnings, but this shows how they may have been installed.
Marked in YouTube for their other offerings.

Posted by
4600 posts

We're currently enjoying the Great Courses "The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World," with Prof Robert Garland. He definitely suggests the streets would have been a lot more crowded, and a lot dirtier. Think, chamber pots emptied from the top story of multi-storied apartment buildings. Beggars in the doorways. Crowds of people (many of them slaves) filling the streets and markets.

And yes, we've also heard that the statues would have been brightly painted.

But this has been fun to look at, nonetheless. Thanks, Avirosemail.

Posted by
2212 posts

While beautiful, this is actually footage ripped from a historical video game called Assassin's Creed, not created by this animation studio. Shame they did not cite their source, sadly amounting to plagiarizing.

There was no great lighthouse of Rome, the images shown are a mix of Golden Age Athens (400s BC), Ptolemaic Alexandria, and Roman Cyrene (north Africa)

Posted by
1146 posts

It looks really lovely, but Utopian. I certainly would like to live or visit there if I were of the upper classes with plenty of money. Lack of cars really does make a difference, although horses and donkeys bring their own problems.

Posted by
3789 posts

@Carlos. I've heard of that game from my kids. Can you report the YouTube if it is ripped off from another product? I did chuckle, however. It fooled us, Though the harbors should have triggered that it wasn't Rome.

Posted by
25750 posts

I'm very sad to see Carlos's warning. If that is the case the video should not be up on the web. Nor should we give the naughty studio YouTube clicks.

Thanks for bringing it Avi but it is worth checking that plagiarism.

Posted by
2212 posts

@MariaF - how they worded their description in the video it's technically within YouTube Community Guidelines, at the very end in small words is "This was captured in AC Origins" I assume AC is Assassins' Creed, but still very misleading as above that they promote their own business after "Watch this Ancient Egypt recreation featuring realistic 3D animation to find out. Get Ancient Egypt Jewelry and Shirts here..."

They didn't even take the time to make sure the ripped footage was accurate to Ancient Rome 🙄

The funny thing is the original video game already has a feature which allows the player to do a virtual tour of Ptolemaic Egypt, curated by Egyptologists, here's the full 8 hour tour - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88xjcvPKLJk

Posted by
1623 posts

Yes, thanks for tracking down the video-game origins of these animation clips --
I was suspicious of course when the areas displayed were clearly not Rome itself but 'Rome' more broadly considered, with harbor towns and estates that are not right there in the city.
I should have been more circumspect.

Also, the theater and harbor scenes tugged at my heartstrings because of my fondness for the restos, or semi-restored Roman-era ruins, of Tarragona (Tarraco) and Malaga and Nimes. These clips give a little inkling of how glorious those places were (underneath the grime and cruelty).

Posted by
3789 posts

Thanks Carlos for the extra details. I won't be viewing their other stuff, but it's amazing how the visuals tugged army history heart strings and slowed the pulse. Both things I need these days. Oh well.

Posted by
4978 posts

So these are background views, and are we missing out by not seeing extraterrestrial ninja robots roaming the streets, assasinating random victims? Maybe “Rome” was a tough place to live, not so welcome to visitors?

Posted by
1682 posts

Ancient Rome often smelled like burning and rotting flesh, thanks to the Plague. Human and animal waste everywhere. Do not recommend if you're time travelling.

But like anywhere you would get used to it and barely notice? I find that hard to believe.