Home > 99. Storytelling, B. The Living Artifact > Campus Martius, circa 300 A.D.

Campus Martius, circa 300 A.D.

File:Campus Martius.jpg

RT, a lover of maps and old cities, confesses himself a bit overwhelmed by this wonderful model of the Campus Martius (Field of Mars) in ancient Rome. What are all the beautiful buildings, and when were they built? RT can offer only provisional help in the matter: 1) the model reflects the CM in about 300 A.D; 2) the model includes insulae, the apartment buildings (if you can imagine!) where most of the population of Rome lived; 3) the model also includes the Theater of Pompey (the semi-circular structure near the center of the model), which stands next to a quadriporticus (the portico or pillared building standing within another); and 4) finally, the Circus Flaminius is the large semi-circular building at the top of the photo and its adjoined open space (or piazza). There was much more in the CM, of course; the Ara Pacis should be represented somewhere.

Estimates of population range widely; here is RT’s best guess: the population of Rome at this time was 900,000; the entire empire’s population was around 60 million. Both of these figures represent declines from peak population in the early empire–for Rome, in excess of a million; for the empire, 80 million.

There is nothing like a model to bring an ancient city to life, and here we can sense something of the complexity and sophistication of ancient Rome at its height.   RT


RT’s Related Posts: 1) Maps, Auxlangs, and the Growth of Living Artifacts (or, Je t’aime, Paris!).


Photo: Architectural Model of the Campus Martius; Theatrum Pompeii Project. WikiCmns; Public Domain.


  1. August 9, 2013 at 11:44 am

    I have been there, in the room, with the model. Incredible!


    • August 9, 2013 at 5:46 pm

      Queen Margo: why am i not surprised? Hope all is well in Atlanta… Eric

      • August 9, 2013 at 7:30 pm

        Atlanta has had overcast skies since the end of May, resulting in decent temperatures [unlike Texas], so all is good.


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