Virtual Rome: an Interview with Dr. Matthew Nicholls

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Mark Cartwright
by Ancient History Encyclopedia
published on 04 March 2016

Dr. Matthew Nicholls from the University of Reading sat down with James Lloyd, AHE's Video Editor, to discuss his Virtual Rome project.
This project recreates the city of Rome c.317 CE, including vast public buildings such as the Colosseum, and shady backstreets full of tavernas. The techniques required to make such an architecturally diverse model vary, as does the amount of information available to inform the creative process.

In a world of advancing technology Dr. Nicholls looks at how models such as his can be utilised inside (and outside) the classroom in order to bring Rome to life, and how the creative process of building a 3D reconstruction can prompt us to ask important questions about the historical sources that inform our understanding of the eternal city.

Dr. Matthew Nicholls also explains how he first became interested in 3D modelling, and how you can start making your own 3D models of the ancient world using free software such as Sketchup, as well as discussing some of the ways his 3D model is being used elsewhere, such as the MMORPG ‘Life of Rome’.

For more information about the Virtual Rome project and Dr. Nicholls’ research more general please follow the below links:

Still images and videos of Dr. Nicholls’ model were kindly provided for the use of this interview, they remain his copyright, and are not to be reproduced.

Other Photo Credits, in order of appearance (reproduced under Creative Commons):,0608.5&page=1,_180-220_dc_ca,_da_antiquarium_comunale_roma.JPG

Ancient History Encyclopedia

Cite This Work

APA Style

Encyclopedia, A. H. (2016, March 04). Virtual Rome: an Interview with Dr. Matthew Nicholls. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Chicago Style

Encyclopedia, Ancient H. "Virtual Rome: an Interview with Dr. Matthew Nicholls." Ancient History Encyclopedia. Last modified March 04, 2016.

MLA Style

Encyclopedia, Ancient H. "Virtual Rome: an Interview with Dr. Matthew Nicholls." Ancient History Encyclopedia. Ancient History Encyclopedia, 04 Mar 2016. Web. 26 Feb 2020.

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