With degrees in Etruscology and Roman architectural history, Diane Favro has traveled to every corner of the Roman Empire, from Algeria to Germany to Lebanon, and written several books on the subject matter as well as worked on a long list of digital research projects that explore the ancient world. But the answer to one question about Rome during the reign of Caesar Augustus eluded and intrigued this UCLA professor of architecture and urban design.
According to legend, the founder of the Roman Empire once famously boasted, “I found Rome a city of bricks and left it a city of marble.” Was he telling the truth or making an empty claim? Did Augustus really transform the eternal city from brick to marble, Favro wanted to know.
To find out, Favro decided to uncover the truth behind Augustus’ famous declaration by using advanced modeling software to reconstruct the city of seven hills in its entirety and observing how it changed during the period when he was in power.
Read full article here