Stanford Digital Forma Urbis Romae Project
Important: The photographic images and computer renderings of individual
fragments of the Severan Marble Plan of Rome (Forma Urbis Romae,
Pianta Marmorea) that appear on the web pages of the Stanford Digital
Forma Urbis Romae Project are the property of Stanford University and
the Sovraintendenza ai Beni Culturali del Comune di Roma. Aside from
the ephemeral downloading and copying associated with browsing the
web and personal research, the images and
models of individual fragments may not be copied, downloaded and
stored, forwarded, reproduced or published in any form, including
electronic forms such as e-mail or the web, without express written permission from
Sovraintendenza in Rome and the project directors at
Marc Levoy and Jennifer Trimble. For the full copyright
notice, click here.
3D model of Fragment 492
INTRODUCTION TO THE DATABASE
This page introduces you to a database of the fragments
of the Forma Urbis Romae. The database infrastructure, digital photographs,
and 3D models are primarily the creation of
David Koller, and
Marc Levoy of the Stanford Computer Science
The text is researched
and written by Tina Najbjerg and Jennifer Trimble of the Stanford Classics Department.
This site is still
under construction and we welcome your comments about the layout and content.
To go directly to the database, click on the CONNECT TO DATABASE button below. This takes you to the index
page of our database with a list of all the fragments and a search
box. From there, click on any highlighted
number to see the entry for that fragment. For information about the
individual entries, how to download our 3D viewer, and how to use the search function, see below.
CONNECT TO DATABASE
Each entry page in the database contains the following
ID, Location, and Condition box
Color photograph of the fragment
Plate from PM 1960
3D model of the fragment
History of fragment
- ID, Location, and Condition box
- Stanford # - This is the number Stanford has given the fragment, based on and updating
- AG 1980 # - Number given to the fragment by AG 1980,
based on and updating PM 1960.
- PM 1960 # - Number given to the fragment by the authors of
- Museum Inv. # - Inventory number assigned by the Capitoline Museums. This is the number to
which you must refer in any correspondence with the Sovraintendenza about the fragment.
- Crate - Number of the crate in which the fragment is presently stored in the
Museum of Roman Civilization. When we release the complete database, you will be able to click on this
number to find out what other fragments are contained in this crate.
- Slab # - This tells you which slabs the fragment belonged to, if known.
The Plan was constructed of 150 marble slabs, numbered by Stanford from left to right
and from top to bottom. To see the location of the slabs, visit our Slab Map. If you click on the slab
number you will get a list of all the fragments that belonged to that particular slab.
- Adjoins - This tells you to which other fragments this particular piece joins. Clicking on these
numbers will bring you to their database entries.
- Located - This tells you if the location of the fragment on the Map is known or not.
- Incised - This tells you if there are any incisions on the fragment or not.
- Surviving - Here you are informed whether the fragment still exists or not. If the answer is
"false," the fragment was lost some time after its discovery in the 16th century. It may, however,
have been reproduced in a Renaissance drawing in which case we give it an individual entry. A search
in the search box for "surviving" and "false" will provide you with a list of entries for all lost fragments.
- Subfragments - The number of pieces glued together in this fragment.
- Plaster Parts - On occasion, marble or plaster copies of known but lost fragments have been
attached to the original fragments with which they join. These copies
were usually marked with a star to distinguish them from the original pieces (see for example
- Back surface - Matching the many fragments is made easier by distinguishing between pieces whose backs
are rough, smooth, or have been sawn off.
- Thickness - We are working on how to calculate the exact ranges of thickness of
a fragment. This will eventually be of great value in the attempt to match fragments. For now,
refer to the plates from PM 1960, reproduced in our database.
The measurements are written next to each fragment in the black and white photographs.
- Slab Edges - Here we tell you of how many slab edges, if any, this particular piece was a section.
- Clamp Holes - The marble slabs were originally fastened to the wall of the aula with metal clamps.
Holes from these clamps still remain in both the aula wall and in the marble pieces, and they are
sometimes key to locating fragments of the Map. Here we tell you how many clamp holes are visible in
this particular fragment, if any.
- Tassello - In addition to clamps, the marble slabs were on rare occasions also held in place by wedges of
marble or wood. The holes carved in the wall of the aula and in the back of the slabs (tasselli),
still remain, and they can also be key to joining fragments and locating them on the wall.
- Color photograph of the fragment
- Each entry contains a thumbnail image of the fragment. By clicking on the thumbnail image, you will
get a high-resolution detail of the fragment. If the image has been mosaicked together from more than one
image, you can click on raw images to see these. As the raw images are very dark, you are better off
clicking on color corrected which will give you the same images, but with better lighting.
Important: These images belong to Stanford University and the Superintendency in Rome and must
not be copied. Refer to the copyright page for more information.
See the color image metadata page for more
information about the processing applied to the images and and the remaining
In the database entries for the many lost fragments, you will in lieu of a photograph see a
detailed Renaissance drawing of the fragment. These details are taken from plates in
- Plate from PM 1960
- This thumbnail is a view of the plate(s) from PM 1960 on which the
fragment appears. The number(s) of the plate(s) appear(s) below the image. Clicking on the thumbnail
or the plate number will take you to a medium-resolution image; click on that for a high-resolution
image of the plate (very large!). When we release the full database, you will be able to click
on these numbers and get the complete list of all the other fragments that appear on the same plate.
Important: The images of these plates are the property of the Comune di Roma and must not
be copied. Refer to the copyright page for more information.
- 3D model of the fragment
- This thumbnail shows a 3D model of the fragment; which can be rotated, zoomed, and re-lit interactively.
To view the 3D models, you must download ScanView, our viewer, which works on PCs only (sorry, Mac
users--we are working on this problem). To download ScanView onto your computer, click here,
click on the thumbnail image itself, or on one of the three sizes listed below it and follow the
instructions. For some larger fragments, the complete 3D models
of the fragments provided may be of a lower overall resolution, and so a
finer resolution model of the top fragment surface alone is available via the
Top surface link.
See the 3D model metadata page
for more information about the measurement errors and visual artifacts that may be present
in the models.
- Search box
- Here you can perform all types of searches (at the moment, only among the 28 fragments of the sample
database). Choose all from the pull-down menu or specify a category. Then type a
term in the query bar (e.g. "010g" or "Basilica Julia" or "taberna")
and click on the Search button. For example, if you want to know which of the 28 fragments have been
identified, click on identified from the pull-down menu, type "true" in the query bar and
click on the Search button. You should receive an index of 20 fragments. Or, if you are interested in
seeing all the fragments on which the Circus Maximus appears, choose identification from the pull-down menu, type "Circus
Maximus" in the query bar, and click on the Search button. You should get to an index of 7 fragments (Note that you
must use quotation marks around the title of the monument you are searching for if its title has more than
one word. For example, you need to use quotation marks to search for "Porticus Aemilia" but not for the
Septizodium. You may qualify your search even more by using the second pull-down menu and query bar in addition to
- Identification of the architecture incised on the fragment.
- If there is an inscription on the fragment, you will see three parts under this headline:
1) The exact transcription of the letters, 2) The interpretation of the inscription on
Renaissance drawings of the fragment, and 3) The modern reconstruction of the inscription. All
are followed by a bibliographic reference. To see the epigraphical conventions used in this site, click
- The analysis is divided into 1) a description of what is depicted on the fragment, 2) an explanation
and discussion of its identification, with bibliographic references, and 3) a discussion of
issues pertinent to the fragment and its significance.
- History of fragment
- A brief description of the fragment's discovery and subsequent history.
- In this box you will find references to recent scholarship on the fragment. Each of the abbreviated
titles is linked to our bibliography page where you will find full titles and annotations.
If you have questions about the database and its use, contact
David Koller (firstname.lastname@example.org )
or Tina Najbjerg (email@example.com).
Last updated: October, 2008
Copyright © The Stanford Digital Forma Urbis Romae Project