Failure at Fidenae: Understanding the site of the largest structural disaster of the Roman world

Rebecca Napolitano, Michael Monce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

In A.D. 27 the largest structural disaster of the Roman world occurred when the amphitheater at Fidenae collapsed involving what one source reported to be 50,000 people. A 3D digital reconstruction of the amphitheater was produced from textual, architectural, archaeological, and engineering analysis. Primary literary sources, such as Roman authors Tacitus and Suetonius, examined in conjunction with proximal archaeological evidence allowed for the most probable seating capacity and the scale of the amphitheater to be determined; architectural evidence of other wooden structures found on Trajan's Column allowed for a most probable projection of a three-dimensional model to be created utilizing AutoCAD. The failure of the amphitheater at Fidenae stands in the middle of an important period for the development of large-scale Roman infrastructure; through understanding failed designs such as this one, more light can be shed on the progression of technological advances and development of engineering practices in ancient Rome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere00077
JournalDigital Applications in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage
Volume10
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Archaeology
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • Computer Science Applications

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