Published: July 2006
Learn More
In Learn More the National Geographic magazine team shares some its best sources and other information to expand your knowledge of our featured subjects. Special thanks to the Research Division.

Related Links

Aquae Urbis Romae—The Waters of the City of Rome
This study of Roman waterworks from 753 B.C. on will eventually cover the full story of Rome's water development up to the present day. At the moment, only ancient Rome is covered; the medieval section is still under construction. The goal of the study is to determine how Rome's water and Romans' handling of it has shaped the public life of Rome. Maps and time lines show the different layers of Rome's water structures.

Roma Sotterranea
To learn more about past underground discoveries in Rome, read about urban speleology, and keep up with future developments, visit the Roma Sotterranea website. The "Underground Sites List" drop-down menu in the upper right-hand corner has an extensive list of links to detailed information on sites from San Clemente and the Cloaca Maxima to many catacombs, churches, and basilicas.

Topography of Ancient Rome
Selected articles from Samuel Ball Platner's A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome, originally published in 1929, are fun to read and easy to sort through. Heavily cross-linked articles are divided into categories such as Roads and Bridges, Temples, Waterworks and Aqueducts, Basilicas, Baths, and much more. Other sections of Thayer's website include large blocks of translated Roman texts, including Suetonius's Lives of the Twelve Caesars.

Forum Romanum
A scholarly website aimed at readers of Latin literature, Forum Romanum also contains an outline of Roman history, a geneology of Roman gods, and a section on the private life of the Romans.

The Colosseum
Though put together by an amateur, this is a good clearinghouse of information, much of it visual, on all things related to the ancient Colosseum.

The Imperial Fora
Though the central area of ancient Rome is often referred to in general as the Roman Forum, that particular forum from the Roman republic was really only one of many fora—the others were built later by emperors and carried their names. This website provides information on the fora of Caesar, Trajan, Vespasian, Augustus, and Nerva. A detailed map with highlights helps sort out which one is where.

Basilica San Clemente
Visit this website before visiting the basilica—one of the best examples of "architectural layering" in all of Rome—to get information about the archaeological excavations, site tours, directions, and visiting hours.


Boatwright, Mary T., Daniel J. Gargola, and Richard J. A. Talbert. The Romans From Village to Empire. Oxford University Press, 2004.

Claridge, Amanda. Oxford Archaeological Guides: Rome. Oxford University Press, 1998.

Heiken, Grant, Renato Funiciello, and Donatella De Rita. The Seven Hills of Rome. Princeton University Press, 2005

Pavia, Carlo. Guide to Underground Rome. Gangemi Editori, 2000.

NGS Resources

Zwingle, Erla. "Italy Before the Romans" National Geographic (January 2005), 52-77.

Reid, T. R. "The Power and the Glory of the Roman Empire." National Geographic (July 1999), 1-41.

Dunn, Jerry Camarillo, Jr. "Stadium of Life and Death." National Geographic World (March 1998), 11-15.

Reid, T. R., and James Stanfield. "The World According to Rome." National Geographic (August 1997), 54-83.

Barnard, Charles N. "Rome." National Geographic Traveler (November/December 1995), 50-69.

Gore, Rick, James M. Gurney, and O. Louis Mazzatenta. "The Eternal Etruscans." National Geographic (June 1988), 696-743.

Splendors of the Past: Lost Cities of the Ancient World. National Geographic Books, 1981.

Lerici, Carlo. "Periscope on the Etruscan Past." National Geographic (September 1959), 336-50.