Monday, July 23, 2018

Time Travel Rome Mobil App: The Entire Roman Empire In Your Pocket!

A historical resource article by Mary Harrsch © 2018

This morning I received word that a new travel app entitled "Time Travel Rome" was now available for Apple and Android smartphones. This app is said to describe every significant ancient Roman city, fortress, theater, or sanctuary in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa! Actually, I've been told the application includes over 3,000 sites and there are plans to add another 1,000 sites later this year.

I downloaded it and was amazed by the depth of information included in it. It not only includes location information including GPS coordinates to aid in locating each site but offers the related Wikipedia information in either English or French, a proprietary article pointing out site features like museums or visitor centers nearby, and even passages from the ancient texts where the site is mentioned. 

For example, I looked up Alesia and the extant remains are described including a building associated with the city's metalworkers named after a minor Celtic god, information about the statue of Vercingetorix erected there, as well as the presence of a large museum, a visitors' center and Roman reconstructions including a full-sized 100m section of Caesar's fortifications. It also mentions guided tours that are available throughout the year. 

The ancient text section offers passages from Diodorus Siculus, Julius Caesar's commentaries on the Gallic Wars, Livy's History of Rome, Paterculus' Roman History, Strabo's geography, Pliny the Elder's Natural History, Plutarch's "Life of Caesar", Tacitus' "The Annals", Florus' "Epitome of Roman History," Polyaenus' "Strategems" and Dio Cassius' "Histories" where Alesia is mentioned. The app includes a library of hundreds of complete ancient texts in English covering history, poetry, geography, and mythology.

One of the most useful features is a filter function that lets you filter sites by contents. If you want to see sites with extant amphitheaters, you can filter for that. If you want to see sites with remnants of aqueducts, you can filter for that. Sites are ranked from 0 to 5 stars according to their historical importance and their visual interest for a visitor and can be filtered for that rating as well.

The App allows you to create custom lists of places to use as your private guide, rate the ancient sites you visit, and navigate using the shortest route. The app also provides access to social media so you can share your travel experiences with friends and family. Basic functionality is free. The complete experience is $7.99.
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