22 May 2016

Ostia (Italy)

Kaart Ostia Portus

Ostia was the first harbour of Rome, situated at the mouth of the river Tiber. The ruins are next to the medieval village Ostia Antica.

According to Roman historians the settlement was founded by the fourth king of Rome, Ancus Marcius. The oldest remains that have been found belong to a castrum (a military camp), dating to ca. 300 BC. It protected both the river mouth and salt pans. In the first century BC Ostia began to develop into an important commercial port, serving the needs of the ever growing population of Rome.

Ostia had a river harbour only, no natural shelter in the form of a bay. Therefore additional harbour facilities (Portus Romae) were constructed a few kilometres to the north, by the emperors Claudius and Trajan. A vast area has been excavated, revealing a kaleidoscope of buildings. The inhabitants (perhaps some 50.000) lived in high-rising apartment buildings. They worked in an "international" commercial hub, organizing the transport of goods to the harbour facilities, temporary local storage and the subsequent transport to Rome in tow boats using the Tiber.

Today the city is ca. 3 km away from the sea, due to extensive silting over the centuries. "Protected" by swamps and malaria the place was left alone, so that the ruins are relatively well preserved.

See also:
- Introduction: the movie "The town behind the town".
- In depth: www.ostia-antica.org.
- A movie about the synagogue.
- A movie about the bakery Caseggiato dei Molini.
- A movie about the use in walls of travertine stones.
[15-08-2020] "Tabernae at Ostia", also available in Dutch
[18-06-2019] "Rescue of the port city of Rome" , also available in Dutch
[07-05-2019] "The collegium, the Roman guild", also available in Dutch.
[07-11-2018] "The Ostia Marina project 2018", also available in Dutch.
[08-10-2018] "A look inside the modern kitchen of archaeology", also available in Dutch.
[14-08-2018] "Tourist information in an ancient Roman port", also available in Dutch.
[22-05-2018] "The last stage of Roman Ostia back to life", also available in Dutch.
[03-04-2018] "The last excavated Mithras sanctuary", also available in Dutch.
[12-11-2017] "Il Progetto Ostia Marina, interview with prof. Massimiliano David", also available in Dutch and Italian.
[08-11-2017] "A place to fall in love with", also available in Dutch.
[28-08-2017] "Overseas trade", also available in Dutch.
[04-06-2017] "A country house with a view", also available in Dutch.
[06-04-2017] "The first harbour of ancient Rome rediscovered", also available in Dutch.
[24-11-2016] "The Ostia Graffiti Project. An interview with Eric Taylor", also available in Dutch.
[17-03-2016] "Ostia versus Pompei", also available in Dutch.
[18-02-2016] "How the coastline of Ostia changed over the centuries", also available in Dutch, German and French.
[07-02-2016] "The synagogue, Jewish life in Ostia", also available in Dutch, Italian, German and French.
[07-02-2016] "A harbour for Rome", also available in Dutch, German and French.
[06-02-2016] "Alberino Vicari, 'Il biondo' ", also available in Dutch, Italian, German and French.
[29-01-2016] "The Ostia Graffiti Project", also available in Dutch and French.

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