OSTIA. Apparently, when we were looking at the ruins in Rome, some of what we saw came from Ostia. Ostia is about 20 miles from Rome and was the port for Rome. It is an ongoing archaeological site. Some people who have seen both sites compare what remains at Ostia to Pompeii. Pompeii was preserved by volcanic ash that accumulated in a couple of days. Ostia was preserved by layers of silt over the centuries. The AIRC (American Institute for Roman Culture) website has a link to a good series of introductory videos about Ostia. There is also a tourist guide to Ostia Antica. The tourist guide gives a history of Ostia, beginning with a forum built probably in the third century B.C., continuing with the construction of a large commercial harbor (called Portus) by the Emperor Claudius in 42 A.D. and the expansion of Portus by Trajan. The rise and fall of Ostia seems to have tracked that of Rome. By the middle ages, marble from Ostian buildings was used in the cathedrals of Pisa, Florence, Amalfi and Orvieto (as well as in reconstructions of ancient Rome).

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One Response to OSTIA.

  1. Andrew says:

    We took the kids to Italy this summer in no small part due to Ostia. Elizabeth devoured a book series called “The Roman Mysteries” and the main characters lived in Ostia. Elizabeth was delighted to find places mentioned in the book. As we were leaving, we saw another young lady entering, clutching her dog-eared copy of one of the books.

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