Home Page Roman Empire
Picture Index
Picture Index Page
Children's Section
Childrens Section
E-mail
E-Mail

Ostia Antica
Pictures by Joel Argersinger

It is thought Ostia Antica was founded in about 335 BC as one of the very first Roman colonies. It lay at the mouth of the river Tiber (ostium = Latin: mouth) and so Ostia Antica became the great gateway for the Mediterranean to the city of Rome. It was here that the goods flooding in from the empire arrived in Italy. Most of these goods would be transferred onto barges which would then carry them up the Tiber to docks of Rome, among them of course the famed grain supply from north Africa which the city so much depended on.
Ostia's importance to Rome is shown in the scale of imperial patronage lavished on the town. If emperor Claudius built one harbour, the emperor Trajan built a yet greater one. Meanwhile much of the cities layout stems from emperor Hadrian who commissioned entire districts built.
At its peak Ostia is estimated to have had around 100'000 inhabitants.
In the 2nd century a rival port, Portus, was founded a little to the north. Although Ostia still continued to flourish at first, it was eventually eclipsed by Portus in the 4th century, as trade began to wane and Ostia's harbours started to silt up.

Ostia01-b.jpg - 44272 Bytes Ostia06-b.jpg - 45698 Bytes
The town's main street - Decumanus Maximus

Ostia13-b.jpg - 51539 Bytes
The Capitolium

Ostia02-b.jpg - 59971 Bytes
The amphitheatre
Ostia04-b.jpg - 51445 Bytes

Ostia21-b.jpg - 38758 Bytes
The approach to the stage of the amphitheatre of Ostia

Ostia03-b.jpg - 47566 Bytes
A great stone tablet at the amphitheatre

Ostia07-b.jpg - 47101 Bytes Ostia08-b.jpg - 48901 Bytes
Elaborate floor mosaics cover what were once the floors of Roman houses.

Ostia09-b.jpg - 54382 Bytes
More mosaics
Ostia10-b.jpg - 47235 Bytes

Ostia12-b.jpg - 45426 Bytes
Ruins of various houses
Ostia05-b.jpg - 42820 Bytes
Ostia14-b.jpg - 47937 Bytes
Ostia 14.jpg - Misc.
Ostia20-b.jpg - 40093 Bytes
Ostia22-b.jpg - 46283 Bytes

Many to Joel Argersinger for these great pictures !

Home Page Roman Empire
Picture Index
Picture Index Page
Children's Section
Childrens Section
E-mail
E-Mail