Thursday, November 14, 2013
rome, 2013 (ostia antica)
this is the last of the rome pictures, for now at least. these are of the ancient port city of ostia, now called ostia antica, which is about 15-20 miles southwest of rome's city center. ostia was originally situated at the mouth of the tiber, hence it was a critical site for the roman empire, but around the first century AD/CE the river began to silt up and ostia's future was sealed. by around 900 AD/CE, the city was completely abandoned, but 500 years before that its importance had already diminished. today the silting has stopped but the new mouth of the tiber is more than three miles away from where it was located during ostia's heyday.
ostia antica is an amazing site in that you can actually go inside and walk around the houses, baths, latrines, public areas, granaries, theatre--everything--unlike most ancient sites. i'm not sure that this is a good thing for preservation, but it is a great thing for education. it is much smaller than pompeii and much less crowded, and as you can explore freely one is able to imagine what life *might* have been like there. i definitely prefer ostia to the roman forum--my advice would be to skip the forum altogether and spend the day at ostia antica with a good guide book...you'll learn more and be far less frustrated! do take in the view of the forum from behind the campidoglio--that is extraordinary, and free.
we've thrown our coins in the fountain...hopefully we'll be back soon!
Posted by lost in the triangle at 2:42 AM