Thursday, November 14, 2013

rome, 2013 (ostia antica)

sophie spent much of her time there trying to catch lizards amidst the ruins

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'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!

art history time: this is a great example of opus reticulatum, a roman brickwork construction method used from about 100 BC/BCE to 100 AD/CE

i like this one--technically, this would be opus mixtum (combined brickwork techniques), but i love how the opus reticulatum part is decorative with the black and white stones

again, opus mixtum--the laterally placed stones are opus latericium, a brickwork technique that was used more exclusively after 100 AD/CE

gus playing hide-n-seek with sophie in a former public area made of opus mixtum

pigeon roosting in a wall of opus latericium

(fyi: this is the view of the forum from the campidoglio)

we're ready to return to rome!  thank you for looking at our pictures.  :)

No comments:

Post a Comment