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Ostia Antica

Trip Planner Europe  /  Italy  /  Lazio  /  Province of Rome  /  Ostia Antica
Historic Sites Theme Parks
Ostia Antica is a large archeological site, close to the modern suburb of Ostia, that was the location of the harbour city of ancient Rome, which is approximately 30km to the northeast. "Ostia" (plur. of "ostium") is a derivation of "os", the Latin word for "mouth". At the mouth of the River Tiber, Ostia was Rome's seaport, but due to silting the site now lies 3km from the sea. The site is noted for the excellent preservation of its ancient buildings, magnificent frescoes and impressive mosaics.HistoryOriginsOstia may have been Rome's first colonia. According to the legend Ancus Marcius, the semi-legendary fourth king of Rome, first destroyed Ficana, an ancient town that was only 17km from Rome and had a small harbour on the Tiber, and then proceeded with establishing the new colony 10km further west and closer to the sea coast. An inscription seems to confirm the establishment of the old castrum of Ostia in the 7th century BC. The oldest archaeological remains so far discovered date back to only the 4th century BC. The most ancient buildings currently visible are from the 3rd century BC, notably the Castrum (military camp); of a slightly later date is the Capitolium (temple of Jupiter, Juno and Minerva). The opus quadratum of the walls of the original castrum at Ostia provide important evidence for the building techniques that were employed in Roman urbanisation during the period of the Middle Republic.
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