Filippo Coarelli

in Rome and Environs

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780520079601
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520935099 | DOI:

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This chapter explains that based on ancient tradition, the foundation of Ostia was attributed to Rome's fourth king, Ancus Marcius. It details that the oldest part of the city is the so-called Castrum, a small fortified maritime colony which was probably created soon after the destruction of Fidenae in 427 bc; its remains occupy the center of the later city. The chapter notes that the oldest settlement had both a military and economic function. It highlights that the city was intended to protect the mouth of the Tiber, which gave access to Rome's commercial and military harbors, situated as far inland as Tiber Island. The chapter explains that Ostia reached its maximum expansion under the Antonines, when the population must have approached 50,000. It narrates that when Portus became the region's economic center, Ostia finally became a purely residential area. The chapter provides a description of the structures and roads that can be found at Ostia.

Keywords: Ostia; Ancus Marcius; Castrum; Fidenae; Tiber; Tiber Island; Antonines; residential area

Chapter.  9609 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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