Bright Mosaics, Ancient City

This title is a not-so-clever play on something from Sex and the City. I apologize.

So, I spent all day Sunday at Ostia Antica, the ruins of Ancient Rome’s harbor city. Ostia, which means mouth in Latin, lies at the delta of the Tiber River. It is similar to Pompeii in that it is a fairly intact ancient city, but, as you know, life ended in Pompeii due to Vesuvius’ hard work. People just abandoned Ostia. A bigger, better port city was built, Ostia was sacked a few times, then its inhabitants just packed up and left. The other difference between Pompeii and Ostia has to do with the economic class of its inhabitants. Pompeii was full of the elite’s summer homes and extravagant villas. Ostia was a working class city filled with modest apartment blocks and grain warehouses.

So, that’s Ostia in a nut shell. I had a wonderful time running around the ruins. I saw mosaics to die for, two mithraeums (What is the plural for that word? Mithraei?), countless bath houses and gyms, the forum, the theater, the market, apartment buildings, and the first Christian church in Ostia. Exploring is fun!

Enjoy some photos:

At the gate to Ostia proper

Cityscape

Mosaics in the Baths of Neptune

Wall Mosaics

Theater

Where's Waldo? (For Scale)

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2 Comments

Filed under Italy, Ostia

2 responses to “Bright Mosaics, Ancient City

  1. Is it just me, or is the phrase “sacked” hilarious?

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