Schools Gold Card - Ancient Ostia

from
10,00 €

3,5

Working days:

M
T
W
T
F
S
S

Maximum capacity limit
No limit

Meeting point:

On demand

Students up to 18 years


Departure time: on demand 


What's included:

  • Entrance to the Ancient Ostia excavations
  • Tour guide
  • Guest assistance

What's not included: 
  • Transfer (available on demand)


Tradition says that Ostia was founded by Ancus Marcius, the 4th king of Rome, who lived during the second half of the 7th century B.C., even if - till today - there is little archeological evidence corroborating such information.

However, it seems that during the Regal period there was a built-up area near the mouth of the Tiber, where there were some salt marshes producing salt: a priceless and essential wealth. Therefore, the whole area surrounding the mouth of the Tiber was strategically important for Rome. In any case, the first settlement can be traced back to the beginning of the 4th century B.C. Only at the end of that century a squared fortified post was built. This military camp, or castrum, surrounded by strong tufa walls, was called Ostia from the Latin word Ostium, meaning "mouth of the river". Ostia, the first Roman colony, became immediately a river port acquiring a commercial and strategic military function.

During the first period, the political control exercised by Rome over Ostia had been very strict, but towards the end of the Republican period the city became more autonomous. The city was slowly spreading far beyond the perimeter of the castrum, and in the second half of the 2nd century A.C. the city reached its maximum extent.


In the second half of the 3rd century A.C. a slow but inexorable decline began, caused by many overwhelming historical events and, in more recent times, by the raids of the Saracen pirates along the coast, led to the complete abandonment of Ostia around the 9th century A.C. when the last inhabitants migrated to the new fortified town of Gregoriopolis, rising on the bend of the Tiber, which later became a village where the Castle of Julius II was erected.

In the centuries following its abandonment, the ancient Roman city of Ostia became an area plagued by malaria and subjected to continuous and inevitable looting and plundering of building materials and marbles. It was only at the beginning of the 20th century that the desire to understand the complex history of this ancient Roman city led to systematic archaeological excavations which brought to light large areas of the city.

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