Ancient Roman Harbors: The Construction of Portus and its Necropolis with Livia Galante

Ancient Roman Harbors: The Construction of Portus and its Necropolis with Livia Galante


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The remains of Claudio harbor are today partially buried under the international airport of Rome. In A.D. 42, the emperor Claudius decided to build a new port in the north of Ostia because the old harbor of Ostia, located closer to the mouth of the Tiber River, did not allow the mooring of large cargo ships. 

A few decades later, at the beginning of the 2nd Century, a new, imposing port was built by emperor Trajan. This included an original hexagonal basin, built inland to prevent the silting, and connected to the seashore through a deep channel, still existing today. Up to 200 ships could dock inside the refurbished harbor. Around the basin, there were large warehouses, porticoes, and a magnificent residence – used by the imperial family when departing by sea. 

After the construction of this great harbor, a new urban center developed around it, with the consequent establishment of a few necropoleis in the outskirt of the settlement. One of them is, so far, the best excavated in Italy. Together we will explore these beautiful mausoleums – brickwork facades adorned with pilasters, pediments, and cornices as well as inscriptions and decorations. These inscriptions provide us precious information on ancient Roman families as well as the social and professional life of the whole community. 

Led by an expert on Ancient Roman Topography, Livia Galante, this Conversation will focus on the development of the ports of Claudius and Trajan, the infrastructures built around these, and the nearby necropolis of Portus that allow visitors to comprehend the different types of burials and funerary habits. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with increased comprehension of the technological skills of ancient Romans in terms of building and logistics as well as aspects of the ancient society and different burial habits.

Livia obtained a degree in Archaeology at the Sapienza University of Rome and has a Master's degree in the History and Conservation of Cultural Heritage from the University of Roma Tre. Her main field of interest is ancient Roman topography and early Christian architecture; however, she is an accomplished scholar whose teaching ability extends to the Renaissance and Baroque Rome. As a native Roman, Livia is very enthusiastic in sharing the deep love and knowledge she has for her hometown with clients.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 3 reviews
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(3)
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Heidi Mair (Seattle, US)

This lecture was very well researched and thorough. And accompanied by very helpful slides. Thanks!

N
Nancy Leonard (Rhinebeck, US)
Roman Engineering Refined

Livia Gallante is an archeologist with a wide and deep knowledge of things classical and Italian. Her expertise in Roman history refined and deepened the astonishing revelation of the harbor at Portus just being intensively studied and excavated now. My favorite part was learning how the necropolis - the burial tombs underground at the Portus site- neatly bestowed different sorts of tombs with appropriate decor, according to the class of the departed one. An excellent seminar, though I had to miss a few minutes at the end.

A
Anonymous (Porto Alegre, BR)

Guest did not leave comment

Customer Reviews

Based on 3 reviews
100%
(3)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
H
Heidi Mair (Seattle, US)

This lecture was very well researched and thorough. And accompanied by very helpful slides. Thanks!

N
Nancy Leonard (Rhinebeck, US)
Roman Engineering Refined

Livia Gallante is an archeologist with a wide and deep knowledge of things classical and Italian. Her expertise in Roman history refined and deepened the astonishing revelation of the harbor at Portus just being intensively studied and excavated now. My favorite part was learning how the necropolis - the burial tombs underground at the Portus site- neatly bestowed different sorts of tombs with appropriate decor, according to the class of the departed one. An excellent seminar, though I had to miss a few minutes at the end.

A
Anonymous (Porto Alegre, BR)

Guest did not leave comment