April 29, 2016

5 more Romans

It's Friday again, so we're off to meet Amy at Love Made My Home for her Five on Friday feature. You might think after my Lincoln trip a couple of weeks ago that you've seen all there is to see about the Romans, but no. Here's some examples of Romans in Rome - well close to Rome, anyway.

The town of Ostia was ancient Rome's coastal resort and major port. Today it has been largely excavated, and extensively reconstructed, so you can wander around it and imagine what life must have been like all those years ago.

One of the most reconstructed areas is the old theatre. Plays are still staged here (or should that be staged here again?) and the staff were preparing it for a production when we visited - hence all the blue drapes and scaffolding.  The audience sits on the tiers around the auditorium, of course. I imagine it's pretty uncomfortable, unless you take plenty of cushions!

This is the house of the doli. Doli (pronounced dough-lee) were huge storage jars, up to five or six feet high, and they were used by being buried in the ground, making them easier to reach in to and keeping the contents cooler. They could have stored anything - grain, flour, oil, whatever. Imagine a modern 'weigh and save' store.


Here's the Mill of Sylvanus. It was a corn grinding mill, and those huge concrete-looking objects are the mill stones. You can just make out the cap on the conical base stone. The holes around the top would have had wooden bars inserted in them so that the top cap could be turned (probably by slaves because there isn't room for a donkey!) to grind flour as corn was poured into the top.

Guess what this is.....   Yes. I'm sure you're right. It's a public loo. Roman latrines were communal affairs where users would sit alongside other participants to complete their ablutions. They also shared the means to clean themselves afterwards. Sponges on sticks were kept in a central pot where they could be rinsed with water before (and hopefully after) use.


At the heart of town is an area called the Piazzale delle Corporazioni, or Square of the Traders. It is in the form of a quadrangle of small units with mosaic pavements outside them advertising their wares. This must have been a fishmonger - but other stores, if their mosaics are to be believed, dealt in such exotic stock as elephants!

So there is a brief introduction to Ostia Antica. Now pop over to see Amy and find other people's fives. Just click on the photo below.




16 comments:

  1. Ostia sounds fascinating. Love the Roman loos. I've just started watching the latest Mary Beard series about Rome. Excellent . B X

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  2. I'm not so keen on the Roman loos! However, the pots buried in the ground to keep cool sounds a great idea although scooping the contents out could give you a back ache. :-)

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  3. Yes, great photos of a fascinating place.
    Thank you for sharing and happy May Day!

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  4. Fascinating, what a great place to visit. I would love to see one of the plays there, I can only imagine what a great experience that would be. Have a wonderful weekend.

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  5. Another interesting and informative post. Thank you for sharing. xx

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  6. Great interesting post - thanks for sharing. I would like to make a time travel...
    Have a nice weekend

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  7. What a fascinating post!! Always good to see new places and find out more. You are right though I am sure about the cushions, you would need a lot to be comfortable through a whole play! Thank you for joining Five On Friday, I hope you have a fun weekend!

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  8. What an interesting post. I would not like to use the Roman loo, too social :) But it would be a great experience to see some performance in that theatre! Sunny and enjoyable May Day!

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  9. Fab post - love the translation for square of the traders - just goes to show where our market squares originated doesn't it? have a lovely weekend

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  10. Always enjoy reading and seeing things from the Romans. Been a while since 've we're been to Italy.

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  11. Thanks for sharing all the wonderful historic pictures. I love history and historical buildings. I grew up in England where there are so many great buildings. Not so many here in America!

    Have a great week.

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  12. Such an interesting sight into this historical city. I'm not too fond of the public restrooms either! Wishing you a fun filled week, Pat xx

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  13. What an interesting post. In your photos the weather looks so warm. I think you would need to take cushions along to sit on in the theatre as the stones look very uncomfortable:)

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  14. I do love history and this is such an interesting post, especially the part about the communal latrines and the doli. I'm glad for modern plumbing!

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  15. The excavations at Ostia must be fascinating. As you know it's not far from Fiumicino airport and when we were there the other week waiting to get the flight back to the UK I noticed a new display had been set up. Some important examples of ancient sea vessels have been uncovered in what used to be the sea port. The only time we've been to Ostia was to go to the beach before getting a flight, but I'm sure the archaeological site would be worth a visit.

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