Day Four: Ostia Antica

Hello readers, “Jacobus Magnus” aka Jacob Pressman here. This Wednesday our travels took us on the metro and away from Rome to visit the old port town, Ostia Antica (“ancient Ostia”). Starting as a salt mining colony of Rome around the 6 century B.C., Ostia became garrisoned by the government around 300 B.C. to protect from potential pirates sailing in on the Tiber River.

Later, the colony became largely just a commercial port, the most important of Italy at the time, which traded (among other things) wine, slaves, gold & silver, marble, and grain.

Exploring within the city walls, we observed ancient apartment complexes, a theater, a bathhouse, a public latrine (picture below), a flower mill (pictured below), and a marketplace .

Fun Facts: Starting with the first Roman emperor Augustus around the last years B.C. and early years A.D., firemen/watchmen brigades were created as the first ever Roman town police forces and fire fighters/marshals. Also, Romans did, in fact, have a form of toilet paper which manifested itself as a group of sticks near the toilets, of which you would grab one, skewer a sponge with it, clean yourself, and throw the sponge in the flowing water, river-like sewage system after use. Ciao!

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