Why was Ostia important to the City of Rome?
Ostia Antica is a prominent waystation of ancient Rome. In Latin, Ostia literally means mouth. And as its name suggests, Ostia is situated at the mouth of the River of Tiber, where trade and commerce across the Mediterranean occurred. The existence of Ostia Antica gave way for Rome to flourish and become known to the world up until this modern age and time.
Around the fourth to second centuries before Christ, Ostia has become a strategic site for both land sea transports that primarily led to Rome. Thus, this historical location became the capital for major shipments. Ostia is as important to Rome today as it was before. It was Ostia that opened the doors to Rome towards prosperity and wide economic gains. The gradual expansion of Ostia Antica under the leadership of great emperors produced a rich, sophisticated city of Rome that attracted great numbers of investors, traders, and tourists. As Ostia became a commercial and shipping interest among its neighboring countries, food, grains, vegetation and warehouses all flowed towards Rome through this famous waystation. Ostia was not only part of Rome’s famous archeology, where the first Jewish synagogue was discovered. Ostia also participated in some Christian activity, of which a dialogue between a pagan and a Christian was said to be documented as these two entities strolled around town. And later in the existence of Ostia, popular Christian personalities such as Augustine, settled, lived and was buried in this significant, historical place.
Rome continues to give gratitude to the town of Ostia due to the great contributions it has made. Today, Ostia remains to be famous, not merely because it built the city of Rome, but also because it excellently preserved its ancient buildings, outstanding frescoes and extraordinary mosaics.