Ostia

A work in progress.

The aim is to map out all the different aspects of Ostia so that it can be used as a teaching aid or a guide for those interested in the site.

Any input or contributions are greatly appreciated.

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A general plan of Ostia.
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Ostia and the surrounding area.

Glossary

  • Aedile – Town magistrate who managed the day to day administration of public buildings and regulation of public festivals.
  • Ala – Wing or alcove opening to left and/or right of the atrium of a Roman house.
  • Amphitheatrum – An amphitheatre.
  • Apodyterium – A changing room of a Roman baths.
  • Ara – An altar.
  • Atrium – The main hall of a Roman house.
  • Basilica – Colonnaded public hall on the Forum, used for commercial transactions and dispensing of justice.
    Bolonae – A fishmongers shop.
  • Caldarium – The hot room of a Roman baths.
  • Caupona – An inn or tavern, which served hot food.
  • Compluvium – An opening in the roof, which had below it, a water tank (impluvium) in the atrium floor.
  • Cubiculum – A bedroom.
  • Domus – A house within a city.
  • Duovir – Two senior magistrates of the colony, elected annually, who presided over the decurion council.
  • Fauces – Entranceway to a house, leading to the atrium.
  • Fons – Public fountain.
  • Forum – A Forum was the main center of a Roman city. Usually located near the physical center of a Roman town, it served as a public area in which commercial, religious, economic, political, legal, and social activities occurred. Fora were common in all Roman cities, but none were as grand as the fora of Rome itself.
  • Frigidarium – The cold room of a Roman baths.
  • Fullonica – A laundry.
  • Hospitium – Inn or lodgings.
  • Impluvium – A water tank on the floor of the atrium, which had directly above it, an opening (compluvium) in the roof.
  • Lararium – A shrine to the household gods.
  • Macellum – A market.
    Mithraeum – A temple of the mystery cult of Mithras.
  • Nymphaeum – A ornamental fountain.
  • Oecus – The main living room of a Greek house, introduced to Roman architecture along with the peristyle. Often used for dining.
  • Palaestra – An open area surrounded by covered porticoes used for wrestling and exercise, often forming part of a Roman bath complex.
  • Peristyle – An open courtyard or garden surrounded by a colonnade.
  • Pistrinum – A bakery or mill.
  • Popina – A wine bar, with a simple selection of foods also available.
  • Porta – A town gate.
  • Posticum – A house’s second entrance, or backdoor.
  • Sacellum – A shrine.
  • Statio Vindemitorum – A grape-gatherer’s post, part of the wine-making process.
  • Taberna – A shop.
  • Tablinum – A study.
  • Templum – A temple.
  • Tepidarium – The warm room of a Roman baths.
  • Theatrum – A theatre
  • Thermae – Roman bath complex.
  • Thermopolium – A bar, where hot and cold food was sold over the counter.
  • Triclinium – A dining room.
  • Villa – A house in the country.