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The buildings surrounding the basin of Trajan

The links below are best accessed through a clickable plan of the harbour of Trajan (by Italo Gismondi). Pages with photographs or a plan are marked by an asterisk.

1 Communication channel
2 Entrance channel
3 Channel
4 Darsena *
5 City wall
6 Landing-stage and baths
7 Internal mole
7A Internal mole
8 Trajanic lighthouse
9 Baths *
10 Great Horrea of Septimius Severus *
11 Porticus
12-13 Terrace of Trajan *
14 Landing-stage and city wall
15 Horrea-baths
16 Porta Marina
17 City wall
18 Severan horrea
19 City wall
20 City gate
21 Temple of Portumnus *
22-23 City wall and channel
24 Internal city wall and gate *
25 Porticus
26 Imperial Palace
27 Building
27A A semicircular or round building
28-29 Horrea and city wall
30-31 Horrea
32 Horrea
32A Temple of Liber Pater and Colossal statue of Trajan
33 Villa Torlonia
34 Horrea
35-36 Horrea and tombs
36A Modern channel
37-38 Horrea
39 Building
40 Barracks of the fire brigade
41 Episcopium *
42 Marble yard
43 Temple
44 Christian basilica *
45 Horrea
46 Building
47 Market
48 Market
49 Horrea
50 Horrea and city wall
50A Vegetable market
51 Horrea
52 Porticus of Claudius *
53 Building
54 Great Horrea of Trajan
55 Porticus Placidiana *
56 Hexagonal basin of Trajan *
57 Channel of Trajan (Fossa Traiana) *
58 Via Portuensis and aqueducts
The buildings surrounding the basin of Claudius

The links below are best accessed through a clickable plan of the harbour of Claudius (after Giulia Boetto). Pages with photographs or a plan are marked by an asterisk.

1 Claudian lighthouse *
2 North mole *
3 Monte Arena
4 Building on the front part of the so-called right mole *
5 Baths and horrea on Monte Giulio *
6 Cistern on Monte Giulio *
7 Museum of the ships *
8 South mole

The area to the north and east of Portus

The links below lead to sections on this same page; they cannot yet be accessed through a clickable plan.

Tombs
Basilica of Eutropius, Bonosa and Zosima
Salt pans *

The buildings to the south of the Fossa Traiana, on the Isola Sacra

The links below are best accessed through a clickable plan of the north part of the Isola Sacra (after Pani Hermini).

1 Bridge of Matidia *
2 Roman buildings *
3 Baths of Matidia
4 Roman building *
4A Roman road *
5 Basilica of Saint Hippolytus *
6 Campanile *
7 Round building *
8 Tombs
9 Temple of Isis and cistern *
10 Marble yard *

Tombs

Recent geophysical research and aerial photographs (Keay 2005) provided much information about the area to the east of Portus. It was for the most part used as a necropolis, witness the find of many human bones and fragments of sarcophagi. Tombs and mausolea were also built near the Tiber. The area is traversed by a very wide road (15-30 m.) to the north of the Via Portuensis. Also near the Tiber, to the east of the aqueduct, a few warehouses and temples have been identified.

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Basilica of Eutropius, Bonosa and Zosima

This is a basilica built at the site of the tombs of three martyrs. The place of discovery of two inscriptions and an ancient text indicate that it was to the east of Portus, at a distance of c. 1.5 kilometres, near the junction of the Fossa Traiana and the Tiber (Capo due rami). It was built at the end of the fourth century by a bishop named Donatus. The inscriptions (Thylander B234 and B235; found between 1836 and 1858) have the text:

SANCTIS MARTYRIBVS ET BEATI[ssimis]
EVTROPIO BONOSAE ET ZOSIM[e]
DONATVS EPISC(opus) TVMVLVM ADO[rnavit]
SED ET BASILICAM CONI[un]CTAM [TVMVLO]
A FVNDAMENTIS SANCTAE [ple]BI D[ei construxit]

"Bishop Donatus decorated the tomb for the holy and most blessed martyrs Eutropius, Bonosa and Zosime, and he also built a basilica for the holy people of God, next to the tomb, from the foundations".

ACCIPE ME DIXIT DOMIN[e in tua limina, Christe]
EXAVDITA CITO FRVITV[r modo lumine caeli]
ZOSIME SANCTA SOROR M[agno defuncta periclo]
IAM VIDET ET SOCIOS SANC[ti certaminis omnes]
LAETATVRQVE VIDENS MIRA[ntes sistere circum]
MIRANTVRQVE PATRES TAN[ta virtute puellam]
QVAM SVO DE NVMERO CVPIE[ntes esse vicissim]
CERTATIMQVE TENENT ATQV[e amplectuntur ovantes]
IAM VIDET ET SENTIT MAGNI [spectacula regni]
ET BENE PRO MERITIS GAVDET SIBI PRAEMIA REDDI
TECVM PAVLE TENENS CALCATA MORTE CORONAM
NAM FIDE SERVATA CVRSVM CVM PACE PEREGIT

"Welcome me, she said, in your house, my Lord Christ. Listened to immediately, she already enjoyed the light of heaven, Zosime, the holy sister, after having triumphed from a great danger. Already she sees all the comrades in the holy struggle and she is happy, seeing that they are standing around her, admiring. And the fathers admire this girl, who is so virtuous. They desire that now she belongs to them, and eagerly they hold and embrace her, triumphantly. Already she sees and is experiencing the spectacles of the great kingdom, and happily she receives the well-deserved rewards. With you, Paul, she holds the crown, having conquered death. Because she kept her faith and completed her journey in peace".

Two further martyrs, probably from Portus, are mentioned in an inscription on a marble sarcophagus that is now in the monastery of S. Paolo fuori le Mura (Thylander B249, fourth century or first half of the fifth century):

DEO PATRI OMNIPOTEN
TI ET XRO EIUS E[t] SANCTIS
MARTYRIBVS [t]AVRINO
ET HERCVLAN[o o]MNI
ORA GRATIA[s agi]MVS
NEVIVS ZAR[istus et]
CONSTANI[a marty]
RIA SIBI FE[cerunt]

"Every hour we thank God, our omnipotent father, and his Christ, and the holy martyrs Taurinus and Herculanus. Nevius Zaristus and Constantia (?) made the martyrium for them".

Christian churches that were probably built in the fourth and fifth century, but have not yet been found are S. Maria, S. Lorenzo, S. Pietro, and S. Ninfa. Churches of S. Gregorio, S. Teodoro, and S. Vito were built in the sixth and seventh century.

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Salt pans

Important salt pans were located to the east of Ostia and to the north-east of Portus. In antiquity the latter area was called Campus salinarum Romanarum ("Field of the Roman salt pans"). It is mentioned in this inscription from the years 214-217 AD, found in Portus (CIL XIV, 4285):

PRO SALVTE IMPP(eratorum) SEVERI ET ANTONINI
AVGG(ustorum) ET [[Ge]]TAE NOBILISSIMI CAESARIS ET IVLIAE AVG(ustae)
M(atris) AVGG(ustorum) ET CASTR(orum) GENIO SACCARIORVM SALARIOR(um)
TOTIVS VRBIS CAMP(i) SAL(inarum) ROM(anarum) RESTITVTIANVS CORNE
LIANVS DE XVI A«b» AERARIO ET ARK(arius) SAL(inarum) ROM«anarum» CVM
INGENVA FILIA DONVM DEDIT

DEDICANTIBVS
SALLVSTIO SATVRNINO
ET ORFITO PROCC(uratoribus) AVGG(ustorum) NN(ostrorum)

It is a dedication by Restitutianus Cornelianus for the well-being of Septimius Severus, his wife Iulia Domna and their children Caracalla and Geta, also dedicated to the Genius (the protective deity) of the salt-sack men (sack carriers) of the whole city, of the field of the salt pans. Another (unpublished) inscription from 135 AD mentions conductores campi salinarum romanarum, i.e. contractors.



Map of Portus (G.B. Cingolani, "Topografia geometrica dell'Agro Romano", 1774).
Salt pans are indicated to the north-east of Portus and to the east of mediaeval Ostia,
near two swamps, the Stagno di Ponente and Stagno di Levante (north is to the left).
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[jthb - 22-May-2009]