Ostia (on the western coast of Italy) was an important port which served as one of the main harbours for the city of Rome itself. As a result, Ostia thrived economically and this was reflected in the great range of occupational associations, or guilds. Thankfully, the remains of Ostia are among the most extensively preserved and excavated at any one ancient locale. The following photos from Ostia (taken in 1999) focus on the shops and meeting-places of guilds and associations, including those of the builders (carpenters), ship-builders, grain-measurers, the Augustales (devoted to the Augusti, emperors), and the Jews. These buildings speak of the intertwined social, religious, and economic activities of these groups, groups which were an integral part of life in the ancient city.


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