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Classical Society

Classical Society

As a Secretary of the Classical Society, it fell to Marcus Maxwell to give the customary Secretary’s talk on an issue of the Classical world. He chose to speak about Ostia, “The port of an empire,” located twenty miles from Ancient Rome.

He deftly traced the history of the port, from its legendary beginnings as a military outpost to its springing to prominence in the Punic Wars. At this time, Rome needed a major port from which to launch the naval offensives which were so important to the wars. So Ostia was transformed into a significant port, something which it held for several hundred years despite, or thanks to, the tinkering of several emperors, regarding the nearby area and the city itself. Its population reached a tenth of that of Rome itself, and although few sources mention it, it clearly had a large role as a centre of commerce. The vibrancy of the place was captured in the extracts from classical authors which Marcus presented to us – and in a video which took us inside what the ancient city would have looked like.

Marcus delivered an excellent talk on a subject which kept the audience’s attention, displaying his keen knowledge of the subject. It was a successful evening, enjoyed by all.

Ollie Randall (RJM)

 

DATE POSTED: 25 February 2010

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