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A 16th century depiction of Portus


Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg's masterwork "Civitates Orbis Terrarum" (1580) recorded this view of Ostia. It shows the new harbour that the Emperor Claudius had built on the right bank of the Tiber, 2.5 miles north of the city of Ostia. It had an area of 170 acres enclosed by two curving moles, with a artificial island supporting a lofty lighthouse in the center of the space between them.

Numbers are used to identify specific buildings in the scene; for example, number 2 is the main gate that leads to Rome - "Porta precipua Romana", number 4 is the "Aquaeductus" which brings water to the port; and, 10 is the walls which surround and protect the port.

This view measures 400 mm (over 15 3/4 inches) by over 540 mm (21 1/2 inches).