Ostia Revivit! The daily life of the Romans relives in Ostia Antica
On 29 and 30 September the “Ostia Revivit” event took place in the Archaeological Park of Ostia Antica. The event was organized by the associations S.P.Q.R., Mos Maiorum and Romanitas. During these two days, visitors had the opportunity to relive a typical day in the ancient Roman city. Educational activities were set up in the Piazzale delle Corporazioni and behind the Capitolium.
The members of the associations explained with great professionalism the various aspects of the daily life of the Romans, such as food, cosmetics, games and various craft activities. There was, for example, a scribe, who showed the type of writing and font used in everyday life: not the inscriptions in capital letters that we are used to seeing on monuments, but faster writing in cursive type.
There were various reproductions of ancient objects and work tools, such as a loom, musical instruments or an abacus, reconstructed on the basis of archaeological finds, and used to perform mathematical operations. Thanks to the explanations it was possible to perceive above all the practicality of the ancient Romans. During the demonstrations, in fact, the words “zero waste” were often repeated: everything was used, from fabrics to cosmetic products.
It was also surprising to know and see the considerable quantity of bread of ancient Rome: from the panis candidus consumed by the richest and in fact called “luxury” because it is made with the finest flour, to the panis furfureus, or dog’s bread because it is made with the bran.
It was certainly an opportunity to get a more precise and timely idea of Roman everyday life, and also a way to deepen some aspects that otherwise remain unexpressed or left to the free imagination of the visitor. Even the visit for the little ones has been made more interesting and fun by setting up a treasure hunt. A captivating way therefore to bring adults and not to antiquity and archeology.
Text and photos by:Maria Teresa Tozzi