Skip to 0 minutes and 5 secondsSIMON KEAY: From the early second century AD onwards, then, through the reigns of the emperors Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius and others, we see the port developing very substantially, new buildings appearing, rather like the one we're in. And right the way through until the end of the second, beginning of the early third century AD, when we see a major process of rebuilding in different parts of the port, usually the expansion of existing buildings and enlargement of earlier structures, as well as new buildings, which is perhaps related to a drive by Rome to increase the storage capacity in the port for increasing needs in the capital.

Skip to 0 minutes and 54 secondsSubsequent to that, in the course of the third century and into the fourth century, we have ample references in the classical sources about traffic coming into Portus and regulations to ensure its smooth running.

Development of the Port

If you look at the plan you will see the Grandi Magazzini Di Settimio Severo where I am standing in this video, right in the centre of the port. This week covers the period when it was built, as a part of the general expansion of the port to increase its capacity and its ability to supply Rome.

I’ve also given you a taster here of what happens next week, when we move into the third century AD.

Why do you think the demands of Rome for imports are increasing at this time?

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Archaeology of Portus: Exploring the Lost Harbour of Ancient Rome

University of Southampton

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