A history of the ancient roman ports starting from the first port on the river Tiber dating from the republican era. The increasing volume of imports to satisfy the growing city of Rome led to the construction of Ostia, the first port accessible to maritime traffic, yet still very close to the Tiber’s mouth. Then, as Rome and its needs grew, the emperors Claudius and Trajan added their own grandiose port facilities.
The various technical solutions chosen by the ancient roman engineers are explained, so are the differing theories about the location of the structures, which have been lost with very little trace, were in fact located. Then the history and reasons for the Roman ports’ decline.
Efforts during the last two centuries to recover and preserve what has survived the forces of nature and human maltreatment are also examined.