Paper $55.00 ISBN: 9789087281502 Published August 2013 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada

Rethinking Ostia

A Spatial Enquiry into the Urban Society of Rome's Imperial Port-Town

Hanna Stöger

Rethinking Ostia
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Hanna Stöger

Distributed for Leiden University Press

330 pages | illustrated throughout | 8 1/4 x 10 3/4
Paper $55.00 ISBN: 9789087281502 Published August 2013 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada
Rethinking Ostia presents an archaeological and spatial approach to Roman urbanism, combining archaeological research with today’s insights into urban planning. Taking the reader along the route of a “spatial investigation” the book offers a new overview and a fresh evaluation of the past society and the built environment of Rome’s leading port city. Following a scalar approach at different spatial ranges, the author examines  various aspects of Ostia's urban landscape, applying methods of spatial analysis to individual houses, an entire ‘Insula’-neighborhood, and the street system. A careful reconstruction of the Insula’s development over the first three centuries CE forms the core of the book. The work reveals how everyday life was structured in the city, and how this evolved over time in response to internal and external influences on the lives of the citizens.



1 Research in Ostia

1.1 Hermansen: aspects of city life, building-types and urban formation

1.2 Kockel: public space in transformation

1.3 Heinzelmann: the ‘boomtown model’ and urban shortcomings

1.4 Mar: the formation of urban space

1.5 Further major works in Ostian scholarship: DeLaine, Rieger and Pavolini

2 Roman Urban Studies

2.1 Zanker: The Concept of Townscapes (Stadtbilder)

2.2 Wallace-Hadrill: Houses and Roman Society

2.3 Grahame: Reading Space – a Sally on Domus and Society

2.4 Laurence: Space and Society

2.5 Raper: thesis and its impact

2.6 Kaiser: The Urban Dialogue

2.7 Concluding remarks

3 Space Syntax and Archaeology

3.1 The relationship between society and built environment

3.2 Space Syntax and Structuralism

3.3 Space Syntax’ theoretical framework

3.4 Space Syntax and the city

3.5 Space Syntax in archaeological studies

4 Methodology: Data Capture, Processing and Analysis

4.1 Ostia’s site-plan and the co-ordinate system

4.2 Re-mapping and geo-referencing Insula IV ii

4.3 Structural assessment of Insula IV ii – from wall to wall

4.4 Linking maps to database

4.5  Applied Space Syntax

4.6 Conclusion

5 Insula IV ii – Built Environment and Spatial Assessment

5.1 Insula IV ii – topographical location

5.2 Insula IV ii – built space

5.3 Conclusion

6 The Spatial Organisation of Insula IV ii

6.1 The Insula’s spatial properties

6.2 Physical form and size of space

6.3 Spatial assessment and Space Syntax

6.4 The Insula’s convex or two-dimensional organisation (Access Analysis)

6.5 The Insula’s line structure (axial analysis)

6.6 The Insula’s axial and visual structure

6.7 Conclusion

7 Street Network and Public Places: Movement and Circulation in the City

7.1 The archaeology and streets

7.2 Ostia’ streets in earlier studies

7.3 Temporal or spatial limits imposed on traffic along Ostia’s streets

7.4 The ‘movement economy’ of Ostia’s streets

7.5 Sampling Ostia’s street network

7.6 Syntactical assessment of Ostia’s streets

7.7 Segment analysis along various metric radii

7.8 The visual structure of Ostia’s urban landscape

7.9 Conclusion

8 Scaled Approaches to Urban Space: Ostia’s Guild Seats and the Movement Economy of Roman Cities

8.1 The Guilds and their Buildings: collegia and scholae

8.2 The scholae: architecture and setting

8.3 Scholae architecture – a reading fro maccess maps and spatial values

8.4 The role of specific rooms

8.5 The Guilds and the Movement Economy of Ostia

8.6 Conclusion

9 Conclusion and Directions for Future Research



List of Figures

List of Tables


The Chronology of Imperial Periods

Dutch and Italian Summary


Curriculum Vitae

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