Ostia Antica: The Crossroads of Religion in Ancient Rome with Dr. Livia Galante

Ostia Antica: The Crossroads of Religion in Ancient Rome with Dr. Livia Galante


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Ostia, the ancient harbor of Rome, was a multicultural settlement of merchants and travelers from far and wide. Accepting of different languages and cultures, Ostia welcomed the worship of deities of different origins alongside traditional Roman religious traditions. This conversation aims to explain how religious toleration was allowed in the Roman world before Christianity became the state religion in 380 AD. We will learn how and why foreign religions found fertile ground within Roman society and analyze the different types of temples built in the colony.

Travelers and merchants brought along their patron deities, making this port city a religious hub of worshippers from across the Mediterranean. Alongside the gods of the Roman Pantheon (Juno, Jupiter, Minerva, and Volcano, to name a few), there were temples dedicated to deities imported from the East and Egypt (Magna Mater, Attis, Isis, Mithras) and also a Synagogue, the oldest surviving in the Western World, as well as Christian basilicas and oratories.

Led by an expert on Ancient Roman topography, this interactive seminar will focus on the various worship types in Ostia antica. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased comprehension of Roman religion and its changes throughout the centuries.

Livia obtained a degree in Archaeology at the Sapienza University of Rome and has a Master's degree in the History and Conservation of Cultural Heritage from the University of Roma Tre. Her main field of interest is ancient Roman topography and early Christian architecture; however, she is an accomplished scholar whose teaching ability extends to the Renaissance and Baroque Rome. As a native Roman, Livia is very enthusiastic in sharing the deep love and knowledge she has for her hometown with clients.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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