Italy the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Austria and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 and has a temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe. Due to its central geographic location in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy has been home to a myriad of peoples and cultures. In addition to the various ancient peoples dispersed throughout modern-day Italy, the most famous of which being the Indo-European Italics who gave the peninsula its name, beginning from the classical era and Carthaginians founded colonies in insular Italy and Genoa, Greeks established settlements in the so-called Magna Graecia, while Etruscans and Celts inhabited central and northern Italy respectively; the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which became a republic with a government of the Senate and the People.
The Roman Republic conquered and assimilated its neighbours on the peninsula, in some cases through the establishment of federations, the Republic expanded and conquered parts of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. By the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin and became the leading cultural and religious centre of Western civilisation, inaugurating the Pax Romana, a period of more than 200 years during which Italy's technology, economy and literature flourished. Italy remained the metropole of the Roman Empire; the legacy of the Roman Empire endured its fall and can be observed in the global distribution of culture, governments and the Latin script. During the Early Middle Ages, Italy endured sociopolitical collapse and barbarian invasions, but by the 11th century, numerous rival city-states and maritime republics in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through shipping and banking, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism.
These independent statelets served as Europe's main trading hubs with Asia and the Near East enjoying a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europe. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science and art. Italian culture flourished, producing famous scholars and polymaths such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Machiavelli. During the Middle Ages, Italian explorers such as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, John Cabot and Giovanni da Verrazzano discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery. Italy's commercial and political power waned with the opening of trade routes that bypassed the Mediterranean. Centuries of infighting between the Italian city-states, such as the Italian Wars of the 15th and 16th centuries, left the region fragmented, it was subsequently conquered and further divided by European powers such as France and Austria.
By the mid-19th century, rising Italian nationalism and calls for independence from foreign control led to a period of revolutionary political upheaval. After centuries of foreign domination and political division, Italy was entirely unified in 1871, establishing the Kingdom of Italy as a great power. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Italy industrialised, namely in the north, acquired a colonial empire, while the south remained impoverished and excluded from industrialisation, fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Despite being one of the main victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil, leading to the rise of a fascist dictatorship in 1922. Participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in military defeat, economic destruction and the Italian Civil War. Following the liberation of Italy and the rise of the resistance, the country abolished the monarchy, reinstated democracy, enjoyed a prolonged economic boom and, despite periods of sociopolitical turmoil became a developed country.
Today, Italy is considered to be one of the world's most culturally and economically advanced countries, with the sixth-largest worldwide national wealth. Its advanced economy ranks eighth-largest in the world and third in the Eurozone by nominal GDP. Italy owns the third-largest central bank gold reserve, it has a high level of human development, it stands among the top countries for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military and diplomatic affairs. Italy is a founding and leading member of the European Union and a member of numerous international institutions, including the UN, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the WTO, the G7, the G20, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Council of Europe, Uniting for Consensus, the Schengen Area and many more; as a reflection
In ancient Roman religion, Feronia was a goddess associated with wildlife, fertility and abundance. As the goddess who granted freedom to slaves or civil rights to the most humble part of society, she was honored among plebeians and freedmen, her festival, the Feroniae, was November 13 during the Ludi Plebeii, in conjunction with Fortuna Primigenia. Note that the similar-sounding Feralia on February 21 is a festival of Jupiter Feretrius, not Feronia. Feronia's name is derived from a Sabine adjective corresponding to Latin fĕrus. Feronia comes with a long vowel, i.e. Fērōnǐa; the root fer has cognate words in every Indo-European language and is the root of the Vedic god Rudrá’s name. Latin fĕrus means "not cultivated, untamed", "of the field, wood", "untamed", "not mitigated by any cultivation" which fits the environment of the sanctuaries of Feronia and is close to rudis. Feronia is one of the Roman and Italic goddesses whose name is formed by a root ending with the suffix -ona or -onia; this form of a noun denotes a difficult or dangerous state or condition: The deity is a sovereign of that danger, only to help man to best avoid damage or get the greatest advantage, such as Angerona for the angusti dies near the winter solstice.
Many versions of Feronia’s cult have been supposed, it is not quite clear that she was only one goddess or had only one function in ancient times. Some Latins believed Feronia to be a harvest goddess, honoured her with the harvest firstfruits in order to secure a good harvest the following year. Festus's entry on the picus Feronius of Trebula Mutuesca testifies the goddess had prophetic qualities among the Sabines, as did the picus martius of Tiora Matiena ascribed to the Aborigines. Feronia served as a goddess of travellers and waters. Varro identified Feronia with the goddess who personified Liberty. According to Servius, Feronia was a tutelary goddess of freedmen. A stone at the Terracina shrine was inscribed "let deserving slaves sit down so that they may stand up free." Livy notes that in 217 BCE freed women collected money as a gift for Feronia. Some sources state, she was among the deities. She may have been introduced into Roman religious practice when Manius Curius Dentatus conquered Sabinum in the early 3rd century BCE.
Two stories about her sanctuary of Terracina highlight the character of Feronia as goddess of the wilderness: Servius writes that when a fire destroyed her wood and the locals were about moving the statues to another location, the burnt wood turned green. Pliny states that all attempts at building towers in times of war between Terracina and the sanctuary of Feronia have been abandoned because all are without exception destroyed by lightning bolts; the goddess thus refused any linkage with the nearby town. In Vergil's Aeneid, troops from Feronia's grove fight on the side of Turnus against Aeneas; the Arcadian king Evander recalls how in his youth he killed a son of Feronia, who like Geryon had a triple body and a triple soul. Vergil identifies Erulus as the king of Praeneste. Georges Dumézil considers Feronia to be a goddess of wilderness, of untamed nature, nature's vital forces – but honoured because she offers man the opportunity to put those forces to good use in acquiring nurture and fertility.
She fecundates and heals, therefore despite her being worshipped only in the wild she receive the first-fruits of the harvest, because she permits men to domesticate the wild forces of vegetation, favouring the transformation of that, uncouth into that, cultivated. Dumézil compares her to Vedic god Rudra: He is similar to Feronia in that he represents that which has not yet been transformed by civilization – he is the god of the rude, of the jungle, at one time dangerous and uniquely useful, healer thanks to the herbs within his domain, protector of the freed slaves and of the outcast. Feronia, has only the positive or useful function of putting the forces of wild nature at the service of man. Inscriptions to Feronia are found in central Italy. Ferona's shrines were all located in the wild, far from human settlements. Varro, places Feronia in his list of Sabine gods who had altars in Rome. Feronia's cults at Aquileia and Terracina were near springs; the Augustan poet Horace speaks of the water of Feronia, in which "we bathe our face and hands."
Her lucus at Capena was a place where everybody was allowed to come for worship and trade, attracting people from different nations, Latins and others from farther away. The grove provided everybody with a neutral territory. Feronia’s temple at the base of Mt. Soracte, near Capena; the Lucus Feroniae, or "grove of Feronia" was the site of an annual festival in her honour, in the nature of a trade fair. The place, in the territory of Capena in southwestern Etruria, was plundered of its gold and silver by Hannibal's retreating troops in 211 BCE, when he turned aside from the Via Salaria to visit the sanctuary, its status as a colony is recorded in a single inscription, copied in a manuscript of the rule of the Farfa Abbey as colonia Iulia Felix Lucoferonensis. Another important site was near Anxur, in a wood three Roman miles from the town, where Servius re
History of Sardinia
Archaeological evidence of prehistoric human settlement on the island of Sardinia is present in the form of nuraghes and others prehistoric monuments, which dot the land. The recorded history of Sardinia begins with its contacts with the various people who sought to dominate western Mediterranean trade in Classical Antiquity: Phoenicians and Romans. Under the political and economic alliance with the Phoenician cities, it was conquered by Carthage in the late 6th century BC and entirely by Rome after the First Punic War; the island was included for centuries in the Roman province of Corsica et Sardinia, included in 3rd and 4th centuries in the Italia suburbicaria diocese. In the Early Middle Ages, through barbarian movements, the waning of the Byzantine Empire influence in the western Mediterranean and the Saracen raids, the island fell out of the sphere of influence of any higher government; this led to the birth of four kingdoms called Judicates in the 8th through 10th centuries. Falling under papal influence, Sardinia became the focus of the rivalry of Genoa and Pisa, the Judicates and the Crown of Aragon, which subsumed the island as the Kingdom of Sardinia in 1324.
The Kingdom was to last until 1718. The oldest trace in Sardinia of the anthropomorphic prehistoric primate called Oreopithecus bambolii is dated to 8.5 million years ago. In 1996 a hominid finger bone, dated up to 250.000 BC, was found in a cave in the Logudoro region. Modern humans appeared in the island during the Upper Paleolithic, a phalanx dated to 18000 BC had been found in the Corbeddu cave, near Oliena. Mesolithic human remains had been discovered at Su Coloru cave of Laerru but in the south. In the Stone Age, Monte Arci played an important role; the old volcano was one of the central places where obsidian was found and worked for cutting tools and arrowheads. Now the volcanic glass can be found on the sides of the mountain; the Neolithic began in Sardinia in the 6th millennium BC with the Cardial culture. Important cultures like the Ozieri culture and the Arzachena culture of the late Neolithic and the Abealzu-Filigosa and Monte Claro culture of the Chalcolithic period, developed in the island contemporaneously with the appearance of the megalithic phenomenon.
The dolmens culture, around the end of the 3rd millennium BC, passed with other typical material aspects of Western Europe through by the Sardinian coast in Sicily. Prehistoric and Pre-nuragic monuments and constructions that characterise the Sardinian landscapes are the Domus de Janas, the menhir and Statue menhir and the dolmens. Archeological cultures of Sardinia in the pre-Nuragic period: Bronze Age Sardinia is characterised by stone structures called nuraghes, of which there are more than 8,000; the most famous is the complex of Barumini in the province of Medio Campidano. The nuraghes were built in the period from about 1800 to 1200 BC, though many were used until the Roman period. Characteristics of this period are the holy well temples, the megara temples and the Giants' graves; the Nuragics produced a vast collection of bronze statuettes and the so-called giants of Mont'e Prama the first anthropomorphic statues of Europe. It is known that the Sardinians had contact with the Myceneans, who traded with the western Mediterranean.
Contact with powerful cities of Crete, such as Kydonia, is clear from pottery recovered in archaeological excavations in Sardinia. The alleged connection with the Sherden, one of the sea peoples who invaded Egypt and other areas of eastern Mediterranean, has been supported by scholars like the professor Giovanni Ugas from the University of Cagliari; the name Sardinia could result from that of a mythological hero of the nuragic pantheon. From the 8th century BC, Phoenicians founded several cities and strongholds on strategic points in the south and west of Sardinia peninsulas or islands near estuaries, easy to defend and natural harbours, such as Tharros, Sulci and Caralis; the majority of the inhabitants in these cities were of indigenous nuragic stock while the Phoenician element was, although culturally predominant, in minority. The Phoenicians came from what is now Lebanon and founded a vast trading network in the Mediterranean. Sardinia had a special position because it was central in the Western Mediterranean between Carthage, the river Rhône and the Etruscan civilization area.
The mining area of the Iglesiente was important for the metals zinc. After the Phoenicians, the Carthaginians took over control in this part of the Mediterranean, around 510 BC, after that a first attempt of conquest of the island in 540 BC ends in failure, they expanded their influence to the western and southern coast from Bosa to Caralis, consolidating the existing Phoenician colonies, administered by plenipotentiaries called Suffetes, founding new ones such as Olbia and Neapolis. Carthage prohibited fruit trees. Tharros, Bithia, Monte Sirai etc. are now important archaeological monuments where architecture and city planning can be studied. In 240 BC, in the course of the First Punic War, the Carthaginian mercenaries on the island revolted and gave the Romans, who some years earlier had defeated the Carthaginians in the naval b
Etruscan religion comprises a set of stories and religious practices of the Etruscan civilization, originating in the 7th century BC from the preceding Iron Age Villanovan culture influenced by the mythology of ancient Greece and Phoenicia, sharing similarities with concurrent Roman mythology and religion. As the Etruscan civilization was assimilated into the Roman Republic in the 4th century BC, the Etruscan religion and mythology were incorporated into classical Roman culture, following the Roman tendency to absorb some of the local gods and customs of conquered lands; the Etruscan system of belief was an immanent polytheism. Long after the assimilation of the Etruscans, Seneca the Younger said that the difference between the Romans and the Etruscans was thatWhereas we believe lightning to be released as a result of the collision of clouds, they believe that the clouds collide so as to release lightning: for as they attribute all to deity, they are led to believe not that things have a meaning insofar as they occur, but rather that they occur because they must have a meaning.
Around the mun or muni, or tombs, were the man or mani, the souls of the ancestors. In iconography after the 5th century BC, the deceased are shown traveling to the underworld. In several instances of Etruscan art, such as in the François Tomb in Vulci, a spirit of the dead is identified by the term hinthial " underneath". A god was called an ais; the abode of a god was a sacred place, such as a favi, a grave or temple. There, one would need to make a fler, or "offering". Three layers of deities are portrayed in Etruscan art. One appears to be lesser divinities of an indigenous origin: the sun. Ruling over them were higher deities that seem to reflect the Indo-European system: Tin or Tinia, the sky, Uni his wife, Cel, the earth goddess; as a third layer, the Greek gods were adopted by the Etruscan system during the Etruscan Orientalizing Period of 750/700-600 BC. Examples are Aritimi and Pacha, over time the primary trinity became Tinia and Menrva; the Etruscans believed their religion had been revealed to them by seers, the two main ones being Tages, a childlike figure born from tilled land, gifted with prescience, Vegoia, a female figure.
The Etruscans believed in intimate contact with divinity. They did nothing without proper consultation with the signs from them; these practices were taken over in total by the Romans. The Etruscan scriptures were a corpus of texts termed the Etrusca Disciplina; this name appears in Valerius Maximus, Marcus Tullius Cicero refers to a disciplina in his writings on the subject. Massimo Pallottino summarizes the known scriptures as the Libri Haruspicini, containing the theory and rules of divination from animal entrails; the last was composed of the Libri Fatales, detailing the religiously correct methods of founding cities and shrines, draining fields, formulating laws and ordinances, measuring space and dividing time. The revelations of the prophet Tages were given in the Libri Tagetici, which included the Libri Haruspicini and the Acherontici, those of the prophetess Vegoia in the Libri Vegoici, which included the Libri Fulgurales and part of the Libri Rituales; these works did not present prophecies or scriptures in the ordinary sense: the Etrusca Disciplina foretold nothing itself.
The Etruscans appear to have had religion and no great visions. Instead they concentrated on the problem of the will of the gods: questioning why, if the gods created the universe and humanity and have a will and a plan for everyone and everything in it, they did not devise a system for communicating that will in a clear manner; the Etruscans accepted the inscrutability of their gods' wills. They did not attempt to rationalize or explain divine actions or formulate any doctrines of the gods' intentions; as answer to the problem of ascertaining the divine will, they developed an elaborate system of divination. These revelations may not be otherwise understandable and may not be pleasant or easy, but are perilous to doubt; the Etrusca Disciplina therefore was a set of rules for the conduct of all sorts of divination. Cicero saidFor a hasty acceptance of an erroneous opinion is discreditable in any case, so in an inquiry as to how much weight should be given to auspices, to sacred rites, to religious observances.
He quipped, regarding d
The Tyrrhenian Sea is part of the Mediterranean Sea off the western coast of Italy. It is named for the Tyrrhenian people, identified since the 6th century BCE with the Etruscans of Italy; the sea is bounded by the islands of Corsica and Sardinia, the Italian peninsula to the east, the island of Sicily. The Tyrrhenian sea includes a number of small islands like Capri and Ustica; the maximum depth of the sea is 3,785 metres. The Tyrrhenian Sea is situated near where the Eurasian Plates meet; the eight Aeolian Islands and Ustica are located in the southern part of the sea, north of Sicily. The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Tyrrhenian Sea as follows: In the Strait of Messina: A line joining the North extreme of Cape Paci with the East extreme of the Island of Sicily, Cape Peloro. On the Southwest: A line running from Cape Lilibeo to the South extreme of Cape Teulada in Sardinia. In the Strait of Bonifacio: A line joining the West extreme of Cape Testa in Sardinia with the Southwest extreme of Cape Feno in Corsica.
On the North: A line joining Cape Corse in Corsica, with Tinetto Island and thence through Tino and Palmaria islands to San Pietro Point on the coast of Italy. There are four exits from the Tyrrhenian Sea: The Tyrrhenian Basin is divided into two basins, the Vavilov plain and the Marsili plain, they are separated by the undersea ridge known after Arturo Issel. The Tyrrhenian Sea is a back-arc basin that formed due to the rollback of the Calabrian slab towards South-East during the Neogene. Episodes of fast and slow trench retreat formed first the Vavilov basin and the Marsili basin. Submarine volcanoes formed because trench retreat produces extension in the overriding plate allowing the mantle to rise below the surface and melts; the magmatism here is affected by the fluids released from the slab. Its name derives from the Greek name for the Etruscans, who were said to be emigrants from Lydia and led by the prince Tyrrhenus; the Etruscans settled along the coast of modern Tuscany and referred to the water as the "Sea of the Etruscans".
Islands of the Tyrrhenian Sea include: Corsica Sardinia Sicily Elba Ischia Capri Ustica The main ports of the Tyrrhenian Sea in Italy are: Naples, Civitavecchia, Salerno and Gioia Tauro. In France the most important port is Bastia. Note that though the phrase "port of Rome" is used, there is in fact no port in Rome. Instead, the "port of Rome" refers to the maritime facilities at Civitavecchia, some 68 km to the northwest of Rome, not too far from its airport. Giglio Porto is a small island port in this area, it rose to prominence, when the Costa Concordia ran aground a few metres off the coast of Giglio and sank. The ship was refloated and towed to Genoa for scrapping. In Greek mythology, it is believed that the cliffs above the Tyrrhenian Sea housed the four winds kept by Aeolus; the winds are the Mistral from the Rhône valley, the Libeccio from the southwest, the Sirocco and Ostro from the south
In monotheistic thought, God is conceived of as the supreme being, creator deity, principal object of faith. The conceptions of God, as described by theologians include the attributes of omniscience, omnipresence, as having an eternal and necessary existence. Depending on one's kind of theism, these attributes are used either in way of analogy, or in a literal sense as distinct properties. God is most held to be incorporeal. Incorporeality and corporeality of God are related to conceptions of transcendence and immanence of God, with positions of synthesis such as the "immanent transcendence". Psychoanalyst Carl Jung equated religious ideas of God with transcendental aspects of consciousness in his interpretation; some religions describe God without reference to gender, while others or their translations use sex-specific terminology. Judaism attributes only a grammatical gender to God, using terms such as "Him" or "Father" for convenience. God has been conceived as either impersonal. In theism, God is the creator and sustainer of the universe, while in deism, God is the creator, but not the sustainer, of the universe.
In pantheism, God is the universe itself. In atheism, there is an absence of belief in God. In agnosticism, the existence of God is deemed unknowable. God has been conceived as the source of all moral obligation, the "greatest conceivable existent". Many notable philosophers have developed arguments against the existence of God. Monotheists refer to their gods using names prescribed by their respective religions, with some of these names referring to certain cultural ideas about their god's identity and attributes. In the ancient Egyptian era of Atenism the earliest recorded monotheistic religion, this deity was called Aten, premised on being the one "true" Supreme Being and creator of the universe. In the Hebrew Bible and Judaism, Adonai, YHWH and other names are used as the names of God. Yahweh and Jehovah, possible vocalizations of YHWH, are used in Christianity. In the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, coexisting in three "persons", is called the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit. In Islam, the name Allah is used, while Muslims have a multitude of titular names for God.
In Hinduism, Brahman is considered a monistic concept of God. In Chinese religion, Shangdi is conceived as the progenitor of the universe, intrinsic to it and bringing order to it. Other religions have names for the concept, for instance, Baha in the Bahá'í Faith, Waheguru in Sikhism, Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa in Balinese Hinduism, Ahura Mazda in Zoroastrianism; the many different conceptions of God, competing claims as to God's characteristics and actions, have led to the development of ideas of omnitheism, pandeism, or a perennial philosophy, which postulates that there is one underlying theological truth, of which all religions express a partial understanding, as to which "the devout in the various great world religions are in fact worshipping that one God, but through different, overlapping concepts". The earliest written form of the Germanic word God comes from the 6th-century Christian Codex Argenteus; the English word itself is derived from the Proto-Germanic * ǥuđan. The reconstructed Proto-Indo-European form * ǵhu-tó-m was based on the root * ǵhau-, which meant either "to call" or "to invoke".
The Germanic words for God were neuter—applying to both genders—but during the process of the Christianization of the Germanic peoples from their indigenous Germanic paganism, the words became a masculine syntactic form. In the English language, capitalization is used for names by which a god is known, including'God'; the capitalized form of god is not used for multiple gods or when used to refer to the generic idea of a deity. The English word God and its counterparts in other languages are used for any and all conceptions and, in spite of significant differences between religions, the term remains an English translation common to all; the same holds for Hebrew El, but in Judaism, God is given a proper name, the tetragrammaton YHWH, in origin the name of an Edomite or Midianite deity, Yahweh. In many translations of the Bible, when the word LORD is in all capitals, it signifies that the word represents the tetragrammaton. Allāh is the Arabic term with no plural used by Muslims and Arabic speaking Christians and Jews meaning "The God", while "ʾilāh" is the term used for a deity or a god in general.
God may be given a proper name in monotheistic currents of Hinduism which emphasize the personal nature of God, with early references to his name as Krishna-Vasudeva in Bhagavata or Vishnu and Hari. Ahura Mazda is the name for God used in Zoroastrianism. "Mazda", or rather the Avestan stem-form Mazdā-, nominative Mazdå, reflects Proto-Iranian *Mazdāh. It is taken to be the proper name of the spirit, like its Sanskrit cognate medhā, means "intelligence" or "wisdom". Both the Avestan and Sanskrit words reflect Proto-Indo-Iranian *mazdhā-, from Proto-Indo-European mn̩sdʰeh1 meaning "placing one's mind", hence "wise". Waheguru is a term most used in Sikhism to refer to God, it means "Wonderful Teacher" in the Punjabi language. Vāhi means "wonderful" and guru is a term denoting "teacher". Waheguru is described by some as an experience of ecstasy, beyond all descriptions; the most common usage of the word "Waheguru" is in the greeting Sikhs use with each other: Baha, the "greates
Ostia Antica is a large archaeological site, close to the modern town of Ostia, the location of the harbour city of ancient Rome, 15 miles southwest of Rome. "Ostia" is a derivation of "os", the Latin word for "mouth". At the mouth of the River Tiber, Ostia was Rome's seaport, but due to silting the site now lies 3 kilometres from the sea; the site is noted for the excellent preservation of its ancient buildings, magnificent frescoes and impressive mosaics. Ostia may have been Rome's first colonia. According to the legend Ancus Marcius, the semi-legendary fourth king of Rome, the first to destroy Ficana, an ancient town, only 17 km from Rome and had a small harbour on the Tiber, proceeded with establishing the new colony 10 km further west and closer to the sea coast. An inscription seems to confirm the establishment of the old castrum of Ostia in the 7th century BC; the oldest archaeological remains so far discovered date back to only the 4th century BC. The most ancient buildings visible are from the 3rd century BC, notably the Castrum.
The opus quadratum of the walls of the original castrum at Ostia provide important evidence for the building techniques that were employed in Roman urbanisation during the period of the Middle Republic. Ostia was a scene of fighting during the period of the civil wars between Gaius Marius and Sulla during the 1st century BC. In 87 BC, Marius attacked the city. Forces led by Lucius Cornelius Cinna, Gnaeus Papirius Carbo and Quintus Sertorius crossed the Tiber at three points before capturing the city and plundering it. After his victory here, Marius moved on to attack and capture Antium and Lanuvium to further destroy the foodstores of Rome. In 68 BC, the town was sacked by pirates. During the sack, the port was set on fire, the consular war fleet was destroyed, two prominent senators were kidnapped; this attack caused such panic in Rome that Pompey the Great arranged for the tribune Aulus Gabinius to rise in the Roman Forum and propose a law, the lex Gabinia, to allow Pompey to raise an army and destroy the pirates.
Within a year, the pirates had been defeated. The town was re-built, provided with protective walls by the statesman and orator Marcus Tullius Cicero. During Julius Caesar's time as Dictator, one of his improvements to the city was his establishment of better supervision of the supply of grain to Rome, he proposed better access to grain by the use of a new harbour in Ostia along with a canal from Tarracina. The town was further developed during the first century AD under the influence of Tiberius, who ordered the building of the town's first Forum; the town was soon enriched by the construction of a new harbour on the northern mouths of the Tiber. The new harbor, not called Portus, from the Latin for "harbour," was excavated from the ground at the orders of the emperor Claudius; this harbour became silted up and needed to be supplemented by a harbour built by Trajan finished in the year 113 AD. Moreover, it must be noted that at a short distance, there was the harbour of Civitavecchia; these elements began its commercial decline.
In 2008 British archaeologists discovered the remains of the widest canal built by the Romans, 90 feet, which they believe connected Portus with Ostia across the Isola Sacra, which would have made the transport of large quantities of goods far easier than by land transport. In 2014 remains on the north side of the river opposite the city were discovered and the built-up area of the city extended beyond the perimeter of the south wall. Ostia itself was provided with all the services a town of the time could require; the popularity of the Cult of Mithras is evident in the discovery of eighteen mithraea. Archaeologists have discovered the public latrinae, organised for collective use as a series of seats that allow us to imagine today that their function was a social one. Ostia had many public baths, numerous taverns and inns and a firefighting service. Ostia contained the Ostia Synagogue, the earliest synagogue yet identified in Europe. Ostia grew to 50,000 inhabitants in the 2nd century, reaching a peak of some 100,000 inhabitants in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD.
Ostia became an episcopal see as early as the 3rd century AD, the cathedral of Santa Aurea being located on the burial site of St Monica, mother of Augustine. In time mercantile activities became focused on Portus instead. For scholars of the High Empire Ostia was the seaside version of Rome, the city of apartment buildings It used to be thought that the city entered a period of slow decline after Constantine I made Portus a municipality, Ostia thereby ceasing to be an active port and instead becoming a popular country retreat for rich aristocrats from Rome. In spite of the fact that Portus shows substantial growth in the 4th century the traditional view that Ostia went into marked decline has had to be revised due to recent excavations and re-evaluation of the evidence; the knocking down of some apartment blocks replaced by houses of the rich was "thought to have signalled the disappearance of Ostia's once-vibra