Dr. P.K. Muana
March 2, 2010
Trip through Ostia Antica
Towering high above the sky with tips piercing through the thick black clouds, ancient Roman architecture crumbles little by little from the touch of each foreign hand caressing its rigidsurface. Arches open to a new world filled with enchantment and history, while seven feet tall statues watch over from above as a body guard for the people lying peacefully in magnificent graves of marble. As your mind fills with wondrous ideas and you float into a comatose of bewilderment, you hear the soothing voice of a woman take you out of this daze to realize that this world’s antique gates are about to be opened to you. The words appear before you and you say to yourself, Welcome to Ostia Antica, hoping to grasp the true mammoth amount of history located throughout each step you take.
The first step lands on a large piece of cobblestone, around the size of a home plate in baseball stadium thousands of miles and thousands of years away. Throughout the large pieces of cobblestone, there are 3 inch crevasses providing a habitat to the many microscopic organisms and insectsthat inhabit the Roman country side. The anticipation level rises as we pass through the first “section” of the historic city, but is quickly diminished by monstrous sounds of thunder, electric shrieks of lightening, and the slow and steady sound of water droplets methodically crashing to the ground from the dark clouds above. After several chosen words of disappointment, umbrellas are pulled out at a rapid pace and to my surprise, we continue forward. The walk becomes more treacherous as the smooth cobblestone turns to an ice-like surface and mud rises from the grass that was once a brilliant shade of green like a golf green at one of the finest European clubs. The thick clothing layered on my body, soaks in icy water causing my hands to twitch like a Parkinson’s patient. Fueled only by anticipation, we stop to the announcement coming from a woman dressed in a red coat with a matching red beret with a beautiful aroma of an expensive European perfume lingering under the nose of those who passed, that we have reached our first object of interest.
... I thought seriously of smashing your head in with a cobblestone. If you really want to know, I imagined that you ... I thought seriously of smashing your head in with a cobblestone. If you really want to know, I imagined that you ...
As the rain continues to pour, soaking every object in its way with an ice-cold shock, we stop at magnificent garden filled tombs exposed to the weather. Mud pushes through the thin canvases Vans I have tied upon my feet as the ground below me slowly gives way to my body weight. Intelligently laid bricks announce an entrance to an open tomb in the distance. Umbrellas in hand, we walk methodically towards the entrance with high expectations. Stepping onto the first of many extravagant and intricate mosaic floors that are a common trend of the Roman architects, I see the extent of artistic talent the Romans truly had. What most people could scarcely be able to do with a pencil and a piece of paper, these artists managed to accomplish with paste and coarse shaped rocks. Amazed and bewildered as to how they accomplished this artistic masterpiece, I completely forget about the rain that continues to rapidly disperse from the skies above. The moment of ecstasy runs its course; therefore, it is time to move deeper in to this mysterious ancient city, which hopefully generates some sort of heat to my soaking body.
Back on the beaten path once again, we walk as our flamboyant guide continues to converse about the history of the wonderful city, explaining everything from the construction of the buildings to the way of life of the people of Ostia Antica. As she walks, I do my best to take my focus off the piercing feeling of cold that encompasses my whole body and take in the information she is giving at a rapid pace, but 20 degrees of cold lingering in my clothes is not the best concoction. Just as I think the cold is beginning to become unbearable, a ray of sun light pierces through the blanket of clouds that covered the sky. Slowly, like a godsend from above, the clouds transform to shades with a bluish tint. The ringing in my ears from the thunder slowly fades away and what at first seemed to be a disaster transforms into an experience that could only be true in my dreams.
... is a big difference between the Bushman people and the city people is transportation. The Bushman people walk to get everywhere. Weather it to get ... city people would have trouble just using the stuff around them. They depend on other people and sources. To get food they use markets ...
As the mood changes like the weather, the air opens to a whole new experience unlike anything I’ve seen before. Far in the distance a broken down roof signals another spark of interest for a wondering imagination. Trying to perceive what it may be, I shift through ideas, but am left unable to pin down what I am viewing. Walking closer, I see several more of the Mosaic type flooring that was also set in the floors of the tombs at the front of the city. About 25 beautiful sparkling squares set with different patterns could be found in a single row with a low lying roof above. Utterly intrigued by these works of art yet again, I hurry away from the group to spend some time sketching these artistic masterpieces. Seeing that I have fallen away from the group, the tour guide comes to look for me. Finding me in this extravagant area and seeing a perfect time to let loose her knowledge of the area, she explains that that I was sitting in a Roman market, where goods were sold from all over the community. Each section of the market is identified or labeled by elegant mosaic business cards, so the buyers know what goods each area of the market sells, and who was selling each item. My mind travels back in time when people of this city came each day searching for the necessities they required. I can hear the bickering of people, negotiating prices for corn, wheat and many other edible items. The smell of roasted meat encompasses my nostrils, and all I can think about is the lives of these people thousands of years ago and their community that has welcomed me in today.
Having to be literally pulled away from the market, the tour guide takes me by the hand to this magnificent set of stairs. This marble staircase glistens like a recently cleaned Ferrari baking with its mirror-like finish showing everything in its vicinity. The bright sun that is now showing promise is a great change from the hurricane like weather we endured as we entered the glorious city. The iron-clad tour guide walks me up the steep stairway to heaven, each step creating anticipation and excitement for what lay ahead. The walk feels like a climb up the tallest mountain in the area. As I climb and climb, I hear and feel the wisps of wind flowing around our bodies, and I feel the world around me cooling downslowly. Once we finally reach the top of the stairs, a magical view appears before us. We are at the top of the ancient city’s amphitheatre. The Roman architecture, equipped with bright white pillars and perfectly molded statues of famous Roman generals and Emperors, appear in our field of vision. A half-circle stage is placed before the stands, and all I can think of is the wondrous tragedies and comedies that took place thousands of years ago on the very stage I was gazing down on now. At the direction of the tour guide, my eyes travel to what once was the best seat in the house where the royalty would sit and enjoy the events of the day. My senses tingle as I hear the cheering of the people, calling for an encore at the end of a great play, and I believe I can smell the thick fumes from the stands behind the theatre waiting for the citizens to spend a pretty penny on the various appetizing meats on a stick they have for sale.
... invent cuneiform writing. That how they communicate in the ancient. In the ancient time, women couldn’t participate in physical education. They ... “ The Greek ideal became the Athenians Ideal as the city-state sough to provide an educational system that encouraged boys ... modern sports? The ancient Olympic Games only allowed people of Greek descent to participate. The Salt Lake City Olympic feature 2600 ...
As we near the end of our tour, I become intrigued by the homes that are an integral part of this ancient community. I look ahead several large building with streets flowing through them, wondering what life would be like in these homes of the indigenous people. I see several sizes of homes and one major house in the center of town that clearly housed regal dwellers. I have the choice to enter one home due to time constraints. As time is running out and the weather again begins to become dark, I am drawn to enter the largest home, complete with the many rooms, architecture and beautiful mosaics one would assume would adorn the home of ruler. My connection to the world of Ostia Antica, my tour guide and source of all information, explains that this home belonged to the royal family who ruled this ancient community. As I run my hand across the cool stone walls, I imagine each room of the home filled with this ancient family. I see the mother and daughter in the kitchen slowly cooking a meal for the family while the father and son, equipped with simple tools and a love for intricacy, toil in another room crafting some magnificent structure out of stone. Beautiful mosaics are scattered around the home, which is complete with community baths, bathrooms that are amazingly functional, and tables that were the stage for huge banquets. The rooms are structurally strong and built to last, with small holes in the roof, to prevent collapses. I put myself in the shoes of the home dwellers, feeling, smelling, and tasting ancient Roman life, but as the weather again turns to rain and the sky goes dark, I am forced to say my goodbyes as I hear the sounds of footsteps leaving the home empty and lonely once more.
... These words immediately slowed my pulse. I walked in the room, tears running down my cheek. Holding on both my ... any surprise I knew they weren! |t at home. I searched the whole house, and found a message ... A date which they feel special about and a time with family and friends, celebrating another year has ... the four walls and me. It was midday, time for me to head towards the restaurant. The manager ...
As the rain falls harder, I follow the tour leader who brought me in to this ancient world out the way we came. I pass by the tombs of the long sense dead that sit at the entrance to the city , and I turn to take one more look at a city that thousands of years ago was the heart of this part of Rome. Although wet and cold on the outside, I am warm and satisfied inside as I leave a community and a time that welcomed me in and took me by the hand as one of their own.