Portus: the Scale and Sophistication of Roman Mercantilism – Saturday 8 May

Saturday 8 May


With Dr. Eireann Marshall

In order to increase the efficiency of trading, the emperors Claudius and Trajan built Portus close to Ostia. Located on the doorstep of Rome’s Fiumicino airport, the famous hexagonal basin of Portus is visible from the air. The many channels, including the fossa traiani, which connected the port to the Tiber and to the city, are wonders of engineering, fossilised by the name Fiumicino. Currently being excavated by the University of Southampton, new discoveries are being made about the scale of the site, as well as functions of its various facilities.

In order to explore the magnitude of the trade carried out in the Roman empire and in order to gauge the sophistication of its economy, it is essential to understand the role played by this port.

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Spotlight Lectures

Our series of spotlight lectures offer an in-depth look at some of the topics we discuss in our virtual tours.

Lasting between 40 and 60 minutes plus a live Q&A session, they offer a focussed study of aspects found in art, history and literature while combining our exclusive filming, advanced visual aids and the enthusiastic expertise of our lecturers.

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Your Lecturer

Dr Eireann Marshall

Dr Eireann Marshall is a Research Associate and Associate Lecturer with the Open University. She has published a number of articles on Ancient North Africa, and co-edited volumes on 'Death and Disease in the Ancient City' and ‘Women’s influence on Classical Civilisation’. Eireann has led many tours for specialist tour operators, to Italy and North Africa. In 2019 she was awarded Wanderlust Magazine's Top History & Culture Guide at its World Guide Awards.

Event Details

Date: 8 May 2021

Start time: 09:00 BST

End time: 10:00 BST

Venue: Zoom Lecture


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When you book one of our lectures you are automatically registered to the Zoom Meeting with the email you used to indicate the Attendee. You will receive a confirmation email with a ticket and a link that will allow you to join the live lecture over Zoom.

You can read our extensive dedicated Zoom instructions here.

We recommend participating using a large screen in order to make the most of the video and photo content that will be used during the lecture. You will also need a stable and fast internet connection. We recommend a connection with a minimum speed of 5.0 Mb/s to enjoy the streamed content in HD.

The webinar link will be active 30 minutes before the beginning of the lecture to ensure everyone’s connection is working properly.

Should you have any queries or need any assistance setting up Zoom and accessing our lectures, get in touch at

Cancellations and refunds

You may cancel your attendance up to 24 hours before the class begins and request to receive a full refund.

If you cancel after 24 hours before the start of the lecture we might not be able to issue a refund. 

Our places are limited but we may not always be able to refill a spot at short notice. You can however transfer your place to a friend if you are unable to attend. Let us know by email so we can send the link to attend to the correct email address.

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