|Repair cost if ruined||640|
- 30 wealth from maritime commerce
Ports were vital to the ever-growing Roman Empire. Rome's port of Ostia has been preserved for centuries; it was created in the 4th century BC as a military outpost to protect the mouth of the River Tiber. Later, the Emperor Claudius ingeniously developed it into the main landing for ships supplying the insatiable appetite of Rome. At its height, Ostia's 100,000 tradesmen, merchants and mariners kept Romans fed as reliably as the aqueducts gave them water. Warehouses, or horrea, stood full of grain arriving from Egypt, wine from Spain or spices from the east. There were even exotic animals destined for the arena. All had to be disembarked from the deep-hulled merchant ships, then transferred onto smaller lighters to be taken up the shallow Tiber and into Rome.