Caserma dei Vigili

Panel 20 - Location

The imposing barracks reflect the importance attached in the city to the vigiles (fire brigade), who acted both as the town’s police force and as fire fighters, safeguarding the warehouses and their contents.

Panel 20 - Figure 1Reconstruction drawing of the interior of the barracks (A)
(I. Gismondi)

The barracks were built in the late 1st century AD when a permanent fire brigade was established at Ostia. However, the layout visible today dates from the transformations that affected the entire district in the Hadrianic period (first half of the 2nd century AD).

Panel 20 - Figure 2Detail of the mosaic from the vestibule of the imperial shrine (C) with a scene of bull sacrifice Panel 20 - Figure 4Reconstruction drawing of the shrine to Fortuna in the latrine (D)
(I. Gismondi)
Panel 20 - Figure 3Mosaic inscription on the floor of a room built against the east façade of the barracks
Proclus made it

The complex, at least two storeys high, had a porticoed courtyard (A) onto which opened the fire fighters’ rooms and the wash basins (B); at the back was a shrine for the imperial cult (C), built in monumental form in the early 3rd century AD. The corner room, a latrine (D), was embellished with a shrine dedicated to Fortuna.

See also:

The area serving the river