Hazard and Disaster Risk: Ostia and Portus between hypothesis and reality


22-24 June 2022

A disaster is a major disruption in the functioning of a community or society at any scale, due to hazardous events that interact with conditions of exposure, vulnerability, and capacity, leading to human, material, economic and environmental impacts.

From ancient times to the present, disasters have caused the destruction of many great cities. Some have been rebuilt and continued their lives, others have been buried and even forgotten for thousands of years.

Looking at the rise of civilizations over time, it is clear that cities developed according to the needs of the people who inhabited them, and constantly evolved by adapting to the relevant internal and external environmental conditions, gradually building up a capacity to absorb and reduce the severity of shocks even in natural contexts.

Ancient Roman literary sources contain many references to disasters and a wealth of information on beliefs, needs, and post-disaster strategies. Significant advances in construction techniques and preventive solutions to provide resilience to disasters have also emerged from the surviving archaeological evidence.

flyer convegno Disaster Risk

Through an interdisciplinary and innovative approach, the Conference thus offers the opportunity to discuss and interrogate different issues related to natural hazards and the consequences of the disasters that have affected Ostia and Portus. New planning horizons for the valorization of the Roman territory also broaden the temporal scope of the discussion, bringing Ostia closer to current reality. Other ancient contexts such as Herculaneum and Pompeii introduce the debate, further highlighting the importance of protecting their value as cultural heritage.

A meeting between humanistic and scientific disciplines, with different approaches and methodologies, guides us towards a deeper understanding of our present.

See here the conference programme

Download the abstracts

Here the videos of the three days of the conference:

22 June morning session

22 June afternoon session

23 June morning session

23 June afternoon session

24 June morning session

24 June afternoon session