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008 Italy - Rome - Ostia Antica

Horrea Epagathiana (begun during the reign of Claudius, c. 145-150 AD)
Great Storehouse

This is the only building in Ostia of which it is absolutely certain that it was a store building. Above the entrance is an inscription on a marble slab with the words HORREA EPAGATHIANA ET EPAPHRODITIANA. The store building (horrea) was owned by two freedmen, Epagathus and Epaphroditus.

In the interior is a square courtyard, surrounded by a covered walk supported by brick piers. On all four sides of the courtyard are rooms of varying size..

On the floor of the courtyard is a black-and-white mosaic with meanders, a swastika, a panther at the west end - resting with one paw on what seems to be part of a prey - , and a tiger at the east end..

In the north-west and south-west part of the building are staircases. The lay-out of the first floor was similar to that of the ground floor.

The many locking devices suggest that valuable goods were stored here. It is also possible that private people could hire one or more rooms to store valuable goods.