Esther-Channah (dragonbat2006) wrote in little_details,

Ship travel times in Ancient Rome (Syracusa to Ostia)

Googled: Sea Travel in Ancient Rome (and found this:, but doesn't have the itinerary I'm looking for). Crystalinks was vague.

Time: Imperial Rome in the first century CE

Basically, I have a character going by boat from Syracusa, Sicilia to a fictional city roughly 40 miles north of Rome (Google maps tells me that it's probably situated around present-day Ladispoli aka Alsium.)

It's a merchant vessel.

1) Are there any months of the year where such a boat simply would not sail, given the risk of storms? I'm getting a bit confused trying to think in terms of the Julian calendar.

2) About how long could such a trip be expected to take?

3) What sort of accomodations would be provided for passengers on-board the vessel? If it makes a difference, the merchant has a 15-year-old orphaned niece. He's sending her to live with his youngest brother, in this fictional city, thinking that her prospects of marriage will be better there.

ETA: Thanks so much for your help! Based on the comments here, I've been reevaluating a few things. For one, I think I'm going to have the girl's parents be cousins. That would make the maternal uncle also a paternal relative. Closest relative geographically speaking, if not by blood. For another, the 'jilting over the lack of dowry' is done. Her betrothed is some eight years older and currently in the military but native to the city to which she's being sent.
Tags: roman republic & empire, ~boats and other things that float, ~travel: sea travel

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic
    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.