Caligula's Giant Ship

Caligula's "Giant Ship", also known as the 'round ship', was a very large barge whose ruins were found during the construction of Rome's Leonardo da Vinci International Airport in Fiumicino, Italy. This was previously a Roman port a few kilometres north of Ostia at the mouth of the Tiber River.

This Roman barge had a length of between 95 and 104 metres (312 and 341 ft) and a beam of about 20.3 m (66 ft). It was six decks high, displaced a minimum of 7400 tons, and carried a crew of 700–800.

Pliny the Elder describes the sinking of an 800-ton obelisk ship that had transported the St. Peter's Square obelisk from Egypt. It was filled with concrete to create an artificial mole that enclosed an anchorage and to be used as the foundation of a large lighthouse in Ostia. This lighthouse was an imitation of the famous lighthouse in Alexandria, the Pharos of Alexandria.[1]

See also



  1. "Gateway to Rome", Simon Keay, British Archaeology, Issue 57, February 2001, ISSN 1357-4442.

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