The place is unfinished and long since ruined, the smell of fish has faded away and the archaeologists have arrived. It’s blustery and I turn my collar up against the wind that blows down where the land slopes gently to the water. On this hazy day the Rif mountains can only just be made out to the south; even the big Bolonia dune – close by – is a little shrouded.
Long since ruined – this old city saw its heyday under Claudius and was already a pile of rubble fifteen centuries ago. I walk along the wooden walkway, reluctant to linger in the cold. The emperor occupies his pedestal amidst the columns of the Basilica. Down onto the slabs of the decumanus maximus and past the Macellum and the baths – then up to the half moon of the amphitheatre and its tiered stalls; half a bull ring on the hillside.
After that the three temples – to Juno, to Jupiter and to Minerva and after those another, to Isis. The gods overlook the forum, the tabernae, the curia and Tabularium and further down – right where the sand starts – is the rather prosaic reason for all this Roman fuss; the factory that churned out the product that produced the wealth that produced the temples. Fish sauce. More