Ethnicities in Eastern Numidia

The ancient city of Calama probably had a Punic origin. It prospered under Masinissa's Numidian kingdom before incorporation into Rome's political sphere. Like Hippo Regius and Thagaste, it was part of the Roman province called Africa Proconsularis. However, this was originally Numidian territory. Like cities elsewhere in the region, Calama was ethnically diverse. Stelae housed... Continue Reading →

Next Stop: Calama

Calama (modern Guelma, Algeria) is about 65 km south of Hippo Regius (Annaba, Algeria) and the Mediterranean coast. The map above also shows Souk Ahras (ancient Thagaste, Augustine's home town). The geographical relationship between Calama, Hippo Regius, and Thagaste is important for reasons previously discussed on the blog. Augustine's friend and biographer, Possidius, was bishop... Continue Reading →

Sactutius Himir Lived for 70 Years

Punic and Latin came to North Africa via successive waves of colonialism. The indigenous ancient language is often presumed to be the ancestor of modern Tamazight, or Berber. But the link between them is not entirely secure, so when speaking of the ancient language the neutral term "Libyc" or "Libyan" (the Greek word for "African")... Continue Reading →

Augustine’s Elbow

Overlooking the archaeological park of Hippo Regius is the modern Basilica of St. Augustine, begun in 1881, completed in 1900, and recently renovated by the Algerian government. The stones used to construct the church were imported from France, and so was a bone said to be part of Augustine's arm. It is sometimes advertised as... Continue Reading →

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