Apuleius was born here. Augustine went to school here. Here's why Madauros was an important intellectual center in the Numidian highlands.
Tacfarinas is an important figure in North African history, but people don't know much about him. Learn more here. And see fantastic pictures of Thubursicum Numidarum.
Augustine was born and raised in Thagaste. He tried to retire here until, reluctantly, he returned to public life in Hippo Regius. He remains an Algerian legend. Read more.
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 →
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 →
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 →
Hippo Regius has a fairly small collection of mosaics in comparison to other museums in North Africa, but the collection is nice. Here are a few highlights. For more, see the Flickr Album. Click the images below to zoom in. https://www.flickr.com/photos/184612901@N08/48827583567 Panorama of Hippo Regius. Whether it was intended to accurately reflect the city or... Continue Reading →
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 →
This map shows Hippo Regius (modern Annaba), Cirta (modern Constantine, the ancient capital of Numidia), Carthage (the capital of what Romans called Africa, roughly modern Tunisia), Rome, and Milan. Hippo Regius was located in the middle of a coastal plain with fairly easy travel along (or near) the shore for about 100 km to the... Continue Reading →
76 photos of stelae and inscriptions—Libyan/Berber, Punic, and Roman—from Hippo Regius are now available on Terrae Transmarinae's Flickr page. Take a look! Thousands of other photos from Roman Africa are on their way. https://www.flickr.com/photos/184612901@N08/48767363231/in/album-72157711004998337/