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 →

The Port of Hippo Regius

Hippo Regius was an important coastal city in Numidia throughout antiquity. Under Roman rule, it was an invaluable port for exporting African grain to Rome. The harbor would therefore have had large imperial storehouses to preserve the grain until it could be shipped. Unfortunately, only a portion of the ancient city survives, and the ancient... Continue Reading →

The Baptismal Font at Hippo Regius

Baptism (literally "a dipping [in water]") is a Christian initiation ritual. For a Christian, baptism is among the most important events in a person's life. In early African Christianity, there was real contention about who could (and could not) perform the ritual and who could (and could not) undergo it. For instance, did apostates (baptized... Continue Reading →

Augustine sat here (and so did I)

There were at least seven churches in Hippo Regius (modern Annaba, Algeria). Only a portion of the ancient city has been excavated, so we don't know which church this one is. But it faces west, like Augustine's, and has an adjoining house, like Augustine's. Even if it wasn't Augustine's church, he will have preached here... Continue Reading →

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