Leptis Magna , sometimes written Lepcis Magna , was an important city of the republic of Carthage, and later, Roman Empire (Roman Africa). Its ruins are located at some hundred kilometers in the south of Carthage, close to Tripoli in Libya.
HistoryThe city was probably founded by the Phéniciens which established a colony there approximately 1100 years before J. - C.. However, it took all its importance only when Carthage extended its domination to the Mediterranean basin to the IV E At the conclusion of the Third Punic War, it passes under the control of the Roman République. However, in the neighborhoods of 200 av. J. - C., it constitutes in fact an independent city.
Leptis knew its greater prosperity when in 193, one of his/her children, Lucius Septime Sévère, became in its turn emperor. It supported its birthplace, in particular by building sumptuous monuments, which did of it one of the three more beautiful African cities, competing with Carthage and Alexandria. It went certainly there with its family in 205, where it was accepted with ostentation.
At the time of the economic crisis of the 3rd century, during which the trade declined quickly, Leptis Magna also lost its importance, and in the middle of the 4th century, one finds it partly abandoned. This decline can be also explained by the attacks of the Austuriani (people of Moors of outside) in 362-5, to which the count of Africa Romanus (it is the person in charge of the Roman army in Africa) could not answer. She knew a weak revival under the reign of Théodose Ier.
In 439, Leptis Magna and the remainder of the towns of Tripolitaine passed under the control of the Vandales, when their king Genséric took Carthage with the Romans to make his capital of it. In order to prevent that Leptis Magna does not rebel against the new Vandale order, Genséric ordered to shave its walls. This measurement unfortunately made it possible a group of Berbères to ransack the city in 523.
Bélisaire took again Leptis Magna for the account of Rome later ten years, and in 534 it reversed the kingdom of Vandals. Leptis became then a provincial capital of the Byzantine Empire. However, it never recovered from the destruction made by the Berber ones. In 650 Arabic invaded in their turn Tripolitania, and the city was abandoned except for a Byzantine garrison.
Today, the site of Leptis Magna constitutes one of the most impressive vestiges of the Roman Empire, classified with the world heritage of UNESCO since 1982.
Ancient portThe ancient Port of Leptis Magna is particularly well preserved (so much so that certain historians wonder whether it forever been useful). It is located at the mouth of a small river and undoubtedly underwent a premature stranding. Inside the port, one distinguishes very well the various quays and in particular the Southern quays equipped with structures which were perhaps used for to accommodate cargo booms. Northern side of the port one finds the Phare and a dam out of ripraps posed in bulk on approximately 300 m, as of the structures which prove that boats accosted on this Northern face of the coast.
Severe Arc of Septime
- Thermal baths of Hadrian
- Forum sévérien
- the Basilica sévérienne
- Street with colonnades
- Forum Vetus (old forum)
- the Market (Macellum)
- Thermal baths of Hunting
- Amphitheater of Leptis Magna
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