The Full Wiki

Leptis Magna: Wikis

Advertisements
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Archaeological Site of Leptis Magna*
UNESCO World Heritage Site

Arch of Septimius Severus
Type Cultural
Criteria i, ii, iii
Reference 183
Region** Arab States
Inscription history
Inscription 1982  (6th Session)
* Name as inscribed on World Heritage List.
** Region as classified by UNESCO.

Leptis Magna,(Arabic: لبده‎) also known as Lectis Magna (or Lepcis Magna as it is sometimes spelled), also called Lpqy or Neapolis, was a prominent city of the Roman Empire. Its ruins are located in Al Khums, Libya, 130 km east of Tripoli, on the coast where the Wadi Lebda meets the sea. The site is one of the most spectacular and unspoiled Roman ruins in the Mediterranean.

Contents

History

The city appears to have been founded by Phoenician colonists sometime around 1100 BC, although it did not achieve prominence until Carthage became a major power in the Mediterranean Sea in the 4th century BC. It nominally remained part of Carthage's dominions until the end of the Third Punic War in 146 BC and then became part of the Roman Republic, although from about 200 BC onward, it was for all intents and purposes an independent city.

Market place
Severan Basilica
Theatre
The amphitheatre at Leptis Magna

Leptis Magna remained as such until the reign of the Roman emperor Tiberius, when the city and the surrounding area were formally incorporated into the empire as part of the province of Africa. It soon became one of the leading cities of Roman Africa and a major trading post.

Leptis achieved its greatest prominence beginning in 193, when a native son, Lucius Septimius Severus, became emperor. He favored his hometown above all other provincial cities, and the buildings and wealth he lavished on it made Leptis Magna the third-most important city in Africa, rivaling Carthage and Alexandria. In 205, he and the imperial family visited the city and received great honors.

Among the changes that Severus introduced were to create a magnificent new forum and to rebuild the docks. The natural harbour had a tendency to silt up, but the Severan changes made this worse, and the eastern wharves are extremely well preserved, since they were hardly used.

Leptis over-extended itself at this period. During the Crisis of the Third Century, when trade declined precipitously, Leptis Magna's importance also fell into a decline, and by the middle of the fourth century, large parts of the city had been abandoned. Ammianus Marcellinus recounts that the crisis was worsened by a corrupt Roman governor named Romanus during a major tribal raid who demanded bribes to protect the city. The ruined city could not pay these and complained to the emperor Valentianian. Romanus then bribed people at court and arranged for the Leptan envoys to be punished "for bringing false accusations". It enjoyed a minor renaissance beginning in the reign of the emperor Theodosius I.

In 439, Leptis Magna and the rest of the cities of Tripolitania fell under the control of the Vandals when their king, Gaiseric, captured Carthage from the Romans and made it his capital. Unfortunately for the future of Leptis Magna, Gaiseric ordered the city's walls demolished so as to dissuade its people from rebelling against Vandal rule. The people of Leptis and the Vandals both paid a heavy price for this in 523 when a group of Berber raiders sacked the city.

Belisarius recaptured Leptis Magna in the name of Rome ten years later, and in 534, he destroyed the kingdom of the Vandals. Leptis became a provincial capital of the Eastern Roman Empire (see Byzantine Empire) but never recovered from the destruction wreaked upon it by the Berbers. It was the site of a massacre of Berber chiefs by the Roman authorities in 543.[1] By the time of the Arab conquest of Tripolitania in the 650s, the city was abandoned except for a Byzantine garrison force.

Today, the site of Leptis Magna is the site of some of the most impressive ruins of the Roman period.

New discoveries

In June 2005, it was revealed that archaeologists from the University of Hamburg had been working along the coast of Libya when they uncovered a 30 ft length of five colorful mosaics created during the 1st or 2nd century. The mosaics show with exceptional clarity depictions of a warrior in combat with a deer, four young men wrestling a wild bull to the ground, and a gladiator resting in a state of fatigue and staring at his slain opponent. The mosaics decorated the walls of a cold plunge pool in a bath house within a Roman villa at Wadi Lebda in Leptis Magna. The gladiator mosaic is noted by scholars as one of the finest examples of representational mosaic art ever seen—a "masterpiece comparable in quality with the Alexander Mosaic in Pompeii." The mosaics were originally discovered in the year 2000 but were kept secret in order to avoid looting. They are currently on display in the Leptis Magna Museum.[2]

English link

Part of an ancient temple was brought to the Fort Belvedere royal residence in England in 1818. It now lies in part of Windsor Great Park. The ruins are located between the south shore of Virginia Water and Blacknest Road close to the junction with the A30 London Road and Wentworth Drive.

References

  1. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg "Leptis Magna". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913. http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Catholic_Encyclopedia_(1913)/Leptis_Magna.  
  2. ^ Alberge, Dalya, (June 13, 2005), "Roman Mosaic 'Worthy of Botticelli'", The Times Online, Accessed Sep 9 2006

Additional References

External links

Coordinates: 32°37′48″N 14°18′44″E / 32.63°N 14.31222°E / 32.63; 14.31222

Advertisements

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Africa : North Africa : Libya : Leptis Magna
Contents
Roman theater.
Roman theater.

Leptis Magna, also spelled Lepcis Magna, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Mediterranean coast of North Africa in the Tripolitania region of Libya.

Understand

In 1994 a new excavation of part of the site was started by a team of professional archaeologists from a variety of academic and research institutes around the United Kingdom. Led by Dr. Hafed Walda of Kings College London, and sponsored by the Society for Libyan Studies (established as a British Institute Abroad in 1969 and based at the Institute of Archaeology in London), this team has been conducting excavations of a building by the theatre for two seasons. Supposed to be the largest of the "Roman Ruins" in Libya, it is also called Lubda in local lingo

This article is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!

Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message