Livius.Org Anatolia Carthage Egypt Germ. Inf. Greece Judaea Mesopotamia Persia Rome Other

Lepcis Magna: Byzantine Gate


Byzantine Gate. Photo Marco Prins. Lepcis Magna: Phoenician colony, later part of the Carthaginian empire, the kingdom of Massinissa, and the Roman empire. Its most famous son was the emperor Septimius Severus (193-211).
 
History Texts Photos

Byzantine Gate

 In 455, Lepcis Magna was conquered by the Vandals, a Germanic tribe that had, after a generation of migration, occupied Carthage and embarked upon a pirate's life. The East-Roman armies tried to recover the city in 468, but their operation was no success. In 533-534, however, general Belisarius, fighting for the emperor Justinian, reconquered Lepcis, Oea, and Sabratha.

Ancient-Warfare.com, the online home of Ancient Warfare magazine
Byzantine Gate. Photo Marco Prins. "Our Emperor built up the circuit-wall of this city from the foundations," Belisarius' courtier Procopius wrote, "not however on as large a scale as it was formerly, but much smaller, in order that the city might not again be weak because of its very size, and liable to capture by the enemy, and also be exposed to the sand." (Buildings, 6.4.2).
Byzantine Gate. Photo Marco Prins. The Byzantine Gate was not completely new, however: it replaced an arch over the Cardo that had been built. Two copies of the inscription have been found, and prove that the earlier gate was an honorific monument, dedicated in 77 or 78 to the emperor Vespasian and his son Titus:

IMPeratori CAESARI VESPASIANO AVGvsto PONTifico MAXimo
TRIBvnicia POTestate VIIII IMPeratori XVIIII Patri Patriae COnSvli VIII
T. IMPeratori CAESARI VESPASIANO AVGvsti Filio
PONTifici IMPeratori COnSvli VI
Caivs PACCIVS AFRICANVS PONTIFex COnSvl
PROCOnSvl AFRICAE PATRONVS PER
CNaevm DOMITIVM PONTICVM PRaetorem LEGatvm
PRO PRaetore PATRONVM MVNICIPI DEDICavit (more...)
To emperor Caesar Vespasian, Augustus, pontifex maximus,
in his ninth year with tribunicial powers, nineteen times imperator,
father of the fatherland, eight times consul,
and to Titus emperor Caesar Vespasian, son of the Augustus,
priest, imperator, six times consul,
has Gaius Paccius Africanus, priest, consul,
proconsul of Africa, through the agency of
Gnaeus Domitius Ponticus, praetor, deputy
with the rank of propraetor and patron of the city, dedicated [this arch].

The inscription on the photo is included in J.M. Reynolds & J.B. Ward Perkins, Inscriptions of Roman Tripolitania (1952 London), #342b.


History Texts Photos
Jona Lendering for
Livius.Org, 2007
Revision: 30 May 2007
Livius.Org Anatolia Carthage Egypt Germ. Inf. Greece Judaea Mesopotamia Persia Rome Other