The foundation of Lepcis
|In his History of the Jugurthine War, section 78, the Roman author Sallustius (86-34) informs us about the early history of Lepcis Magna.
When he speaks about "Sidon", he probably does not mean the city, but Phoenicia
in general; and when he uses "Numidians", he means all native
inhabitants of northern Africa. The translation was made by J.C. Rolfe,
and was taken from LacusCurtius.
The town of Lepcis was founded by Sidonians, who are reported
to have left their homes because of civil discord and come to that
region in ships. It lies between the two Syrtes, which derive their
name from their nature; for they are two bays situated almost at
the extreme end of Africa, of unequal size but alike in
character. Near the shore the water is very deep, elsewhere it is
sometimes deep and sometimes shoal, just as it happens; for when the
breeze causes the sea to swell and rage, the waves sweep along mud,
sand, and great rocks, so that the aspect of the place changes with the
winds. From this "sweeping"  the Syrtes get their name.
From Greek σύρω, "to sweep".
Jona Lendering for
Revision: 6 June 2007