- Leptis Magna
Infobox World Heritage Site
WHS = Archaeological Site of Leptis Magna
State Party =
Type = Cultural
Criteria = i, ii, iii
ID = 183
Year = 1982
Session = 6th
Link = http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/183
Leptis Magna,( _ar. لبدة) 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.
The city appears to have been founded by
Phoenician colonists sometime around 1100 BC, although it did not achieve prominence until Carthagebecame a major power in the Mediterranean Seain the 4th century BC. It nominally remained part of Carthage's dominions until the end of the Third Punic Warin 146 BC, and then became part of the Roman Republic, although from about 200 BConward it was for all intents and purposes an independent city.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 was 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.
439, Leptis Magna and the rest of the cities of Tripolitaniafell under the control of the Vandalswhen 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. But 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. Belisariusrecaptured Leptis Magna in the name of Rome 10 years later, and in 534he 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 chiefsby the Roman authorities in 543. [CathEncy|wstitle=Leptis Magna] 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.
June 2005, it was revealed that archaeologists from the University of Hamburghad 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 housewithin a Roman villa at Wadi Lebdain 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 Mosaicin 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. [Alberge, Dalya, ( June 13, 2005), [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-1651931,00.html "Roman Mosaic 'Worthy of Botticelli'"] , "The Times Online", Accessed Sep 9 2006]
Richard Talbert, Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World, (ISBN 0-691-03169-X), p. 35.
* Detlev Kreikenbom, "Leptis Magna vor der arabischen Eroberung." in Detlev Kreikenbom, Franz-Cristoph Muth, Joerg Thielman (Hrsg.), "Arabische Christen - Christen in Arabien" (Frankfurt am main u.a., Peter Lang, 2007), 35-54 (Nordafrikanisch / Westasiatische Studien, 6).
* [http://www.alnpete.co.uk/lepcis/ Comprehensive website, by an archaeologist working on the site]
* [http://www.livius.org/le-lh/lepcis_magna/lepcis01.html Livius.org: Lepcis Magna]
* [http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&time=&date=&ttype=&q=leptis+magna,+libya&sll=51.499215,-0.843608&sspn=0.006959,0.019956&ie=UTF8&ll=32.637315,14.289608&spn=0.009414,0.026994&t=h&z=16&om=1 The Main Site at Leptis Magna - Satellite View on Google Maps]
* [http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&time=&date=&ttype=&q=leptis+magna,+libya&sll=51.499215,-0.843608&sspn=0.006959,0.019956&ie=UTF8&ll=32.632554,14.309778&spn=0.002354,0.006748&t=k&z=18&om=1 The circus (top) and amphitheatre at Leptis Magna - Satellite View Google Maps]
* [http://www.romanhideout.com/places/leptis_magna1.asp Complete photo coverage of Leptis Magna]
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Look at other dictionaries:
Leptis Magna — • A titular see of Tripolitana Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Leptis Magna Leptis Magna † … Catholic encyclopedia
Leptis Magna — Leptis Magna, o Lepcis Magna como se le conoce en español, fue una ciudad importante de la república de Cártago, y después, del imperio romano. Sus ruinas están ubicadas cerca de Trípoli en Libia. La ciudad fue fundada por colonos fenicios… … Enciclopedia Universal
Leptis Magna — Ruinen von Leptis Magna* UNESCO Welterbe … Deutsch Wikipedia
Leptis Magna — Site archéologique de Leptis Magna * Patrimoine … Wikipédia en Français
Leptis Magna — Sitio arqueológico de Leptis Magna Nombre descrito en la Lista del Patrimonio de la Humanidad … Wikipedia Español
Leptis Magna — Lẹptis Mạgna, Lẹpcis Mạgna, antike Hafenstadt in Nordafrika (Tripolitanien, heute Nordwestlibyen), zwischen Großer und Kleiner Syrte; gegründet im frühen 1. Jahrtausend als Handelsplatz der Phöniker mit Namen Lbqy oder Lpqy (daraus später… … Universal-Lexikon
Leptis Magna — modern Labdah Largest city of ancient Tripolis, located near modern Al Khums, Libya. Founded by the Phoenicians in the 6th century BC, it passed to Numidia in 202 BC but broke away in 111 BC to become an ally of Rome. The emperor Trajan made it a … Universalium
Leptis Magna — geographical name ancient seaport N Africa near present day Al Khums … New Collegiate Dictionary
Leptis Magna — stor. Labdah … Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione
Leptis Magna (Titularbistum) — Leptis Magna ist ein Titularbistum der römisch katholischen Kirche. Es hatte seinen Sitz in der gleichnamigen antiken Stadt Leptis Magna, der heutigen Stadt Lebda (arabisch لبد Labda) in Libyen. Titularbischöfe von Leptis Magna Nr. Name… … Deutsch Wikipedia