Cirta

Ancient Berber and Roman settlement / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Cirta, also known by various other names in antiquity, was the ancient Berber, Punic and Roman settlement which later became Constantine, Algeria.

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Cirta
Cirta_mosaic.jpg
Detail of Triumph of Neptune and Amphitrite (c.315-325), a vast Roman mosaic from Cirta. Now in the Louvre
Cirta is located in Algeria
Cirta
Shown within Algeria
LocationAlgeria
RegionConstantine Province
Coordinates36.3675°N 6.611944°E / 36.3675; 6.611944
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Cirta was the capital city of the Berber kingdom of Numidia; its strategically important port city was Russicada. Although Numidia was a key ally of the ancient Roman Republic during the Punic Wars (264–146 BC), Cirta was subject to Roman invasions during the 2nd and 1st centuries BC. Eventually it fell under Roman dominion during the time of Julius Caesar. Cirta was then repopulated with Roman colonists by Caesar and Augustus and was surrounded by the autonomous territory of a "Confederation of Four Free Roman cities" (with Chullu, Russicada, and Milevum),[1] ruled initially by Publius Sittius. The city was destroyed in the beginning of the 4th century and was rebuilt by the Roman emperor Constantine the Great, who gave his name to the newly constructed city, Constantine. The Vandals damaged Cirta, but Emperor Justinian I reconquered and improved the Roman city. It declined in importance after the Muslim invasions, but a small community continued at the site for several centuries. Its ruins are now an archaeological site.

A number of significant archaeological finds have been found in the area, including a large corpus of Punic inscriptions, known as the Cirta steles.

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