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Africa Propria, or the province of Africa properly so called, was bounded by Numidia on the West, by the Mediterranean on the North and East, and by Getulia and the extremity of Tripolis on the South. It corresponds to the present state of Tunis. Its Eastern boundary was formed by a sudden bend of the Mediter
ranean to the South from the Promontorium Hermæum, · or Capc Bon, to the Syrtis Minor, or Gulph of Cabes.
The first place adjoining to Numidia is the little island of Tabraca, or Tabarca, which we notice only because it is mentioned in Juvenal. * Below it, inland, is Vacca, now Veja, a city of much note in the Jugurthine war. East of Tabraca, is Utica, the capital of the province after the destruction of Carthage, and memorable for the last stand made by the friends of freedom, under the conduct of Cato, against Cæsar. Metellus Scipio, the fatherin-law of Pompey, had been defeated by Cæsar, at the battle of Thapsus, Cato, hence called Uticensis, retired to this city, and, on the appearance of Cæsar, stabbed himself, in the 59th year of his age, B.C. 46, A. U.C. 708. The river Bagradas, or Megerda, flows between Utica, and the renowned city of Carthage, the queen of Africa and great rival of Rome. It had a citadel named Byrsa, so called from the stratagem used by Dido, who agreed to purchase as much land as she could surround with a bull's hide t, which she cut into very narrow stripes. It was a colony of Tyrians*, and by
Et tales aspice rugas,
Juv. Sat. X. 195.
Virg. Æn. I. 367.
them called Carthada, or the new city, by the Greeks, Carchedon, and by the Latin's Carthago; and is immortalized by the Roman poets and historians on account of the three wars it sustained against the republic. The first began B. C. 264, A. U. C. 490, and ended B. C. 241, A. U. C. 513, having lasted twenty-three years : amongst its most remarkable events are the capture and cruel death of Regulus the Roman general, the establishment of the Roman marine, and the defeat of the Carthaginians by Lutatius Catulus, off the Ægates Insulæ, B. C. 242, A. U. C. 512. The second Panic war began in consequence of the siege of Saguntum by Hannibal, B. C. 219, A. U. C. 535, and was ended in consequence of the victory of Scipio over Hannibal at the battle of Zama, B. C. 202, A. U. C. 552, having lasted eighteen years: this was memorable for the severest defeats the Romans ever experienced, especially in the battles of Trebia, Ticinus, Trasymenus, and Cannæ, all gained by Hannibal, who maintained himself in Italy sixteen years. The third Panic war began B. C. 149, A. U. C. 605, and lasted only three years, being terminated by the total destruction and demolition of Carthage by Scipio Africanus Minor, B. C. 145, A. U. C. 609; it was much excited by the elder Cato, who never ended a speech in the senate, on any subject, without the words “delenda est Carthago," and is remarkable for
* Urbs antiqua fuit, Tyrii tenuere coloni,
Carthago, Italiam longe Tiberinaque contra
Virg, En. I. 12,
the cruel and oppressive exactions of the Romans, the patient submission, but at last the obstinate desperation of the injured Carthaginians, and the conflagration of their city, which was twenty-four miles in circumference, and continued burning seventeen days. It was afterwards rebuilt by Augustus, and became a flourishing city, till it was finally destroyed by the Arabs, under the Kaliphat of Abdel-Melek, towards the end of the seventh century. A little below it was Tunetum, now Tunis. Below the Hernæum Promontorium is Aspis, or Clypea, now : Aklibea : below this place the coast takes the name of Zeugitana; and not quite half-way between the Promontorium Hermæum and Syrtis Minor was Hadrumetum, a very considerable city of that part of Africa Propria called Byzacium, or Emporiæ, which comprized the fertile country adjacent to the Syrtis Minor, and may be considered as the principal granary of * Rome. Below Hadrumetum is Leptis Minor, or Lemta, and below it Thapsus, now Demsas, memorable for the victory we have already mentioned obtained there by Cæsar over Metellus Scipio and the remnant of Pompey's party who escaped from the wreck of Pharsalia. Below Thapsus was Turris Hannibalis, from which Hannibal departed for Asia, when he was banished by his factious and ungrateful countrymen from Carthage. In the interior of Africa, on the Numidian side, are two cities, not far from each other, the one, Tagaste, or Tajelt, in fact a Numidian city, which was the birth-place of St. Augus
* Frumenti quantum metit Africa.
Hor. Sat. II, 3, 87.
Quicquid de Lybicis verritur areis.
Hor. Od. I. 1, 10.
tine, the other Madaurus, the birth-place of Apuleius : near to which is Sicca, and South East of it, about the center of the province is Zama, the memorable scene of the victory obtained by Scipio Africanus the elder over Hannibal, B. C. 202, A. U. C. 552. In the interior of Byzacium was Capsa, now Cafsa, in which Jugurtha deposited his treasures : we find from Sallust that it was a very strong city, in the midst of deserts very difficult of access, and below it were two lakes, much celebrated in antiquity under the names of the Palus Tritonis and Palus Lybia, now Faro-oun and El-Loudeah. On the former of these Minerva is said to have first appeared, whence she is called Tritonia. Near the latter the Gorgons are feigned to have had their abodes. * These lakes are in the neighbourhood of what is now called Beled-ul-Gerid, Beledulgerid, or the region of grasshoppers.
Tripolis was bounded by Africa Propria on the West, , of which it originally formed a part, by the Mediterra
nean on the North, by Cyrenaica on the East, and by Phazania, or Fezzan, on the South. It still retains its name which it originally received from three cities on the coast, Sabrata, now Sabart, Ea, now Tripoli, and Leptis Magna, the ruins of which are still called Labida. It lies between the Syrtis Minor, or Gulph of Cabes, so called from the city Tacape, which was at the head of it, and the Syrtis Major, or, as it is now corruptly called, the Gulph of Sidra. The Syrtes were very dangerous
* Jam summas arces Tritonia, respice, Pallas
Virg. Æn. II. 615.
to mariners, from the shoals and quicksands, and a peculiar inequality in the motion of the waters, by which they drew in and engulphed vessels, whence they derived their name. * Towards the Syrtis Major is the small river Cinyphs, the goats of which are mentioned by Virgil, as proverbially shaggy t: it is now called the Wad-Quaham. Inland is the town of Gerisa, or Gherze, fabled to be petrified, with its inhabitants, which probably arose from some statues of men and animals remaining there, which have been thus misrepresented by the ignorant natives. South of Fhazania were the Garamantes, who derived their name antiently from the city of Garama, now Gharmes. They were faintly known to the Romans under Augustus, in whose time some claim was made to a triumph over them, on which account they are mentioned by Virgil. $ At the extremity of the Syrtis Major are the Philænorum Aræ,
#'Agè ri rúesiv. The Syrtis Minor is mentioned by Virgil, in his account of the storm which dispersed the fleet of Æneas.
- Tres (naves] Eurus ab alto In brevia et Syrtes urget, miserabile visu, Illiditque vadis atque aggere cingit arenæ.
Virg. Æn. I. 110. . + Nec minus interea barbas incanaque menta Cinyphii tondent hirci.
Virg. Georg. III. 311. | Hic vir, hic est, tibi quem promitti sæpius audis,
Augustus Cæsar, divum genus : aurea condet
Virg. Æn. VI. 791.