Leptis Magna


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Leptis Magna, A city (says Pellerin, Recuil, VOL |IV| P. 15), situate at some distance from the river Cynipas (Wad-Quaham) in the Syrtica, by which is understood the entire space between Syrtis Minor (Gulf of Cabes), the shores of which form at this time the greater |part| of the territory called the kingdom of Tripoli.

It was called Magna to distinguish it from another Leptis, which was in Byzacium or Emporiae, and which was called Leptis Parva, below Hadrumetum, now called Lemta. Leptis Magna is now called Lebda, not far from Tripoli.

It is marked as a Roman colony in the Intinerary of |Antoninius|. Vaillant states it to have been invested with the Jus Italicum by Septimius Severus; but gives no description of any of its money. Havercamp, in his notes on the Queen of Sweeden's medals, has given a second brass, which bears on its obverse DRVSO CAESARI with the head of Drusus, son of Tiberius, and on the reverse a head of Mercury, with the following legend: PERMISSV L APRONI PROCOS III. This |medal| he attributes to Leptis; but on no other apparent ground than that the said Apronius was the successor of M. Camillus in the Pro-consulate of Africa.

The coins of this city consist of colonial autonomes, with Latin legends, and imperial of Augustus and Tiberius, with Latin or Greek legends. Autonimous and imperial coins, with Punic legends, are also assigned to Leptis Major, (which is said to have been founded by the Phoenicians). But, says M. Hennin, ces attributions sont douteuses.

Pellerin has given three medals, which he inclines to assign to the greater Leptis:
1. Has the helmeted head of Rome, and COL VIC IVL LEP. / a bull, with name of Duumvirs
2. Female head with same legend on obverse / same type on reverse.
3. A female head, with palm branch. Over the head is PR II VIR, and below it C V I I. Colonia Victrix Julia Leptis, shewing its origin under Julius Caesar.

View whole page from the |Dictionary Of Roman Coins|