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Iomnium

Iomnium
Roman ruins at Tigzirt.jpg
Tigzirt (Iomnium) archeologique roman site
Iomnium is located in Algeria
Iomnium
Shown within Algeria
LocationTigzirt, Tizi Ouzou Province, Algeria
Coordinates36°53′35″N 4°07′24″E / 36.893024°N 4.123269°E / 36.893024; 4.123269Coordinates: 36°53′35″N 4°07′24″E / 36.893024°N 4.123269°E / 36.893024; 4.123269

Iomnium was a Phoenician, Carthaginian, and Roman port on Algeria's Mediterranean coast at the site of present-day Tigzirt.

Name

Iomnium is a latinization of the town's Punic name, which appears to have combined the elements ʾY (Punic: 𐤀‬𐤉‬) and ʾMN (𐤀‬𐤌𐤍‬), meaning "Strong Island"[1] or "Peninsula of Strength".[2] The same triliteral root can also mean "craftsman", "artisan", &c.[3]

Geography

Iomnium was located on a peninsula, with the civic buildings located at the end of its cape.

History

The town was established as a colony on the trade route between Phoenicia and the Strait of Gibraltar. It formed part of the Carthaginian Empire and served as the harbor for the fortress at Rusippisir (present-day Taksebt) 3 km (2 mi) to its east.[1]

It fell under Roman hegemony following the Punic Wars. Under Roman rule, Iomnium had the status of a native city (civitas)[4] in the province of Numidia. Excavation has revealed a moderately-sized Roman emporium.[5] It had a forum, temple, courthouse, and magistrates' office. Its Roman streets were laid out on a grid.[6] A public bath and ornamental mosaic have been found, with inscriptions and statues scattered around.[7]

It was conquered with the rest of the area around it during the late 7thcentury.

Identification of its ruins were long delayed by errors in its mention in the Tabula Peutingeriana,[8] which placed it "42 miles" west of Rusippisir instead of the actual distance of about 2 miles.[1] Iomnium, not Iol, is also probably the Ioulíou (Greek: Ἰουλίου) mentioned by the Periplus of Pseudo-Scylax, the present text probably representing a scribal error of the original name.[1]

Religion

Iomnium was the seat of a Christian bishopric in antiquity.[9] The ruins of a small basilica have been uncovered.[10] The building has three naves with galleries over the aisles. There was a baptistery of polyfoil plan to the northeast.

The diocese was revived by the Roman Catholic Church as a titular see.[11] The current bishop is Jaime Calderón Calderón.

References

Citations

  1. ^ a b c d Lipiński (2004), pp. 397–9.
  2. ^ P Siggers, Vestiges toponymiques de la presence phenico punique en Sardaigne, p25–35.
  3. ^ Watson (2013), p. 328.
  4. ^ Robert A. Kaster, Guardians of Language: The Grammarian and Society in Late Antiquity (University of California Press, 1997). p352 & 466.
  5. ^ Photos of Iomnium.
  6. ^ Richard Stillwell, The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites (Princeton University Press, 2017) p414.
  7. ^ Richard Stillwell, William L. MacDonald, Marian Holland McAllister, Stillwell, Richard, MacDonald, William L., McAlister, Marian Holland, Ed., The Princeton]] Encyclopedia of Classical Sites IOMNIUM.
  8. ^ Mannert & al. (1842), p. 490.
  9. ^ Iomnium.
  10. ^ Iomnium.
  11. ^ Titular Episcopal See of Iomnium.

Bibliography

  • Lipiński, Edward (2004), Itineraria Phoenicia, Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta, No.127, Studia Phoenicia, Vol.XVIII, Leuven: Uitgeverij Peeters, ISBN 9789042913448.
  • Mannert, Conrad; et al. (1842), Géographie Ancienne des États Barbaresques.... (in French)
  • Watson, Wilfred G.E. (2013), "Loanwords in Phoenician and Punic", Ritual, Religion, and Reason, Veröffentlichungen zur Kultur und Geschichte des Alten Orients und des Alten Testaments, No.404, Munster: Ugarit-Verlag, pp. 327–346.

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