THE RUINS OF LEPTIS MAGNA
Libya

 

Roman City Alone in the Sands

Click here for Episode 38

 

So close to the tourist trail, yet so far, Libya sits on the Mediterranean yet has been isolated for decades by poverty, dictatorship and civil war.  But should peace return, Leptis Magna is the jewel in Libya's crown: potentially the largest and best preserved Roman city in the Mediterranean.  With a resplendent forum, theater, basilica, harbor, amphitheater, and especially, a colossal arch, Leptis is an unvisited gem.

 

Leptis' golden age came under the leadership of local-boy-made-good Septimius Severus.  To help tell the story of how a lad from Leptis became ruler of the "known world," Rob and Jamie from the Roman Emperors: Totalus Rankium podcast stop by.  

 

Not only do we talk about Severus and the disastrous emperor who preceded him (Didius Julianus), but we also discuss Severus' evil son Caracalla.  Evil.  Oh so evil.

 

No discussion of Libya would be complete without discussing the cuisine: a blend of North African and Middle Eastern, highlighted by couscous. This isn't your store-bought fluffy cardboard; we'll be properly steaming it this time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:
 

Birley, Anthony.  Septimius Severus: the African Emperor

Cassius Dio. Roman History

Davis, Ethel.  North Africa: the Roman Coast

Herodian of Antioch. History of the Roman Empire

Historia Augusta

 

Photo by David Gunn

 

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