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published on 28 April 2011
Theatre of Dougga (Graham Claytor)

Dougga was a Phoenician city in north Africa. The Punic name of the city was "TBGG." The vocalisation is unknown, but its signification is probably "to protect", because of the strategic place choosen for the city. And its Roman name was Thugga. Dougga is probably the most visited archaeological site in Tunisia.

It was part the Numidian kingdom at the end of fourth century BC when Agathocles, the tyrant of Syracuse, conquered it. A lot of monuments of the Numidians can be seen, like the wall af the city, tombs, some temples (for Baal and for deified Massinissa), and most importantly the mausoleum that is dated around the third or second century BCE.

At the beginning of Romanization, the city was divided into two parts: one for punic and numidian people (civitas) and one for roman people (pagus) in the Roman province of Africa. The forum was built during the first century AD and during the reign of Tiberius, a temple for Saturn was also built. During the reign of Septimius Severus, in 205 CE, the two parts were associated to form one city with the name of Municipium. In it the institutions were the same ones as in Rome. This event was comemorated with the arch of Septimius Severus. From this time, there is also the second temple of Saturn that was built outside the city. Many other temples were built by the Gabini family, one of the most important families of the city, from Antonine times onwards. Its accession to the rank of colony dates to 261 CE. From the Christian times only one church was discovered. In fact, there was probably not a big christian community in Dougga.

During the Byzantine period, a little fortress was built, but at this time most inhabitants had left Dougga.

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Dougga Books

  • Claude Poinssot
    Inst. Nationale d'Archéologie et d'Arts (27 March 2015)
    Currently unavailable


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