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Ancient World / Numidia
Cirta
Also called: Cirta Regia



Landscape of Cirta and Constantine, Numidia and Algeria
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Of ancient Cirta very little remains. This photo shows the geography that made Cirta the ideal capital of a kingdom built by warlords.


Ancient city, capital of Numidia in the 3rd-1st centuries BCE.
It had the same location as modern Constantine, the largest city of northeastern Algeria. Its location is mountainous and rugged. At 630 metres it was easy to defend from attackers, yet self-sustainable for long periods.
Cirta thrived as the second most important city of pre-Roman North Africa, benefitting from trade through the port of Carthage (now Tunisia).

History
203: Battle of Cirta, where the Romans defeat the Carthaginian ally, Syphax. This is one of the last major battles of the Punic wars.
201: Establishment of the Kingdom of Numidia, with Cirta as capital for King Masinissa.
Early 2nd century: Cirta develops into a city of size, attracting peoples even from distant foreign countries.
113: Battle between Numidian princes, Jugurtha and Adherbal at Cirta. Jugurtha wins with Roman aid, and becomes king of a large Numidia.
46: Cirta becomes part of the Roman Empire.
2nd century CE: Christianity grows into a strong force in Cirta.
311: Civil war destroys Cirta.
313: Emperor Constantine 1 commands the rebuilding of the destroyed city according to Roman styles. He has the new city named after himself, Constantine.




By Tore Kjeilen