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Lepcis Magna

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On the coast of Tripolitania, owed its prosperity to the fertility of its hinterland, where many farms with olive‐presses are known: already by 46 bc oil production was of a scale for Caesar to levy an annual tribute on Lepcis of three million pounds of oil after Thapsus. Lepcis expanded rapidly under the early empire, becoming a municipium under the Flavians (ad 69–96), and a colony under Trajan. Septimius Severus, a native of the city, adorned it with splendid buildings, including a new forum (Lepcis' third), a basilica, a four‐way arch richly decorated with sculpture, and a colonnaded street with nymphaeum leading to a newly built harbour. The esp. well‐preserved ruins of Lepcis include—apart from the Severan buildings—the Augustan forum, theatre, and market, the amphitheatre and adjacent circus, and the Hadrianic baths. The small but virtually intact ‘Hunting Baths’ are so named from a venatio fresco (see venationes).

Subjects: Classical studies

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