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Journey Back in Time at Tiddis

The fascinating ruins of the city of Tiddis are situated on the side of a hill near the city of Constantine in Algeria. Archaeological discoveries have led experts to believe that Tiddis was an ancient Berber settlement before it was occupied and developed by the Romans early in the first century and used primarily as a military outpost. This would explain why, unlike most Roman ruins which are located on flat ground with rectangular shapes and straight streets, Tiddis has winding roads climbing up a hillside.

The area that the Tiddis ruins cover is quite large and it can be seen that the water system was designed to provide both hot and cold water. With no rivers nearby, it seems that rain water was the major water source of the city with nearly every building having cisterns designed to gather and store water. There is also evidence of thermal baths being a prominent feature of the city which is supported by the fact that further up the hill from the ruins there is an area of ground that is continually damp and has high temperatures.

Reflecting the varying religions that have been present during the history of Tiddis, there is a fairly well preserved temple of Mithra – the ancient Persian god of light and wisdom. Mithraism was the last state pagan religion in Europe and the worship of Mithra was widely practiced throughout the Roman Empire, especially among the military where this god was considered to be the god of battle, war, justice, faith and contract. Contrasting with this pagan worship, there have also been discoveries of evidence of Christianity.

The circular mausoleum of Quintus Lollius Urbicus forms part of the ruins at Tiddis. Quintus Lollius Urbicus was the son of an Amazigh (Berber) landowner and a resident of Tiddis in Numidia – which is now Algeria. He rose to prominence when he served during the Jewish rebellion against Rome in 132-135 AD, after which he was appointed to govern Germania Inferior. Quintus Lollius Urbicus was appointed in 138 AD as governor of Roman Britain by the Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius. He stood out as exceptional due to his abilities and also because he rose from being the son of a Berber landowner from a relatively small town to a position of power and honor during Roman rule.

Tourists who travel to Algeria and visit the Roman ruins of Tiddis are sure to find the experience an interesting one as they contemplate a world-changing period of history while enjoying the stunning view of the surrounding areas.

 



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