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LAMBIRIDI (Kherbet Ouled Arif) Algeria.

This Roman town in Numidia is mentioned in the Peutinger Table and by the Ravenna Geographer and Julius Honorius. It became a municipium in the 3d c. and had a Christian community. Bishops are known in the 5th c.

The ruins cover 21 ha on both sides of the wadi Chaba, 10 km SW of Batna. On the site remains once existed of an arch, several oil presses, and a church (46.3 x 19.3 m). In front of the church was a portico with columns. There were three naves ending in an apse flanked by two sacristies. In addition, a small fort of late date has survived; it was connected to a large enclosure. There are also several mausolea, near which have been found statues of persons in togas. Particularly noteworthy are a large room with an Invidus mosaic and a tomb containing three sarcophagi (one with an inscription) standing on a very curious mosaic. At the corners of it four snake-footed spirits hold up an emblema in which are depicted two personages seated on stools. One looks like a skeleton; the other is in full health. The latter feels the former's pulse and touches his feet. This scene was first interpreted as hermetical (Asklepios ensuring the health of the deceased), and then as historical (Hippokrates attending to the Macedonian prince Perdiccas).


S. Gsell, Les monuments antiques de l'Algérie (1901) I 172; II 244-45; Atlas archéologique de l'Algérie (1911) 27, no. 120; J. Carcopino, “Sur les traces de l'hermétisme africain,” Aspects mystiques de la Rome païenne (1942) 207-314; F. Chamoux, “Perdiccas,” Hommages à A. Grenier (1962) I 386-96.


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