afterwards CAESARE´A (Ἰὼλ Καισάρεια,
Ptol. ii 4.5 ; ἡ Καισάρεια,
Strab., &c.), originally an obscure Phoenician settlement on the N. coast of Africa, became afterwards famous as the capital of Bocchus and of Juha II. [MAURETANIA
] The latter king enlarged and adorned the city, and gave it the name of caesarea, in honour of his patron Augustus. Under the Romans it gave its name to the province of Mauretania Caesariensis, of which it was the capital.
It was made a colony by the emperor Claudius. Under Valens it was burnt by the Moors; but it was again restored; and in the 6th century it was a populons and flourishing city.
It occupied a favourable position midway between Carthage and the Straits, and was conveniently situated with refe. once to Spain, the Balearic islands, and Sardinia; and it had a natural harbour, protested by a small island. To the E. of the city stood the royal mausoleum. (Strab. xvii. p.831
; D. C. 60.9
; Mela, 1.6.1; Plin. Nat. 5.2. s. 1
; Eutrop. 7.5
; Itin. Ant.
pp. 5, 15, 25, 31; Oros, 7.33; Amm. Marc. 29.5
; Procop. B. Vand.
2.5.) [p. 2.60]
Caesarea is now identified, beyond all doubt, with the magnificent ruins at Zershell
on the coast of Algier,
in a little more than 2° E. long. The Arabic name is simply an abbreviation of Caesarea lol;
a fact clear to the intuitive sagacity of Shaw, and which, in connection with the statements of the ancients, led that incomparable traveller to the truth. Unfortunately, however, nearly all subsequent writers preferred to follow the thick-headed Mannert, who was misled by an error in the Antonine Itinerary, whereby all the places along this coast, for a considerable distance, are thrown too far to the W.; until the researches which followed the French conquest of the country revealed inscriptions which set the question at rest for ever.
There exist few stronger examples of that golden rule of criticism:--“Ponderanda
sunt testimonia, non numeranda.
” (Shaw, Travels,
vol. i. pt. 1. 100.3; Barth, Wanderungen,
p. 56; Pellissier, in the Exploration Scientflgque de l'Algérie,
vol. vi. p. 349.)