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NICO´POLIS

NICO´POLIS, II. In Africa. A town in Aegypt, founded by Augustus Caesar, in B.C. 24, on the field where he defeated, for the last time, M. Antonius, and in commemoration of the surrender of Alexandreia. (Strab. xvii. p.795 ; J. BJ 4.11; D. C. 51.18; Steph. B. sub voce The conqueror was at the moment highly incensed with the Alexandrians; and, by the foundation of a Roman town in their immediate neighbourhood, sought to inflict a permanent blow on their political and commercial supremacy. Nicopolis was built a little W. of the Delta proper, on the banks of the canal which connected Canopus with the capital, and about three and a half miles from its eastern gate. That it was intended for a city of the first rank appears from its ground plan, which, however, was never executed. Its founder built an amphitheatre and a diaulos, and established there Ludi Quinquennales, in honour of his victory (Ἀλεξανδρεῖα, Spanheim, Epist. 5.3, ed Morell.); and coins bear on their obverse the legend ΝΙΚΟΡΟΛΙΣ. ΣΕΒΑΣΤ. ΚΤΙΣΤ.

He also designed to erect several temples, and to transfer to them the principal sacrifices and priest-colleges of the Macedonian capital. But the whole scheme was a failure; the natural advantages of Alexandreia were incontestable; and the Roman “City of Victory” was never more than than a suburb of its rival. Within less than a century after its foundation, the name of Nicopolis disappears from history. A town called Juliopolis, mentioned by Pliny alone (6.23. s. 26), as seated on the same canal, and about the same distance (20--30 stades) from Alexandreia, is apparently Nicopolis (see Mannert, vol. x. p. 626).

[W.B.D]

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