previous next


The Roman occupation did not extend much to the S of the Chott el Hodna, in the direction of the Ouled Naïl and the Djebel Amour. In the course of the 2d c., however, expeditions to the S were undertaken. Once the edges of the Hodna had been reached and posts had been set in the region S of Biskra (such as Gemellae, occupied under Hadrian), incursions were attempted. This is proven by the inscription of A.D. 174 found at Agueneb. Detachments of the Third Augustan Legion and of auxiliaries had then reached the heart of the Djebel Amour. But the permanent post farthest S known at present is Castellum Dimmidi, on the wadi Messad.

In 198 the legate propraetor of the Third Legion had sent legionaries there, supported by Pannonian cavalry and under the command of Flavius Superus. The installation of a permanent camp undoubtedly dates to that time. The camp was maintained until about 238, the date of the temporary disbanding of the Third Legion.

Excavations have revealed a part of the rampart which protected the soldiers' quarters. The wall was irregular in plan. Today very little can be seen on the site since the excavations were not continued and no attempt was made to consolidate the remains. The inscriptions also have almost all disappeared. They have been published and permit the reconstruction of certain aspects of the life of the camp. About 100 men relieved one another there; they were legionaries and later, after Alexander Severus, Palmyrans.

The inscriptions and the paintings (now deposited at the Algiers Museum) give an idea of the soldiers' religious life as it pertained to official and Palmyrene cults.


G. C. Picard, Castellum Dimmidi (1944).


hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: