(Pomp. Mela, 1.7.5; Oeensis civitas, Plin. Nat. 5.4
; Tac. Hist
. 4.50; Solin. 27
; Amm. Marc. 28.6
, Ptol. 4.3.12
), a town in the district of the Syrtes, which, with Leptis Magna, and Sabrata, formed the African Tripolis. Although there had probably been an old Phoenician factory here, yet, from the silence of Scylax and Strabo, the foundation of the Roman colony ( “Oeea colonia,” Itin. Anton.
) must be assigned to the middle of the first century after Christ.
It flourished under the Romans until the fourth century, when it was greatly injured by the Libyan Ausuriani. (Amm. Marc. l.c.
) At the Saracen invasion it would seem that a new town sprung up on the ruins of Oea, which assumed the Roman name of the district--the modern Tripoli; Tráblis,
the Moorish name of the town, is merely the same word articulated through the medium of Arab pronunciation. At Tripoli
there is a very perfect marble triumphal arch dedicated to M. Aurelius Antoninus and L. Aurelius Verus, which will be found beautifully figured in Captain Lyons Travels in N. Africa,
p. 18. Many other Roman remains have been found here, especially glass urns, some of which have been sent to England.
For some time it was thought that a coin of Antoninus, with the “epigraph” COL. AVG. OCE., was to be referred to this town. (Eckhel, vol. iv. p. 131.) Its right to claim this is now contested. (Duchalais, Restitution à Olbasa de Pisidie, à Jérusalem et aux Contrées Occ. de la Haute Asie de trois Moonnaies Coloniales attributes à Océa,
Revue Numismatique, 1849, pp. 97--103; Beechey, Exped. to the Coast of Africa,
pp. 24--32; Barth, Wanderungen,
pp. 294, 295, 391.)