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AMPSAGA (Ἀμψάγα, Ptol.: Wad el Kebir, of Sufjimar, and higher up Wadi Roumel), one of the chief rivers of N. Africa, not large, but important as having been (in its lower course) the boundary between Mauretania and Numidia, according to the later extent of those regions (see the articles and AFRICA). It is composed of several streams, rising at different points in the Lesser Atlas, and forming two chief branches, which unite in 36° 35′ N. lat., and about 60° 10′ E. long., and then flow N. into the Mediterranean, W. of the promontory Tretum (Ras Seba Rous, i. e. Seven Capes). The upper course of the Ampsaga is the eastern of these two rivers (W. Roumel), which flows past Constantineh, the ancient Cirta; whence the Ampsaga was called Fluvius Cirtensis (Vict. Vit. de Pers. Vand. 2); the Arabs still call it the River of Constantineh, as well as Wadi Roumel. This branch is formed by several streams, which converge to a point a little above Constantineh. Pliny (5.2. s. 1) places the mouth of the Ampsaga 222 Roman miles E. of Caesarea. (This is the true reading, not, as in the common text, cccxxii., see Sillig.) Ptolemy (4.3.20) places it much too far E. A town, Tucca, at its mouth, is mentioned by Pliny only; its mouth still forms a small port, Marsa Zeitoun. (Shaw, pp. 92, 93, folio ed. Oxf. 1738, Exploration Scientifique de l'Algérie, vol. vii. p. 357.)


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  • Cross-references from this page (2):
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 5.2
    • Claudius Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos, 4.3
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