Temple of Septimius Severus, Djémila

The city was founded during the brief reign of Nerva (AD 96-98) as a military garrison situated on a narrow triangular plateau. The city’s original name was Cuicul. In the beginning of the 3rd century AD, the town was expanded and the Temple of Septimius Severus was built along with the Arch of Caracalla, the market and the civil basilica. Septimius Severus (r. AD 193-211), the builder of Leptis Magna, considered himself a god once in power.

The city was slowly abandoned after the fall of the Roman Empire around the 5th and 6th centuries. Muslims later dominated the region, but did not reoccupy the site of Cuicul, which they renamed Djémila (“beautiful” in Arabic).

Djémila is located in a mountain village in Algeria, near the northern coast east of Algiers, where some of the best preserved Berbero-Roman ruins in North Africa are found.