Roman roads in Africa

Roman road in Timgad

Almost all Roman roads in Africa were built in the first two centuries AD. In 14 AD Legio III Augusta completed a road from Tacape to Ammaedara: the first Roman road in Africa. In 42 AD the kingdom of Mauretania was annexed by Rome. Emperor Claudius then restored and widened a Carthaginian trail and extended it west and east. This way the Romans created a continuous coastal highway stretching for 2,100 miles from the Atlantic to the Nile. In 137 Hadrian built the Via Hadriana in the eastern desert of Egypt. It ran from Antinoopolis to Berenice.

Claudius' road that began west of Carthage followed the coastline connecting the coastal towns. From Hippo Regius, on the coast, it continued westwards to Icosium (Algiers), Caesarea (Cherchell), as far as Rusaddir (Melilla) and Tingis (Tangier). It then continued along the Atlantic coast through Iulia Constantia Zilil (Asilah) and Lixus (Larache) to Sala Colonia (near Rabat). East of Carthage the road went through the region of the Carthaginian trading stations Sabratha, Oea-Tripolis, Leptis Magna and Cyrenaica before coming to Alexandria and the lower Nile region.

The Roman empire in the time of Hadrian (ruled 117-38 AD), showing some of the main roads in Africa


Roman road in Leptis Magna
According to the Antonine Itinerary
According to Peutinger's Table 

(only the supplementary roads are given) [to be completed]

See also


External links


  1. Itinéraire d'Antonin, éd. d'O. Cuntz, Leipzig, 1929 (1990 ISBN 3-519-04273-8). and Pierre Salama, Les voies romaines de l'Afrique du Nord, Alger, 1951 (with a map of 1949).
  2. Ch. Tissot, Des Routes Romaines du Sud de la Byzacène, dans RevAfr, 1857.
  3. See Béni Saf.


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