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Peasant and Empire in Christian North Africa$

Leslie Dossey

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780520254398

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520254398.001.0001

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(p.205) Appendix: The Identifable Rural Bishoprics

(p.205) Appendix: The Identifable Rural Bishoprics

Peasant and Empire in Christian North Africa
University of California Press

A list of the submunicipal bishoprics of Numidia (Num.), Byzacena (Byz.), and Africa Proconsularis (Proc.), as known from texts or place-names, follows. The list is based on Maier (1973), supplemented by Lancel (1991, which provides an updated list of bishoprics mentioned at the Council of Carthage in 411), Mesnages (1912), and Gsell (1911). The editors of the CIL and, more recently, the ILAlg., have also provided good information for places with surviving inscriptions. Except where otherwise noted, the primary sources for the civic status of the bishopric are cited in Lancel (1991) or Maier (1973) and not duplicated here.

Submunicipal Bishoprics Known from Textual Evidence

Aradi (Proc: fundus?; Saumagne [1950], 129); Arsacalitanum (Num.: castellum); Autenti (Byz.: Coripp. Ioh. 7.317–21); Azurensis / Aiuren / Azuren (Num.); Bagatensis / Vageatensis (Num.: saltus; Gesta 1.181, pp. 822–24; Gsell [1911], f. 17, no. 158); Baianensis (Num.: phrourion?); Bartanensis (Maur. Sit.: castellum); Bencennensis (Proc: peregrine civitas); Biltha (Proc: submunicipal res publica; Peyras [1975], 219–22); Buruni (Proc: saltus); Caesarianensis (Num. or Maur.: locus;1 Gesta 1.189, p. 840); Canianensis (Proc?: fundus?; Saumagne [1950], 130); Casae Calanae (Num.: locus; Gesta 1.188, p. 768); Castellum Titulianum (Num.: castellum); Cefalensis (Proc: possessio); Centuriensis (Num.: phrourion); Ceramussa (Num. or Maur. Sit.?: locus; Gesta 1.65, pp. 677–78); Fausianensis (Num.: locus; Greg. M. Epist. 11.7); Fussala (Num.: castellum); Gadiaufala (Num.: chōrion;2 Procop. Vand. 2.15.52); Gatianensis / Gratianensis (Byz.: chōrion?; (p.206) Procop. Vand. 1.17.8); Gibbensis (Num.: imperial estate?); Gilvensis / Gilbensis I (Num.: two bishoprics; one was a castellum in the region of Hippo); Gor (Proc.: peregrine civitas: CIL 8.12421); Guzabetensis (Num.: estate?); Hospitensis (Num.: locus; Gesta 1.133, p. 758); Iubaltianensis (Byz.: fundus); Iucundianensis (Byz.: villa or fundus; Lancel [1964], 144–45); Lamfuensis (Num.: castellum Phuensium or Lambafundenses; polis in Procopius); Lamsorti (Num.: res publica); Limisa (Proc: peregrine civitas?); Matharensis (Num.: pagus?); Mazacensis (Num.: gens?); Memblone / Membrositana (Proc: locus; Mirac. Steph. 2.4, PL 41: 851); Menephese / Menefessitana (Byz.: chōrion; Procop. Vand. 2.23.3); Milidiensis (gens?); Mutugenna (Num.: villa; Aug. Epist. 23 and 173; Lancel [1984], 1104 and 1098); Nasaitensis (province?; locus; Gesta 1.187, p. 828); Nova Petra (Num.: castellum; Passio Marculi 6); Octabensis (Num.: locus?; Optat. 3.4, CSEL 26: 82); Pudentianensis (Num.: locus: Gesta 1.201, p. 864; Greg. M. Epist. 2.46); Rotaria (Num.: res publica castelli?); Sai Maior (Proc: submunicipal in CIL 8.25502); Sasura (Byz.?: vicus; Tab. Peut. 6.3); Scillium (Proc, possibly Num. in the provincial reorganization of the sixth century: Desanges [1963], 42–44; phrourion; Procop. Aed. 6.7.11); Serrensis (Proc/Byz.?: locus: Gesta 1.135, p. 774); Sigus (Num.: castellum, res publica); Sila (Num.: res publica, possibly castellum; CIL 8.10295; Gsell [1911], f. 17, no. 333); Siniti (Num.: castellum, locus; Aug. Civ. 22.8.11; Lancel [1984]); Succubensis (Proc?: civitas: Desanges [1990], 270 / Salama [1987], 45); Sutunurca (Proc: peregrine civitas; CIL 8.24004 / ILAfr. 301); Tegulatensis (Num.: locus; Aug. Epist. 20*. 12);3 Temonianensis (Byz.: locus; Gesta 1.126, p. 724); Thiges / Ticensis (Proc?: castellum?; CIL 8. 23166); Thigillava (Num.: pagus); Thuccabor (Proc: gens; CIL 8.14853); Tibuza-betensis (province?: locus; Gesta 1.187, p. 832); Tiddis (Num.: castellum); Tigisi (Num.: locus; Gesta 1.209, p. 898; Passio Mammarii 3); Tituli (Proc: pagus; CIL 8.27828; Shaw [1991], 28); Trisipensis (Proc: pagus); Tunugabensis (Proc: pagus); Turrensis / Turris Rutunda (Proc: fundus); Ubaza (Num.?: castellum); Ululi (Proc?: peregrine civitas or fundus?; CIL 8.12552 [ = 10530]); Vanarionensis (Maur. Sit.?: castellum); Vazari / Bazaritana (Proc: locus; Concilia Africae, CCSL 149: 191; Peyras [1991], 266); Vegesela (Num.: possessio); Verronensis (fundus?); Vicensis (province?: locus; Gesta 1.143, p. 794); Vicus Pacatensis (Num.: vicus; CIL 8.8280); Villa Magnensis I (Trip.: fundus); Villa Magnensis II (Proc: fundus?; CIL 8.25902)

Submunicipal Bishoprics on the Basis of Place-Name

These are bishoprics whose toponym suggests a submunicipal status, as indicated by such Latinate terms as casa, vicus, horrea, castellum, cella, turris, and centenarium4 or by Libyo-Punic settlement terms such as GRM (Libyan, “village”), MGR (Punic, “estate”), GR (Punic, “farm,” “cultivated land”), or KPR (Phoenician, (p.207) “village”).5 I have also included place-names with an -iana suffix (usually formed from personal names), which Serge Lancel has shown to be typically estates.6

Abbir Germaniciana or Minus (Proc.: GRM; Coripp. Ioh. 7.317–21 includes it among other rural locations); Agger / Aggar (GR; two places, one of them an oppidum in Pliny Nat. 5.30 and Bell. Afr. 79.1; Ladjimi-Sebauï [1988], 59–77); Botrianensis (Byz. or Proc.: -iana suffix);7 Caelianensis (Num.: -iana suffix; possibly related to the saltus of Caelia Maxima, on which see CIL 8.19328 / Gsell [1911, f 17, no. 66], and the Libyan gens Celianus in Coripp. Ioh. 2.75); Caesariensis (Num.: -iana suffix); Casae Bastalenses (province?); Casae Favenses (province?); Casae Medianae (Num.); Casae Nigrae (Num.: might be a municipium); Casae Sylvanae (province?); Casulae Carianenses (Byz.); Castellum (Num.); Cebarsussi (Byz.: CPR; possibly the castellum Cebar in Coripp. Ioh. 4.40–45); Cellensis = Cellae (Proc.); Centenariensis (Num.); Dionysiana (Byz.: -iana suffix); Drusiliana (Proc.: -iana suffix); Egnatiensis (Byz.: -iana suffix); Frontonianensis (Byz.: -iana suffix); Germaniensis (Num.: GRM); Germaniciana (Byz.: -iana suffix); Girensis (Num.: GR); Giru Marcelli (Num.: GR); Giru Tarasi (Num.: GR); Horrea (province?: several diferent bishoprics with this name); Horrea Aniciensia (province?: Itin. Anton. Aug. 61.1: “Casas villa Aniciorum” in Trip. or Byz.); Macomadia Rusticiana (province?: -iana suffix); Magarmelitana (Num.: MGR); Marcel-liana and Vazitana (Byz.?: -iana suffix); Mattianensis (Proc.: -iana suffix); Maximianensis (Num.: -iana suffix); Maximianensis (Byz.: -iana suffix); Nova Germania (Num.: GRM); Rufnianensis (Byz.: -iana suffix); Rusticianensis (Num.: -iana suffix); Seleucianensis (Num.: -iana suffix); Severianensis (Byz.: -iana suffix); Trofmi-anensis (Byz.: -iana suffix); Turrensis I (Num.); Turrensis II (Num.); Turres Ammeniarum (Num.); Turres Concordiae (Num.);8 Turris Alba (province?); Turris Blanda (Byz.); Vicus Ateriensis (Byz.); Vicus Augusti (province?); Vicus Caesaris (province?); Vicus Turrensis (province?); Villa Regia (Num.) (p.208)


(1.) In the North African church councils, locus was used as the opposite of civitas. For a similar usage in North African epigraphy, see Lepelley (1994) and Jacques (1990), 63–64.

(2.) Chōrion in sixth-century Greek was making a transition from the sense “estate” to “village” (see Lemerle [1979], 18–19). Procopius used it in both senses in De bello vandalico: Procop. Vand. 1.5.11–12 and 2.3.26 for “estate” and 1.23.1–3 as a synonym for kōmē, “village.”

(p.292) (3.) Contra Lancel (1984), 1109, Augustine's later reference to two bishops who had been in “urbe” refers to Rome, not Tegulatensis.

(4.) For the association of the word turris with towers on estates, see Lancel (1972), 185–86.

(5.) Mercier (1924) remains the best general study of “Libyan” toponyms in the Roman period, although he mixed Punic and Libyan words (borrowings between Libyan and Punic make the languages hard to differentiate, especially in brief inscriptions or place-names: see Sznycer [1965] and Camps [1994]). Mercier (1924) interprets GRM as “village,” citing modern place-names Agerem, Igerman, Agerem, Agrem, and the ancient bishopric Aggir Germaniciensis. According to the Encyclopédie berbère, Aggar is probably derived from the Punic GR or GWR “cultivated earth, farms,” but this has been debated. According to Hoftijzer et. al. (1995), mager / magar means “farm, country house, villa,” with reference to Megara, a suburb of Carthage. Jaubert (1913), 41, compared giru to gour (in Libya, gzur), the modern word for small, fortified settlements. It was sometimes followed by a personal name in the genitive in the bishop lists, rather like the nomenclature of estates: for example, “Fructuosus de Giru Marcelli” and “Felicianus de Giru Tarasi” in the Notitia provinciarum et civitatum Africae (Maier [1973], 86–87). Even though the Phoenicians are not thought to have transmitted the Semitic root kpr (“village”) to North Africa (Debergh 1983), Gebarsussa in Byzacena, the fundus Gebardilla in Proconsularis, and Cebar in Corippus may derive from it.

(6.) Lancel (1964), 144–45; (1972), 136–37. It should be noted that the -iana suffix is more likely to indicate a rural community when it was derived from a personal name, not, as in the case of Aurusulianensis, from Libyo-Punic roots.

(7.) According to Lancel (1991), 1335, the name may be derived from botrus, “raisin.” See Lancel (1964), 144–45, for place-names ending in -iana as especially common for estates in Byzacena.

(8.) Mesnage (1912), 435, compares it to the Concordie in the Martyrol. Hier. 13 kal. March: “In Africa, civitate Concordie, passio sanctorum Donati, Secundiani.”