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Photo album by krisek: Leptis Magna - one of Libya's main attractions

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Leptis Magna - one of Libya's main attractions

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One of the most spectacularly preserved ancient Roman cities in the world, Leptis Magna (aka Lepcis Magnae) took my breath away. Because I only saw a few close-up pictures of statues and one picture of the Roman Theatre, the city took me by surprise. Africa once produced one of the most powerful Roman emperors. And he came from the most spectacular Roman city on the continent. There is no exaggeration here at all. It took a bit of time for Leptis Magna to achieve its imperial status. The city was probably founded in 1100 BC by Phoenicians and gained some importance as a trading post when Carthage established itself as a considerable player in the region, rivaling Greece, Rome and Egypt. It eventually fell into the Roman hands in the second century BC, and gradually developed as one of the key provincial cities of Rome in Africa. Then, on 11 April 145 AD, Lucius Septimus Severus was born in the city, who on 14 April 193 became the Roman Emperor. He started favouring his native city over all other trading posts and started converting Leptis Magna into an imperial centre. He erected a brand new forum and modernised the harbour. It became the third most important city in Africa, after Alexandria and Carthage.

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