donderdag 20 november 2014


Hippo enters history-traditions very late during the 2nd Punic War in 205 BC, when the surroundings of the town are devastated by Laelius (Liv.XXIX 3,7).
“Gaius Laelius came ashore by night near Hippo Regius and advanced by daylight with soldiers and crew-members of the ships in organised hosts in order to pillage the land. The whole population lived there very care-free as if it was peace and a lot of damage was done……”
After Laelius has met Masinissa in this region he left Hippo with his ships full of booty.
A year later in 204 BC Masinissa is back with an army somewhere between Hippo and Cirta, where he is however beaten by a general of Syphax: Bucar (Liv. XXIX 32-33). Masinissa escapes with only 50 men by crossing a river. There is some talking of a mountain Bellus close to the sea and close to Carthaginian territory.
After the 2nd Punic War Hippo became a royal city in the Numidian state of Masinissa. This is the sense of the addition “Regius”. Silius Italicus (III, 259) says: “Next came Vaga, and Hippo dear to kings of old, ….  (antiquis dilectus regibus Hippo)”
In 46 BC it was Sittius who captured the fleet of the followers of Pompeius in the harbour of Hippo (Bell.Afr.96; Liv.Per.CXIV).
Augustus gives to Hippo the statute of municipium (ILAlg I,109) and Ptolemeus (IV 3,2) says it became a colony.
The Vandals invaded Africa in 428 AD. They came also to Hippo Regius, where they made camp  under the leadership of Geiseric and began a siege. St.Augustinus and certain other bishops were shut up in the city during this siege which lasted nearly 14 months. During the siege  St.Augustinus fell sick and died in the year 430 AD. The city was captured in 430 AD by the Vandals, although the classical writers contradict each-other. Possidius: “Of the innumerable churches he (St.Augustinus) saw only three survive, namely those of Carthage, Hippo and Cirta. --- These cities too still stand, protected by human and divine aid, although after Augustine’s death the city of Hippo, abandoned by its inhabitants, was burned by the enemy.” Procopius says: “But after much time had passed by, since they were unable to secure Hippo Regius either by force or by surrender, and since at the same time they were being pressed by hunger, they raised the siege.” Possidius wrote between 432-439 AD and Procopius a century later in the days of the general Belisarius from Byzantium.
During the invasion of Belisarius in 553 AD of North-Africa Hippo Regius is mentioned two times. First, when the Vandal king Gelimer sent his scribe Boniface with the treasury of the state to Hippo Regius. When Gelimer should beaten on the battle field Boniface should sail to Spain in order to go for help from Theudis, the king of the Visigoths. Storm and winds prevented that and he and all the treasures fell in the hands of the victorious Belisarius.
A little bit later Gelimer fled to westwards and from there to a mountain Papua. Belisarius has followed him and came again to Hippo Regius. The mountain could be the Edough, the promontory between Annaba and Philippeville. After some time Gelimer had to surrender and was brought to Carthage.
In the middle of the 7th century AD Hippo Regius was destroyed by the Arabs, who overrun the whole of North Africa. Probably a new town Bona was made a few kilometers north of Hippo Regius. Ek Békri, who lived in the 11th century says, that the town Hippo is situated on a hill, which overlooks the town of Sebous. It was called Medina Zaoui. Hippo was apparently rebuilt. It finally disappeared from history in the beginning of the 16th century AD.

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