For centuries Leptis Magna was a lost, buried city. Founded by far-ranging Phoenician traders, it was a great port in Carthaginian times. Later it was allied to Rome, but the city fathers made the mistake of siding with Pompey against Julius Caesar. For this the city was fined 300,000 measures of oil annually. Later still it became the home town of a Roman emperor, Septimius Severus, who made it one of the grandest and wealthiest cities of the empire. Nubian slaves, lions for the Roman arenas, ivory and African gold flowed through Leptis Magna into the civilized world, until the harbor...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!