Calama (titular see)

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Calama is a Catholic titular see of Africa, corresponding to modern Guelma, Algeria.


Calama appears to be the Roman name of Suthul, a city in Numidia, besieged by Postumius 110 BC.[1] It became a Roman municipium as early as Hadrian, and a colony a little later.

In the time of Diocletian it was included in Proconsular Africa, but its bishops were subject to Numidia. The city was captured by the Vandals on their arrival in Africa (429). Count Bonifacius was defeated near the city in 431.

A great many inscriptions found at Guelma have proved that it is the modern substitute for Calama. It has 7300 inhabitants (1500 French), and is an important cattle market. Among its ruins are a Byzantine citadel and walls built by the Patricius Solomon during the Byzantine reoccupation.

Four bishops are known:

Possidius was a disciple of St. Augustine in the monastic life; at Calama he suffered persecution from heathens and Donatists, and was obliged to leave his city for some time. The contemporary Donatist bishop was Crispinus; among the heathens we know a certain Nectarius, a correspondent of St. Augustine. Possidius disarmed his enemies by his charity. After the sack of Calama by the Vandals, he retired to Hippo Regius and attended St. Augustine on his death-bed. He also wrote the life and a catalogue of the works of his master.


  1. ^ Sallust, Bel. Jugurth., xxxvii.
  • Morcelli, Africa christiana, I, 115
  • Gams, Series Episcoporum Ecclesiae Cath. (Ratisbon, 1873), I, 464
  • Ravoisié, Exploration scientif. de l'Afrique, II
  • Gsell, Monuments antiques de l'Algérie (Paris, 1901)
  • Reboud, Recueil de not. et mém. de la soc. de Constantine (1882–1883), C, I, 24-51

External links[edit]

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company.