Mila, Algeria

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Mila
ميلة
city
Mila town
Mila town
city Mila in Mila Privince
city Mila in Mila Privince
Mila is located in Algeria
Mila
Mila
city Mila in Mila Privince
Coordinates: 36°27′00″N 6°16′00″E / 36.45°N 6.266667°E / 36.45; 6.266667
Country  Algeria
Province Mila Province
District Mila District
Area
 • Total 50.15 sq mi (129.89 km2)
Population (2008)
 • Total 69,052
Time zone CET (UTC+1)

Mila (Arabic: ميلة‎) is a city in the Northeast of Algeria, capital of Mila Province. In antiquity, it was known as Milevum (in Latin) or Mireon, Μιραίον (in Ancient Greek) and was situated in the Roman province of Numidia.

History[edit]

Ancient history[edit]

In Ptolemy's "Geography", IV, iii, 7, the city is mentioned under the name of Mileum or Mireon. During the Roman era it was called Colonia Sarnensis Milevitana, after the River Sarnus in Campania, whence the colonists had emigrated. This name is often found in the inscriptions of the city. Together with Cirta, Collo and Rusicade, Milevum formed the confederation known as the Four Colonies, the territory of which was very extensive. In the 6th century the Byzantine Emperor Justinian had Milevum enclosed by a fortified wall, which still stands and forms a rampart for the Muslim city of Mila.[1] It has yielded quite a number of Latin inscriptions from this city and a colossal statue of Saturn.

Two church councils were held at Milevum, one in 402 and the other in 416. The second appealed to Pope Innocent I for repression of the Pelagian heresy. Among the bishops of this episcopal see were Pollianus, present at the Council of Carthage in 255 and martyred two years later; St. Optatus, noted for his work against the Donatists, who died in about 385, and who is commemorated on 4 June; Honorius; Severus, fellow-countryman and friend of St. Augustine Benenanus (484); Restitutus, who attended the Fifth Œcumenical Council in 553.

Between 675 and 682 the city may have been conquered by the Umayyad Arabs commanded by Abu al-Muhajir Dinar.[2] In the 14th century Ibn Khaldun described it as being a town dominated by Kutama Berbers. Dr. Robert Brown, in an early 20th-century edition of Leo Africanus' geographical work on Africa, described it as a significant European population, with the city having a 'Berber quarter'.

Modern history[edit]

Milevum, modern Arabic name Mila, was under French colonial rule a city in the department of Constantine in Algeria, with in the early 20th century 8000 inhabitants, 400 of whom are Europeans. That department later became Constantine Province after the independence of Algeria, of which Mila was dependent till the creation of Mila Province in 1984. At the 1998 census the city had a population of 59,959.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Ch. Diehl, Afrique byzantine, Paris, 1896, 603 sq.
  2. ^ Mila is the name given by the 9th-century historian Khalifa ibn Khayyat but this might perhaps refer to the Numidian fortress of Gemellae near the modern-day village of Mlili; see article by Benabbès cited below.

Sources[edit]

  • Wikisource-logo.svg "Milevum". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913. 
  • A. Benabbès: "Les premiers raids arabes en Numidie byzantine: questions toponymiques." In Identités et Cultures dans l'Algérie Antique, University of Rouen, 2005 (ISBN 2-87775-391-3)
  • P. Trousset (2002). Les limites sud de la réoccupation Byzantine. Antiquité Tardive v. 10, p. 143-150.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Milevum". Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company.  Coordinates: 36°27′01″N 6°15′52″E / 36.45028°N 6.26444°E / 36.45028; 6.26444