Quiza Xenitana

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This article is about a colony of the Roman empire. For the Mongolian rap musician, see Quiza (rapper).

Quiza, which Pliny the Elder called Quiza Xenitana,[1] was a minor city or colony in Roman Africa, located in the late Roman province of Mauretania Caesariensis, William Smith identified it with Giza near Oran, Algeria.[2] More recent investigations have identified it with present-day El-Benian on the coast road between Mostaga and Dara.[3][4][5]

In his Natural History, 4.2.3., Pliny the Elder: writes: "Next to this is Quiza Xenitana, a town founded by strangers"; a remark explained because the word Xenitana is derived from Greek ξένος, "a stranger",[6] as explained also by Victor Vitensis.[7] The town is mentioned also by Pliny elsewhere (5.2), by Ptolemy, and by Pomponius Mela.[2]


At the Conference of Carthage in 411, which brought together Catholic and Donatist bishops, Quiza was represented by the Catholic Priscus, who had no Donatist counterpart. He is mentioned also in a letter of Saint Augustine to Pope Celestine I.[8] Tiberianus of Quiza was one of the Catholic bishops whom the Arian Vandal kind Huneric summoned to Carthage in 484 and then exiled. In addition, the name of a Bishop Vitalianus appears in the mosaic pavement of the excavated basilica of Quiza.[9][10][11]

No longer a residential bishopric, Quiza is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see.[12]