In fact, however, the settlement was occupied by Punic settlers from at least as early as the 3rd century BC. They called it Yksm, which is believed to have meant "owl's island", and which was eventually transcribed as Icosium in Latin. The original Punic name is reflected in the modern Arabic name for Algiers (Arabic: الجزائر, pronounced Al Jaza'ir), which means "the islands".
The bishops of Icosium are mentioned as late as the 5th century. It remained part of the Roman Empire until the 5th century AD, when it was conquered by Vandals.
Circa 400 a Diocese of Icosium was established under Roman rule, which was suppressed circa 500, presumably by the Arian Vandals.
In 1700 the diocese was nominally restored as titular bishopric of Icosium (Curiate Italian Icosio).
As such it had the following incumebnts, all of the fitting episcopal (lowest) rank :
- Manuel Tercero Rozas, Augustinians (O.E.S.A.) (1727.11.26 – 1752.07.04)
- Aloisio Gandolfi, Lazarist (C.M.) (1815.08.11 – 1825.08.25)
- Saint Bishop Eugène-Charles-Joseph de Mazenod, Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate (O.M.I.) (1832.10.01 – 1837.10.02)
On 10 August 1838 the titular see ceased to exist as the residential diocese was restored under the city's modern name as Roman Catholic Diocese of Algiers, which was promoted on 1866.07.25 as Metropolitan Archdiocese of Algiers.
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