KEF , more correctly El-Kef (the
See also:Rock), a
See also:town of
See also:Tunisia, 125 M. by
See also:rail S.S.W. of the capital, and 75 M . S.E. of Bona in Algeria . It occupies the site of the
See also:Roman colony of Sicca Veneria, and is built on the steep slope of a rock in a mountainous region through which flows the Mellegue, an affluent of the Mejerda . Situated at the intersection of
See also:main routes from the west and south, Kef occupies a position of strategic importance . Though distant some 22 M. from the Algerian frontier it was practically a border
See also:post, and its walls and citadel were kept in a state of defence by the Tunisians . The town with its
See also:half-dozen mosques and tortuous, dirty streets, is still partly walled . The
See also:part of the
See also:wall has however been destroyed by the French, and the
See also:remainder is being
See also:left to decay . Beyond the part of the wall destroyed is the French quarter . The kasbah, or citadel, occupies a rocky
See also:eminence on the west side of the town . It was built, or rebuilt, by the
See also:Turks, the material being Roman . It has been restored by the French, who maintain a garrison, here . The Roman remains include fragments of a large
See also:temple dedicated to Hercules, and of the
See also:baths .
See also:ancient cisternsremain, but are empty, being used as part of the barracks . The town is however supplied by
See also:water from the same
See also:spring which filled the cisterns . The Christian cemetery is on the site of a
See also:basilica . There are ruins of another Christian basilica, excavated by the French, the apse being intact and the narthex serving as a
See also:church . Many stones with Roman inscriptions are built into the walls of Arab houses . The
See also:modern town is much smaller than the Roman colony . Pop. about 6000, including about 100 Europeans (chiefly Maltese) . The Roman colony of Sicca Veneria appears from the character of its worship of
See also:Venus (Val . Max. ii . 6, § 15)to have been a Phoenician settlement . It was afterwards a Numidian stronghold, and under the Caesars became a fashionable residential city and one of the chief centres of
See also:Christianity in
See also:North Africa . The Christian apologist Arnobius the Elder lived here .
See H .Barth, Die Kiistenlander
See also:des Mittelmeeres (1849); Corpus Inscript .
See also:Lat., vol. viii . ; Sombrun in Bull. de la
See also:soc. de geog. de
See also:Bordeaux (1878) . Also
See also:Cardinal Newman's Callista: a
See also:Sketch of the Third Century (1856), for a " reconstruction " of the manner of
See also:life of the early Christians and their oppressors .
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