This post is mostly a photographic presentation of monuments from El Djem, Tunisia.
El Djem or El Jem is a town in Mahdia Governorate, Tunisia. It is home to some of the most impressive Roman remains in Africa, particularly the world-famous “Amphitheater of El Jem”.
The Roman city of Thysdrus was built, like almost all Roman settlements in ancient Tunisia, on former Punic settlements. In a less arid climate than today’s, Thysdrus prospered as an important center of olive oil production and export.
By the early 3rd century, when the amphitheater was built, Thysdrus rivaled Hadrumetum (modern Sousse) as the second city of Roman North Africa after Carthage.
El Djem is famous for its amphitheater or colosseum. It was capable of seating 35,000 spectators. Only the Colosseum in Rome (seating about 50,000 spectators) and the ruined theater of Capua were larger.
The amphitheater at El Djem was built by the Romans under proconsul Gordian, who was acclaimed emperor at Thysdrus around 238 and was mainly used for gladiator shows and small-scale chariot races.
(Important Note: ALL photographs of this article added to the sourced texts by NovoScriptorium after kind courtesy of our friend Ben Lee – ALL photographs originally taken by Ben Lee)