Map of Roman Diocese of Africa Proconsularis and Numidia, showing Milev next to Mauretania Sitifensis
Shown within Algeria
Location Algeria
Region Mila Province
Coordinates 36°27′01″N 6°15′52″E / 36.450278°N 6.264444°E / 36.450278; 6.264444

Milevum (in Latin even "Milev" or "Mireon"; Μιραίον in Ancient Greek) was a Roman-Berber city in the Roman province of Numidia. It was located in present-day Mila in eastern Algeria.


In Ptolemy's "Geography" (vol. IV, iii, 7), the city is mentioned under the name of Mileum. During the Roman era, it was called Colonia Sarnensis Milevitana, after the River Sarnus in Campania (southern Italy), 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. This confederation area was fully romanised in the fourth century, with nearly all the population speaking Latin, according to historian Theodore Mommsen [1]

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.[2] It has yielded quite a number of Latin inscriptions from this city and a colossal statue of Saturn.

Christianity appeared in the second century and dominated Miletum in the fourth century.[3]

Two church councils were held at Milevum, one in 402 AD and the other in 416 AD.[4] The second appealed to Pope Innocent I for repression of the Pelagian heresy.

After 682 AD the city may have been conquered by the Umayyad Arabs commanded by Abu al-Muhajir Dinar.[5]


The city was the center of a small Bishopric. Among the bishops of this episcopal see were:

Charles Lavigne Bishop of Milevum
Bishop Anton Gisler.

Milevum remains today a titular See in the ecclesiastical province of Numidia.[6]

See also


  1. Theodore Mommsen. "The Provinces of the Roman Empire". Section: Africa
  2. Ch. Diehl, Afrique byzantine, Paris, 1896, 603 sq.
  3. History of Christianity in Roman Africa
  4. J. H. N., I.e. J. H. Newman., The Ecclesiastical History, from A.D. 400, to A.D. 429, Translated, with Notes (1843).
  5. 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 Mlii.
  6. David M. Cheney. Milevum at Catholic

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Milevum". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton. 

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