The place was named Hippo Regius (Royal) by the Romans because it was a favourite residence of the Numidian kings.
It was in these coast mountains of Algeria that the Romans quarried the celebrated Numidian marbles.
After the capture of Carthage by Scipio (146 B.C.) this territory was erected into a Roman province, and a trench, the fossa regia, was dug to mark the boundary of the Roman province of Africa and the dominions of the Numidian princes.
The marbles of Shemtu are the finest pink Numidian marbles, which were much esteemed by the Carthaginians and Romans.
He was educated, like many of the Numidian chiefs, at Carthage, learnt Latin and Greek, and was an accomplished as well as a naturally clever man.