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A titular see of Mauritania Tingitana. Rusaddir is a Phoenician settlement whose name signifies a lofty cape. This city is mentioned by Ptolemy (IV, 1) and Pliny (V, 18) who call it "oppidum et portus", also by Mela (I, 33), under the corrupted form Rusicada and by the "Itinerarium Antonini". During the Middle Ages it was the Berber city of Mlila; it is now known as Melilla. In 1497 it fell into the hands of the Duke of Medina Sidonia, and in 1506 was returned to the Crown of Spain. Since then its history is a succession of famines and sieges of which the most renowned is that of 1774 and the most recent that of 1893. In 1909 it was the seat of the warfare carried on between Spain and the Rif tribes. Melilla is, after Ceuta, the most important of the Spanish fortresses or presidios on the African coast. It has about 9000 inhabitants, and is built in the form of an amphitheatre on the east slope of a steep rock 1640 feet high, bounded by abrupt cliffs, whereon is the Fort of Rosario. A free port since 1881, Melilla carries on an active commerce with the Rif. There is no record of any bishop of this see.
SMITH, Dict. of Greek and Roman geogr. s. v.; MULLER, Notes on Ptolemy, ed. DIDOT, I, 583; MEAKIN, The Land of the Moor (London, 1901); BARRE, Melilla et les presides espagnols in Revue francaise (1908).