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Titular see of Numidia. The city seems to have had some importance even prior to Christianity. During the first century of our era the Legio III Augusta resided there before being transferred to Lambaesis. It was made a colonia probably under Trajan. There is mention of a council held there by the Donatists. Among its saints were St. Lucius, its bishop, who in 256 assisted at the Council of Carthage and died for the Faith two years later; St. Maximilianus, martyred 12 March, 295; St. Crispina, martyred 5 December, 304. Some of its bishops are known: Romulus in 349; Urbicus in 411; Felix exiled by the Vandals in 484; Palladius mentioned in an inscription. It was rebuilt by the patrician Solomon at the beginning of the reign of Justinian, and he built a tomb there which still exists. Under the Turks Theveste had a garrison of janizaries. Since 1851 it has been occupied by the French. Under the name of Tebessa it is the capital of a canton of the Department of Constantine in Algeria. It has 7000 inhabitants, of whom about 1200 are Europeans. It has a Catholic parish. Tebessa is very rich in ancient monuments, among them being a triumphal arch of Caracalla, a temple, a Christian basilica of the fourth century 216 feet long by 72 feet wide, near which are buried a number of pious persons.
TOULOTTE, Geog. de l'Afrique chret.: Proconsulaire (Rennes, 1894), 292-99; DIEHL in Nouvelles archives des missions scientif. (Paris, 1893), 325-32; BALLU, Le monastere byz. de Tebessa (Paris, 1897).