Tébessa (Berber languages: ⵜⴱⴻⵙⴰ Tbessa or Tibesti, Arabic:
تبسة), is the capital city of
Tébessa Province, in the Shawi
region of Algeria, 20 kilometers west from the border with Tunisia.
Nearby is also a phosphate mine. The city is famous for the
traditional Algerian carpets in the region, and is home to over
634,332 people (in 2007).
1.1 Main sights
5 External links
For the Ancient Greeks,
Tébessa was known as
or Hekatompyle, Ἑκατομπύλη; meaning hundred gates). In 146
BCE, Tbessa it became part of the
Roman Empire with the name Theveste.
During the 1st century CE, the
Legio III Augusta
Legio III Augusta resided there before
being transferred to Lambaesis. It was made a colonia probably under
There is mention of a council held there by the Donatists. Among its
saints were Lucius, its bishop, who assisted at the Council of
Carthage (256) and died as a martyr two years later; Maximilianus,
martyred 12 March 295; 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.
During the 4th and 5th century AD Thebeste was a centre of Manichaeism
as well. In June 1918 a codex of 26 leaves written in
Manichaeans was discovered in a cave near the city. A month later
Henri Omont found the missing initial 13 leaves. The whole book is now
known as the Tebessa codex and it is kept in Cologne. It has been
edited by Markus Stein (Bonn).
It was rebuilt by the patrician Solomon at the beginning of the reign
of Justinian I, and he built a tomb there which still exists. Under
the Ottoman Empire, Thebeste had a garrison of Janissaries. Tebessa is
very rich in ancient monuments, among them being a triumphal arch of
Caracalla, a temple, a Christian basilica of the 4th century. At the
time of Trajan, it was a flourishing city with c. 30,000 inhabitants.
In the 7th century AD, after the
Arab invasion of the region, Thebeste
lost its importance. Later, during the 16th century, the Ottomans
established a small military garrison there.
In the 11th century, Banu Hilal, an
Arab tribe living between
Red Sea, settled in Tunisia, Tripolitania (western Libya) and
Constantinois (eastern Algeria) which was Tebessa party.
In 1851 it was occupied by the French. Under the name of Tebessa it
became the capital of a canton, then an arrondissement of the
départment of Constantine in Algeria, later, it became capital of an
arrondissement in the department of Bône, now (1974) it is capital of
a province of its own, bearing the same name.
Arch of Caracalla, a Roman triumphal arch (214 AD).
Temple of Minerva (early 3rd century AD), with walls decorated by
Amphitheatre (4th century AD)
Remains of the basilica of St. Crispinus (4th century AD), one of the
biggest in Africa. It has also chapels, baptism urns, catacombs and
Byzantine walls (6th century), popularly known as "Solomon's Walls"
and flanked by thirteen square towers.
Climate in Tebessa
Tébessa has a semi-arid climate (
Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification BSk),
with hot, fairly dry summers and mild, somewhat wetter winters.
Climate data for Tébessa
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Average relative humidity (%)
Source #2: climatebase.ru (extremes, humidity)
Tébessa is connected by road and rail with the other parts of both
Algeria and Tunisia. It is served by
Tébessa Airport for air
^ "Climate Normals for Tebessa". Retrieved 11 February 2013.
^ "Tebessa, Algeria". Climatebase.ru. Retrieved 11 February
Stein (M.) (ed.) Manichaica Latina 3.1. Codex Thevestinus
(Papyrologica Coloniensia volume 27/3.1.) Paderborn, Munich, Vienna
and Zurich: Ferdinand Schöningh, 2004, Pp. xx + 328.
Stein (M.) (ed.) Manichaica Latina 3.2. Codex Thevestinus
(Papyrologica Coloniensia volume 27/3.2.) Paderborn, Munich, Vienna
and Zurich: Ferdinand Schöningh, 2006, Pp. vi + 81, ills.
Media related to
Tébessa at Wikimedia Commons
Official site of Tebessa
Acta Maximiliani Martyris
Page with photos of ancient ruins (in German)
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the
public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Theveste".
Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.
Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Tebessa". Encyclopædia Britannica
(11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
Provincial seats of Algeria
Bordj Bou Arréridj
Oum El Bouaghi
Sidi Bel Abbès
Bir El Ater
El Ma Labiodh
Bir El Mokadem
El Ma El Biodh
El Ogla el Malha
Safsaf El Ouesra