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This article is about the North African city. For the medicinal herb, see Verbascum thapsus. For the prehistoric village in Sicily, see Thapsos.

Thapsus or Thapsos (less commonly, Tapsus) (Greek: Θάψος) was an ancient city in what is modern-day Tunisia. Its ruins exist at Ras Dimas near Bekalta, approximately 200 km southeast of Carthage. Originally founded by Phoenicians, it served as a marketplace on the coast of the province Byzacena in Africa Propria. Thapsus was established near a salt lake on a point of land eighty stadia (14.8 km) from the island of Lampedusa.

In 46 BC, Julius Caesar defeated Metellus Scipio and the Numidian King Juba with a tremendous loss of men near Thapsus (see Battle of Thapsus). Caesar exacted a payment of 50,000 sesterces from the vanquished. Their defeat marked the end of opposition to Caesar in Africa. Thapsus then became a Roman colony. Later, it was part of the Roman province of Byzacena.

Thapsus became a Christian bishopric, whose only known bishop is Vigilius, the author of several controversial works against the Arians and the Eutychians. He was one of the Catholic bishops whom in 484 Hunneric summoned to Carthage and then exiled.[1] The see, no longer residential, is included in the Catholic Church's list of titular sees.[2]


  1. ^ Sophrone Pétridès, "Thapsus" in Catholic Encyclopedia (New York 1912)
  2. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2013, ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 983]

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Coordinates: 35°37′33″N 11°02′42″E / 35.62583°N 11.04500°E / 35.62583; 11.04500