Cirta on the map of Roman Numidia, Atlas Antiquus, H. Kiepert, 1869

Thibilis (aka Tibilis) was a Roman and Byzantine era town in what was Numidia but is today northeast Algeria. The site has extensive Roman and Byzantine ruins.


The numerous Latin inscriptions discovered on the site of Thibilis provided indications on the status and magistrates of this city: during the Early Empire, Thibilis was first a pagus1 dependent on the Cirtaian confederacy which united Cirta, Rusicade, Chullu and Milève.[1] Enjoying a certain autonomy, the city is administered by two magistri of annual mandate, assisted by one or two aediles.[2]

During the reigns of Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius, notables of Thibilis gained the highest office of the Imperial administration, Quintus Antistius Adventus Aquilinus Postumus, consul suffect about 167, and his son Lucius Antistius Burrus,[3] son-in-law of Marcus Aurelius And consul in 181.

Thibilis gained the rank of municipality headed by two duumviri between 260 [4] and 268 [5] which corresponds to the period estimated for the dissolution of the confederacy. Local cults included flamen Augusti for imperial worshipand Saturni (priest of Saturn) and a local deity, Bacax[6][7] and Magna Mater deorum Idaea, the Great Mother of the Gods.[8]


  1. Jacques Gascou, « Pagus et castellum dans la Confédération Cirtéenne », Antiquités africaines, no 19, 1983, p183.
  2. Jacques Gascou, « Pagus et castellum dans la Confédération Cirtéenne », Antiquités africaines, no 19, 1983, p.184.
  3. E. Groag, PIR², 1933, p. 142-143, n° 757
  4. the last known magister by an inscription
  5. 268 was the first known duumvir
  6. Xavier Dupuis, « Constructions publiques et vie municipale en Afrique de 244 à 276 », Mélanges de l'Ecole française de Rome. Antiquité, t. 104, no 1, 1992, p.243.
  7. Paul-Albert Fevrier, « Religion et domination dans l'Afrique romaine », Dialogues d'histoire ancienne, Vol. 2, 1976. pp. 305-336
  8. [Stéphane Gsell, « Autel romain de Zana (Algérie) », Comptes rendus des séances de l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, 75e année, N. 3, 1931. pp. 265 & 167
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