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1. The grand Forum

2. Temple of Minerva

3. Temple of Jupiter

4. Temple of Juno

5. Antonine Gate

6. Baths

7. Underground bath?

8. Baptistry basins

9. Churches

10. Theatre

11. Shopping streets

12. Public fountains

13. House of Seasons

14. Water reservoir

15. Temple to unknown

16. Byzantine forts

17. Olive press

18. Arches of Diocletian and Septimus Severus

19. The Bridge

20. Amphitheatre

21. Museum


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Sbe´tla, Tunisia

Sbe´tla, Tunisia

Sbe´tla, Tunisia

Sbe´tla, Tunisia

The theatre.

Sbe´tla, Tunisia

One of the baptistry basins.

In 646, Prefect Gregory declared his independence from the Byzantine Empire and took control over what is modern Tunisia, using the established name, Numidia. He declared himself emperor and made Sbe´tla, or Sufetula, as it was known then, his capital.
The backdrop of this was the threat from the east, the forces of the Arab Muslims which had gradually been closing up on his Christian lands. In 642, Tripoli had been besieged by the Muslims.
He wouldn't stay in power for even a year. In 647 his troops were severely defeated, and Gregory was killed. Although the Arabs left Tunisia alone for more than 20 years, this marks the beginning of the end of Christian Tunisia.
Sbe´tla's history stretches back into Numidian times in the 1st millennium BCE. There is little we know about its history, except that it became a rich city due to the olives grown in this region. Its greatest wealth was achieved in the 2nd and 3rd centuries CE. It is from this period that we find most of the impressive buildings that have survived until our times.
Many of Sbe´tla's structures have survived well. The forum, a mosaic bath tub, Diocletian's Arch and the street layout are among the finest of their kinds in Tunisia.

By Tore Kjeilen