Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

A titular see of Numidia. The Phoenician word signifies passage. Early in its history we find in Tipasa a Punic counting-house with a port; which passed later under the domination of the kings of Mauretania, whose kingdom was annexed to the Roman empire in A.D. 39. Claudius I constituted Tipasa a Colonia juris latini (Pliny, "Hist. Natur.", V, ii, 20). Later on it became a civitas and in the third century an inscription styles it colonia . The city, which was very commercial, grew and prospered greatly under the emperors of the second and third centuries. A Jewish colony with its synagogue settled there, early in its history. An inscription belonging to the year 238 is the most ancient trace of Christianity to be found in Tipasa. In the church of Bishop Alexander, built at the end of the fourth century, we find the tombs of nine personages who are called justi priores and whom Duchesne considers to have been nine bishops antedating this Alexander. In the beginning of the fourth century, a young girl, Saint Salsa, was martyred by the pagans ; later a basilica was erected to her memory. Under Julian the Apostate the inhabitants distinguished themselves by their adherence to Christianity, and this in spite of the violent opposition of two Donatist bishops (Optatus, "De Schismate Donatistarum", II, 18-19). Likewise in 371 or 372, when the Moorish king, Firmus, with the support of the Donatists, tried; but in vain, to take possession of the city. Mention is due to the anonymous author of "The Passion of Saint Salsa" and "The Passion of Saint Fabius of Cartenna" (Anal. bolland., IX, 123-134), who was born at Tipasa and who lived in the beginning of the fifth century.

In 429 the Vandals took possession of the city and the province; ten years later these were restored to the Emperor Valentinian, but came back again into the possession of the Vandals in 455. Bishop Reparatus was exiled in 484, and the secretary of the Arian patriarch was chosen to replace him, a choice which brought about the voluntary exile into Spain of the greater part of the inhabitants; those we remained, having refused to embrace Arianism, had their right hand and tongue cut off, but nevertheless, continued to talk as before, according to the testimony of Victor de Vita, and other contemporaries ("Historia persecutionis Africanae provinciae", III, vi, 29-30; Acta SS., October, XI, 847; "Mélanges d'archéologie et d'histoire de l'Ecole française de Rome ", XIV, 319). Henceforth Tipasa is not mentioned in history. To-day it is a village, called Tipaza by the French, Tefassed by the natives, situated about 44 miles east of Algiers ; it numbers 2400 inhabitants, of whom 600 are Europeans, and possesses a Catholic parish. There are ruins of several churches and other monuments.


More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 2:12-22
12 do not forget, I say, that you were at that time ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 85:9-10, 11-12, 13-14
9 His saving help is near for those who fear him, his ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 12:35-38
35 'See that you have your belts done up and your ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 21st, 2014 Image

St. Hilarion
October 21: Abbot and disciple of St. Anthony the Great, companion of St. ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter