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Sufetula

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A titular see of North Africa. Sufetula seems to be Suthul where Jugurtha had deposited his treasures (Sallust, xxxvi). The Latin name is a diminutive of Sufes (Shiba), the name of a small town 25 miles further north, from which many roads branched out to neighbouring towns. It became a Roman colony. In 647 it was the capital of the Byzantine patrician, Gregory, who had declared himself independent and was killed in a great battle with the Arabs fought near the town, which was stormed, pillaged, and cruelly laid waste. The "Roman Martyrology " mentions on 30 August the martyrs of Sufetula, who seem to belong rather to Sufes (St. Augustine, "Letters", 50). At an unknown date a council was held at Sufetula, one of its canons being still preserved ( Hardouin, I, 1512). Only three bishops of this see are known: Privatian, present at the Council of Carthage, 255; Jucundus, at the Councils of Carthage, 411 and 419; St. Præsidius, exiled in 484 by Huneric after having been scourged, mentioned in the "Roman Martyrology " on 6 September. Sufetula is called Sbeitha in Arabic; it is a village on the road from Tebessa to Kairwan about 70 miles east of Tebessa (Tunisia). It has important Roman ruins: three temples, a triumphal arch, a theatre, and an amphitheatre, etc.; worthy of note are the ruins of four three-naved churches, Byzantine fortifications, and numerous fragments of Christian sculpture.

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