Definitions

Thapsus

Thapsus

[thap-suhs]
Thapsus, ancient N African seaport, c.100 mi (161 km) SE of Carthage in what is now Tunisia. The last stronghold of Pompey's party, the town was besieged in 46 B.C. by Julius Caesar. There Metellus Pius Scipio and the Numidians under Juba I offered battle, but were defeated, with a tremendous loss of men. Their defeat marked the end of opposition to Caesar in Africa.
Thapsus (less commonly, Tapsus) 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 Pius 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.

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