Thuburbo Majus or Colonia Julia Aurelia Commoda, its Roman name, was originally a Punic town, later founded as a Roman veteran colony by Augustus in 27 BC. Military veterans were sent to Thuburbo, among other sites, by Augustus to allow them to start their post-army lives with land of their own. Its strategic location and access to trade routes made it an important establishment. Ruins of the town are in the middle of the countryside with no towns in close proximity. Most of the town was built around 150–200 and restored in the 4th century after the Crisis of the Third Century. It received a Capitolium in 168. The town was a productive grower of grain, olives, and fruit. Under Hadrian it was made a municipium, helping cause a growth in wealth, and Commodus made it a colony.
A 1916 excavation found a tetrastyle temple. The building was decorated with statues of Apollo, Venus, Silvanus, Bacchus, the Dioscuri, and a satyr. Three perfume vases showed dogs pursuing rabbits. In 1920 an inscription found in Thuburbo Majus written in honor of C. Vettius Sabinianus proved that several other inscriptions bearing that name were referring to the same person. Remains of the house of Bacchus and Ariadne dating back to the early 5th century were excavated in 1925.
Its Capitol – the most important temple in Roman cities – is among the best preserved in Tunisia. Its façade was made of six elegant Corinthian columns, with four of them still intact, overlooking a large staircase and the Forum.