The edict of the emperors Theodosius II and Valentinian III of AD 435 laid down the laws on the juridical dissolution of pagan sanctuaries and the annexation of the temple property. The probability of tallying such historically confirmed situations with archaeological finds always poses a difficult methodical question. A small number of interesting examples from the late antique Dioceses Africa and Ægyptus therefore deserve the author's closer attention: the temple of Apollo at Cyrene, the three-aisled Christian basilica at the ‘Vetus Forum’ of Lepcis Magna, the Jupiter Dolichenus Temple at the port of the same city (all in Libya), and the basilicas in Sbeitla (Sufetula), Djebel Oust (both in Tunisia) and Tipasa (Algeria).
Unfortunately, in none of these cases, could the exact date of rebuilding be established. But even so, it is obvious that the edict of Theodosius II cannot be considered as a definitive terminus ad quem. Archaeological as well as historical facts indicate that the process of destroying pagan cults and transforming temples into Christian sites lasted for almost a century (early fourth up to the mid-fifth). Theodosius Il's edict thus legalised a custom that had already been in practice for decades.