Sabratha, an aa spelled Sabratah or Siburata (Arabic: صبراتة‎), is a ceety in the Az Zawiyah Destrict[1] in the northwastren corner o modren Libie. It wis the wastrenmaist o the "three ceeties" of Tripolis. Frae 2001 tae 2007 it wis the caipital o the umwhile Sabratha Wa Surman Destrict. It lies on the Mediterranean coast aboot 65 km (40 mile) wast o Tripoli (auncient Oea). The extant airchaeological steid wis inscribed as a UNESCO Warld Heritage Steid in 1982.

Auncient SabrathaEedit

Sabratha's port wis established, aiblins aboot 500 BC, as a Phoenician tradin-post that served as a coastal ootlet for the products o the African hinterland. The Phoenicians gave it the Lybico-Berber name 'Sbrt'n',[2] which suggests that there mey hae been a native toun built there prior tae the Phoenicians' arrival. Sabratha became pairt o the short-lived Numidian Kinrick o Massinissa afore being Romanized an rebuilt in the 2nt an 3rd centuries AD. The Emperor Septimus Severus wis born nearbi in Leptis Magna, an Sabratha reached its monumental peak durin the rule o the Severans. The ceety wis badly damaged bi earthquakes durin the 4t century, pairticularly the quake o AD 365. It wis rebuilt on a mair modest scale bi Byzantine govrenors. Athin a hunder years o the Arab conquest o the maghreb, trade haed shiftit tae ither ports an Sabratha dwindled tae a veelage.

The airchaeological steidEedit

Map o Sabratha

Besides its magnificent late 3rd century theatre that retains its three-storey airchitectural backdrop, Sabratha haes temples dedicatit tae Liber Pater, Serapis an Isis. There is a Christian basilica o the time o Justinian an an' a' remnants o some o the mosaic floors that enriched elite dwellins o Roman North Africae (for example, at the Villa Sileen, near Al Khums). Housomeivver, these are maist clearly preserved in the coloured patterns o the seaward (or Forum) baths, directly owerleukin the shore, an in the black an white floors o the Theatre baths.

There is an adjacent museum containin some treasures frae Sabratha, but ithers can be seen in the naitional museum in Tripoli.

Modren SabrathaEedit

Al Wefaq Sabratah is the fitbaa club, playin at Sabratah Stadium.


  1. شعبيات الجماهيرية العظمى– Sha'biyat o Great Jamahiriya, accessed 20 July 2009, in Arabic
  2. Septimus Severus page 2

Further readingEedit

  • Matthews, Kenneth D. (1957) Cities in the Sand, Leptis Magna and Sabratha in Roman Africa University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, OCLC 414295
  • Ward, Philip (1970) Sabratha: A Guide for Visitors Oleander Press, Cambridge, UK, ISBN 0-902675-05-2

Freemit airtinsEedit