Sabratha

musings-at-sabratha

 

Musings at the ancient Roman city of Sabratha, around 80 km west of Tripoli is a nice way to spend a holiday.

 

The origin of the name of Sabratha has been lost to time, although it is thought to possibly have been a derivation of a Libyan-Berber word meaning ‘grain market’

 

There are some interesting stories associated with this place.

 

One of them is “The Defence of Apuleius

 

In AD 158, a sensational trial rocked Sabratha from its decadent slumber with all the scandal of a modern soap opera. Apuleius was a renowned philosopher who traveled throughout the colonies expounding his theories in Latin and Green to great acclaim. One of Apuleius’ speaking tours took him to Sabratha, where he married Pudentilla, a rich widow many years his senior. The citizens of Sabratha were outraged and the city descended into an unseemly round of scandal mongering. One family , which stood to lose out on the widow’s massive inheritance, formally brought a charge against Apuleius.

 

The accusation?

 

Using his magic powers to win over the widow (there is no record of whether she was given a say).

 

The trial of the decade was presided over by the Roman proconsul Claudio Massimo in the Judicial Basilica. In a captivating oration that lasted three (some say four) days, Apuleius won his freedom. As other celebrities through the ages have discovered, the publicity only enhanced his reputation.

 

                                    ***

 

Present day Sabratha also has an Oncology institute.

 

 

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About prashant bhatt

A doctor, photographer, writer likes to read and travel. Reading journal : gracereadings.com
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