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.
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.