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Sabrata





A titular see in Tripolitana. Sabrata was a Phoenician town on the northern coast of Africa, between the two Syrta. With Oca and Leptis Magna it caused the Greek name Tripolis to be given to the region. Its Phoenician name, which occurs on coins and in an inscription at Thevesta, was hellenized Abrotomon, though Pliny (V, 4) makes these two separate towns. Sabrata became a Roman colony; Flavia Domitilla, Vespasian's first wife, was the daughter of Statilius Capella of Sabrata. Justinian fortified the town and built there a beautiful church. In the Middle Ages it continued to be an important market, to which the natives of the interior brought their corn; the Arab writers call it Sabrat en-Nefousa, from a powerful tribe, the Nefousa, formerly Christian. Sabrata is now represented by Zouagha, a small town called by Europeans Tripoli Vecchia, in the vilayet of Tripoli, fifty miles west of the town of Tripoli. Its ruins lie a little north of the village; they consist of crumbled ramparts, an amphitheatre, and landing-stage. Four of its bishops are known: Pompey in 233; Nados, present at the Conference of Carthage, 411; Vincent, exiled by Genseric about 450; Leo, exiled by Huneric after the Conference of Carthage, 484.

SMITH, Dict. of Greek and Roman Geog., s. v. Sabrata and Abrotonum, with a bibliography of ancient authors; BARTH, Wanderungen, 277; TOULOTTE, Geographie de l'Afrique chrétienne (Montreuil, 1894), 258-60; DIEHL, L'Afrique byzantine (Paris, 1896), passim.

S. Pétridès.








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