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an ancient city in Libya, on the Mediterranean Sea, west of the city of Tripoli. Founded by the Phoenicians in the first half of the first millennium B.C.

One of the most important centers of trade with Italy, Sabra-tha flourished during the period of Roman domination (for the most part, during the first few centuries A.D.). In the fifth century A.D. the city was captured by the Vandals, and during the sixth century it fell under the power of Byzantium. The city was destroyed by the Arabs in the seventh century. Excavations of Sabratha began in 1923.

The early core of the city, with its irregular street layout, is located near the port area. Situated to the south, west, and east are structures dating from Roman and Byzantine times, including the remnants of a forum and the Byzantine Basilica of Justinian (sixth century), with its mosaic floor (now in the Sabratha Archaeological Museum). The regularly laid out quarters are located to the southeast; adjoining them to the south is a large theater (dating from the end of the second to the beginning of the third centuries), which is ornamented with sculpture. Thermal baths, richly decorated with mosaics and sculpture, have also been discovered.


Haynes, D. E. L. An Archaeological and Historical Guide to the Pre-Islamic Antiquities of Tripolitania. Tripoli [1956]. Pages 107–34.
Caputo, G. Il teatro di Sabratha. Rome, 1959.
References in periodicals archive ?
NTC fighters have reached the city center and they engaged in heavy clashes with the Gadhafi forces which have been resisting for over a month in the desert enclave of Bani Walid, 90 miles southeast of Tripoli, Mansoor Fathali, member of an NTC military council in Sabratha and Surman, told the Anadolu Agency by phone.
Libyan rebels seized an oil refinery in the city of Zawiyah and took control of Sabratha further west on the main highway from Tripoli to Tunisia, Reuters reported.
Tripoli, Aug 19(ANI): Libyan rebels have tightened their grip west of Tripoli by seizing an oil refinery in Zawiyah and taking control over Sabratha further west on the main highway from Tripoli to Tunisia.
Several cities in the west also rose up - including Zawiya, Zwara, Sabratha and others - but each was subsequently crushed by Gadhafis forces, often bloodily.
Qaddafi supporters also have said they were in control of the city of Sabratha, west of Tripoli, which has seemed to go back and forth between the two camps in the past week.
That is why the men of Sabratha were prepared to fight Gaddafi loyalists with ancient swords, weapons last used by their grandfathers.
While Benghazi and other cities in the northeast are reportedly under the control of antigovernment forces, The Associated Press said military units were sent to the city of Sabratha west of Tripoli to suppress protestors occupying government facilities there.
There were reports yesterday of dozens killed and injured when security forces opened fire on protesters 40 miles west of Tripoli, between the cities of Sabratha and Surman.
And last night, there were reports of carnage in Sabratha, 40 miles from Tripoli.
Meanwhile, it is reported that battalions of the Libyan army in the mountain areas joined what it is called as the "Green Revolution" of the Libyan people/ Other reports claim the army deployed large numbers of Libyan soldiers near Sabratha city, west of Tripoli, after protesters destroyed all offices of the security services there.
Helen, who grew up in Cramlington and went to the town's St Paul's Primary and St Peter's Middle schools before attending St Benet Biscop High in Bedlington, found herself on a excursion to Sabratha, an ancient Roman site, in the north west corner, in the opposite direction to the trouble and about an hour out of Tripoli.
Administrative divisions: 32 municipalities (singular--"shabiya", plural--"shabiyat"): Butnan, Darnah, Gubba, al-Jebal al-Akhdar, Marj, al-Jebal al-Hezam, Benghazi, Ajdabiya, Wahat, Kufra, Surt, Al Jufrah, Misurata, Murgub, Bani-Walid, Tarhuna and Msallata, Tripoli, Jfara, Zawiya, Sabratha and Surman, An Nuqat al-Khams, Gharyan, Mezda, Nalut, Ghadames, Yefren, Wadi Alhaya, Ghat, Sabha, Wadi Shati, Murzuq, Tajura and an-Nuwaha al-Arba'a.