Thursday, 20 April 2006

Strolling about Sabratha

I preferred Sabratha to Leptis - the city of Septimus Severus, who became Roman emperor in AD 193 and died in England in 211 A.D. - partly because it was built of honey-coloured soft sandstone, whereas Leptis is built of limestone, but of course, for the same reason, it has also weathered a lot more and much has been reconstructed by (mostly Italian) archaeologists, in particular the theatre.

Sabratha was originally a Punic city (settled from Carthage), then Greek settlers arrived and after a violent earthquake in the 1st century A.D., it became a Roman colony in the 2nd century A.D.. The rocket-like structure is the "Puno-Hellenistic Mausoleum of Bes" (Bes being an Egyptian god).

The 10,000 seater amphitheatre was the venue for the usual "feeding Christians to the lions" type of entertainment, and is not on the normal tourist trail so it felt almost as though we were the first to discover it.


At 21/4/06 11:12, Blogger boo said...

the lovely blue skies against the great sand pieces. wow.


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