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Sunset chebba.jpg
Chebba is located in Tunisia
Location in Tunisia
Coordinates: 35°14′14″N 11°06′54″E / 35.23722°N 11.11500°E / 35.23722; 11.11500
CountryFlag of Tunisia.svg Tunisia
GovernorateMahdia Governorate
 • Total22,232
Time zoneUTC1 (CET)

Chebba (La Chebba, Ash Shabbah, aš-Šābbah, Sheba) is a small city in the Mahdia Governorate of Tunisia in North Africa on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.[2]


Ruined tower of Bordj Khadidja at Ras Kaboudia.

The city of Chebba derives its name from the headland 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) to the east, which was classically known as Caput Vada (headland above the shoals).[3][4][5]

The Byzantine general Belisarius landed here in 533 and went on to inflict a devastating defeat on the Vandals.[6] The town of Chebba was founded by Justinian about 534 CE after the defeat of the Vandals,[3] and named Justinianopolis.[7]

The headland (Caput Vada) is now known as Ras Kaboudia[3] and is site of the ruins of the bordj (harbor fortress) of Bordj Khadidja, which was built upon Byzantine foundations.[8] The fortress guarded the harbor entrance and was one of a chain of similar forts built by the Abbasids along the coast of North Africa in the 8th century. It was later renamed after Khadija Ben Kalthoum, a poet of the eleventh century, who was born in Chebba.[9]


  1. ^ "Tunisia: largest cities and towns and statistics of their population". Archived from the original on 2013-02-09. Retrieved 2011-03-09. World Gazetteer
  2. ^ Jacobs, Daniel and Morris, Peter (2001) The rough guide to Tunisia Rough Guides, London, page 235, ISBN 1-85828-748-0
  3. ^ a b c Hannezo, G. (1905) "Chebba et Ras-Kapoudia: Notes Historique" Bulletin de la Société archéologique de Sousse 3(5): pp. 135–140; in French
  4. ^ The shoals (Latin vada) refer to the shallows between the headland and the Kerkennah Islands, see Hannezo (1905)
  5. ^ In a footnote Gibbons says The Caput Vada of Procopius (where Justinian afterwards founded a city - Da Ædific. l. vi. c.6) is the promontory of Ammon in Strabo, the Brachodes of Ptolemy, the Capaudia of the moderns, a long narrow slip that runs into the sea (Shaw's Travels, p. 111). Gibbons, Edward (1854) The history of the decline and fall of the Roman empire John Murry, London, volume 5 page 105,
  6. ^ Bury, J. B. (John Bagnell) (1923) "Chapter XVII: The Reconquest of Africa" History of the Later Roman Empire: From the Death of Theodosius I. to the death of Justinian: Volume 2 Macmillan, New York, page 130, OCLC 499411636
  7. ^ Guérin, Victor (1862) Voyage archéologique dans la Régence de Tunis, Volume 1 Henri Plon, Paris, page 150, OCLC 23427230; in French
  8. ^ Carton, Louis Benjamin Charles (1905) "Le Bordj Khadidja (Chebba)" Bulletin de la Société archéologique de Sousse 3(5): pp. 127–134; in French
  9. ^ Sadiqi, Fatima et al. (2009) Women writing Africa: The Northern region Feminist Press at The City University of New York, New York, page 89, ISBN 978-1-55861-588-5

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