Korba, Tunisia

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Korba, Tunisia
Korba, Tunisia
Korba is located in Tunisia
Location in Tunisia
Coordinates: 36°34′N 10°52′E / 36.567°N 10.867°E / 36.567; 10.867Coordinates: 36°34′N 10°52′E / 36.567°N 10.867°E / 36.567; 10.867
Country Tunisia
GovernorateNabeul Governorate
 • Total48,314
Time zoneUTC1 (CET)

Korba (Tunisian Arabic: قربة qorbā), ancient Curubis, is a town in Tunisia on the eastern shore of the Cap Bon. It was the place of exile of the Carthaginian bishop Cyprian in the year leading up to his martyrdom. Modern Korba is in the Nabeul Governorate and had a population of 48,314 in 2014.[1]


Ancient geographers and itineraries mention the town Curubis on the African coast between Clupea (modern Kelibia) and Neapolis (modern Nabeul).[2]

The earliest historical record is an inscription from the time of the Roman civil war, which records that the Pompeian generals P. Attius Varus and Gaius Considius Longus fortified the town in 48—47 BC.[3][4] In the years after the civil war the town was made a Roman colony, colonia Iulia Curubis (Pliny the Elder refers to it as libera, "free"), perhaps as part of Julius Caesar's attempt to rid his army of older soldiers and at the same time hold Africa against Pompeian forces.[5] In the year AD 257, the Carthaginian bishop Cyprian was exiled there; his biographer Pontius, who accompanied him into exile, praises the place (12): "provisum esse divinitus … apricum et conpetentem locum, hospitium pro voluntate secretum et quidquid apponi eis ante promissum est, qui regnum et iustitiam dei quaerunt." ("by God's favour a sunny and appropriate place was provided, a refuge secluded as he wished, and whatever was previously promised to be set before those who seek the kingdom and justice of God").

Cape Bon as shown on the 4th century Roman Map, Tabula Peutingeriana.

The town had its own theatre. An inscription of the late 2nd century honours the citizen who had created it.[6] Remains of an aqueduct survived to modern times; and the contribution to a mosaic in Ostia by shipowners of Curubis suggest that the town also possessed a port, which has not survived.[7]

A recent account of the life in Korba may be found in Mounira Khemir's narrative "Un coin du carré bleu"[8]

Ecclesiastical history[edit]

By the year 411, Curubis, like many African towns, had its own bishop. The bishopric survived through the Arian Vandal and Orthodox Byzantine empires, only ceasing to function with the Muslim conquest of the Maghreb.

The cathedra of the bishopric was based in the civitas of Curubis.


Titular see[edit]

The diocese was refounded as a titular see of the Roman Catholic Church in the 1930s.[15][16][17]

The titular bishops are:


  • Broughton, T.R.S. (1929) The Romanization of Africa Proconsularis (Baltimore and Oxford: The Johns Hopkins Press and OUP)
  • Dessau, H. (1901) "Curubis" R.E. IV 1893
  • Mommsen, T., (1895) "Inschriften von Curubis und Lilybaeon", Hermes 30, 456-62 (online at Gallica)
  • Trousset, P. (1994) "Curubis (Korba)" Encyclopédie Berbère, 2157 (Aix-en-Provence: Édisud) ISBN 2-85744-201-7


  1. ^ Recensement de 2004 (Institut national de la statistique) Census Archived 2015-09-24 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Plin. nat. 5, 24 libera (sc.oppida) Curubis, Neapolis "free cities, Curubis, Neapolis"; Ptol. 4, 3, 2; Itin. Anton. Aug. p. 56, 7. al. See Dessau (1901); TLL Onom. II 771, 11 sqq.
  3. ^ CIL I, 780, CIL VIII, 979, CIL VIII, 24099, L'Année épigraphique (AE). — 1895. — № 69; Mommsen (1895), 456-60 with discussion of the inscription; Dessau (1901)
  4. ^ Degrassi A. Inscriptiones latinae liberae rei publicae (ILLRP). — Torino, 1957. — 298 ps. — Pp. 226—227. — № 394
  5. ^ Broughton (1929), 54-5; CIL VIII 980 and 12452. The town was apparently already a colony by the year 45 BC, when an inscription, CIL VIII 12451, shows a duovir again repairing the walls, or possibly, as Mommsen (1893), 460, suggests, completing the construction begun by the Pompeian generals. For discussion of the puzzles of this inscription, see CIL I2 p. 951, with further literature.
  6. ^ Inscriptiones Latinae Selectae (ed. Dessau) n. 9407.
  7. ^ Trousset (1994); CIL XIV 4549, 34 naviculari Curbitani (late second century).
  8. ^ 10 Mounira Khemir, "Un coin du carré bleu" in Enfances tunisiennes, Ed. Elyzad, Tunis, 2010
  9. ^ Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 7 (Cosimo, Inc., 2008) p380.
  10. ^ William Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, Volume 1 (C.C. Little and J. Brown, 1844) p913.
  11. ^ F. J. Foakes-Jackson, A. History of the Christian Church: From the Earliest Times to A.D. 461 (Cosimo, Inc., 2005) p79.
  12. ^ J. Ferron, v. Curubis in Dictionnaire d'Histoire et de Géographie ecclésiastiques, vol. XIII, Paris 1956, coll. 1115-1116
  13. ^ Stefano Antonio Morcelli, Africa christiana, Volume I, Brescia 1816, pp. 149–150
  14. ^ Pius Bonifacius Gams, Series episcoporum Ecclesiae Catholicae, Leipzig 1931, p. 465
  15. ^ Titular Episcopal See of Curubis at GCatholic.org.
  16. ^ Curubis atcatholic-hierarchy.org.
  17. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013 ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 877.

External links[edit]