In and Out of Africa: The African Provinces of the Roman Empire with Dr. Alexander Evers

In and Out of Africa: The African Provinces of the Roman Empire with Dr. Alexander Evers


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From the defeat of Carthage to the arrival of the Vandals, North Africa was one of the most prosperous and influential regions of the Mediterranean World! Join historian Alexander Evers to explore 600 years of Roman rule in Tunisia, Libya, Algeria, and Morocco, and explore the role of the arrival of Christianity on the continuity of the Roman Empire in the region.

”And furthermore, I believe that Carthage must be destroyed!”

Urged on by the words of the famous Cato the Censor, Rome took up arms against its mighty enemy Carthage for the third time - and literally razed it to the ground. It was not until a hundred years later that Gaius Julius Caesar began to carry out extensive plans to colonize and re-develop the North African provinces. Unfortunately for him, the Ides of March 44 BC brought an abrupt end to his intentions. But from the reign of his successor Caesar Augustus, Roman Africa rapidly became one of the most prosperous and influential areas of the Mediterranean World at large. This prosperity and influence lasted for centuries, even beyond the control of Rome, and later, Constantinople.

The Romans 'inherited' prosperous conditions after bringing Carthaginian rule to an end. The centuries of peace throughout the African provinces, from the reign of Augustus onwards, allowed for the efflorescence of urban civilization, which continued. Contrary to the previously prevailing idea that the Roman Empire had entered an irrevocable decline from the third century onwards, modern scholarship has brought a different reality to light. At the beginning of the third century AD, the Christian writer Tertullian evoked the triumph of Roman civilization in the African provinces, when he wrote: 'Ubique ResPublica - Everywhere the city!” Municipal life, in all its aspects, was blooming and growing: urban politics, social and economic structures, art, architecture, public entertainment, culture in general, and religion all continued to flourish. The arrival and development of Christianity in Roman Africa may very well have contributed to the large degree of continuity. Christian men and women from North Africa became highly influential figures throughout the Roman Empire.

Led by ancient historian Dr. Alexander Evers, this conversation will explore the idea of the continuity rather than the decline and fall of Roman imperial culture in Roman North Africa on various levels. Historiography has influenced our thinking. By re-examining early Christian thinkers and authors, in combination with archaeological and epigraphic evidence from the African provinces, particularly from modern-day Tunisia, we can learn a completely different story.

Alexander Evers is an Associate Professor at the John Felice Rome Center of Loyola University Chicago. He obtained his DPhil in Ancient History at the University of Oxford. His research continues to focus on Roman Africa in Late Antiquity. He also directs a multi-disciplinary, international research project on the workings of the Early Church, particularly the relationships between emperors, bishops, and senators. Together with a team of archaeologists and students, Alexander continues to uncover 'his own' Roman villa in Sicily. He is a keen church organist, singer, and soccer player.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 3 reviews
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J
J.

An educational and enjoyable presentation about a little known subject.

A
A.

Guest did not leave comment

S
S.S.
African Provinces of Rome

Excellent presentation of the Tunisian section of Africa Proconsularis. Dr. Evers is very knowledgeable and presents the material in a very entertaining manner.

Customer Reviews

Based on 3 reviews
100%
(3)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
J
J.

An educational and enjoyable presentation about a little known subject.

A
A.

Guest did not leave comment

S
S.S.
African Provinces of Rome

Excellent presentation of the Tunisian section of Africa Proconsularis. Dr. Evers is very knowledgeable and presents the material in a very entertaining manner.