The Military and Colonial Destruction of the Roman Landscape of North Africa, 1830-1900

The Military and Colonial Destruction of the Roman Landscape of North Africa, 1830-1900

Hardback History of Warfare (Brill)

By (author) Michael Greenhalgh

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  • Publisher: Brill
  • Format: Hardback | 466 pages
  • Dimensions: 162mm x 242mm x 30mm | 860g
  • Publication date: 15 May 2014
  • Publication City/Country: Leiden
  • ISBN 10: 9004248404
  • ISBN 13: 9789004248403

Product description

The French pursued victory and colonisation amid a Roman landscape little affected down the centuries by local inhabitants. In the space of two generations they destroyed much of it, re-using its materials to create security and a modern prosperity.

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Author information

Michael Greenhalgh, M.A., Ph.D. (1967) is currently Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University and was from 1987 the Sir William Dobell Foundation Professor of Art History. Author of many books and papers on the survival and re-use of the antique around the Mediterranean, including Marble Past, Monumental Present (2009), and From the Romans to the Railways: The Fate of Antiquities in Asia Minor (2013).

Table of contents

Preface ix Setting the Scene: Algeria in Context...1 1 The French Conquest...14 Introduction...14 Planning & logistics...15 A lack of knowledge...16 A lack of planning...18 Logistics and Supply...20 Political and Military Control...25 The Depot de la Guerre and Reconnaissances...29 Occupying the Ground...32 The French as Successors to the Romans...32 Roman Monuments and French Defences...38 Surviving within Roman Structures...41 Agriculture Roman and 19th-century...43 Health and Welfare...48 Civilising the Natives?...48 Fighting the Natives...51 Dealing with Colons and Speculators...55 Colonisation or Abandonment?...58 Reactions to the Occupation...60 Scholars and Commissions...60 A Forgotten Colony and War?...65 The French-Language Press in Paris...66 The Press in Britain and Germany...67 The French-Language Press in Algeria...68 Conclusion...69 2 The Army Establishes Itself, Colonisation Begins...75 The Army, Colonists and Roads...75 Security...76 Building or Repairing the Infrastructure...77 Builders, Competence and Algerian Conditions...77 Forts and Fortresses Roman and French...82 Accommodation for Body and Spirit...86 Byzantine Fortresses and French Scholarship...87 Defences for Arabs and Colons...89 Fountains and Water Supply...92 The Arabs and Water...94 The French and Water...99 Water Capture and Storage...102 Road, Bridge and Farm Building with Antiquities...109 Prehistoric Antiquities...112 Conclusion: Water and Roads...113 3 1830-40: The Destruction of Algiers, Constantine and other Early Settlements...119 Algiers (Capitulated 5 July 1830)...121 Constantine (Occupied 13 October 1837)...125 Medea (Occupied 1830)...133 Arzew/Arzeu (Occupied 1833)...133 Bougie (Occupied 1833)...134 Guelma (Occupied 10 November 1836)...137 Tlemcen etc (Occupied 1836)...141 Philippeville and Stora (Occupied 8 October 1838)...145 Setif (First Entered 15 December 1838)...150 Milah (Occupied 1838)...155 Cherchel (Occupied by Valee 15 March 1840)...155 Force majeure, plus ca change ... 159 4 Ruins, Roads and Railways...165 The Largest Quantity of Roman Ruins outside Asia Minor...165 North African Sites Occupied or Unoccupied...167 Officers and Soldiers Digging Together...181 Roads...184 Roman Roads in Algeria and Tunisia...185 French Roads in Algeria and Tunisia...187 Transport without Roads...189 New Roads, or Refurbished Roman Roads?...191 Railways...197 The Ponts et Chaussees...201 5 Epigraphy, Topography and Mapping...208 The Army's uses for Roman Inscriptions...210 Army Camps, Route Marches and Inscriptions...211 Inscriptions in Mosques and Houses...214 Milestones...216 Leon Renier, Inscriptions and the Mission Civilisatrice...217 Inscriptions and International Recognition...220 Professionals versus Amateurs...225 Inscriptions versus Ruins...227 Ruins Undescribed...232 Inscriptions versus Archaeology...234 Inscriptions and Museums versus Settlers and Entrepreneurs...236 Destroy the Stone - but Let me Transcribe it First!...239 Mapping, Antiquities and Reconnaissances...242 Map-making in France...242 Early Map-making in Algeria...243 Confusion and Delay...248 The Brigades Topographiques and Antiquities...250 Centuriation Unrecognised...254 A Nest of Puzzles...257 6 The Army Rebuilds Tebessa (First visited 1842)...262 The Site and its Monuments...262 The French Occupy the Site...264 Extensive Building Work Begins...266 Destruction by Ledger...269 7 Building European Towns from the 1840s...275 European Town Plans...276 Building with Ruins...277 French-Occupied Sites and their Transformation...278 Orleansville (Settled 1843)...279 Lambessa (First Visited during 1844)...280 Aumale (Occupied 1846)...285 Tipasa (Occupied 1854)...286 Le Kef (Occupied 1881)...288 Sfax (Occupied 1881)...290 Sousse (Garrisoned 1881)...290 Histoire du vandalisme: Les monuments detruits de l'art francais...292 8 Planting Colonies...299 The Bureaux Arabes...302 The Mitidja...306 Villages and Farms...308 Agricultural Colonies...309 Arab Villages...311 French Villages...314 Seriana: Documented Destruction...320 Farms...323 Si Monumentum Requiris ... 325 9 Algeria and Tunisia on Display...329 Triumphalism and Collecting...329 Collections of Roman Art in France and North Africa...332 Hindsight: Napoleonic Art...335 Ideas and Algerian Propaganda...336 Representing Algeria and Tunisia: Exhibitions and Museums...341 Restoring the Ancient Monuments?...345 Museums...348 Conclusion: "La ou nous passons, tout tombe"...356 Appendix: A Timeline and Some Statistics...364 Bibliography...370 Sources...370 Modern Scholars...413 Index...425 Illustrations