Vandals, Romans and Berbers: New Perspectives on Late Antique North Africa

Vandals, Romans and Berbers: New Perspectives on Late Antique North Africa


Edited by Andrew Merrills

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  • Publisher: Ashgate Publishing Limited
  • Format: Hardback | 352 pages
  • Dimensions: 163mm x 234mm x 23mm | 658g
  • Publication date: 30 November 2004
  • Publication City/Country: Aldershot
  • ISBN 10: 0754641457
  • ISBN 13: 9780754641452
  • Illustrations note: Illustrations, maps
  • Sales rank: 1,346,652

Product description

The birth, growth and decline of the Vandal and Berber Kingdoms in North Africa have often been forgotten in studies of the late Roman and post-Roman West. Although recent archaeological activity has alleviated this situation, the vast and disparate body of written evidence from the region remains comparatively neglected. The present volume attempts to redress this imbalance through an examination of the changing cultural landscape of 5th- and 6th-century North Africa. Many questions, which have been central within other areas of Late Antique studies, are here asked of the North African evidence for the first time. Vandals, Romans and Berbers considers issues of ethnicity, identity and state formation within the Vandal kingdoms and the Berber polities, through new analysis of the textual, epigraphic and archaeological record. It reassesses the varied body of written material that has survived from Africa, and questions its authorship, audience and function, as well as its historical value to the modern scholar. The final section is concerned with the religious changes of the period, and challenges many of the comfortable certainties which have arisen in the consideration of North African Christianity, including the tensions between 'Donatist', Catholic and Arian, and the supposed disappearance of the faith after the Arab conquest. Throughout, attempts are made to assess the relation of Vandal and Berber states to the wider world and the importance of the African evidence to the broader understanding of the post-Roman world.

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Table of contents

Introduction: Vandals, Romans and Berbers: understanding Late Antique North Africa, A.H. Merrills. African Identities: The Vandals: fragments of a narrative, Walter Pohl; The Vandal settlement in Africa, Andreas Schwarcz; The house of Nubel: rebels or players?, Andy Blackhurst; From Arzuges to Rustamids: state formation and regional identity in the pre-Saharan zone, Alan Rushworth. Written Culture: The Vandal poets in context, Judith W. George; Romuleis Libicisque litteris: Fulgentius and the 'Vandal Renaissance', Gregory Hays; The perils of panegyric: the lost poem of Dracontius and its consequences, A.H. Merrills; The so-called Laterculus Regum Vandalorum et Alanorum: a 6th-century African addition to Prosper Tiro's chronicle?, Roland Steinacher; Who wrote the ostraka from the Ilot de l'Amiraute, Carthage?, Jacqueline F. Godfrey; Literacy and private documentation in Vandal North Africa: the case of the Albertini Tablets, Jonathan P. Conant. The African Church in Context: Who were the circumcellions?, Brent D. Shaw; The cult of martyrs: from Donatist opposition to Byzantine loyalism, W.H.C. Frend; Intentions and audiences: history, hagiography, martyrdom, and confession in Victor of Vita's Historia Persecutionis, Danuta Shanzer; Disputing the end of African Christianity, M.A. Handley. Index.