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Title: Evolution and change : town and country in late antique North Africa
Author: Leone, Anna
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 2001
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In Roman times, North Africa was one of the principal productive areas and a fundamental source of goods for the Empire. The successive conquests of the Vandals (5th century AD) and the Byzantines (6th century AD) provoked radical transformations, notably in the economic organisation and in the urban centres and rural landscapes. Focussing on three important northern African provinces (Zeugitania, Byzacena, Tripolitania), I have collected and reviewed all the published evidence of these changes from the 4th to the 7th century AD. After a general analysis of the status quaestionis, related to the problem of late antique urbanism all over the Roman Empire and, in more detail, in North Africa, Chapter 2 focuses on the principal historical events from 4th to 7th century. The aim of this part is not to recount the episodes, but rather highlight the phenomena that affected North Africa in these centuries and that lack of data do not permit to analyse in detail in relation to the archaeological evidence. Chapters 3 and 4 focus principally on the economy of late antique North Africa. Elements considered lead to the problem of the reuse of classical Roman buildings for productive activities, principally in urban areas, and archaeological data coming from surveys and pottery production and distribution. The aim is to re-construct the transformation of productive activity from the 4th to the 7th century, highlighting the connection between the historical sources and the archaeological events. It is suggested that private productive activity was characteristic especially of the Vandal period. By contrast, in the Byzantine period it appears that Bishops had a very important role in managing properties. The strict connection recorded between churches and productive complexes in urban areas suggests on the one hand the existence of a productive activity controlled by the Clergy and on the other hand the presence of rules which controlled the reuse of buildings in urban areas in the Byzantine period. This evidence leads to the last part of the thesis (Chapter 5), which focuses on problems related to the de-structuration of classical Roman cities and their re organisation in the passage from the Vandal to the Arab periods. The aim is principally to reorganise the data available and try to identify, if possible, the principal trends for each period. This thesis overall offers a first synthetic analysis of the late antique phases of these three North African Provinces.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available