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Title: Sixth-century fortifications in Byzantine Africa : an archaeological and historical study
Author: Pringle, R. Denys
ISNI:       0000 0001 3501 8233
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 1979
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This thesis surveys and discusses the documentary and archaeological evidence for sixth-century fortifications in Byzantine Africa. Chapter I examines the sources of evidence, noting that over 80 years have passed since the last major study of the subject was undertaken, by Charles Diehl in 1896. Chapter II traces the military history of Byzantine Africa from 533 to 602, with introductory and concluding sections on the fifth and seventh centuries. Chapter III discusses the evidence for the military organization and defensive strategy of Byzantine Africa in the sixth century, looking in particular at the structure of military command, the composition of the Byzantine army, the garrison structure (including the evidence for the nature and size of local garrisons stationed in forts and towns), the administrative machanisms by which fortifications were built and the strategy to be discerned in their siting. The chapter ends with a general appraisal of the benefits that Roman Africa received from Justinian's reconquest. Chapter IV examines the architecture of Byzantine fortifications in Africa, comparing it with earlier and contemporary practice in the eastern and western empires. The tactical aspects of fortifications are also considered, in particular the question of how far their design was influenced by the use made of artillery and archery in the sixth-century Byzantine army. In a short final chapter, an assessment is made of the value that the study of sixth-century Byzantine fortifications in Africa has for understanding later developments in the military architecture of eastern and western Christendom and of Islam. The Gazetteer includes full descriptions (with plans and photographs) of all the Byzantine fortifications identified in Africa, and shorter notes on other structures of more doubtful Byzantine identification; an index to fortifications in Africa referred to by Procopius; and a corpus of sixth- and seventh century military inscriptions from Africa.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Fortification ; History ; History, Military ; Africa, North ; Byzantine Empire ; To 647