Romanizing the Berbers

Elizabeth Fentress, “Romanizing the Berbers,” Past & Present 190 (2006), 3-33 (online: subscription required).

a brief outline of the social preconditions for the Romanization of North Africa, concentrating on the social and economic realities of Africa in the centuries just before and just after the Roman conquest … to situate the specific effects of the Roman occupation in the longue durée of North African history … examining the urban and rural landscapes of the pre-Roman period, concentrating on the zone of the Tell, the hilly, well-watered area near Carthage … outlin[ing] a few of the transformations effected by the Roman occupation on those landscapes, and on the economy of the countryside.

The article cites a full range of relevant and up-to-date secondary work on the subject of Romanization in North Africa and, independent of its specific agenda, provides an excellent springboard for becoming acquainted with this complex topic. Much of this literature exploits epigraphic evidence.

I have not listed the inscriptions cited here, as I only have access to an electronic version of the article (via a 3rd party database to which my institution subscribes), and the first 3 epigraphic citations I tried to spot-check therein proved wildly erroneous.

About Tom Elliott

Associate Director for Digital Programs and Senior Research Scholar, Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University
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