Staying Roman: Conquest and Identity in Africa and the Mediterranean, 439-700

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Cambridge University Press, Apr 12, 2012 - History - 438 pages
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What did it mean to be Roman once the Roman Empire had collapsed in the West? Staying Roman examines Roman identities in the region of modern Tunisia and Algeria between the fifth-century Vandal conquest and the seventh-century Islamic invasions. Using historical, archaeological and epigraphic evidence, this study argues that the fracturing of the empire's political unity also led to a fracturing of Roman identity along political, cultural and religious lines, as individuals who continued to feel 'Roman' but who were no longer living under imperial rule sought to redefine what it was that connected them to their fellow Romans elsewhere. The resulting definitions of Romanness could overlap, but were not always mutually reinforcing. Significantly, in late antiquity Romanness had a practical value, and could be used in remarkably flexible ways to foster a sense of similarity or difference over space, time and ethnicity, in a wide variety of circumstances.
  

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Contents

Introduction
1
Chapter 1 The legitimation of Vandal power
19
Chapter 2 Flight and communications
67
Chapter 3 The old ruling class under the Vandals
130
Chapter 4 New Rome new Romans
196
Chapter 5 The Moorish alternative
252
Chapter 6 The dilemma of dissent
306
Chapter 7 Aftermath
362
Conclusions
371
Bibliography
379
Index
420
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About the author (2012)

Jonathan Conant is Assistant Professor of History at the University of San Diego, where his teaching and research focus is on the ancient and medieval Mediterranean.

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