Jerome Lecture 4 - Africa in the Roman Empire: Urban Identities and Urban Trajectories
This is part of the Jerome lecture series. The series starts with an overview of Africa and its varied populations in the pre-Roman period, contrasting the ancient historical and geographical sources with newly emerging archaeological evidence. The rest of the series looks at the relationship of three broad cultural communities with the Roman state: the army, the rural populations and townspeople. The second lecture focuses on the military community reconsidering the development of the Roman frontier, the role of the army in Africa and the cultural self-definition of the garrison settlements and how and why these differed from indigenous settlements in the frontier zone. The third lecture explores the diverse histories, economic trajectories and cultural characteristics of rural communities, asking to what extent these can be attributed to pre-Roman regional diversity or to active agency in response to Rome’s massive impact on land-use and landholding. The final lecture examines different types of urban biography in Africa and the possible explanations for the diversity detected.
About the speaker: David Mattingly is Professor of Roman Archaeology at the University of Leicester. He received his BA and PhD from the University of Manchester and was a British Academy Post-doctoral fellow at the Institute of Archaeology, Oxford. He then spent a period as Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan before moving to Leicester. He was elected Fellow of the British Academy in 2003.
Mattingly’s research has been wide-ranging in chronological and geographical terms, as well as in subject matter, though with a strong focus on the socio-economic history and archaeology of the Roman empire. A significant component throughout his career has been the study of Roman Africa, especially issues concerning rural settlement, the economy, urbanism and post-colonial approaches to the impact of Rome. He was a major author in the UNESCO Libyan Valleys Survey and he co-directed work at the Tunisian coastal site of Leptiminus, revealing much about that harbour town’s economy. More recently, he has researched the Saharan heartlands of the Garamantes, an ancient Libyan people neighboring the Roman empire. He currently holds a major research grant from the European Research Council for the Trans-Sahara Project, illuminating the relationships between the desert and the Mediterranean lands of Africa. He is also known for his research on Roman imperialism, power and identity and all these research strands will feature in the lecture series.
Mattingly is the author or editor of more than 20 books, including, Leptiminus vols 1-3 (1992-2011), Tripolitania (1995), Farming the Desert vols 1-2 (1996), An Imperial Possession: Britain in the Roman Empire (2006), The Archaeology of Fazzan vols 1-3 (2003-2010) and Imperialism, Power and Identity (2011).