History Of Roman Africa
The History and importance of Ancient Roman Africa begins in 146 BC when the Roman territory of Africa Proconsularis was established on the North African Coast after the Roman conquest of Carthage in the Third Punic War.
The initial area of Roman Africa encompassed the region of East Algeria, present-day Tunisia and the Western Libyan coast.
In 27 BC, when the Roman Republic became an Empire, Roman Africa became an undisturbed Imperial possession until the Fifth Century when Roman Africa was invaded by Germanic Tribes who had infiltrated North Africa from Spain beginning in 429 AD.
Germanic Tribes controlled Roman Africa until 533 AD when Emperor Justinian of the Byzantine Eastern Roman Empire reconquered Roman Africa and re-established Roman Rule in the region.
With Justinian’s conquest of Roman Africa, the territorial region of Roman Africa was combined with other Byzantine territories in Spain to form the Praetorian Prefecture of Africa.
Roman Africa thrived to such an extent that the Eastern Roman Empire once considered moving its Capital from Constantinople to Carthage.
However, in 698 Arab Umayyad forces from Egypt sacked Carthage and ended Roman control in North Africa.
Importance Of Roman Africa
The importance of Roman Africa lies in that it was one of the last remaining territories of the declining Roman Empire when the Roman Empire moved its Capital to the East at Constantinople following the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD, when the Western Roman Army was defeated by a Germanic Confederacy.
As a result, the Capital of Christianity was shifted to Eastern Europe, and the Church of the Hagia Sophia was built as the new Christian Base of the Eastern Roman Empire which included Roman Africa.
Roman Africa especially Egypt was central to the development of Christian Theological Doctrine because it was one of the Official Administrative and Theological Seats of the Eastern Roman Church with representatives at the Hagia Sophia.
In addition, Roman Africa also played a central part in the Crusades which led to the rise of Islam out of the ashes of Eastern Roman Christianity when the Ottoman Turks vanquished the Eastern Roman Empire and reduced the influence of Eastern Orthodox Christianity in North Africa after the conquest of Constantinople, the Capital of the Byzantine Eastern Roman Empire.
Roman Africa is therefore important for its role in world History and civilization especially with regard to the survival of Christianity after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the Crusades and the rise of Islam which were all forged in the crucible of the Byzantine Eastern Roman Empire which included Roman Africa.
Roman Africa is also important because it contributed to cultural diffusion in Ancient Times as Africans became part of the social and economic fabric of the Roman Empire.