FLAVIAN URBANISATION OF AFRICA
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Słowa kluczowe

IMPERIUM ROMANUM
AFRICA
FLAVIANS
URBANISATION
ROMANIZATION
COLONIES
MUNICIPIA

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Mrozewicz, L. (2013). FLAVIAN URBANISATION OF AFRICA. Studia Europaea Gnesnensia, (7), 201–232. Pobrano z https://pressto.amu.edu.pl/index.php/seg/article/view/2505

Abstrakt

Throughout the last half-century of studies of the Roman North Africa, it has become an established notion in science that the reign of the Flavian dynasty was a decisive turning point in its history, and rightly so. This breakthrough embraced all areas of life, while the nature of the transformation is best reflected by the view that it was only thanks to the Flavians that Africa became fully Roman. What is more, this is accompanied by the well-founded thesis that without the achievements of the Flavians, the great prosperity of the Flavian provinces in the 2nd-3rd centuries would not have been possible: their successors reaped what the Flavians had sowed. Without going into too much detail, one should also recognise the rationality of the postulate to set apart the Flavian period in the history of Roman Africa as an era in its own right. 

Embarking on the great task of urbanisation in Africa was the Flavii’s undoubted merit. Their principal effort of was concentrated in the northern part of Africa Proconsularis, on the territory of the former Africa Vetus.  Lepcis Magna in the south of Proconsularis (in Tripolitania) and Icosium in Mauretania Caesariensis were exceptional cases. The newly created cities – colonies and municipia – were to perform an important strategic role, i.e. to protect the territories of Africa Proconsularis against the tribes from the south. The area was urbanised, had considerable economic significance and yielded high profit. Both extensive private latifundia and imperial domains which were to be found there, played an important role in supplying Rome with grain. From the point of view of the state, the changes also contributed to the internal consolidation of the province.   Urbanisation of Africa, besides the introduction of cadastre, institutional forms of imperial cult and forcing nomadic tribes to settled life served that very end.  This involved strictly military reorganisation of the province, which was best manifested in the relocation of the Legio III Augusta to Theveste and then to Lambaesis. The Flavians also embarked on expansion and repairs of the road network. Apart from their important economic and political functions, coloniae veteranorum – Ammaedara and Madauros – as well as the municipia Sufetula and Cillium had the task of guarding the access to the fertile lands of Africa Proconsularis. There is no doubt that the policy of the Flavians was a long-term one, while the actions of Trajan, Hadrian and the Severans represented its direct continuation.

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