ZOLOTUKHINA N.E., BOLGOV N.N. Society of North Africa on the Eve of the Empire’s War with the Vandals and Its Attitude to Justinian’s Reconquista

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2019.6.16

Natalya E. Zolotukhina

Postgraduate Student,

Department of World History, Belgorod State National Research University,

Pobedy St., 85, 308015 Belgorod, Russian Federation

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https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7709-4920

Nikolay N. Bolgov

Doctor of Sciences (History), Professor, Head of the Department of World History,

Belgorod State National Research University,

Pobedy St., 85, 308015 Belgorod, Russian Federation

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https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0478-5565


Abstract. Introduction. The article presents an analysis of North African society on the eve of Belisarius’s campaign against the vandals in North Africa (533–534). The campaign directed by Justinian under the leadership of Belisarius aimed to return the territory of North Africa to the Roman Empire.

Methods. The methodological basis of this work is the concept of the Late Antiquity, the core of which is studying the people’s mentality, since the existing work on this issue focuses solely on socio-economic and political cause-and-effect relationships of the further confrontation between the Moorish and Roman tribes. Actually, the methods are the following: the historical-systemic method was the most important (an attempt to analyze the specifics of North African society on the eve of the war with the Vandals).

Analysis. We divided North African society into three groups: the Vandals, the Libyans, the Moorish. The last two groups and their attitude towards the inclusion in the Roman Empire were of the greatest interest. Some of the tribes supported Justinian’s idea of the Reconquista and fought against the Vandals. Some supported the vandals. Nomadic tribes remained neutral. In our opinion, supporting the military campaign against the Vandals was due not only to economic reasons, but also mental ones. Thus, the research interest was caused by the transition period but not only in relation to the “Late Roman – Early Byzantium” line, but also because the region was romanized (presence of Latin culture, including the language segment), then it was part of the Vandal kingdom, after that – part of the Roman Empire (synthesis of Greek and Latin culture, with the predominance of Greek one).

Results. In the course of the campaign against the vandals, North African society was represented by several social groups: the Vandals, the Libyans and the Мооrish – tribes that have their own cultural characteristics. Some tribes, who were in the Romanized zone (before the arrival of the Vandals), were on the side of Belisarius and fought against the Vandals. With extreme caution, we can say that this was due not only to socio-economic or political reasons, but also to mental ones. In our opinion, Byzantine Africa was a synthesis of Latin and Greek with the prevalence of the latter, and the Romanized population still wanted to feel part of the Roman Empire.

Key words: Late Antiquity, Early Byzantium, North Africa, Vandals, Мооrish.

Citation. Zolotukhina N.E., Bolgov N.N. Society of North Africa on the Eve of the Empire’s War with the Vandals and Its Attitude to Justinian’s Reconquista. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2019, vol. 24, no. 6, pp. 198-205. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2019.6.16.

Лицензия Creative Commons

Society of North Africa on the Eve of the Empire’s War with the Vandals and Its Attitude to Justinian’s Reconquista by Zolotukhina N.E., Bolgov N.N. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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