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date: 28 June 2022

Roman Libya at the Time of Septimius Severus (193–211 ce)locked

Roman Libya at the Time of Septimius Severus (193–211 ce)locked

  • Denise CaliDenise CaliUniversity of South Florida

Summary

The acclamation of the African-born Septimius Severus on April 14, 193 ce, as twenty-first ruler of the Roman Empire, had an enormous impact on the provinces of North Africa and particularly on those territories which nowadays correspond to modern Libya. The emperor’s systematic plan of military consolidation along the border, administrative and fiscal reassessment of minor centers, restoration of social order, and urban renovation of the major cities all resulted in the unprecedented modernization of this part of the Roman provincial system. The Severan period represented the cultural climax of Roman Libya and was a period during which African citizens exerted enormous influence as elected officials at various levels of the imperial administration. Nevertheless, while Libya was for the Greeks a clear geopolitical and cultural entity, in Roman times, despite the reformative actions of Septimius Severus, which targeted first and for the most part Tripolitania and Cyrenaica, the concept of Roman Libya remained a utopia.

Subjects

  • North Africa and the Gulf

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