In Search of Ancient North Africa: A History in Six Lives

In Search of Ancient North Africa: A History in Six Lives

English | March 15th, 2018 | ISBN: 1912208784, 190996154X | 412 Pages | EPUB | 2.07 MB

For forty years, Barnaby Rogerson has travelled across North Africa, making sense of the region's complex and fascinating history as both a writer and a guide. Throughout that time there have always been a handful of stories he could not pin into neat, tidy narratives; stories that were not distinctly good or bad, tragic or pathetic, selfish or heroic, malicious or noble.

This book, neither a work of history nor travel writing, is a journey into the ruins of a landscape in an attempt to make sense of those stories through the lives of six historical figures, five men and one woman: A sacrificial refugee (Queen Dido); a prisoner of war who became a compliant tool of the Roman Empire (King Juba II); an unpromising provincial who, as Emperor, brought the Roman Empire to its dazzling apogee (Septimius Severus); an intellectual careerist who became a bishop and a saint (St Augustine); the greatest general the world has ever known (Hannibal); and the Berber Cavalry General who eventually defeated him (Masinissa).

All six of these lives are surrounded with as much myth as fact, but the destinies of these North African figures remain highly relevant today. Their descendants are faced with many of the same choices: Should you stay pure to your own culture and fight against the power of the West, or should you study and assimilate to this other culture, and utilize its skills? Will it greet you as an ally only to own you as a slave? In between these life stories, Rogerson explores the ruins of ancient sites, which tell their own tales, and reveals the multiple interconnections that bind the culture of this region with the wider world, particularly the spiritual traditions of the ancient Near East.

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