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Edessa
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Edessa

Edessa (modern Urfa), located today in south-east Turkey but once part of upper Mesopotamia on the frontier of the Syrian desert, was an important city throughout antiquity and the Middle Ages. A city within the Seleucid Empire, then capital...
Early Christianity
Article by Rebecca Denova

Early Christianity

Emerging from a small sect of Judaism in the 1st century CE, early Christianity absorbed many of the shared religious, cultural, and intellectual traditions of the Greco-Roman world. In traditional histories of Western culture, the emergence...
Battle of Ad Decimum
Article by Nathan Stafford

Battle of Ad Decimum

The Battle of Ad Decimum near Carthage, North Africa took place in September 533 CE and was the first major battle of the Vandalic War (533 - 534 CE) between the forces of the Byzantine Empire and the Vandal Kingdom. Leading the Vandals...
Mavia's Revolt & the Christian Question
Article by Joshua J. Mark

Mavia's Revolt & the Christian Question

In 378 CE the Tanukhid queen Mavia (r. c. 375 - c. 425 CE) of the Saracens led a successful revolt against the Roman Empire, pitting her forces against the armies under the emperor Valens (364-378 CE). Launching her insurrection from the...
North Africa’s Place in the Mediterranean Economy of Late Antiquity
Article by Michael Goodyear

North Africa’s Place in the Mediterranean Economy of Late Antiquity

The Mediterranean Sea was the economic focal point of the Roman Empire. Rome’s armies first established an empire across these waters beginning back in the times of the Roman Republic. In 200 CE, the Mediterranean was still the channel...
Interview: Barry Strauss on Ten Caesars
Article by James Blake Wiener

Interview: Barry Strauss on Ten Caesars

Dr. Barry Strauss’ Ten Caesars: Roman Emperors from Augustus to Constantine tells the epic story of the Roman Empire from its rise to its eastern reinvention, from Augustus, who founded the empire, to Constantine, who made it Christian...
Disarming Aphrodite: Rediscovering the Venus de Milo
Article by Branko van Oppen

Disarming Aphrodite: Rediscovering the Venus de Milo

The so-called Vénus de Milo is perhaps one of the most iconic works of Western art of any period. The statue of the goddess was found on the Aegean island of Milos, to which she owes her name, on the eve of the Greek War...
Libraries in the Ancient World
Article by Mark Cartwright

Libraries in the Ancient World

Libraries were a feature of larger cities across the ancient world with famous examples being those at Alexandria, Athens, Constantinople, Ephesus, and Nineveh. Rarely ever lending libraries, they were typically designed for visiting scholars...
North Africa During the Classical Period
Article by Library of Congress

North Africa During the Classical Period

Phoenician traders arrived on the North African coast around 900 B.C. and established Carthage (in present-day Tunisia) around 800 B.C. By the sixth century B.C., a Phoenician presence existed at Tipasa (east of Cherchell in Algeria). From...