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Chapter 4 - Corippus and the Moorish World

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 October 2023

Andy Merrills
Affiliation:
University of Leicester
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Summary

This chapter examines the different lenses through which Corippus represented the Moorish world. It looks first at the many terms the poet used to refer to all of the ‘Moorish’ groups within North Africa – ally or enemy alike. It then considers the specific ethnonyms within the Iohannis and addresses their value for our understanding of North Africa in this period. It notes that Corippus’ accounts of ‘Laguatan’ identity (an ethnonym preserved in many forms in the Iohannis, but unique to the poem) may well indicate forms of affiliation that were much more fluid than has previously been acknowledged, and incorporated a range of different groups, regardless of their origins.

The chapter closes with a discussion of the ‘catalogue of tribes’ in Iohannis Book II, which has been central to much modern scholarship. It argues that this catalogue was intended to evoke the final triumphal ceremony which marked the conclusion of John’s campaigns in 548. This has an important narrative function, but also reveals the cognitive assumptions which underpinned imperial views of the Moorish world from Carthage. This was not an ordered ‘map’ of tessellating tribal groups, but was instead an image of a diverse – but ultimately subjugated – world.

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War, Rebellion and Epic in Byzantine North Africa
A Historical Study of Corippus' <i>Iohannis</i>
, pp. 128 - 171
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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  • Corippus and the Moorish World
  • Andy Merrills, University of Leicester
  • Book: War, Rebellion and Epic in Byzantine North Africa
  • Online publication: 12 October 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009392013.006
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  • Corippus and the Moorish World
  • Andy Merrills, University of Leicester
  • Book: War, Rebellion and Epic in Byzantine North Africa
  • Online publication: 12 October 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009392013.006
Available formats
×

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To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Corippus and the Moorish World
  • Andy Merrills, University of Leicester
  • Book: War, Rebellion and Epic in Byzantine North Africa
  • Online publication: 12 October 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009392013.006
Available formats
×