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Chapter 2 - Prelude to a War

Byzantine Africa 533–546

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 October 2023

Andy Merrills
Affiliation:
University of Leicester
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Summary

Chapter 2 addresses the history of Byzantine Africa 533–46. It argues that the principal challenges to imperial rule in Africa came from within the administration, rather than external pressure from hostile ‘Moorish’ groups as has conventionally been assumed. These internal tensions were manifested most clearly in a series of mutinies and revolts within the army, leading ultimately to a coup, probably in early 546, when the Dux Numidiarum Guntharith seized authority in Carthage. That many of the leading figures in the administration seem to have come to terms with this tyrant testifies to the weaknesses within the imperial system, and the challenges which faced John at the time of his landing around six months later. This chapter briefly explores the nature of relations between frontier commanders and their ‘barbarian’ neighbours, many of whom aspired to office within the imperial system. It suggests that the ‘Moorish’ crisis John faced in 546 (which had smouldered for three or four years by that stage), was the direct consequence of internecine struggles within the imperial system, as allies increasingly acted in their own interest

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War, Rebellion and Epic in Byzantine North Africa
A Historical Study of Corippus' <i>Iohannis</i>
, pp. 36 - 85
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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  • Prelude to a War
  • Andy Merrills, University of Leicester
  • Book: War, Rebellion and Epic in Byzantine North Africa
  • Online publication: 12 October 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009392013.004
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  • Prelude to a War
  • Andy Merrills, University of Leicester
  • Book: War, Rebellion and Epic in Byzantine North Africa
  • Online publication: 12 October 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009392013.004
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

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.

  • Prelude to a War
  • Andy Merrills, University of Leicester
  • Book: War, Rebellion and Epic in Byzantine North Africa
  • Online publication: 12 October 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009392013.004
Available formats
×