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Rome Had An Influence On African Art

Briana is a writer and content creator. She studied English and History, and loves to educate others about her research. History is awesome!

An illustration of a sarcophagus lid from Carthage depicting a priestess of Isis. (Carthage National Museum, Byrsa, Tunisia) / Photo by Père Delattre, Wikimedia Commons

An illustration of a sarcophagus lid from Carthage depicting a priestess of Isis. (Carthage National Museum, Byrsa, Tunisia) / Photo by Père Delattre, Wikimedia Commons

Carthage, Constantinople, and the Roman Kingdom in Africa

African art was influenced by Rome before the empire split, we can
clearly see that once we take a closer look at Carthage. The other half of
the empire, called Byzantium, emerged after the Roman kingdom split
into East and West. The capital was Constantinople, founded and named
after Constantine I when he ruled that half of the empire.


Muse. The Roman sculpture after an original of about 130 BC was restored by Bertel Thorvaldsen. Glyptothek. Munich. Germany.

Muse. The Roman sculpture after an original of about 130 BC was restored by Bertel Thorvaldsen. Glyptothek. Munich. Germany.

The Mediterranean People

The Mediterranean people, in general, share the same cultural ideas and
ethnic groups. It was easier to sail from a port town than to sail from
Paris, so many of these towns were an eclectic mix of people from other
seaside cities. The Romans also built roads in Northern Africa, making it
easier to travel.

The people called the Phoenicians, or the Sea Peoples,
as they are sometimes referred to, built one of the most powerful cities
of the Ancient World. So powerful, in fact, that Rome was intimidated by
their strength and set out to destroy them. (Punic Wars) These people
influenced Rome in its infancy, and therefore were also Hellenized. They
created art and sculptures in North Africa, and were eventually crushed
by Rome.

During the following centuries, Rome conquered Greece and the Macedonian kingdoms piece for piece until, with the conquest of Egypt in 30 BC, she held all land around the Mediterranean. However, as Horace gently puts it: “Conquered Greece has conquer

During the following centuries, Rome conquered Greece and the Macedonian kingdoms piece for piece until, with the conquest of Egypt in 30 BC, she held all land around the Mediterranean. However, as Horace gently puts it: “Conquered Greece has conquer

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Conclusion

Hundreds of years later, Justinian was the emperor of Byzantium, and
he wanted to reconquer the cities once held by Rome. He campaigned
throughout Northern Africa, successful and satisfied. The presence of
Rome influenced Africa over time, and this included the artwork. This
influence from Rome gave the northern part of the continent a different
identity than that of the southern half.

Roman Empire Map of Ancient North Africa

Roman Empire Map of Ancient North Africa

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Bri Smith

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