Tunisia's Roman History
The Roman Empire started its expansion into Africa in 146 BC, at the end of the Third Punic War. The conquering of the Northern region of Africa began with the invasion of Carthage, where by burning all ships and killing or enslaving the inhabitants Rome established its dominance. Due to the strategic location they later rebuilt the city in the 1st century BC to make it the capital of the region.
From where the name ‘Africa’ came is uncertain, however many believe it may have stem from the meaning Land of the Afri, with ‘Afri’ being the native tribes that settled there before the arrival of the Romans.
Though the invasion was violent and brutal, it was followed by a long period of peace, known as the 'Pax Romana', that lasted between 27 BC, the end of the civil wars, and 180 AD, the death of Emperor Marcus Aurelius. This allowed Africa to flourish and prosper through the development of many towns and cities not only along the coasts, but also in the inland.
We explored the remnants of three of those cities throughout this project: Thysdrus, which is today known as El Jem, Thuburbo Majus and Uthina.
The Roman Empire in 117 A.D. the time of its largest expansion
and the focus area of this project