To understand Septimius’s achievements, we must strip away some modern assumptions and try to grasp his worldview. The first thing to discard is any sense of “national identity.” The determining facts about any individual during the time of Septimius were one’s city, one’s family and one’s legal status. At his birth the Roman world consisted of a constellation of 2,500 self-governing cities, and of these, one-fifth of them were in North Africa.
Cities in Septimius’s world ranged from ancient hilltop citadels such as Dougga in northern Tunisia, with a population of 2,000, to sprawling ports like Carthage near today’s Tunis, which numbered more than 100,000. Leptis Magna was in between, with a population of around 40,000. Each city, whatever its size, was dominated by a tiny minority of privileged landowners, the curiales.
leptis magna, libya
How far back?
2020 | Present