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Enemies of Souls and Bodies

Vandal Rule and Urban Decline in Carthage, 439 - 533 A.D.







Seminar Paper

History 371

Duke University





Kurt Kuhlmann

29 November 1993


On October 19, 439 A.D., an army of Vandals and Alans, led by their king Geiseric, entered Carthage, one of the greatest cities of the whole Roman Empire and the second city of the Western Empire.  Within three years, Gaiseric consolidated a North African Vandal kingdom, encompassing the former Roman provinces of Africa Proconsularis, Byzacena, and Tripolitania, that was to survive for nearly a century.[1]  The loss of North Africa was a severe blow to the beleaguered Western Empire.  Not only was Rome's main grain supply cut off, but the Vandal fleet based at Carthage soon controlled the western Mediterranean.  The Vandals took Rome itself in 455 and plundered it for two weeks.[2]  In fact, the Vandal kingdom was to outlast the Western Roman Empire:  the last emperor of the west, Romulus Augustus, was deposed in 476.  When the army sent by the Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian retook Carthage in 533, barbarian kingdoms controlled all of the former territory of the Western Empire.[3]

The consequences of the Vandal conquest of North Africa on the Roman Empire as a whole are fairly clear: it contributed to the political fragmentation of the western half of the Empire that led to its disappearance by the end of the fifth century.  But "the fall of Rome" had more than just political significance.  It also marked, in some sense, the end of the classical world and the beginning of medieval Europe.  One component of this change was the decline of the city as an economic and social center.  The contrast between an expansive Roman city of the second century A.D., complete with baths, theaters, triumphal arches, aqueducts, and porticoes, and a tiny medieval city of the tenth century, huddled within its fortifications, is stark.  For Carthage, the end result was especially catastrophic:  it was essentially deserted by the early eighth century.[4]

The question remains, however:  what was the reason for this decline?  For the classical world in general, numerous factors have been explored, among them the shift of production from cities to rural estates, the transfer of power from city governments to the imperial bureaucracy, and the impoverishment of the city aristocracy.  One factor which is more often asserted than examined is the role of barbarians as a major cause of urban decay.  Since the West was completely under barbarian rule by the fifth century, and cities throughout the West shrank and disappeared over the next few centuries, it is tempting to connect the two.  By their very nature, barbarians were apparently hostile to the urban civilization built up by the Romans.  As Hans Delbrück said of the Goths,


How would it have been conceivable that these Germanic warriors, who considered it more honorable to achieve their gains by bloodshed than by work, would have left untouched the fine things of the world all about them, toward which they had but to stretch out their hands?[5]

Contemporary observers expresssed similar views.  In a proclamation of 534, Justinian celebrated his restoration of Africa's freedom from the Vandals, "who were at once enemies of souls and bodies."[6]  The more sophisticated version of this view is that the barbarians, coming from a non-urban culture, were either uninterested or unable to maintain the level of urban development in the cities that they conquered.[7]

Did barbarian conquest, then, deal the death-blow to classical urban civilization?  More specifically, was the Vandal conquest of Carthage a major factor in its disappearance two and a half centuries later?  Carthage, in fact, is remarkably well-suited for an examination of this question.  Unlike other Western regions, barbarian rule in North Africa had a clear-cut beginning with the Vandal capture of Carthage in 439.  Spain, Gaul, and even Italy came under barbarian domination piecemeal and with a great deal of ambiguity as to the true power relationship between the barbarians and the imperial government.  By contrast, 439 marks a decisive date for the end of Roman power in North Africa.  The first Vandal king, Geiseric, often chose to ally himself with one faction or another in Italy or Constantinople, but he made little pretense of subordination to Roman authority.[8]

At the other end, the Vandal defeat by the Byzantine general Belisarius in 533 marks an equally decisive end to their influence in North Africa.  The Justinianic reconquest, which succeeded in bringing Italy, North Africa, and part of Spain under Byzantine control by the mid-sixth century, was stable only in Africa.  Italy and Spain became constantly shifting battlegrounds between the Byzantines and the neighboring barbarian states; the last Byzantine stronghold in Spain was lost in 629, although they retained a foothold in Italy until the mid-eighth century.  North Africa, by contrast, returned to its normal pattern of sporadic fighting with the Berber tribesmen of the interior, and by the early seventh century Carthage was a bastion of "comparative strength and stability" in the Byzantine empire.[9]

This clearly-defined period provides a unique opportunity for a "before" and "after" assessment of the effects of a long, uninterrupted period of barbarian rule.  This paper will examine the changes in urban life that did, or did not, result from the imposition of Vandal rule on one of the great cities of the classical world.  The main areas I will look at are:  civic life;  religion;  and trade and the economy.  Before focusing exclusively on Carthage, however, it will be useful to have a more general understanding of the nature of the Vandal kingdom in Africa.


vandal north africa

When the Vandals crossed into North Africa from Spain in 429, they arrived in a land which had remained largely isolated from the troubles of the provinces across the Mediterranean.  The main threat remained native tribesmen from the desert to the south and the mountainous uplands, who occasionally interrupted the peace of the Romanized coastal plains.[10]  The fertile plain around Carthage was one of the most heavily settled, however, and well-shielded by frontier fortifications, enough so that Carthage itself was not fortified until 423-425, probably due to the recognition of the threat of barbarian invasions after two failed attempts by the Visigoths in 410 and 415.[11]

Although the emperors Honorius and Theodosius outlawed teaching barbarians to build ships on pain of death, the Vandals succeeded in crossing from southern Spain in 429, possibly with the assistance of the military governor of Africa, Boniface, who had been dodging "envious supreme commanders and conflicting claims of imperial sovereignty" since taking over the post in 423.[12]  The Vandals slowly made their way eastward, and from 430-434 sparred inconclusively with Roman armies under Boniface and the eastern general Flavius Aspar, himself an Alan (one of the peoples making up the Vandal host).[13].  In 435 a treaty with Valentinian III was negotiated, giving the Vandals allied status as foederati and settling them around the city of Hippo Regius, in the western part of Africa Proconsularis, the province of Carthage.  The Vandal king Geiseric soon reneged on this deal, however, and in 439 he captured Carthage with little opposition.[14]  An attempt by the eastern emperor Leo to retake Carthage failed, and Vandal rule in North Africa thereafter was unchallenged by the Romans until the successful expedition of Belisarius in 533.

After the capture of Carthage, Geiseric established the Vandal kingdom that was to last for nearly one hundred years, based on the reward of land to the three groups of Vandal elites: the clergy, the warriors, and the optimates (nobility).  The Arian clergy received some churches as well as land, while the sortes Wandalorum gave hereditary and tax-free allotments of land to the warriors and optimates, including members of the royal Hasdingi clan.[15]  Other barbarian settlements of the fifth century, such as the settlement of Visigoths in Aquitaine in 418, the Burgundians in eastern Gaul in 443, and the Ostrogoths in Italy in 490, were generally based on existing legal precedent with at least some attempt to maintain harmony between the barbarians and the indigenous people.  By contrast, land for the Vandals was provided by arbitrary expropriations from landowners.[16]  Absentee landowners, who held vast stretches of Africa, probably made a relatively easy target for confiscation, but the local aristocracy certainly did not escape unscathed.

Some of the provincial Roman aristocrats fled into exile, leaving their estates to the new Vandal overlords.  Many, however, chose to stay, as shown by Vandal laws referring to the highest classes of inlustres, spectabiles, senatores, sacerdotales, and principales, as well as the Tablettes Albertini which shows Romans still owning estates under Vandal rule.[17]  One example is recounted in the Life  of St. Fulgentius, born in 462.  Fulgentius's grandparents had fled to Italy when the Vandals arrived, and their estates were divided between Geiseric and the Arian church.  For some unknown reason, Geiseric's share was restored to Fulgentius's parents, who were able to provide him with the easygoing life of a young aristocrat.[18]  In the pattern of other barbarian settlements of the fifth century, the Vandals did not wipe out the Roman ruling class, but rather established themselves as the dominant element within the existing provincial aristocracy.

For the Afro-Roman elites of the countryside, this was almost business as usual.  Despite the good education available in Carthage, few prominent Africans took part in imperial government during the fourth century.  In the highest positions in the North African provinces--vicars, counts, and provincial governors--"Gauls, Pannonians, and the city aristocracy provided the vast majority of the civil appointments while Germans gradually became supreme in military posts."[19]  After the anarchy of the late third century, the African upper class was generally content to live in opulent seclusion on their estates, and took little part in public affairs.  Thus for many of these aristocrats, at least those whose estates escaped immediate confiscation in the sortes Wandalorum, life apparently went on much as before, simply with a new group of foreigners running the provincial government.

I will now turn to a more specific look at life in Carthage under Vandal rule.  By far the most important city in North Africa, and the cornerstone of Roman and then Vandal rule, Carthage was also one of the leading cities of the Roman Empire before the Vandal conquest.  How did it fare as the capital of a barbarian kingdom?


Civic life in vandal carthage

In the late fourth and early fifth centuries, Carthage was rivalled only by Rome, Constantinople and Alexandria for the amenities of civilized life.  It possessed an Odeon, Theater, Circus, and Amphitheater for public entertainment, as well as elaborate baths.[20]  In education it was "second only to Rome as a centre for Latin studies."[21]  For spiritual needs there were numerous churches and baptistries, reflecting the long and fervent tradition of Christianity in Africa.[22]  Carthage was also full of public monuments, including an elaborate island in its harbor and the Via Caelestis, "a grand avenue nearly two miles long, adorned with mosaic-inlaid pavement and lined with columns, walls and pagan temples."[23]

The responsibility for the maintenance of all of this traditionally fell to the city council of Carthage, the curia, made up of curiales, theoretically the wealthiest citizens of the city.  By the early fifth century, however, this system was in serious trouble, despite strenuous efforts by the imperial government to maintain it.  In the first and second centuries, cities relied on four main sources of revenue: rents on civic lands;  interest on money endowments;  local dues and taxes;  and required contributions of city councillors and magistrates.  The next two hundred years saw these seriously eroded.  During the third century, massive inflation wiped out the value of cities' money endowments; Constantine and Constantius II confiscated city taxes and lands to obtain revenue for the imperial government in the early fourth century (one-third of these were later restored to help cities maintain their public buildings).[24]

At the same time as the financial burden of serving on the curia was increasing, the resources of the curiales as a class was going down.  One serious problem was the leakage of the richest members into the imperial aristocracy as more and more posts carried senatorial rank and thus exemption from curial obligations.  Since this exemption was hereditary, entire families passed out of the curial class permanently.  The imperial government attempted to prevent curiales from taking these prestigious offices, but this only made the problem worse as the curia then became a dead end for anyone with hopes of social advancement.[25]  By the end of the fourth century, the predicament of the curiales had become so desperate that they began to flee to positions lower in society, usually placing themselves "under the patronage of some landowner powerful enough to prevent their being dragged back to the curia."[26]

Despite its efforts to compel the curiales to fulfill their obligations, the imperial government was forced to assume more and more of the councils' traditional responsibilities.  By the early fifth century, it was common for the provincial governors, rather than the city councils, to build and repair public buildings.[27]

It is not clear how far this general picture applied to Carthage on the eve of the Vandal conquest.  North Africa seems to have retained a comparatively robust urban civilization throughout the fourth century.[28]  A survey of inscriptions recording construction and repair of non-military public works for all of Africa Proconsularis shows a fairly constant level of work throughout the fourth century and into the fifth, broken only by an impressive surge from 363-383, attributed by B. H. Warmington to a temporary change in imperial policy toward curiales.[29]   This question is best answered by looking at the archaeological evidence for the entire Vandal period.

Ancient Carthage had two harbors, a rectangular commercial harbor and a circular military harbor, both dating back to the Punic era.  The circular harbor had an island in the middle of it connected to the mainland by a causeway and bridge.  By the second century, the island was covered by a monumental complex containing an entrance arch, a colonnade ringing the island, a temple, and an octagonal structure (perhaps a victory monument).  During the third to fifth centuries, the monumental unity of the island was lost as the "formerly decorative quayside colonnade was converted into a series of small functional buildings" and other structures were added.[30]

The evidence for the Vandal period is more limited, "because the early Byzantine levelling destroyed all levels of this date, leaving as evidence only residual finds in later levels and intrusions beneath the ground."[31]  Nevertheless, some information has been gleaned.  Robbing, the removal of stone for other purposes, took place in this complex from the mid-fifth century onwards, and pits were dug at various places.  All the old Roman structures on the island were completely obliterated by the beginning of the sixth century.[32]   While this may indicate a breakdown in city maintenance under the Vandals, the complex may already have gone out of use before the Vandal period, since the temple never appears to have been converted to Christian use.[33]

The circular harbor itself apparently was neglected or unused during at least part of the Vandal period.  A large quantity of pottery was dumped into the harbor c. 500-525, and the Byzantines undertook a massive redevelopment in the mid-sixth century, extending the quay walls of both the island (covering over the pottery dump) and the mainland into the harbor.[34]  The rectangular harbor also shows some signs of disuse in the early sixth century, although here the evidence is currently based on the excavation of a single warehouse.  This large warehouse was built c. 400 alongside a wide paved area surrounding the commercial harbor, and apparently functioned as a single large complex until about 650 A.D.  Sometime in the fifth century it may have been temporarily abandoned, as evidenced by a garbage pit cut through its floor, which was plastered over early in the Byzantine period.[35]  The wider implications of this neglect are unclear.  Literary evidence indicates that the Vandals did base their fleet at Carthage, but they may have used the rectangular harbor for both military and commercial purposes, or may even have developed an alternate harbor, as yet undiscovered.[36]

Much stronger evidence exists for the neglect of the city wall under Vandal rule.  Excavations of a number of different sections of the wall indicate that it was indeed built around 425, with an 18m-wide ditch running along the outside in some places.  By the early sixth century, this ditch had either silted up or been filled up with garbage, and a new ditch was cut sometime after this.[37]  The archaeological evidence thus fully supports Procopius's description of the neglected state of Carthage's defenses and their repair by Belisarius in 533.

Other public buildings seem to have gone out of use during the Vandal period.  A massive judiciary basilica in heart of the city, the third largest in the Roman world when it was built in the second century, suffered destruction and collapse from about 450 until it was rebuilt as a fortress in the early Byzantine period.[38]  Near the northern edge of the city, a luxurious bathhouse, presumably already ruinous, was demolished sometime in the sixth century to make way for new construction and the widening of a road.[39]

The streets and sewer systems also show evidence of neglect during the Vandal period, but the evidence must be used with caution.  Major repairs of both during the early Byzantine period suggest lack of previous maintenance.[40]  In addition, excavation sites in all areas of the city, both residential and commercial, show that the expansion of buildings onto streets and sidewalks became widespread during the fifth century.  At least one site, however, provides evidence that such encroachment may have started prior to the Vandal conquest.  It is not clear, therefore, whether this represents a breakdown in city administration, or simply a decision by the city to allow some encroachment, at least onto the sidewalk.  This trend continued unabated throughout the sixth century, with some of the major Byzantine reconstructions covering over sidewalks and other former public areas.[41]

Other evidence of public construction under the Vandals is even more ambiguous.  The grand Via Caelestis, demolished by Geiseric according to Victor of Vita, was already ruinous and neglected in the early fifth century, possibly due to its connection with pagan worship.[42]  Victor also says that the Theater and the Odeon were demolished by the Vandals; archaeology has provided partial confirmation of this, showing a new building on the site of the old Theater by the beginning of the sixth century.[43]  Again, however, both of these had long been attacked by Christian leaders as immoral, so it is not clear whether "the closure of the theatre and odeon . . . tell[s] more about Christianity or municipal life under the Vandals."[44]  On the other hand, the aqueduct which supplied the city with water apparently remained functioning until it was deliberately cut by the Vandals after Carthage fell to Belisarius in 533.[45]

Aside from the Theater and Odeon, public entertainment provided an important continuity with the Roman past.  Spectacles in the Amphitheater continued to be popular throughout the Vandal period, although the gladiatorial games which were still being held in Augustine's day may have been ended by the Vandals.[46]  Poems from the Latin Anthology, a collection of poems by Luxorius and other authors from Vandal Carthage, indicate that chariot racing in the Circus was still going on in the early sixth century, although perhaps on a reduced scale.[47]  Excavation confirms that the Circus survived in use as a circus into the sixth century but not into the seventh.[48]  The circus remained very popular under the Vandals, with the Green, Blue, Red, and White factions retaining fanatical followings.  The sponsorship of these games is unknown, probably paid for by the Roman and Vandal elites, but it was apparently quite lavish.  Luxorius writes of a painting and a marble fountain for horses to drink from which adorned the Circus stables.[49]

The Latin Anthology also provides evidence that Carthage retained a large educational establishment, although this cannot be verified through archaeology.  Luxorius mentions a grammaticus, a professor of medicine, a philosopher, and a lawyer in his poems.  The schools of Carthage are also mentioned by Florentius, a contemporary of Luxorius.[50]


RELIGION in vandal carthage

Religion was another important part of urban life in Carthage.  By the time of the Vandal conquest, Christianity had largely replaced pagan worship.  After the conversion of Constantine in 312, Christians gradually took stronger and stronger measures against paganism.  By the last decades of the fourth century, "petitions for the demolition of individual temples or their conversion into churches were favourably received" by the imperial government.[51]  Open warfare between pagans and Christians in these years attests to the still far-from-complete victory of Christianity.  Paganism was finally officially outlawed in 391, when Theodosius closed all temples and prohibited sacrifice.  This was not yet the end of paganism, however:  "the law was not very efficiently enforced--there were too many pagans or sympathisers with paganism in high places for that--and the cult continued overtly in some places for several generations, and secretly for some centuries."[52]

Christianity in North Africa had been molded by the severe persecution begun by Diocletian in 303.  The term Catholic apparently originated here with a faction that favored leniency toward Christians that had lapsed during the persecution.  They were opposed by a purist faction that refused to readmit lapsed Christians or to submit to clergy suspected of collaboration with the authorities (such as turning over the Scriptures to be burned).[53]  In 311 this became a formal split with the election of rival bishops by each faction, one of whom gave his name to the purist Donatist faction.[54]  While the relative strengths of the Donatist and Catholic factions in and around Carthage remains controversial, it is clear that Donatism was strongest among rural workers in the countryside.  Donatism also contributed to a shadowy group known as circumcelliones, apparently migrant agricultural workers, who attacked Catholics and government officials throughout North Africa in the fourth century.[55]

By the early fifth century, however, both Donatists and circumcelliones had been successfully crushed.  Aurelius, bishop of Carthage, and Augustine of Hippo Regius were the main leaders of the Catholic cause in Africa, and dealt a decisive blow to the Donatists in 411 at a conference in Carthage where the government chose in favor of the Catholic faction.  Edicts outlawing Donatism as a heresy followed in 412 and 414, and were apparently quite successful in stamping it out as an organized challenge to the Catholic church.  Victor of Vita, "victim and historian of the persecution of Catholics in Africa by the Vandals, does not mention the Donatists, who might have been thought to welcome such an event."[56]  At least a few Donatists did survive in Carthage for some years into the Vandal rule, however.  The Donatist Liber genealogus, "a book of genealogies from the Biblical and classical past," published in Carthage in 438, portrayed Geiseric as the Antichrist.  In the two subsequent editions, published in 455 and 463 while Geiseric ruled Carthage, this reference to Geiseric was understandably omitted.[57]

The fate of the Catholics under the Vandals is better documented, and here archaeology can add to our knowledge.  The Vandals were Arians, which was the dominant Christian sect within the Empire at the time when most of the barbarians were converted, and they viewed the by-now-orthodox (i.e. supported by the imperial government) Catholics in Carthage with suspicion.  Catholics were persecuted on and off throughout Vandal rule of Carthage.  After taking the city in 439, the Vandals expelled Bishop Quodvultdeus from Carthage and installed their own Arian Patriarch.  According to Victor of Vita, the Vandals seized all Catholic churches within the city walls, but left most of those outside the walls to their Catholic congregations.[58]  Only three Catholic bishops were allowed to sit in Carthage during the next century, Deogratius from 454-457, Eugenius from 480-484 and again for a short time in 487, and Bonifatius from 523-525.[59]

Archaeology has provided additional, if indirect, evidence for this persecution.  Most of the churches excavated show signs of damage and neglect during the fifth century.  The large domed "circular monument," which appears to be some sort of church building, was built in the second half of the fourth century, and repaired in the early fifth century.  Sometime later during the fifth century, it was robbed and damaged, and perhaps put to some other use.  In the Byzantine period it was repaired and renovated.[60]  This experience was paralleled in a complex of buildings associated with a parish church, probably built around 411 for Catholic use.  In the late Vandal period, the complex seems to have passed out of the unified control of the clergy.  Wall blocks were robbed out, probably resulting in the collapse of some parts of the roof.[61]  Unlike the circular monument, no reconstruction was done on this complex in the Byzantine period, and a further roof collapse occurred in the early seventh century.  The parish church associated with the complex was rebuilt by the Byzantines, on a rather grand scale, with five aisles, mosaic-paved floors, and a connected baptistry.[62]

Despite intermittent Vandal persecution, the Church apparently survived and even flourished.  The source of the Church's wealth is unknown, but it remained considerable.  The Carthage Church was able to use its gold and silver "moveable chattels" to ransom captives taken by Geiseric when he sacked Rome in 455.[63]  In the 480s, after 23 years without a bishop, the Carthage Church was still supporting "more than 500 clergy."[64]  The African Catholics retained close ties with their colleagues in Sicily, Sardinia, and Italy.  Two Catholic councils were held in Carthage, in 484 and 525, and Ferrendus, deacon of Carthage and the author of the Life of Fulgentius, carried on an extensive correspondence with Italy in the early sixth century.[65]

So far very little evidence has surfaced regarding the survival of paganism in Vandal Carthage.  In 407, paganism remained strong enough to warrant an imperial edict ordering "strong measures to be taken against the still flourishing pagan temples of Africa."[66]  A strong pagan tone pervades several of the mosaics uncovered in a wealthy residence built at about the same time, suggesting that some upper-class resistance to Christianity still existed at the beginning of the fifth century.[67]  But for the Vandal period itself and later, paganism is invisible in the historical and archaeological record.  Any prominent pagans who still remained in Carthage when the Vandals arrived may have served as convenient targets for their confiscations.  In any event, the last we hear of paganism in Carthage is in 439 when the whole city participated in traditional sacrifices in a desperate hope to ward off the advancing Vandals.[68]


The economy of vandal carthage

Much less is known of the economy of late antique Carthage.  Most of what is known comes from the recent excavations.[69]  One main source is the physical evidence from the buildings themselves.  The British team has excavated a site on the north side of the circular harbor.  The city blocks facing the harbor were divided into small units, probably combined residential and commercial properties for lower-class families.  The area remained an active commercial district until the late seventh century, showing continuity in occupation and function throughout the Vandal period.  However, the Vandal period does show evidence of robbing of walls and general neglect of building upkeep.  In the early sixth century a new phase of construction began, during which the water supply was reorganized and large new cisterns built, possibly corresponding to the interruption of the aqueduct during the early Byzantine occupation.[70]

Two sites near the city wall show more definitive evidence of disuse during the Vandal period, but this may be due to the existence of the wall and not a general sign of economic distress in Carthage.  A substantial building on the southern edge of the city seems to have been connected with farming, judging from its large yard and an entrance onto the street wide enough for carts.[71]  The city wall was built up against its back wall, and sometime during the later fifth century it completely collapsed or was demolished.  The excavator notes that this site's location on the edge of the city was "marginal with respect to the urbanization of Carthage, and so potentially a sensitive indicator of the level of urban development within the city."[72]  However, the construction of the wall in 425 might be a more significant factor in the history of the site, as John Humphrey suggests.[73]

On the north side of the city, again near the line of the city wall, a Canadian team has excavated several substantial houses from c. 400, both with mosaic floors.  Here also the wall was built up against the houses, which continued to be used until the late fifth or early sixth centuries when they collapsed or were destroyed.  The construction of the wall seems again to have played an important part in the subsequent history of the site, especially since one of the streets running past the houses was cut off by the wall, and became a cul-de-sac which was used as a garbage dump.[74]

A site near the center of the city, called the House of the Greek Charioteers due to the subject of its mosaic floors, is the "wealthiest private house so far examined."  Built in the first quarter of the fifth century, it was refloored with mosaics several times during the Vandal period, in the second half of the fifth century and again in the early sixth.  Around the time of the Byzantine reconquest, it appears to have been abandoned.  Several walls collapsed, and pits were dug in its floors.  It was not reconstructed until the late sixth century, well into Byzantine rule.[75]  The Vandal-period mosaics "show competent workmanship and in many respects are indistinguishable from earlier geometric mosaics at Carthage," indicating that a  trade in skilled mosaic work remained viable.[76]

This site provides the only direct archaeological evidence of substantial building activity during the Vandal period,[77] although Procopius mentions baths built by Thrasamund (496-523) and a royal audience chamber built by Hildiric (523-530).[78]   This is not to say, however, that deterioration was otherwise universal.  The "last well-laid, firmly-bedded floors" in the ecclesiastical complex were put down in the Vandal period.[79]  The widening of a road on the north side of the city may also date from the late Vandal period.[80]

Another wealthy residence, a seaside villa built in the second century, provides some grisly evidence of the darker side of life in Vandal Carthage, the mass graves of 30 people cut into the floors of two of the rooms.  From pottery and coins found in the graves, they date from the late fifth or very early sixth century.  The victims probably died from epidemic or famine, as there is no disfigurement or other evidence of violence or disease, and none were of the ages 5-20 (the age group least susceptible to plague or famine).[81]

Analysis of the coinage found during the excavations provides a second main body of evidence for the economy of Vandal Carthage, although the interpretation of this evidence remains controversial on some points.  The vast majority of coins found during excavations are bronze, presumably coins which were "lost" and not worth searching diligently for.  For the first 55-60 years of Vandal rule, the circulating bronze coinage came almost exclusively from the mint of Rome, but it is unclear how much continued to reach Carthage after the Vandal conquest.[82]  From the reign of Gunthamund (484-496) on, the Vandals began minting their own coins, including both bronze and silver medium-value coins, the first large-scale mint operated at Carthage since the reign of Constantine.

Much of the coinage controversy revolves around the issue dates of certain unsigned series of coins, and is generally irrelevant to understanding the Carthaginian economy.  The main point of interest was put forward by Richard Reese, and is based on his theory that excavated coins were not necessarily simply lost, but were actually discarded when they became worthless.  He notes that Vandal coin loss became "much heavier in Justinianic levels than in Vandal levels."  He further notes that Vandal bronze coinage was "not widely distributed in areas outside the Vandal Kingdom."


Do the facts perhaps, therefore, suggest that a small enclosed, apparently flourishing trade pattern of the Vandal kingdom came into contact with the great trade network of the Empire, in which . . . presumably much higher prices obtained?[83]

Thus, the result of the much higher prices after the Byzantine reconquest was that Vandal bronze coins became worthless and were discarded in large numbers.

Other coin experts strenuously challenge Reese's theory that coins are discarded rather than lost.  Literary evidence alone casts doubt on Reese's model of an "enclosed" Vandal economy.  Procopius mentions a large number of eastern merchants imprisoned by Gelimer in Carthage in 533, and he seemed to have little trouble locating a merchant on Sicily who did regular business with Carthage.[84]  In any case, analysis of the pottery sherds found during excavation, the third body of evidence for the Carthaginian economy, is sufficient to discount most of Reese's hypothesis on the nature of the Vandal economy.

Carthage and the surrounding area of North Africa was a major source for a type of fine pottery known as African Red Slip table ware (ARS) during the fourth century.  This is probably the reason that very little imported fine table ware was found in the excavations in the city, as "competition aimed at the source of ARS could hardly have been worth-while," according to British pottery specialist M.G. Fulford.  Coarse pottery was also imported to and exported from Carthage, though on a smaller scale.  Long-distance trade in coarse wares is rather unusual, because it was relatively cheap and easy to produce locally.  However, North African coarse wares were widely distributed from the late second century into the fourth among Carthage's nearer trading partners in the western Mediterranean, indicating a rather high density of traffic -- "for more infrequent voyages to more remote destinations the carriage of such low-value goods could hardly have been worth-while."[85]  Throughout the fifth century, a small amount (about 4%) of coarse ware continued to be imported into Carthage from outside of North Africa, indicating a steady, and rather high, rate of trade with at least the western Mediterranean.[86]

During the period from about 375 to c. 425-450, ARS enjoyed a very wide distribution throughout the Mediterranean, ranging from the Black Sea, to the upper reaches of the Nile and the Rhine, and even to Britain.  Tunisian amphorae, used for transporting bulk commodities such as olive oil, were also widely distributed during this period, "the last time that Tunisian pottery products had so extensive a distribution in the Mediterranean world and beyond."[87]  Early in the fifth century, this ARS trade went into a decline which lasted until c. 440.  This trend has previously been associated with the Vandal occupation of North Africa, but the new pottery finds clearly indicate a process of decline beginning well before the Vandals arrived.  Fulford sees this decline in trade as a symptom of the political and economic dislocations which made the fifth century barbarian invasions possible, rather than resulting directly from disruption caused by the barbarians themselves.[88]

The Vandal conquest did have at least one effect apparent from the pottery evidence.  Beginning sometime between 425 and 450, there was an almost 100% increase in the proportion of Eastern Mediterranean amphorae sherds compared to local Tunisian varieties.  Pottery sherds give no indication whether the absolute numbers of imported amphoras increased, but Fulford interprets this as a sign of a profitable economy able to buy more imports:


The explanation of the changing ratios of local to imported amphorae may possibly lie in the changed political circumstances of the Vandal kingdom.  It was no longer obliged to supply Rome with the corn annona, although the demand for it was presumably still present; instead the same commodities could be sold . . . Thus given a political situation where the Vandals could demand payment for their agricultural produce, it is reasonable to see that the export of it could obtain greater wealth.[89]

The Eastern Mediterranean amphorae proportion remained about the same up until the Byzantine reconquest, but somewhere around 475-500 the ARS trade began to revive in both the eastern and western Mediterranean, in conjunction with a batch of new forms and styles of ARS.  "Altogether the evidence suggests revived prosperity and increased overseas contact," probably linked to a general revival of Mediterranean commerce during this period.[90]  Thus neither the decline nor the revival of the ARS trade is directly attributable to the beginning or end of the Vandal kingdom.



For the city of Carthage, the Vandal occupation was largely a non-event, at least as far as the day-to-day life of its citizens was concerned.  The Vandal conquest undoubtedly had a catastrophic effect on many individuals: Victor of Vita paints a horrific picture of the Vandal entry into Carthage, leading one author to comment, "If the Vandals and Alans committed even a fraction of these atrocities, their attack was bloody indeed,"[91]  and the landowners whose estates were confiscated in the sortes Wandalorum also felt the immediate effects of the Vandal conquest.  In a more general sense, however, most aspects of life in Carthage continued with little interruption, and the changes that did occur were not necessarily a result of Vandal rule.  For instance, the decline and revival of the ARS trade had nothing to do with the Vandals.  This suggests the generalization that many of the other changes which occurred over the course of the fifth century were either independent of the change from Roman to Vandal rule, or were simply the continuation of already-existing trends.

At first glance, the fate of the Catholic church seems the strongest counter-example to this hypothesis.  Catholics suffered persecution under the Vandals, and archaeology has shown than many churches were damaged or neglected during this period, possibly when their Catholic congregations were driven out by the Arians.  On the other hand, as an institution, the Carthage Church seems to have survived the Vandal period quite well -- it retained its links with Catholics in other parts of the Mediterranean, and it was wealthy enough to support over 500 clergy even after Vandal confiscations and decades of persecution.  The Catholics also continued to dominate North African Christianity.  The Donatists never regained their strength after 411, even when the Catholic church was under attack by the Vandals, and the Arian church never seems to have taken hold outside of the Vandals themselves.  From a longer perspective, persecution and factional infighting were not new to North African Christianity with the arrival of the Vandals.

Take another example, the evidence of neglect of public construction.  There is strong evidence for a widespread neglect of such work throughout Carthage during the Vandal period.  The walls fell into disrepair, one or both of the harbors show signs of neglect, and the streets and sewers of the city were apparently in need of extensive repair by 533.  However, when this evidence is compared with other information on Vandal Carthage, the picture of a breakdown in city administration is less conclusive.  The fact that the Vandals apparently managed to keep the aqueduct in repair and functioning throughout their rule of the city is very significant in this regard, suggesting that when the Vandals wanted to keep something in good repair, they could.  As far as the harbors are concerned, the Vandals certainly had a harbor in use somewhere, large enough to support a major overseas trade (in fine pottery at least) in the early sixth century.  And Procopius says that the Carthaginians removed the chains from the harbor entrance to allow Belisarius's fleet to enter, implying that at least one of the old harbors was still functioning in some capacity.[92]  The neglect of the city walls was repeated under the Byzantines, which suggests that it was inherent not in the barbarian nature of the Vandal administration, but rather in the perceived necessity of the walls around Carthage -- the city was not fortified at all until 425, probably under the direct threat of invasion.

This is not to deny that fabric of Carthage decayed during the century of Vandal rule.  As has been noted earlier, urban civilization was in the midst of a general decline during the fifth century.  Vandal Carthage was certainly no exception this trend.  The archaeological record gives a fairly uniform picture of overall decline, although the total amount of evidence is admittedly scanty: little or no new construction, with deterioration and collapse more prevalent than repair.  The economic revival attested to by the pottery is not matched by a corresponding revival of urban construction.

The evidence does not support the assumption that the Vandals contributed a new barbarian, anti-urban tendency to the process of decline, however.  While the Vandal take-over provides an apparent surface "cause" for many changes, such as the decline in the African pottery trade or the neglect of public property in Carthage, the reality is much more complicated.  The best case for a link between the Vandal takeover and accelerated decline can be made for the neglect of public property, but there is no need to go beyond already existing trends to explain this.  The flight of Roman aristocrats, along with the Vandal confiscations, would have deprived the curia of some of its wealth and membership, perhaps a significant percentage, and no Vandals were likely to enroll themselves voluntarily into the city council at a time when Roman curiales were using every means possible to escape their obligations.  Furthermore, imperial funds would no longer be available to supplement the reduced resources of the curiales.[93]  Other changes can also be explained without reference to barbarian conquest.  The destruction of the Theatre and Odeon in the fifth century, and the abandonment of the Circus in the sixth, were more likely a victory of Christianity than a sign of barbarian hostility to urban civilization.

After a century of Vandal rule, the city of Carthage was in decline but still a major urban center.  A little more than a century and a half later, when conquering Arabs put an end to Byzantine rule in North Africa, the former metropolis had declined to such an extent that "it appear[s] to have sunk without a trace."[94]  From this broad perspective, the transition from Roman to Vandal to Byzantine rule seems to have had little effect on Carthage's downward slide; it could even be argued that Carthage fared better under the barbarians than the Byzantines.  While the political fragmentation of the Mediterranean world, to which the Vandal kingdom contributed, may have had an adverse effect on commerce and prosperity in the long run, this should not automatically be attributed to the barbarian invasions.  In North Africa at least, the Vandal invasion was the result of political chaos in the Western Empire, not the cause of it.  In the same way, the Vandal conquest of Carthage was a symptom, and not the cause, of the general distress of classical urban civilization during the fifth century.

























Map 1

Source: E.A. Thompson, Romans and Barbarians (The University of Wisconsin Press, 1982), 4.

























Map 2

Source: Thompson, Romans and Barbarians, 62.




























Map 3

Source:  Hurst and Roskams, 5.




























Map 4

Source:  Hurst and Roskams, 33.




Bomgardner, David.  "The Carthage Amphitheater: A Reappraisal."  American Journal of Archaeology 93, no. 1 (Jan. 1989):  85-103.


Bury, J.B.  The Invasion of Europe by the Barbarians.  A Series of Lectures.  MacMillan and Co., Ltd., 1928.


Cameron, Averil.  Procopius and the Sixth Century.  University of California Press, 1985.


Delbrück, Hans.  History of the Art of War, Volume II.  The Barbarian Invasions.  Translated by Walter J. Renfroe, Jr.  University of Nebraska Press, 1990 [1921].


Ennabli, Liliane.  "Results of the International Save Carthage Campaign: the Christian monuments."  World Archaeology 18:  291-311.


Ferrill, Arther.  The Fall of the Roman Empire.  The Military Explanation.  Thames and Hudson, 1986.


Fulford, M. G. and D. P. S. Peacock.  Excavations at Carthage: The British Mission.  Vol. I, 2.  Sheffield, Great Britain, 1984.


Goffart, Walter.  Barbarians and Romans, AD 418-584.  Princeton University Press, 1980.


Humphrey, J. H., ed.  Excavations at Carthage Conducted by the University of Michigan, 1975.  Vol. 1, Tunis, 1976, containing:


Dunbabin, K.M.D.  "The Mosaics and Pavements," 21-46.


Buttrey, T. V.  "The Coins," 157-97.


                                .  Excavations at Carthage Conducted by the University of Michigan, 1975.  Vol. 2, Ann Arbor, 1978, containing:


Bullard, R.G.  "The Marbles of the Opus Sectile Floor," 167-186.


Brown, R. and Humphrey, J.H.  "The Stratigraphy of the 1975 Season," 27-112.


                                .  Excavations at Carthage Conducted by the University of Michigan, 1976.  Vol. 3, Ann Arbor, 1977, containing:


Eadie, J.W. and Humphrey, J.H.  "The Topography of the SE Quarter of Later Roman Carthage," 1-20.


Frend, W. H. C.  "The Early Christian Church in Carthage," 21-40.


                                .  Excavations at Carthage Conducted by the University of Michigan, 1976.  Vol. 4, Ann Arbor, 1978, containing:


Clover, F. M.  "Carthage in the Age of Augustine," 1-14.


                                .  Excavations at Carthage Conducted by the University of Michigan, 1977.  Vol. 5, Thompsons Press, New Delhi, India, 1980, containing:


Ellis, Simon P.  "The Ecclesiastical Complex:  Stratigraphic Report, 1977," 7-123.


                                .  Excavations at Carthage Conducted by the University of Michigan, 1978  Vol. 7, Ann Arbor, 1982, containing:


Clover, F. M.  "Carthage and the Vandals," 1-22.


Cameron, Averil.  "Byzantine Africa--The Literary Evidence," 29-62.


                                .  The Circus and a Byzantine Cemetary at Carthage.  Vol. I, University of Michigan Press, 1988, containing:


Stevens, S. T.  "The Circus Poems in the Latin Anthology."


Metcalf, W. E.  "The Coins -- 1982."


Morrisson, Cécile. "Coin Finds in Vandal and Byzantine Carthage: A Provisional Assessment."


Hurst, H.R.  "Excavations at Carthage 1974.  First Interim Report."  The Antiquaries Journal 55 (1975): 11-40.


                                .  "Excavations at Carthage 1975.  Second Interim Report."  The Antiquaries Journal 56 (1976): 177-197.


                                .  "Excavations at Carthage 1976.  Third Interim Report."  The Antiquaries Journal 57 (1977): 232-261.


                                .  "Excavations at Carthage 1977-78.  Fourth Interim Report."  The Antiquaries Journal 59 (1979): 19-49.


Hurst, H. R. and S. P. Roskams.  Excavations at Carthage: The British Mission.  Vol. I, 1 Sheffield, Great Britain, 1984, containing:


Reese, Richard.  "Coins," 171-181.


Jones, A.H.M.  The Later Roman Empire 284-602.  A Social, Economic and Administrative Survey.  The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986 [1964].


Pedley, John G., ed.  New Light on Ancient Carthage.  University of Michigan Press, 1980, containing:


Wells, C.M.  "The Defense of Carthage," 47-66.


Dunbabin, Katherine M.D.  "A Mosaic Workshop in Carthage around A.D. 400," 73-84.


Humphrey, John H.  "Vandal and Byzantine Carthage:  Some New Archaeological Evidence," 85-120.


Procopius. The Vandalic War.  Vol. 1-2, English translation by H. B. Dewing.  G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1917.


Randers-Pehrson, Justine P.  Barbarians and Romans.  University of Oklahoma Press, 1983.


Rich, John, ed.  The City in Late Antiquity.  Routledge, 1992, containing:


Liebeschuetz, Wolfgang.  "The end of the ancient city," 1-49.


Lepelley, Claude.  "The survival and fall of the classical city in Late Roman Africa," 50-76.


Dixon, Philip.  "'The cities are not populated as once they were'," 145-160.


Stager, Lawrence E.  "Excavations at Carthage 1975.  The Punic Project: First Interim Report."  Annual of the American Schools of Oriental Research 43 (1976).


                                .  "Carthage 1977:  The Punic and Roman Harbors."  Archaeology  30, no. 3 (1977): 1948-200.


Thompson, E.A.  Romans and Barbarians.  The Decline of the Western Empire.  The University of Wisconsin Press, 1982.


Warmington, B. H.  The North African Provinces From Diocletian to the Vandal Conquest.  Cambridge University Press, 1954.


Wells, C.M. and E.M. Wightman.  "Canadian Excavations at Carthage, 1976 and 1978: the Theodosian Wall, Northern Sector."  Journal of Field Archaeology  7 (1980):  43-63.


Yorke, R.A. and J.H. Little.  "Offshore Survey at Carthage, Tunisia, 1973." The International Journal of Nautical Archaeology and Underwater Exploration 4 (1975): 85-101.


                                . "Offshore survey of the harbours at Carthage.  Summary of 1975 season's work." The International Journal of Nautical Archaeology and Underwater Exploration  5 (1976): 173-176.


[1]  F.M. Clover, "Carthage and the Vandals," in Excavations at Carthage Conducted by the University of Michigan, 1978  Vol. 7, ed. John Humphrey (Ann Arbor, 1982), 2; A.H.M. Jones, The Later Roman Empire 284-602 (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986 [1964]), 190.

[2]  Arther Ferrill, The Fall of the Roman Empire (Thames and Hudson, 1986), 138;  J.B. Bury,  The Invasion of Europe by the Barbarians.  A Series of Lectures  (MacMillan and Co., Ltd., 1928), 160-161; E.A. Thompson, Romans and Barbarians.(The University of Wisconsin Press, 1982), 163.  The grain fleet of Egypt had supplied Rome until 330, when it was diverted by Constantine to feed his new capital of Constantinople.  Jones, 84, 698.

[3]  See Maps 1 and 2.

[4]  H.R. Hurst and S. P. Roskams, Excavations at Carthage: The British Mission. (Sheffield, Great Britain, 1984), vol. I.1, 47.

[5]  Hans Delbrück, History of the Art of War, Volume II.  The Barbarian Invasions, trans. Walter J. Renfroe, Jr. (University of Nebraska Press, 1990 [1921]), 318.

[6]  Codex iustinianus,, quoted in F. M. Clover, "Carthage and the Vandals," Excavations at Carthage Conducted by the University of Michigan, vol. 7, ed. John Humphrey (Ann Arbor, 1982), 1.

[7]  Claude Lepelley, "The survival and fall of the classical city in Late Roman Africa," in The City in Late Antiquity, ed. John Rich (Routledge, 1992), 68.

[8]  Procopius, The Vandalic War, 2.5.1-7, 18-25.

[9]  Averil Cameron, "Byzantine Africa --The Literary Evidence," in Excavations at Carthage, vol. 7, 49.

[10]  Clover, Excavations at Carthage, vol. 7, 2.

[11]  C.M. Wells, "The Defence of Carthage," in New Light on Ancient Carthage, ed. John Pedley (University of Michigan Press, 1980), 51-52; F. M. Clover, "Carthage in the Age of Augustine," Excavations at Carthage, vol. 4, 13.

[12]  Codex Theodosius 9.40.24, cited in Wells, New Light, 52; Clover, Excavations at Carthage, vol. 4, 8-9.

[13]  Justine Randers-Pehrson, Barbarians and Romans (University of Oklahoma Press, 1983), 153.

[14]  Clover, Excavations at Carthage, vol. 4, 14.

[15]  Clover, Excavations at Carthage, vol. 7, 3.

[16]  Walter Goffart, Barbarians and Romans, AD 418-584 (Princeton University Press, 1980), 36.

[17]  Clover, Excavations at Carthage, vol. 7, 4-5.

[18]  Randers-Pehrson, 159.

[19]  B. H. Warmington, The North African Provinces From Diocletian to the Vandal Conquest (Cambridge University Press, 1954), 106.

[20]  Clover, Excavations at Carthage, vol. 4, 5-7.

[21]  Warmington, 104.

[22]  The history of Christianity in Africa will be discussed in the next section.

[23]  Clover, Excavations at Carthage, vol. 7, 9, citing Victor of Vita.

[24]  Jones, 732.

[25]  Jones, 740-753.

[26]  Warmington, 50.

[27]  Jones, 758.

[28]  Lepelley, 52.

[29]  Warmington 27-33, 40-41.

[30]  J.W. Eadie and J.H. Humphrey, "The Topography of the SE Quarter of Later Roman Carthage," Excavations at Carthage, vol. 3, 11; H.R. Hurst, "Excavations at Carthage 1974.  First Interim Report,"  The Antiquaries Journal 55 (1975):  28-30; H.R. Hurst, "Excavations at Carthage 1977-78.  Fourth Interim Report," The Antiquaries Journal 59 (1979): 32-39.

[31]  H.R. Hurst, "Excavations at Carthage 1976.  Third Interim Report," The Antiquaries Journal 57 (1977):  246.

[32]  Hurst (1979):  39-41.

[33]  J. H. Humphrey, "Vandal and Byzantine Carthage: Some New Archaeological Evidence," in New Light, 97.

[34]  Hurst (1977):  245, 249; Hurst (1979):  41-43.

[35]  L.E. Stager, "Excavations at Carthage 1975.  The Punic Project: First Interim Report," Annual of the American Schools of Oriental Research 43 (1976):  153, 161-162; L.E. Stager, "Carthage 1977:  The Punic and Roman Harbors."  Archaeology  30, no. 3 (1977):  198.

[36]  Humphrey, New Light, 97-98.

[37]  Wells, New Light, 54; Humphrey, New Light, 100-103.

[38]  Liliane Ennabli, "Results of the International Save Carthage Campaign: the Christian monuments," World Archaeology 18: 304.

[39]  C.M. Wells and E.M. Wightman, "Canadian Excavations at Carthage, 1976 and 1978: the Theodosian Wall, Northern Sector," Journal of Field Archaeology  7 (1980):  57-59.

[40]  Humphrey, New Light, 116.

[41]  Ibid., 108, 113-116.  The ecclesiastical complex excavated by the University of Michigan team was built over part of a street in the early fifth century.  Simon Ellis, "The Ecclesiastical Complex:  Stratigraphic Report, 1977," Excavations at Carthage, vol. 5, 10.

[42]  Clover, Excavations at Carthage, vol. 7,  9.

[43]  Ibid., 9.

[44]  Hurst and Roskams, 45.

[45]  Procopius, The Vandalic War,  2.1.2

[46]  David Bomgardner, "The Carthage Amphitheater: A Reappraisal," American Journal of Archaeology, v. 93, no. 1 (Jan. 1989): 91.

[47]  S. T. Stevens, "The Circus Poems in the Latin Anthology," in The Circus and a Byzantine Cemetary at Carthage, vol. I, ed. J. H. Humphrey, 178.

[48]  Humphrey, The Circus, 326.

[49]  Clover, Excavations at Carthage, vol. 7, 10-11.  A mosaic from the late fourth or early fifth century depicts four charioteers, each dressed in the colored tunic of his faction.  K.M.D. Dunbabin,  "The Mosaics and Pavements," Excavations at Carthage, vol. 1, 31.

[50]  Clover, Excavations at Carthage, vol. 7, 10.

[51]  Jones, 167.

[52]  Jones, 168-169.

[53]  Jones, 71, 76, 81-82.

[54]  W. H. C. Frend, "The Early Christian Church in Carthage," in Excavations at Carthage, vol. 3, 22.

[55]  Warmington, 87-89.

[56]  Warmington, 99.

[57]  Clover, Excavations at Carthage, vol. 7, 4.

[58]  Frend, Excavations at Carthage, vol. 3, 23.

[59]  Clover, Excavations at Carthage, vol. 7, 4.

[60]  Ennabli, 293-294; Humphrey, New Light, 94-96.

[61]  Ellis, Excavations at Carthage, vol. 5, 36-37; Humphrey, New Light, 87, 91-92.

[62]  Frend, Excavations at Carthage, vol. 3, 21.

[63]  Ibid., 34.

[64]  Victor Vitensis, quoted in ibid., 29.

[65]  Averil Cameron, "Byzantine Africa--The Literary Evidence," in Excavations at Carthage, vol. 7, 30.

[66]  Jones, 209.

[67]  K.M.D. Dunbabin, "A Mosaic Workshop in Carthage around A.D. 400," New Light, 80.

[68]  Clover, Excavations at Carthage, vol. 4, 14.

[69]  Humphrey, New Light, 86.

[70]  Ibid., 107-109.

[71]  Hurst and Roskams, 43.

[72]  Hurst and Roskams, 16-17, 43.

[73]  Humphrey, New Light, 103.

[74]  Wells and Wightman, 49, 53; Humphrey, New Light, 103-104.

[75]  Humphrey, New Light, 106.

[76]  Humphrey, New Light, 107.

[77]  Hurst and Roskams, 44.

[78]  Procopius, 1.15.15, 2.7.13, cited in Clover, Excavations at Carthage, vol. 7, 7.

[79]  Ellis, Excavations at Carthage, vol. 5, 34.

[80]  Wells and Wightman, 57.

[81]  Humphrey, New Light, 109-113.

[82]  T. V. Buttrey, "The Coins," Excavations at Carthage, vol. 1, 159; T. V. Buttrey and R. B. Hitchner, "The Coins--1976," Excavations at Carthage, vol. 4, 101; Metcalf, The Circus, 341.

[83]  Richard Reese, "Coins," in Hurst and Roskams, 174-175.

[84]  Procopius, 1.20.4-7; 1.14.3-13.

[85]  M.G. Fulford and D. P. S. Peacock, Excavations at Carthage: The British Mission, Vol. I. 2, 112.

[86]  Fulford and Peacock, 230.

[87]  Ibid., 258.

[88]  Ibid., 113.

[89]  Ibid., 259.

[90]  Ibid., 259-260.

[91]  Clover, Excavations at Carthage, vol. 4, 14.

[92]  Procopius, 2.20.3.

[93]  There is some positive evidence that the curia continued to function throughout the Vandal period (Clover, Excavations at Carthage, vol. 7, 12-13) which is not surprising in light of the fact that city life continued with little interruption.

[94]  Hurst and Roskams, 47.

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