The Province of Africa
146 BCE-5th Century CE
• The Romans first acquired the province of Africa after the
Third Punic War when Carthage was razed to the ground.
• With the control of Africa, the Romans gained a lucrative
trading post and fertile lands.
• Roman rule in Africa ended in the 5th century CE when the
Vandals (a barbarian tribe) invaded the province and took
control of it.
Gordianus the First
• The African province revolted in
237 CE against Maximinus Thrax
(a Thracian peasant who usurped
the throne from the Roman
Emperor Alexander Severus).
• Gordianus and his son (Gordian
the Younger) were crowned as
Emperors by the troops in Africa.
• The senate in Rome gladly
accepted the new Emperors
because they disliked the
barbarian Maximinus and because
the Gordians came from a rich,
illustrious family like themselves.http://viamus.uni-
• This famous city was located on the coast of Northern
• It was founded by the Phoenicians in the 5th century
BCE, and it came under Roman rule in 33 BCE.
• It became the capital of the province Mauretania
Caesarensis in 44 CE because it was loyal and
economically important to the Empire (fertile soil).
• It has Roman baths, theaters, aqueducts, and forums.
• The city was named after Augustus Caesar.
Today, it is modern
Timgad (modern day Algeria)
• Timgad was a city in Northern Africa that was founded by
Trajan as a community for his retired soldiers in 100 CE.
• The city covers 30 acres, had 15,000 inhabitants, and had two
main streets that divided the grid into quarters (the decumanus
• A triumphal arch marked the entrance to the city.
• There was a library, public baths, temples, and a forum.
Contribution to the Roman World
• The African legion (Legio III Augustus) was strong,
reliable, and had distinguished generals (i.e.
• At least ten Roman leaders came from the African
province (i.e. Septimius Severus and Pescennius
• The province produced grain, a valuable
commodity that was shipped to the port at Ostia.
• Ivory and wild animals (for gladiatorial shows)
were shipped from Northern Africa to Rome.
• Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,
• Art History textbook, Marilyn Stokstad