Exploring a Romano-African city: Thugga
Exploring a Romano-African city: Thugga

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Exploring a Romano-African city: Thugga

2.2.4 Model 4: African + Roman = Afro-Roman cultural mixing (fusion)

This model proposes that the combination of a Roman conquest and an African context led to the creation of a new and vital mixture, a cultural fusion of African and Roman traits. In this scenario we might expect to find cultural elements which may be originally Roman but are reworked in the African context to produce something new and different. Perhaps we need a new term for the result – something like Afro-Roman or Romano-African culture. In the previous activity the temples of Saturn, Mercury and Caelestis were all marked as having both Roman and African characteristics, both in the deities worshipped and in the form of the temples, suggesting that there has been a mixing of cultures. This combining of deities is known as syncretism.

We will now move on to consider a set of studies from Africa. Each will use different forms of evidence to demonstrate that our theoretical approach may be applied in a variety of circumstances. In each of these you should be thinking about which of the four models outlined above seems to fit the evidence best.

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