In Search of ancient North Africa
Barnaby Rogerson Haus Published: February 2018 Price: £25.00
Thisis a magnificently opinionated, and at time recklessly discursive, example of history as story-telling as Rogerson takes us on a series of quixotic biographical quests.
We begin with the legends that swirl around Queen Dido, not in order to unpick them, but rather to understand how they shaped the future of the city. We discover the connection between Juba II and Augustus, and the subsequent career of this Berber prince as spy, explorer, historian and king.
Hannibal is presented not as an oriental enemy but as a true hero, whose career is usefully contrasted with that of Masinissa, the cavalry commander, whose defection to Rome, helped destroy Carthage and make Numidia.
The lives of the Libyan-born Emperor Septimius Severus and the Algerian born St Augustine take us up into the extraordinary cultural apogee of this region, which has permanently enriched Western Civilization.
It is if a lost volume of Plutarch has just been unearthed, but this time not concerned with parallel lives of Romans and Greeks, but North Africans.