Environment and Society in Roman North Africa: Studies in History and Archaeology, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Environment and Society in Roman North Africa

Studies in History and Archaeology, 1st Edition

By Brent D. Shaw


288 pages

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Hardback: 9780860784791
pub: 1995-02-23

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The impact of a changing environment on human society and, conversely, the impact of man’s activities upon the environment are important and contentious subjects today. Climatic and environmental change have also been credited with bringing about major shifts in human history. One such case is that of the decline of Roman North Africa and its conquest by the Arabs. The evidence for this process is, however, far from clear-cut, and Professor Shaw’s concern in these studies is firstly to re-examine what is known, from both archaeological and written sources, and how it has been interpreted, work which has led to some substantial revisions of accepted accounts. In the final three articles he turns to analyse how Roman society functioned on the edge of the desert and, in particular, to investigate the careful exploitation and control of critical water resources.


'Throughout his career, Shaw has been a breaker of accepted icons…Variorum Press is to be commended for producing a set of volumes that makes a significant portion of the author’s splendid work available in one place.� Canadian Journal of History…This collection…is a model of careful scholarship in both environmental and social history.' Canadian Journal of History Joint review with Rulers, Nomads and Christians in Roman North Africa 'Over two decades, Brent Shaw has contributed enormously to our understanding of ancient North Africa and the present volume will make his papers, many of them influential, more accessible to students and to a wider audience.' Journal of Political Ecology, Vol. 4

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Archaeology and knowledge: the history of the African provinces of the Roman Empire; Climate, environment and prehistory in the Sahara; Climate, environment, and history: the case of Roman North Africa; The camel in Roman North Africa and the Sahara: history, biology, and human economy; Water and society in the ancient Maghrib: technology, property and development; Lamasba: an ancient irrigation community; The noblest monuments and the smallest things: wells, walls and aqueducts in the making of Roman Africa; Index.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at Michael.Greenwood@informa.com

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General