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Sub Saharan Africans in Roman army
#16
The skeletons, according to physical anthropologists, have traits that can indicate where a person came from, type of work they did, all that stuff now called forensics.
Richard Campbell
Legio XX - Alexandria, Virginia
RAT member #6?
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#17
I just came across interesting mention that the Dux of alexandria at the closing years of Roman egypt had personal guard composed from black skinned africans.

And my Facebook acount was recently under hackers attack-I would like to believe that it have nothing to do with some black color Outraged guys from The Romans Confusedhock: :-( :x :razz: .
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#18
Just on a lighter note regarding the incident with Severus & the ‘black soldier' I remember Gillian Bradshaw wrote a humorous novel called ‘Dark North' set in Roman Britain where the protagonist Memmon is the ‘black' soldier involved in this incident. In the novel he was made a slave as a boy to a benevolent Moorish master & discovered he had a knack for scouting, fighting & riding. Joining the Moorish cavalry which transferred to Britain the book covers his various adventures culminating in the fateful meeting with Severus. Quite a good read.
Regards
Michael Kerr
Michael Kerr
"You can conquer an empire from the back of a horse but you can't rule it from one"
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#19
Quote:http://cdn.meme.li/i/pjalb.jpg
I found this on Facebook believe it or not!

I know a French group who have a dark-skinned auxilia of African descent. They took a lot of abuse, can you imagine that! Talk about educating people...

Dromedarii were found in the Alps (remains of the animals) and known to have been posted as far north as modern Belgium. Dromedarii, as I see it, are more likely to have originate from the southern parts of the Sahara than what we know as Africa, which was more the coast and the fertile regions within a day of the coastline.
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Robert Vermaat
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FECTIO Late Roman Society
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
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#20
Remember when I mentioned Dux of Alexandria having a guard composed from black africans?Well late roman Tours Pentateuch have "black" guards depicted alongside those "white"(i dont like to use this black and white terminology derived from black and white view of the world)from the very same period where they are mentioned.I will post it on The Romans in the future but for now a let the fire extinguished.


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#21
I know everyone would like to say something about this topic, but we've had two threads in the last three years that established the same general points. How about III Augusta specifically? They came mainly from areas from Tunisia to Morocco, correct?
Dan D'Silva

Far beyond the rising sun
I ride the winds of fate
Prepared to go where my heart belongs,
Back to the past again.

--  Gamma Ray

Well, I'm tough, rough, ready and I'm able
To pick myself up from under this table...

--  Thin Lizzy

Join the Horde! - http://xerxesmillion.blogspot.com/
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#22
Quote:Sub-saharan Africans could have entered the empire via the Nile valley and Egypt, and many of them clearly did - references to Aethiopians in Roman literature, and in art (probably including the blue glass head shown above), demonstrate this. But they would not have been common..

The other two principle trade routes with south saharan Africa should not be dismissed. Black people could also have entered the Empire either via the red sea ports or through the central sahara.

Graeco-Roman merchants traded with Aksum and further down the coast up to modern Tanzania, or at least Somalia via the red sea since the early empire. The periplus of the Erythraean Sea explicitly mentions "slaves of the better sort, which are brought to egypt in increasing numbers" from Opone in modern Somalia.

The research done in Fezzanof in the last decade seems to indicate that there was also some trans saharan trade through the Garamante kingdom. Ptolemy even mentions two expeditions by Romans (Septimius Flaccus and Julius Maternus) from Leptis Magna to sub saharan Africa.

Also the Roman controlled dodecaschoenus (lower Nubia) already has a very black population and the units there recruited locally.
Michael
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#23
"The other two principle trade routes with south saharan Africa should not be dismissed. Black people could also have entered the Empire either via the red sea ports or through the central sahara."

I think it would be impossible to dismiss the seaborne movement of people and goods up the west coast of Africa, although I know very little about the archaeology of this. At the moment there is a dna group E1b1b1b L19 A & B which appears in the UK, Germany and Spain, but appears to have originated in antiquity in the Gambia. Possibly a Roman movement, or an earlier movement from Africa to Iberia then a Roman period move north within the Empire. There is nothing conclusive yet but a seaborne connection seems as likely as a route through the Sahara.

Any hint of Roman archaeology on the West African Coast ? The Epictetus map above suggests a knowledge as far as the Gambia. (maybe)
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#24
Quote:I think it would be impossible to dismiss the seaborne movement of people and goods up the west coast of Africa, although I know very little about the archaeology of this.

I am not so sure. Sails were AFAIK unknown on the African west coast and even the lateen-rigged Portuguese caravelle found it difficult to sail past Cape Borador opposite of the Canary islands. Its circumnavigation after several failed attempts in 1430 was hailed as a major breakthrough of Portuguese exploration. Dugout canoes are another possibility, but the Atlantic Sea is so rough and the Saharan coast so barren that I doubt that any substantial seaborne movement from (sub)tropical Africa northwards ever occurred.
Stefan (Literary references to the discussed topics are always appreciated.)
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#25
Do you think the peninsula shown on the west coast on the Epitetus map is Cape Borador? looks like a potential candidate.
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#26
Quote:Do you think the peninsula shown on the west coast on the Epitetus map is Cape Borador? looks like a potential candidate.

Rather not. Cape Borador does not extend prominently into the sea.

There is an excellent book out on the exploration of the Atlantic Sea by the ancients, called Through the Pillars of Herakles. See chapter 5 for movements along the African coast.
Stefan (Literary references to the discussed topics are always appreciated.)
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#27
Starting to unpick the trans saharan trade routes;

http://www.caitlingreen.org/2017/10/saha...tacts.html

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.10...012.727614
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#28
The saharan sun warms up a cold thread.. Wink
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Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR: Forum rules
FECTIO Late Roman Society
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
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