Boundaries and Authority II
"Roman Borders in Africa during the High Empire" by Stéphanie Guédon
This lecture proposes to consider the genesis of one of the longest borders of the Roman Empire. The stereotype of the Roman frontier, often referred to by the Latin term limes, is regularly evoked when the goal is to seek ancient evidence for the separating and military function of the frontier. This vision of the Roman frontier is largely funded on the traditional interpretation of Roman borders in Africa. It conforms to thinking on the notion of borders since the 19th century, based on the idea of a hermetic barrier drawn up at the limits of the Roman Empire. A renewed study of all data permits to challenge this vision.
Prof. Stéphanie Guédon is Maître de conférences HDR in Roman History at the University of Limoges. She has published extensively on Roman North Africa, including most recently La frontière romaine de l’Africa sous le Haut-Empire (Madrid, 2018) and Vivre, circuler et échanger sur la bordure septentrionale du Sahara (Antiquité époque-moderne) (Bordeaux, 2020).
"Sovereign Boundaries in al-Andalus in the Umayyad Era" by Janina Safran
The lecture addresses the subject of boundaries in al-Andalus between c.750 CE and c.1000 CE from the perspective of two forms of sovereignty, political and legal- religious. Both forms of sovereignty are fundamental to our understanding of “Islamicization” in the Iberian Peninsula, and defined boundaries in distinctive terms. The dual perspective informs a survey of the limits of Dar al-Islam in Iberia and across the Straits of Gibraltar in Africa and invites discussion about how we write about claims to territory.
Prof. Janina Safran is Associate Professor of History at the Pennsylvania State University. Her field is Islamic history (c. 600-1250) and her particular area of research is al-Andalus (Islamic Iberia) and the Maghrib (North Africa). She is author of the books The Second Umayyad Caliphate and Defining Boundaries in al-Andalus: Muslims, Christians and Jews in Islamic Iberia.