Dr. des. Mohamed Arbi Nsiri
April 2021 - October 2021
Research Project: Prosopographie chrétienne de l’Afrique du Nord tardo-antique. L’époque byzantine (533-709)
The North African clergy of the sixth and seventh centuries is one of those objects of study that are already well known and over which, however, still large gray areas. If the images of famous bishop, such as that of Facundus, Primasius and Verecundus, emerge as soon as one evokes the North African Christianity of the Byzantine era, at the same time many questions remain when we evoke the daily, intellectual and theological life of this body of African clergy from the end of Antiquity.
If the bibliography gives an important place to the North African clergy of Roman and Vandal era, it is marked by a great void for the Byzantine period. However, there is no shortage of sources for this period, but the modern works and bibliography come together to make the African clergy of the Byzantine era background figures, unlike the military, to whom a substantial part of the research is devoted.
As in the first volume of the PCBE, directed by André Mandouze, our project, which is the continuation of this prosopographic effort, will list, in alphabetical order, the characters who have committed themselves through their careers and their writings to the service of the African Church (bishops, priest, presbyter, lower clergy...), those who have made the choice of a monastic life (abbots and abbesses, monks and nuns ...) or the members of the Christian people who demonstrate a particular piety. There are also the honestiores (military, praetorian prefects, governors ...) who had direct or indirect relations with the African Church. For each of these resent characters, the use of various sources (literary, hagiographic, literary, epigraphic and archaeological) makes it possible to highlight singular facts.
The results of this investigation will offer researchers working on Byzantine Africa a large harvest of information allowing them to understand what it was to be a Christian until a few years before the Arab conquest.
Dr. Mohamed Arbi Nsiri is a Late Antique Historian with a particular interest in North Africa. He is now a Research Fellow at the RomanIslam - Center for Comparative Empire and Transcultural Studies of the Universität Hamburg. His dissertation (Université Paris-Nanterre, 2021) analyzed the local power of bishops in Roman, Vandal and Byzantine North Africa (IV - VII centuries). Member of several learned societies, he participated in many academic conferences (France, UK, Spain, Italy, Slovenia, Tunisia...) and he has published several academic papers. He is currently directing a collective book to be published by the University of São Paulo (Brazil). He’s research focus on the Late Antiquity period with a particular interest in issues of religious diversity, social identity, legal issues, and political culture.
Nsiri, Mohamed A. (2020a), "Observations sur l’action des évêques africains de l’époque byzantine (VIe – VIIe siècles) : Témoignages croisés des sources épigraphiques et littéraires", Epigrafia e Antichità 45, 611-628.
Nsiri, Mohamed A. (2020b), "Uma Antiguidade tardia muito longa: A propósito dos últimos cristãos do Norte da África Medieval", in: André Borges / José Joachim Pereira Melo / Pedro Paulo Funari / Christiani Margareth de Menezes e Silva, ed., Nos tempos de outrora: Perspectivas (teo)filosóficas antiga e medieval, São Paulo: Editora Recriar, 29-35.
Nsiri, Mohamed A. (2019), "Between Jerome and Augustine of Hippo: Some Intellectual Preoccupations of Late Antiquity", in: John Tolan, ed., Geneses. A Comparative Study of the Historiographies of the Rise of Christianity, Rabbinic Judaism, and Islam, London–New York: Routledge, 98-113.
Nsiri, Mohamed A. (2018a), "Ubi tantae splendidissimae civitates? : de la cité classique à la cité chrétienne, le cas de l’Afrique tardo-antique", Dialogue d’Histoire Ancienne 44/1, 135-158.
Nsiri, Mohamed A. (2018b), "Genséric fossoyeur de la Romanitas africaine ?"», Libyan Studies 49, 93-119.
Nsiri, Mohamed A. (2018c), "De dei iudicio qui episcopum fecit : Les élections épiscopales en Afrique du IIIe au Ve siècle", Revue des Études Tardo-Antiques 7, 63-93.
Nsiri, Mohamed A. (2017a), "Les Cahiers de Tunisie et les antiquités africaines (1953-2011) : bilan historiographique", Cartagine. Studi e Ricerche 2, 213-226.
Nsiri, Mohamed A. (2017b), "Faire et penser l’Histoire en Tunisie postrévolutionnaire", Revue d'Histoire Maghrébine 165, 165-178.
Nsiri, Mohamed A. (2016), "La survivance du donatisme après la conférence de Carthage de 411", L’Africa Romana 20, 1195-1204.