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Interrogating the African Roman Emperor Caracalla: Claiming and Reclaiming an African Leader

Asante, Molefi Kete; Ismail, Shaza

Journal of black studies. Volume 47:Number 1 (2016, January); pp 41-52 -- Sage Publications

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  • Title:
    Interrogating the African Roman Emperor Caracalla: Claiming and Reclaiming an African Leader
  • Author: Asante, Molefi Kete;
    Ismail, Shaza
  • Found In: Journal of black studies. Volume 47:Number 1 (2016, January); pp 41-52
  • Journal Title: Journal of black studies
  • Subjects: African Americans--Periodicals; Blacks--Periodicals; Septimius Severus--Julius Bassianus--Geta--Julia Domna--Alexandria--Macrinus; Dewey: 305.896073
  • Rights: legaldeposit
  • Publication Details: Sage Publications
  • Abstract:

    This essay provides an interrogation into the historical and personal contradictions in the character of the Roman Emperor Caracalla. As an emperor of African origin who once ruled the world, the nature of his rule, in its political and social dimension, has not been adequately studied. In fact, the scholarly sources that focused on Caracalla as a powerful ruler hardly mention his African origin and in some cases outright deny the fact that he was African. On the other hand, many European writers who do understand his political significance refer to his military achievements ignoring his origin. This work seeks to place Caracalla in the historical setting that befits his adventure as emperor during the time of Rome's incessant leadership crises. While we know that Caracalla's life was a series of bold and cruel actions as well as creative achievements, this work discusses his life in the context of his humanity more than to itemize his imperial achievements. The idea is to reveal through the literature and history as much as we can of his complex character in amid the challenging circumstances that surrounded his life and career.


  • Identifier: System Number: LDEAvdc_100065220361.0x000001; Journal ISSN: 0021-9347; 10.1177/0021934715611376
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Physical Description: Electronic
  • Shelfmark(s): ELD Digital store

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