First Advisor

John P. Cavarnos

Term of Graduation

Summer 1978

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in History






Fortification -- Libya, Military roads -- Libya, Libya -- Military history, Libya -- Roman antiquities



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, viii, 153 pages)


This thesis will examine the significance of the defense system that was a result of the Libyan wars against the Romans, Byzantines, and the Vandals. For economic and strategic reasons these nations were involved in long and bitter wars which lasted over six centuries. The policy of the long distance military expeditions, which was the main instrument of the Romans in subduing the natives in the early Empire, had failed to achieve its goals. Thus, the alternative was to erect a network of roads and forts in strategic spots such as water points, commanding hills, along the caravan routes and on the edges of fertile wadis.

In fact, neither the roads, which were very well fortified, nor the massive front forts had solved the frontier problems, thus the Romans had no choice other than to leave the frontiers to be guarded by the natives themselves. To this end several civilian settlements (fortified farms) were established on the fertile wadis. While a mixture of people coexisted in these fortified farms, the archaeological remains show that the prevailing culture belonged to the Libyan natives.


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