Tommaso Giuliodoro

Hannah Seeger Davis Postdoctoral Fellow, 2022-2023

  • Degree
    Ph.D., Early Medieval History/Byzantine History, University of Padua, Venice and Verona, 2021
    Power, Institutions and Territorial Administration in Byzantine Africa (533 - 711)
    Research Project
    How the West was lost: Reconsidering Byzantine-Muslim Conflicts in North Africa (642-698)
Contact Info

Tommaso Giuliodoro is an early Byzantine historian whose primary interest lies in the analysis of the history of the Western provinces of the Eastern Roman Empire, especially North Africa, and the role they played within the broader Mediterranean context from the sixth to the eighth century. After obtaining his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at the University of Bologna between 2013 and 2016, he completed his P.h.D. at the Universities of Padua, Venice and Verona in 2021 with a dissertation devoted to the Eastern Roman administration of North Africa. He has taken part in several excavations on Late Antique and Byzantine sites in Italy, Greece and Tunisia, combining his research on written sources with the examination of archaeological data to address issues related to politics, society, economy and settlements in the Byzantine West. Before being awarded the Hannah Seeger Davis Postdoctoral Fellowship, Tommaso obtained a grant from the Istituto Italiano per la Storia Antica of Rome, thanks to which he is about to publish a book on the institutions of Byzantine Africa.

About the Research Project

How the West was lost: Reconsidering Byzantine-Muslim Conflicts in North Africa (642-698)

The research project I will be pursuing focuses on the role played by the Eastern Roman government in the conflicts that opposed Byzantium to the Islamic caliphate in North Africa from the clashes near Sufetula (647) to the eventual fall of Carthage in 698-699. The analysis of the available historical and archaeological documentation, greatly enriched by recent acquisitions, will be employed to underline the degree to which Africa was integrated into Byzantium's policies and military practices to counter the Muslim advance. Thanks to this work, it will be demonstrated that, despite final failure, far from wanting to renounce one of its Western possessions the Empire tried as far as it could to coordinate the defense of the North African provinces. The Imperial strategy was pivoted on the deployment of the provincial field army, active in North Africa until the last decade of the seventh century, on the alliance with the Moors and the exploitation of the provincial defense system, still in use, albeit with possible modifications, in much of North African territory as Arab sources indicate. On the other hand, it will be crucial to understand the reasons which ultimately led to the expansion of the Muslim armies west of Egypt, paying particular attention to the resources they used to succeed in the North African war theatre.

Previous Roles

  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow
    2022 - 2023