Barnaby Rogerson

Historian, author and publisher Barnaby Rogerson’s recent books include A History of North Africa (2012), and In Search of Ancient North Africa: A History in Six Lives (2018). He has also written guidebooks to Morocco, Tunisia, Cyprus and Istanbul. His day job is running Eland Books (, an independent publisher of classic travel books.

Articles by Barnaby Rogerson

The Emperor from Africa

The Emperor from Africa

One of two sons of a wealthy, politically ambitious, olive-farming family, Septimius Severus grew up in Leptis Magna, along what is now the coast of Libya, in the second century ce. At first not the most promising of teenage scions, he matured to take high command posts on the Danube frontier and, at 48, became the Roman Empire’s first emperor born on the African continent. Over his 18-year reign, he rarely sat on a throne in Rome, preferring travel with the legions to frontiers and far reaches where his efforts expanded the empire to its greatest extent and left legacies in law and architecture that endure today.

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