North African history shows that Byzacena region has always had a strong cultural infl uence of the indigenous population, the Berbers, alongside relative economic independence from the metropolitan power — Carthaginian, Roman, Vandal, Byzantine. In ecclesiastic terms, this situation in the region of the 4th–5th centuries contributed to the development of a specifi c view on the Christian mission (the Donatist movement) and supported traditions based on customs of the local population. Byzacena region included cities which today are of great interest to Christian history and archaeology, namely Sbeitla (six churches), Haidra (fi ve churches), Telepta (eight churches), Maktar (three churches), Junca (two churches). It is just here that archaeologists with a greater or lesser degree of certainty identify Latin Orthodox, Donatist, Arian, and Byzantine Orthodox trends in Church architecture. Unlike churches of Carthage, those of Byzacena do not impress the observer with their size and magnifi cence, but they are extremely important in terms of Church history, as they witnessed the development of early Christian architecture in the 4th–5th centuries. Many churches of this region have preserved their initial design, and nowadays can serve as a subject of in-depth studies for archaeologists and historians. The paper pays particular attention to basilicas in Sbeitla (Pretre Servus, Bellator, Vitalis), Maktar (Schola Juvenum), and Haidra (Melleus). They refl ect all the characteristic features of North African architecture. In cities of Byzacena region, like in Carthage, it is diffi cult to determine the chronological framework and the affi liation of churches to a specifi c Christian denomination, which is due to the fact that many of them could successively be canonical, i.e. Orthodox in the Latin tradition, Donatist, Vandal, and again canonical, i.e. Orthodox in the Byzantine tradition. There is very little evidence for distinguishing between Orthodox and Donatist churches. In architectural terms, the subsequent Arian enslavement as well as the victory of Byzantines is refl ected more clearly. All this has made its impact on the Christian architecture of the region.
North Africa, Byzacena, martyr, tomb, Basilica, apse, altar, Sbeitla, Pretre Servus, Bellator, Vitalis, Maktar, Haidra, Duval
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