France's appropriation of Algeria's Roman past has traditionally been interpreted as a justification of its colonial activities in the area. However, the volume and variety of texts generated by the French on Rome's legacy suggest a more complex explanation. This article traces the evolution of the France-Rome connection from the time of conquest to the post–Second World War period. It examines its differing guises under the military and civilian administrations and explicates its development from a body of knowledge that served as a referential guide to an ideology of regionalism and difference, which bound Algeria to France and effectively marginalized the Arabs and Berbers. The past "imagined" in this process became part of the foundational mythology of the colony and was thus incorporated into its "collective" memory.


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pp. 295-329
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Archive Status
Archived 2004
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