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Vandalic Age

Vandalic Age

Vandalic Age

Documentary sources are scarce and it is therefore archaeology that provides the tools to reconstruct Sardinian history in the century of the Vandal conquest. The continuity of trade flows with Rome and with North Africa indicates that the late Roman economic fabric remained vital. Coastal cities do not lose their importance. However, the territory must be reorganized according to new coordinates, dictated by the Christian presence.

In the fourth and fifth centuries, there are records relating to the first Sardinian martyrs and bishops. The Christian presence intensified when the Vandals arrived and continued during the almost five hundred years of Byzantine control, which began in 534 with the reconquest of Sardinia by Justinian.

In 484, five Sardinian bishops attended the Council of Carthage: Lucifer of Cagliari, Vitale di Sulci (Sant'Antioco), Martiniano of Forum Traiani (Fordongianus), Bonifacio di Sanafer (possibly Cornus, near Cuglieri) and Felice di Turris Lybissonis (Porto Torres). In the following decades, the escalation of tensions between the Catholic and the Aryan clergy introduced by the Vandals led to the exile to Sardinia of a group of bishops faithful to the Church of Rome. Among these is Fulgenzio di Ruspe, who founded a monastery in Cagliari near the Basilica of San Saturnino.

Archaeology also makes it possible to document in Sardinia the presence of the oldest type of Christian church, the longitudinal church built in Rome at the time of Emperor Constantine. Three-aisle churches from the V-VI century, with apses to the west or east, have been identified in Cornus, Tharros, Nora, Porto Torres and Donori.

The Cagliari monastery of Fulgenzio becomes an active cultural center and in general, the activity of African bishops favors the Christianization of the interior areas of the island, as documented by the various cases of rural churches equipped with a baptistery.


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