The history of the southern and western shores of the Mediterranean can be told from many perspectives. To an ancient historian, it is the story of early Phoenician expansion westward, followed by Roman conquests, and ending with the Punic Wars and the destruction of Carthage in the 2nd century BC. For a medievalist, the story begins with the stunningly rapid spread of Islam across North Africa and onto the Iberian Peninsula in the6th-8th centuries and ends with the Spanish reconquest of Granada in 1492. From a contemporary perspective, we might choose to focus on the French colonization of Tunisia and Algeria, the rise of nationalism and radical Islam, and the "Arab Spring" of the 2010s.
During this voyage, we will touch on chapters of each of these stories, as we call in ports along North Africa and in Spain and Portugal. In Tunisia, which was the starting point of the Arab Spring, we visit the ruins of Carthage and marvel at the stunning Roman mosaics in the Bardo Museum. St. Augustine's Hippo Regius is our first call in Algeria, followed by the UNESCO-designated Roman ruins at Djemila and the tomb of Mauritanian King Juba II in Tipasa. Further west along the North African coast, we encounter unmistakable Islamic influences in the ancient medinas and modern markets of Oran, Tangier, and Tetouan. And we end our journey in southern Iberia, including two days in cosmopolitan Seville, where the legacies of all the stories we have been tracing mingle in the monuments of this great Moorish city. Joining us as guest lecturer will be Ambassador Richard Erdman, whose more than 45-yearcareer in the United States Department of State was focused on the lands surrounding the Mediterranean, including service as Ambassador to Algeria from 2003-2006.He will share with us his deep understanding of both the history and current affairs of this part of the world. Also lecturing on this voyage will be a distinguished classical historian from Wellesley College.
Please join Ambassador Erdman and fellow travelers aboard Diana in April 2023 to discover some of the remarkably rich stories of the Ancient Lost Cities of North Africa.