Northern Africa 70 AD: Garamantian War
During the confusion of the Roman civil wars of 68–70 AD, conflict broke out between the African towns of Oea (Tripoli) and Leptis Magna. Siding with the Oeans, the Garamantes invaded the Roman Empire in early 70 and besieged Leptis Magna, but were forced back into the desert when Roman auxiliaries arrived.
Jan 70 AD Death of Proconsul Piso▲
Following the death of Vitellius, Lucius Calpurnius Piso, the proconsul of Africa, held out in his palace in Carthage, rejecting the new emperor Vespasian and ordering the execution of his centurion messenger—who had previously helped kill Piso’s predecessor Macer—to popular acclaim. Learning of Piso’s actions, the commander of the legion of Africa, Gaius Calpetanus Rantius Quirinalis Valerius Festus—who had been in secret negotiations with Vespasian—sent cavalry to kill Piso. Breaking into his palace in early dawn, the horsemen killed Piso and brought an end to his abortive revolt.
70 AD Garamantian War of 70▲
In the confusion of the Roman civil wars of 68–70 AD, differences between the African towns of Oea (Tripoli) and Leptis Magna escalated to the point of regular armed confrontations. In early 70 the people of Oea aligned with the Garamantes of the desert interior, who proceeded to terrorize the Lepititani and forced them to retreat behind their walls. At this point the Roman auxiliaries arrived and, in possibly the first Roman use of camels in the Sahara, routed the Garamantes and chased them back south into the desert.