When the Vandal persecutions ended, matters of jurisdiction and precedence werea source of controversy in the North African Church. The extent of the authority of thebishops of Carthage was questioned, especially by the primates of the province of Byzacena. Mutual grievances were raised at the councils of Junca (523) and Carthage (525). After the Byzantine reconquest of Africa (533-534) relations between the bishops were regulated by imperial decisions. Novel 37 (535) gave some privileges to the bishop of Carthage, who was also granted some recognition in Novel 131 (545). The constitutions of 541 and 542, addressed to the primate of Byzacena, are the response of Justinian to various requests coming from Africa and show the general concern of the emperor to preserve 'the ancient customs'. The constitution of Justin II from 568 reaffirmed the right of the primates of Byzacena to send their representatives to Constantinople. The article analyses the surviving legal texts relating to this problem. It also shows that the questions raised, however trivial they may seem, were significant to the very end of African Christianity, as proven by the letters of Pope Leo IX from the eleventh century
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