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The Exarchate's capital was the ancient city of Carthage. After Justinian's invasion, Africa experienced many decades of peace and relative prosperity. At a time when almost the rest of the Roman world was engulfed in conflict and conflagration, the Exarchate of Carthage remained an oasis of relative stability. Peace brought economic prosperity. Its grain was exported, along with goods produced by its artisans, especially their red pottery which was renowned throughout the Empire. With luminaries such as Pristian, Corippus, Victor of Tunis and Aldhelm, Africa also rose to become one of the intellectual centers of the world.
 
The Exarchate's capital was the ancient city of Carthage. After Justinian's invasion, Africa experienced many decades of peace and relative prosperity. At a time when almost the rest of the Roman world was engulfed in conflict and conflagration, the Exarchate of Carthage remained an oasis of relative stability. Peace brought economic prosperity. Its grain was exported, along with goods produced by its artisans, especially their red pottery which was renowned throughout the Empire. With luminaries such as Pristian, Corippus, Victor of Tunis and Aldhelm, Africa also rose to become one of the intellectual centers of the world.
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The Roman North Africa of Dihya's youth was a melting pot, in which peoples of different races and religions openly intermixed, including Romans, Berbers, Vandal and Visigoth settlers, and tribes of black Numidians. There were [[Christians]] of various denominations - Catholics, Arians, Donatists (who rejected the ecclesiastic authority of the patriarchs) - and also numerous [[Jews]] and [[Paganism|pagans]]. All these groups lived mostly in peace, marred occasionally by outbreaks of persecution against the Jews and Donatists, and other conflicts.
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The Roman North Africa of Dihya's youth was a melting pot, in which peoples of different races and religions openly intermixed, including Romans, Berbers, Vandal and Visigoth settlers, and tribes of black Numidians. There were [[Christians]] of various denominations - Catholics, Arians, Donatists (who rejected the ecclesiastic authority of the patriarchs) - and also numerous [[Jews]] and [[Pagan Origins of Islam|pagans]]. All these groups lived mostly in peace, marred occasionally by outbreaks of persecution against the Jews and Donatists, and other conflicts.
    
Very little is known about the private life of Dihya. It is hard to distinguish fact from fiction in the numerous legends which surround her. Dihya was born the daughter of Tabat, a chieftain of the Jrawa tribe, who lived in the region of the Aures mountains. Some (mostly Jewish) historians claim that Dihya professed Judaism. These point out that her Arab title, "al-Kahina", may be a corruption of the Hebrew word Kohen, which means "a person of the priest class". The surname Cohen derives from the semetic root.
 
Very little is known about the private life of Dihya. It is hard to distinguish fact from fiction in the numerous legends which surround her. Dihya was born the daughter of Tabat, a chieftain of the Jrawa tribe, who lived in the region of the Aures mountains. Some (mostly Jewish) historians claim that Dihya professed Judaism. These point out that her Arab title, "al-Kahina", may be a corruption of the Hebrew word Kohen, which means "a person of the priest class". The surname Cohen derives from the semetic root.
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