In 25 BC, the kings of Mauretania became Roman vassals until about 44 AD, when the area was annexed to Rome and divided into two provinces: Mauretania Tingitana
and Mauretania Caesariensis
. Christianity spread there from the 3rd century onwards.
After the Muslim Arabs subdued the region in the 7th century, Islam became the dominant religion.
Mauretania existed as a tribal kingdom of the Berber Mauri people
. In the early 1st century Strabo
(Μαῦροι) as the native name of a people opposite the Iberian Peninsula
. This appellation was adopted into Latin, whereas the Greek name for the tribe was Mauroúsii
The Mediterranean coast of Mauretania had commercial harbours for trade with Carthage
from before the 4th century BC, but the interior was controlled by Berber
tribes, who had established themselves in the region by the Iron Age
Emperor Diocletian's Tetrarchy
reform (293) further divided the area into three provinces, as the small, easternmost region of Sitifensis
was split off from Mauretania Caesariensis.
The Notitia Dignitatum
(c. 400) mentions themas still existing, two being under the authority of the Vicarius of the diocese of Africa:
- A Dux et praeses provinciae Mauritaniae et Caesariensis, i.e. a Roman governor of the rank of Vir spectabilis, who also held the high military command of dux, as the superior of eight border garrison commanders, each styled Praepositus limitis ..., followed by (genitive forms) Columnatensis, Vidensis, inferioris (i.e. lower border), Fortensis, Muticitani, Audiensis, Caputcellensis and Augustensis.
- A (civilian) Praeses in the province of Mauretania Sitifensis.
- A Comes rei militaris of Mauretania Tingitana, also ranking as vir spectabilis, in charge of the following border garrison (Limitanei) commanders:and to whom three extraordinary cavalry units were assigned:
- Equites scutarii seniores
- Equites sagittarii seniores
- Equites Cordueni
- A Praeses (civilian governor) of the same province of Tingitana
Historical sources about inland areas are sparse, but these were apparently controlled by local Berber rulers who, however, maintained a degree of Roman culture, including the local cities, and usually nominally acknowledged the suzerainty of the Roman Emperors.
The Western kingdom more distant from the Vandal kingdom was the one of Altava, a city located at the borders of Mauretania Tingitana and Caesariensis....It is clear that the Mauro-Roman kingdom of Altava was fully inside the Western Latin world, not only because of location but mainly because it adopted the military-religious-sociocultural-administrative organization of the Roman Empire
In an inscription from Altava
in western Algeria, one of these rulers, Masuna
, described himself as rex gentium Maurorum et Romanorum
(king of the Roman and Moorish peoples). Altava was later the capital of another ruler, Garmul
or Garmules, who resisted Byzantine rule in Africa but was finally defeated in 578.
The Byzantine historian Procopius
also mentions another independent ruler, Mastigas
, who controlled most of Mauretania Caesariensis
in the 530s. In the 7th century there were eight Romano-Moorish kingdoms: Altava
, Ouarsenis, Hodna, Aures, Nemenchas, Capsa, Dorsale and Cabaon.
The last resistance against the Arab invasion was sustained in the second half of the 7th century mainly by the Roman-Moorish kingdoms -with the last Byzantine troops in the region- under the leadership of the Christian king of Altava Caecilius
, but later ended in complete defeat in 703 AD (when the queen Kahina
died in battle).
conquered the Roman province beginning in the 420s. The city of Hippo Regius
fell to the Vandals in 431 after a prolonged siege, and Carthage
in 439. Theodosius II
dispatched an expedition to deal with the Vandals in 441, which failed to progress farther than Sicily
The Western Empire under Valentinian III
secured peace with the Vandals in 442, confirming their control of Proconsular Africa. For the next 90 years, Africa was firmly under the Vandal control. The Vandals were ousted from Africa in the Vandalic War
of 533–534, from which time Mauretania at least nominally became a Roman province once again.
Praetorian prefecture of Africa
In 533, the Roman army under Belisarius
defeated the Vandals. In April 534, Justinian
published a law concerning the administrative organization of the newly acquired territories. Nevertheless, Justinian restored the old administrative division, but raised the overall governor at Carthage to the supreme administrative rank of praetorian prefect
, thereby ending the Diocese of Africa's traditional subordination to the Prefecture of Italy
(then still under Ostrogoth
Exarchate of Africa
The emperor Maurice
sometime between 585 and 590 AD created the office of "Exarch", which combined the supreme civil authority of a praetorian prefect
and the military authority of a magister militum
, and enjoyed considerable autonomy from Constantinople
. Two exarchates were established, one in Italy, with seat at Ravenna
(hence known as the Exarchate of Ravenna
), and one in Africa, based at Carthage and including all imperial possessions in the Western Mediterranean. The first African exarch was the patricius Gennadius
Mauretania Caesariensis and Mauretania Sitifensis were merged to form the new province of Mauretania Prima
, while Mauretania Tingitana, effectively reduced to the city of Septem
, was combined with the citadels of the Spanish coast (Spania
) and the Balearic islands to form Mauretania Secunda
. The African exarch was in possession of Mauretania Secunda
, which was little more than a tiny outpost in southern Spain, beleaguered by the Visigoths
. The last Spanish strongholds were conquered by the Visigoths in 624 AD, reducing "Mauretania Seconda" opposite Gibraltar to only the fort of Septem.
Christianity is known to have existed in Mauretania as early as the 3rd century.
It spread rapidly in these areas despite its relatively late appearance in the region.
Although it was adopted in the urban areas of Mauretania Caesariensis, the hinterlands retained the Romano-Berber religion.
- ^ a b c "region, North Africa". Encyclopedia Britannica. August 9, 2007. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
- ^ https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/836
- ^ "Iol - ancient city, Algeria". Encyclopedia Britannica. 28 Aug 2008. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
- ^ The Classic Latin Dictionary, Follett, 1957, only gives "Mauritania"
- ^ Wells, John C. (2008), Longman Pronunciation Dictionary (3rd ed.), Longman, ISBN 9781405881180
- ^ Phillip C. Naylor (7 May 2015). Historical Dictionary of Algeria. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 376. ISBN 978-0-8108-7919-5.
- ^ a b Early Christianity in Contexts: An Exploration across Cultures and Continents
- ^ Strabo, Geographica 17.3.2 (English translation): "Here dwell a people called by the Greeks Maurusii, and by the Romans and the natives Mauri, a populous and flourishing African nation, situated opposite to Spain" (οἰκοῦσι δ᾽ ἐνταῦθα Μαυρούσιοι μὲν ὑπὸ τῶν Ἑλλήνων λεγόμενοι, Μαῦροι δ᾽ ὑπὸ τῶν Ῥωμαίων καὶ τῶν ἐπιχωρίων, Λιβυκὸν ἔθνος μέγα καὶ εὔδαιμον, ἀντίπορθμον τῇ Ἰβηρίᾳ.).
- ^ Lewis and Short, Latin Dictionary, 1879, s.v. "Mauri".
- ^ Diodorus Siculus; Bib. IV, 27 ; Alexander Polyhistor, fr. 3, F.G.H. III, p. 212; John of Antioch, fr. 13, F.H.G. IV, p. 547.
- ^ Anthony A. Barrett, Caligula: The Corruption of Power (Routledge, 1989), pp. 116–117.
- ^ Rabasa, José (1993). Inventing America: Spanish Historiography and the Formation of Eurocentrism. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 180. ISBN 9780806125398. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
- ^ Villaverde Vega, Noé Tingitana en la antigüedad tardía, siglos III-VII: autoctonía y romanidad en el extremo occidente mediterráneo. Madrid, Real Academia de la Historia, 2001 ISBN 8489512949, 9788489512948 p. 275 (spanish)
- ^ Wickham, Chris (2005). Framing the Early Middle Ages: Europe and the Mediterranean, 400 - 800. Oxford University Press. p. 18. ISBN 978-0-19-921296-5.
- ^ Wickham, Chris (2005). Framing the Early Middle Ages: Europe and the Mediterranean, 400 - 800. Oxford University Press. p. 335. ISBN 978-0-19-921296-5.
- ^ Noé Villaverde, Vega: "El Reino mauretoromano de Altava, siglo VI" (The Mauro-Roman kingdom of Altava) p.355
- ^ Aguado Blazquez, Francisco (2005). El Africa Bizantina: Reconquista y ocaso (PDF). p. 46. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-07.
- ^ "Map showing the eight romano-berber kingdoms". Archived from the original on 2016-10-13. Retrieved 2016-05-27.
- ^ Julien (1931, v.1, p.273)
- ^ Peasant and Empire in Christian North Africa, Leslie Dossey, page 25
- ^ Early Christianity in Contexts: An Exploration across Cultures and Continents
- ^ Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013 ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), "Sedi titolari", pp. 819-1013
- Aranegui, Carmen; Mar, Ricardo (2009). "Lixus (Morocco): from a Mauretanian sanctuary to an Augustan palace". Papers of the British School at Rome. 77: 29–64. doi:10.1017/S0068246200000039.
- Papi, Emanuele (2014). "Punic Mauretania?". In Josephine Crawley Quinn, Nicholas C. Vella (ed.). The Punic Mediterranean. Identities and Identification from Phoenician Settlement to Roman Rule. Cambridge University. pp. 202–218. ISBN 978-1107055278.
- Roller, Duane W. (2003). The World of Juba II and Kleopatra Selene: Royal Scholarship on Rome's African Frontier. Routledge Classical Monographs. ISBN 0415305969.
Last edited on 31 March 2021, at 19:52
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