MAURETANIA , the
See also:ancient name of the
See also:angle of the
See also:African continent, and under the
See also:Empire also of a large territory eastward of that angle . The name had different significations at different times; but before the Roman occupation, Mauretania comprised a considerable
See also:part of the
See also:Morocco i.e. the
See also:northern portion bounded on the east by Algiers . Towards the south we may suppose it bounded by the
See also:Atlas range, and it seems to have been regarded by geographers as extending along the
See also:coast to the
See also:Atlantic as far as the point where that chain descends to the
See also:sea, in about 30 N.
See also:lat . (
See also:Strabo, p . 825) . The magnificent
See also:plateau in which the city of Morocco is situated seems to have been unknown to ancient geographers, and was certainly never included in the Roman Empire . On the other
See also:hand, the Gaetulians to the south of the Atlas range, on the date-producing slopes towards the
See also:Sahara, seem to have owned a
See also:precarious subjection to the
See also:kings of Mauretania, as afterwards to the Roman
See also:government . A large part of the
See also:country is of
See also:great natural fertility, and in ancient times produced large quantities of corn, while the slopes of Atlas were clothed with forests, which, besides other kinds of
See also:timber, produced the celebrated ornamental
See also:wood called citrum (Plin . Hist . Nat . 13—96), for tables of which the Romans gave fabulous prices . (For
See also:physical geography, see MoRocco.) Mauretania, or Maurusia as it was called by Greek writers, signified the
See also:land of the Mauri, a
See also:term still retained in the modern name of Moors (q.v.) .
The origin and ethnical
See also:affinities of the
See also:race are uncertain; but it is probable that all the inhabitants of this northern
See also:tract of Africa were kindred races belonging to the great
See also:family, possibly with an intermingled
See also:fair-skinned race from
See also:Europe (see Tissot, Geographie comparee de la province romaine d'Afrique, i . 400 seq.; also
See also:BERBERS) . They first appear in
See also:history at the
See also:time of the Jugurthine War (Ito–1o6 B.c.), when Mauretania was under the government of
See also:Bocchus and seems to have been recognized as organized state (Sallust, Jugurtha, 19) . To this Bocchus was given, after the war, the western part of Jugurtha's
See also:kingdom of
See also:Numidia, perhaps as far east as Saldae (
See also:Bougie) . Sixty years later, at the time of the dictator Caesar, we find two Mauretanian kingdoms, one to the west of the
See also:river Mulucha under Bogud, and the other to the east under a Bocchus; as to the date or cause of the division we are ignorant . Both these kings took Caesar's part in the
See also:wars, and had their territory enlarged by him (
See also:Appian, B.C . 4, 54) . In 25 B.C., after their deaths,
See also:Augustus gave the two kingdoms to Juba IT. of Numidia (see under JUBA), with the river Ampsaga as the eastern frontier (Plin . 5 . 22; Ptol . 4 . 3 .
1) . Juba and his son
See also:Ptolemaeus after him reigned till A.D . 40, when the latter was put to
See also:death by Caligula, and shortly afterwards
See also:Claudius incorporated the kingdom into the Roman state as two provinces,viz . Mauretania Tingitana to the west of the Mulucha and M . Caesariensis to the east of that river, the latter taking its name from the city Caesarea (formerly Iol), which Juba had thus named and adopted as his capital . Thus the dividing
See also:line between the two provinces was the same as that which had originally separated Mauretania from Numidia (q.v.) . These provinces were governed until the time of
See also:Diocletian by imperial procurators, and were occasionally
See also:united for military purposes . Under and after Diocletian M . Tingitana was attached administratively to the dioicesis of Spain, with which it was in all respects closely connected ; while M . Caesariensis was divided by making its eastern part into a
See also:separate government, which was called M . Sitifensis from the Roman colony Sitifis . In the two provinces of Mauretania there were at the time of Pliny a number of towns, including seven (possibly eight) Roman colonies in M .
Tingitana and eleven in M . Caesariensis; others were added later . These were mostly military
See also:foundations, and served the purpose of securing
See also:civilization against the inroads of the natives, who were not in a
See also:condition to be used as material for
See also:life as in Gaul and Spain, but were under the immediate government of the procurators, retaining their own
See also:clan organization . Of these colonies the most important, beginning from the west, were Lixus on the Atlantic, Tingis (
See also:Tangier), Rusaddir (Melila,
See also:Melilla), Cartenna (Tenes), Iot or Caesarea (
See also:Cherchel), Icosium (Algiers), Saldae (Bougie), Igilgili (Jijelli) and Sitifis (Setif) . All these were on the coast but the last, which was some distance inland . Besides these there were many municipia or oppida civium romanorum (Plin . 5 . 19 seq.), but, as has been made clear by French archaeologists who have explored these regions, Roman settlements are less frequent the farther we go west, and M . Tingitana has as yet yielded but scanty evidence of Roman civilization . On the whole Mauretania was in a flourishing condition down to the irruption of the
See also:Vandals in A.D . 429; in the Notitia nearly a
See also:hundred and seventy episcopal
See also:sees are enumerated here, but we must remember that numbers of these were mere villages . In 1904 the term Mauretania was revived as an official designation by the French government, and applied to the territory north of the
See also:Senegal under French
See also:protection (see SENEGAL) .
To the authorities quoted under AFRICA, ROMAN, may be added hereGobel, Die West-kuste Afrikas
See also:im Alterthum . (W . W .
GEORG LUDWIG VON MAURER (1790-1872)
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