Mauretania

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Mauretania

(môr'ətā`nēə), ancient district of Africa in Roman times. In a vague sense it meant only "the land of the Moors" and lay W of Numidia, but more specifically it usually included most of present-day N Morocco and W Algeria. The district was not the same as modern Mauritania. It was a complex of native tribal units, but by the 2d cent. B.C. when Jugurtha of Numidia was rebelling against Rome, Jugurtha's father-in-law, Bocchus, had most of Mauretania under his control. The Roman influence became paramount, and Augustus, having met opposition in restoring Juba II (see under Juba IJuba I
, c.85 B.C.–46 B.C., king of Numidia in N Africa. He joined Pompey's party and in 49 B.C. routed Caesar's legate, Curio. He fought on the side of Metellus Scipio and took his life after Caesar's victory at Thapsus. Despite his defeat, his son, Juba II, d. c.A.
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) to the throne of Numidia, placed him instead (25 B.C.) as ruler of Mauretania. Revolts later occurred, and Mauretania was subdued (A.D. 41–A.D. 42); Emperor Claudius I made it into two provinces—Mauretania Caesariensis, with Caesarea (modern Cherchel) as capital, and Mauretania Tingitana, with Tingis (modern Tangier) as capital. Roman influence was never complete, and native chieftains remained powerful. With the onset of the barbarian invasions, Roman control weakened, and by the end of the 5th cent. A.D. it had disappeared.

Mauretania

 

in ancient times, a region in northwest Africa comprising the western part of modern Algeria and the eastern part of modern Morocco. It was inhabited by Berber tribes. At the end of the second millennium B.C. the region was colonized by the Phoenicians, so that almost all its cities are of Punic origin. In the third century B.C. a large part of Mauretania was ruled by Carthage. After the fall of Carthage in 146 B.C., Mauretania came under Roman influence. In the second and first centuries B.C. the region was settled by tribes undergoing the disintegration of the clan system and formation of a class society. Around A.D. 45 the region was conquered by Rome and divided into two provinces: Mauretania Tingitana in the west and Mauretania Caesariensis in the east.

Mauretania

an ancient region of N Africa, corresponding approximately to the N parts of modern Algeria and Morocco