Mauretania Caesariensis
Mauretania Caesariensis was a Roman province
Roman province
In Ancient Rome, a province was the basic, and, until the Tetrarchy , largest territorial and administrative unit of the empire's territorial possessions outside of Italy...

 located in northwestern Africa. It was the easternmost of the North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

n Roman provinces, mainly in present Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

, with its capital at Caesarea (hence the name Caesariensis; one of many cities simply named after the imperial cognomen that had become a title), now Cherchell
Cherchell is a seaport town in the Province of Tipaza, Algeria, 55 miles west of Algiers. It is the district seat of Cherchell District. As of 1998, it had a population of 24,400.-Ancient history:...


Historical background

In the first century AD, Roman Emperor
Roman Emperor
The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman State during the imperial period . The Romans had no single term for the office although at any given time, a given title was associated with the emperor...

Claudius , was Roman Emperor from 41 to 54. A member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, he was the son of Drusus and Antonia Minor. He was born at Lugdunum in Gaul and was the first Roman Emperor to be born outside Italy...

 divided the westernmost Roman province
Roman province
In Ancient Rome, a province was the basic, and, until the Tetrarchy , largest territorial and administrative unit of the empire's territorial possessions outside of Italy...

 in Africa, named Mauretania
Mauretania is a part of the historical Ancient Libyan land in North Africa. It corresponds to present day Morocco and a part of western Algeria...

 (land of the people of the Mauri
Mauri may refer to:*Mauri meaning the life force which all objects contain, in the Māori language of New Zealand and the Rotuman language of Rotuma*Mauri, or Maurya Empire, an ancient caste in India which built its greatest empire...

, hence the word Moors
The description Moors has referred to several historic and modern populations of the Maghreb region who are predominately of Berber and Arab descent. They came to conquer and rule the Iberian Peninsula for nearly 800 years. At that time they were Muslim, although earlier the people had followed...

), into Mauretania Caesariensis and Mauretania Tingitana
Mauretania Tingitana
Mauretania Tingitana was a Roman province located in northwestern Africa, coinciding roughly with the northern part of present-day Morocco. The province extended from the northern peninsula, opposite Gibraltar, to Chellah and Volubilis to the south, and as far east as the Oued Laou river. Its...


At the time of Diocletian
Diocletian |latinized]] upon his accession to Diocletian . c. 22 December 244  – 3 December 311), was a Roman Emperor from 284 to 305....

 and Constantine the Great, both provinces were assigned to the administrative Diocese of Africa
Diocese of Africa
The Diocese of Africa was a diocese of the later Roman Empire, incorporating the provinces of North Africa, except Mauretania Tingitana. Its seat was at Carthage, and it was subordinate to the Praetorian prefecture of Italy....

, in the praetorian prefecture of Italy
Praetorian prefecture of Italy
The praetorian prefecture of Italy ) was one of four large Praetorian prefectures into which the Late Roman Empire was divided. It comprised the Italian peninsula, the Western Balkans, the Danubian provinces and parts of North Africa...

, while Tingitana was an outpost of the Diocese of Spain. Caesarea was a major center of Jewry before 330
Year 330 was a common year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Gallicanus and Tullianus...

, Sitifis one of the centres of the soldier cult of Mithras. Christianity was spread throughout in the 4th and 5th century.

Under Diocletian's Tetrarchy
The term Tetrarchy describes any system of government where power is divided among four individuals, but usually refers to the tetrarchy instituted by Roman Emperor Diocletian in 293, marking the end of the Crisis of the Third Century and the recovery of the Roman Empire...

 reform, the easternmost part was broken off as a tiny separate province, Sitifensis, called after its inland capital Sitifis (Sétif
Sétif |Colonia]]) is a town in northeastern Algeria. It is the capital of Sétif Province and it has a population of 239,195 inhabitants as of the 1998 census. Setif is located to the east of Algiers and is the second most important Wilaya after the country's capital. It is 1,096 meters above sea...

) with a significant port at Saldae (presently Béjaïa
Béjaïa, Vgaiet or Bejaya is a Mediterranean port city on the Gulf of Béjaïa in Algeria; it is the capital of Béjaïa Province, Kabylia. Under French rule, it was formerly known under various European names, such as Budschaja in German, Bugia in Italian, and Bougie...



Among the ruling class, Trinitarian Christianity
The Christian doctrine of the Trinity defines God as three divine persons : the Father, the Son , and the Holy Spirit. The three persons are distinct yet coexist in unity, and are co-equal, co-eternal and consubstantial . Put another way, the three persons of the Trinity are of one being...

 was replaced by Arianism
Arianism is the theological teaching attributed to Arius , a Christian presbyter from Alexandria, Egypt, concerning the relationship of the entities of the Trinity and the precise nature of the Son of God as being a subordinate entity to God the Father...

 under the Germanic kingdom
Germanic peoples
The Germanic peoples are an Indo-European ethno-linguistic group of Northern European origin, identified by their use of the Indo-European Germanic languages which diversified out of Proto-Germanic during the Pre-Roman Iron Age.Originating about 1800 BCE from the Corded Ware Culture on the North...

 of the Vandals
The Vandals were an East Germanic tribe that entered the late Roman Empire during the 5th century. The Vandals under king Genseric entered Africa in 429 and by 439 established a kingdom which included the Roman Africa province, besides the islands of Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia and the Balearics....

, which was established in 430, when the Vandals crossed the Strait of Gibraltar
Strait of Gibraltar
The Strait of Gibraltar is a narrow strait that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea and separates Spain in Europe from Morocco in Africa. The name comes from Gibraltar, which in turn originates from the Arabic Jebel Tariq , albeit the Arab name for the Strait is Bab el-Zakat or...

. The Vandal kingdom was extinguished by the Byzantine
Byzantine usually refers to the Roman Empire during the Middle Ages.Byzantine may also refer to:* A citizen of the Byzantine Empire, or native Greek during the Middle Ages...

 armies circa 533, but most of Mauretania Caesariensis remained under the control of local Moorish rulers such as Mastigas
Mastigas or Mastinas was the ruler of the Moors in Mauretania Caesariensis in the 530s. According to the Byzantine historian Procopius , who is the only source on him, Mastigas was an independent ruler who controlled the entire former Roman province except for the capital, Caesarea, which was...

, and it was not until the 560s and 570s that Byzantine control was established in the interior. The Byzantine Exarchate of Africa
Exarchate of Africa
The Exarchate of Africa or of Carthage, after its capital, was the name of an administrative division of the Eastern Roman Empire encompassing its possessions on the Western Mediterranean, ruled by an exarch, or viceroy...

 was in its turn overrun by the Muslim
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

The term caliphate, "dominion of a caliph " , refers to the first system of government established in Islam and represented the political unity of the Muslim Ummah...

 under the Umayyad dynasty, ending Late Antique Roman culture there; most of former Mauretania Caesariensis became part of the westernmost Islamic province, henceforth called (al-)Maghrib
The Maghreb is the region of Northwest Africa, west of Egypt. It includes five countries: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Mauritania and the disputed territory of Western Sahara...



The principal exports from Caesariensis were purple dyes and valuable woods; and the Amazigh or Mauri
Mauri may refer to:*Mauri meaning the life force which all objects contain, in the Māori language of New Zealand and the Rotuman language of Rotuma*Mauri, or Maurya Empire, an ancient caste in India which built its greatest empire...

 were highly regarded by the Romans as soldiers, especially light cavalry. They produced one of Trajan
Trajan , was Roman Emperor from 98 to 117 AD. Born into a non-patrician family in the province of Hispania Baetica, in Spain Trajan rose to prominence during the reign of emperor Domitian. Serving as a legatus legionis in Hispania Tarraconensis, in Spain, in 89 Trajan supported the emperor against...

's best generals, Lusius Quietus
Lusius Quietus
thumb|300px|Stylised Moorish Cavalry under Lusius Quietus, fighting against the Dacians. From the Column of Trajan.Lusius Quietus was a Roman general and governor of Iudaea in 117.- Life :...

, and the emperor Macrinus
Macrinus , was Roman Emperor from 217 to 218. Macrinus was of "Moorish" descent and the first emperor to become so without membership in the senatorial class.-Background and career:...



  • Westermann, Großer Atlas zur Weltgschichte (in German)
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.