Cultures > Kingdom of Mauretania

Kingdom of Mauretania


The Kingdom of Mauretania, located in the region corresponding to modern-day northern Morocco and western Algeria, had interactions with the broader Mediterranean world during the Hellenistic period, although it was not directly a part of the Hellenistic kingdoms established by the Diadochi. Here’s an overview of the Kingdom of Mauretania during the Hellenistic period:

The Kingdom of Mauretania

Mauretania in the Hellenistic Period

  1. Influence of Carthage:

    • Carthaginian Dominance: Before the rise of the Hellenistic kingdoms, Mauretania was under the influence of Carthage. The Carthaginians controlled many coastal cities and established trade routes that included Mauretanian territories.
    • Cultural and Economic Exchange: Carthaginian influence brought economic and cultural exchanges, integrating Mauretania into the broader Mediterranean trade networks.
  2. Hellenistic Influence:

    • Greek Influence: Although Mauretania was not directly part of the Hellenistic kingdoms, Greek culture did reach the region through trade and interactions with the Hellenistic states, particularly Ptolemaic Egypt and the Greek cities in Cyrenaica.
    • Trade with Hellenistic States: Mauretania’s trade extended to Hellenistic states. The region exported goods such as fish, purple dye, and agricultural products, and imported luxury items and cultural influences from the eastern Mediterranean.
  3. Political Structure:

    • Local Kings: Mauretania was ruled by local kings who maintained their independence from the Hellenistic powers but were influenced by the broader political dynamics of the Mediterranean.
    • Conflicts and Alliances: The Mauretanian kings occasionally engaged in conflicts or alliances with neighboring states and tribes, navigating the complex political landscape of North Africa.
  4. Roman Contact:

    • Growing Roman Influence: By the late Hellenistic period, Rome began to exert influence over the Western Mediterranean, which included Mauretania. The region’s strategic location and resources made it an area of interest for Roman expansion.
    • Alliances with Rome: Some Mauretanian kings formed alliances with Rome, seeing an opportunity to gain support against local rivals and enhance their power. These alliances laid the groundwork for future Roman involvement in the region.

Transition to Roman Period

  1. Mauretania under Juba II:

    • Client Kingdom: In the late 1st century BC, Mauretania became a client kingdom of Rome. Juba II, a North African prince educated in Rome, was installed as king by Augustus. Juba II’s reign marked a significant period of Roman influence in Mauretania.
    • Cultural Integration: Under Juba II and his successors, Mauretania saw a blending of Berber, Punic, Greek, and Roman cultures. Juba II himself was a scholar and promoted Hellenistic and Roman art, architecture, and learning.
  2. Incorporation into the Roman Empire:

    • Annexation: Eventually, Mauretania was fully incorporated into the Roman Empire in AD 40 under Emperor Claudius. The region was divided into two provinces: Mauretania Tingitana and Mauretania Caesariensis.
    • Roman Administration: The Roman administration brought infrastructure development, including roads, cities, and military outposts, integrating Mauretania more closely into the Roman world.


During the Hellenistic period, Mauretania was influenced by the broader Mediterranean dynamics through trade and cultural exchanges, particularly with Carthage and the Hellenistic states. Although it remained politically independent from the Diadochi, the kingdom engaged with the Hellenistic world and later became closely associated with Rome, leading to its eventual incorporation into the Roman Empire. This period laid the foundations for the significant cultural and political transformations that would occur under Roman rule.

Kings of Mauretania

Here's a comprehensive table of the kings of Mauretania, including their years of reign, consorts, successors, predecessors, and contributions:

MonarchYears of ReignConsortsSuccessorPredecessorContribution
Atlas (mythological)MythologicalPleione or HesperisBagasNone (Founder)Mythical founder, associated with the Atlas Mountains.
Bagasc. 5th century BCUnknownUnknownAtlasEarly king, limited historical information available.
Bocchus Ic. 110–80 BCUnknownMastanesosusBagasAllied with Rome, helped defeat Jugurtha.
Mastanesosusc. 80–50 BCUnknownBocchus IIBocchus IContinued alliance with Rome, stabilized the kingdom.
Bogudc. 50–38 BCUnknownBocchus IIMastanesosusRuled western Mauretania, allied with Julius Caesar.
Bocchus IIc. 50–33 BCUnknownJuba IIMastanesosusRuled eastern Mauretania, annexed Bogud's territory after his death, continued Roman alliance.
Juba II25 BC–23 ADCleopatra Selene IIPtolemyBocchus IIPromoted Hellenistic culture, significant development of Caesarea, fostered arts and learning.
Ptolemy23–40 ADJulia UraniaRoman annexationJuba IILast king of Mauretania, murdered by Caligula, led to Roman annexation of Mauretania.

List of Settlements

Here's a comprehensive table of known ancient settlements in the Kingdom of Mauretania, including their latitude, longitude, year founded, estimated population, and modern location. Please note that the population estimates are approximations based on historical records and archaeological findings. The year founded is based on ancient sources and modern archaeological research.

Ancient SettlementLatitudeLongitudeYear FoundedEstimated Population (Ancient)Modern Location
Iol (Caesarea)36.57082.8144c. 400 BC20,000 - 30,000Cherchell, Algeria
Tingis (Tingitana)35.7767-5.8037c. 5th century BC10,000 - 20,000Tangier, Morocco
Volubilis34.0667-5.5500c. 3rd century BC10,000 - 15,000Near Meknes, Morocco
Lixus35.1058-6.0364c. 7th century BC5,000 - 10,000Near Larache, Morocco
Sala34.0254-6.8361c. 4th century BC10,000 - 15,000Rabat, Morocco
Rusadir35.2937-2.9383c. 5th century BC5,000 - 10,000Melilla, Spain
Cartenna36.56751.3256c. 4th century BC5,000 - 10,000Tenes, Algeria
Siga35.5253-1.0645c. 3rd century BC5,000 - 10,000Aïn Témouchent, Algeria
Zilil35.5095-5.9200c. 3rd century BC5,000 - 8,000Near Asilah, Morocco
Tamusida34.2275-6.5408c. 4th century BC5,000 - 7,000Near Kenitra, Morocco


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