The World of Juba II and Kleopatra Selene: Royal Scholarship on Rome's African Frontier

By Duane W. Roller | Go to book overview

2

MAURETANIA

The infant son of Juba I was thus saved to grow up in Rome. Twenty years later he would be named king of Mauretania, a territory that he had never seen and over which he had at most a weak claim, if any at all. Why this happened - and why this was a reasonable decision for Augustus - is due to the history of the Roman relationship with the district of northwest Africa that was loosely called Mauretania. 1 This was a vast, undefined area, over 1,000 miles in extent, stretching from the western limit of Roman territory to the Atlantic. 2 The term “Mauretania” originally applied to the western half of this region, beyond the Muluccha River, 3 but acquisitions by the Mauretanian kings, especially in the late second century BC,

1 Although the ethnic

was in use in Greek literature from the second century BC (Polybios 3.33.15), the earliest extant use of the toponym in a contemporary sense is Cicero, Pro Sulla 56, from 62BC, describing the intrigues of P. Sittius (see Cicero, Pro P. Sulla oratio, ed. D. H. Berry (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), pp. 246-7; on Sittius, see infra, pp. 56-7). Sallust, in Jugurtha 16.5, 19.4, and 62.7, writing later than Cicero, used “Mauretania” in the context of the latter part of the second century BC, and Livy (29.30.1) used the term in describing the events of the previous century. On the early use of the toponym, see S. Weinstock, “Mauretania, ” RE 14, 1930, 2348-51. As is so often the case, an original ethnic term became a toponym. “Morocco” is derived from Mauretania, and probably represents direct continuity, but the modern country of Mauretania, to the south in the desert, is a colonial creation of 1904 having no relationship to ancient Mauretania, and indeed its territory, except for its short coastline, was outside the limits of all but the vaguest ancient geographical knowledge.

2 NH 5.21. As is made clear at 5.9, this is from the map of Marcus Agrippa. See Pliny (ed. Desanges), pp. 109, 186-8.

3 Sallust, Jugurtha 92.5. Although some have suggested that the Muluccha is the modern Kiss, the present boundary between Morocco and Algeria (see Coltelloni-Trannoy, p. 76), it is more likely the Moulouya, the next stream to the west (G. M. Paul, A Historical Commentary on Sallust’s “Bellum Jugurthinum” [Liverpool 1984, pp. 78-9], which in modern times was the border between Spanish Morocco and Morocco proper. The mouths of the two streams are merely 15km apart, but because the Kiss flows northwest and the Moulouya flows northeast, the territory between them (the modern Beni Snassan) is substantial. Not only does the Moulouya seem to preserve the ancient name, it is a major stream whose source is in the mountains 300km inland near modern Midelt. The Kiss, however, is only 25km in length. See also René Rebuffat, “Notes sur les confins de la Maurétanie Tingitane et de la Maurétanie Césarienne, ” StMagr 4, 1971, 45-6; Raymond Thouvenot, “Le Géographe Ptolémée et la jonction terrestre des deux Maurétanies, ” RÉA 64, 1962, 82-8.

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The World of Juba II and Kleopatra Selene: Royal Scholarship on Rome's African Frontier
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - Juba’s Numidian Ancestry 11
  • 2 - Mauretania 39
  • 3 - Juba’s Youth and Education 59
  • 4 - Kleopatra Selene 76
  • 5 - The Mauretanian Client Kingdom 91
  • 6 - The Artistic and Cultural Program of Juba and Kleopatra Selene 119
  • 7 - Rex Literatissimus 163
  • 8 - Libyka 183
  • 9 - The Eastern Expedition with Gaius Caesar 212
  • 10 - On Arabia 227
  • 11 - The Mauretanian Dynasty 244
  • Epilogue 257
  • Appendix 1 261
  • Appendix 2 264
  • Appendix 3 267
  • Bibliography 276
  • List of Passages Cited 310
  • Index 319
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