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

By Duane W. Roller | Go to book overview

5

THE MAURETANIAN CLIENT KINGDOM

Foundation, military history, and economy

Astonishingly little detail is preserved about the sixty-five years of the Mauretanian client kingdom. There is no known royal chronicler in the fashion of Nikolaos of Damaskos at the court of Herod the Great. Understanding relies on casual statements by those recording the periods of Augustus and Tiberius, epigraphical and numismatic material, inferences from Juba’s own writings, the physical evidence of the territories, and extrapolation from the political and cultural situation in northwest Africa prior to 25BC and in the neighboring Roman provinces. Information is most available at times of difficulty, especially along the frontier, when Roman assistance was necessary.


The background

The nature of the kingdom - and indeed its very existence - depended on events of the two decades between the Battle of Thapsus and the appointment of the monarchs as rulers of Mauretania. During these years North Africa was far from quiet. 1 The region continued to be embroiled in the Roman civil war, creating an instability that was paramount in Augustus’ mind whenever he began to formulate the idea that Juba II and Kleopatra Selene would best locally represent Roman interests.

After Thapsus, Caesar promptly turned the former territory of Juba I into the new province of Africa Nova. 2 The first governor 3 was Sallust, whose strange, mixed career had not prevented him from somehow gaining Caesar’s confidence. 4 Although more experienced men were available, it may have been Sallust’s abilities at military logistics that Caesar believed

1 The most extensive modern sources for this period are C. R. Whittaker, “Roman Africa: Augustus to Vespasian, ” CAH2 10, 1996, 586-93; Gsell, vol. 8, pp. 156-205; Romanelli, Storia, pp. 129-64.

2 De bello africo 97; Appian, Civil War 4.53; Dio 43.9; Leo Teutsch, Das Städtewesen in Nordafrika in der Zeit von C. Gracchus bis zum Tode des Kaisers Augustus (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1962), pp. 120-6.

3 On the governors of the African provinces during these years, see W. Sternkopf, “Die Verteilung der römischen Provinzen vor dem mutinensischen Kriege, ” Hermes 47, 1912, 328-39; Yann Le Bohec, “Le Proconsulat d’Afrique d’Auguste à Claude: questions de chronologie, ” BAAlg 7, 1977-9, 223-5; and the relevant magistrates in Broughton.

-91-

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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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