Northern Africa 44 AD: Roman Mauretania
The Roman client kingdom of Mauretania lasted until 40 AD, when Caligula suddenly had its king arrested and executed. This action triggered a four-year revolt in western Mauretania, after which the Romans divided the country into two provinces—Mauretania Tingitana in the west and Mauretania Caesariensis in the east.
40–44 AD Seizure of Mauretania▲
In 40 AD Caligula had King Ptolemy of Mauretania—who was visiting him at the time—arrested and executed; according to Suetonius, this was because a crowd admired Ptolemy’s purple cloak (the color was reserved for emperors). The Romans then took control of Mauretania, prompting Ptolemy’s former household slave Aedemon to lead a Berber revolt in the west. The rebellion would not be fully suppressed until 44 AD, three years after Caligula’s death.
42 AD Suetonius Paulinus expedition▲
While undergoing a campaign against Aedemon’s revolt, Gaius Suetonius Paulinus, the Roman governor of Mauretania, advanced into the lands beyond the Atlas Mountains—the first Roman general to do so. Noting that Mount Atlas was snow-peaked even in summer, he marched for some days through forests and black-sand deserts to reach the river Ger—which may also have been called ‘Niger’ on account of its black sands but is probably Sijilmassa in southern Morocco. Calling the locals Canarii because they ate with dogs, he found the heat unbearable and returned north.
44 AD Roman Mauretania▲
In about 44 AD the Emperor Claudius ordered the annexation of Mauretania to Rome, dividing the former kingdom into two imperial provinces: Mauretania Tingitana, named after its capital, Tingis (Tangier); and Mauretania Caesariensis, named after its capital, Caesarea. The two provinces were separated by the Mulucha (Molouya River) with the traditional, though not effective, southern boundary being the Atlas Mountains.