Mauretania Caesariensis

Mauretania Caesariensis

Mauretania Caesariensis

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Mauretania Caesariensis was a Roman province located in northwestern Africa. It was the easternmost of the North African Roman provinces, mainly in present Algeria, with its capital at Caesaria (hence the name Caesariensis; one of many cities simply named after the imperial cognomen that had become a title), now Cherchell.

Historical background

In the first century AD, Roman Emperor Claudius divided the westernmost Roman province in Africa, named Mauretania (land of the people of the Mauri, hence the word Moors), into Mauretania Caesariensis and Mauretania Tingitana.

Both provinces were assigned to the administrative diocese of the vicarius of Africa, in the pretorian prefecture of Italia et Africa, while Tingitana was an outpost of Hispaniae (the diocese on the Iberian peninsula, under the prefecture of Galliae 'the Gauls'). Caesarea was a major center of Jewry before 330, 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-reform, the easternmost part was broken off as a tiny separate province, Sitifensis, called after its inland capital Sitifis (Sétif) with a significant port at Saldae (presently Béjaïa).


Among the ruling class, Trinitarian Christianity was replaced by Arianism under the Germanic kingdom of the Vandals, which was established in 430, when the Vandals crossed the Strait of Gibraltar and extinguished by the Byzantine armies circa 533, joining...
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