Morocco History Part I

By | January 22, 2022

The history of Morocco, which has close connections and common characteristics with that of the other regions of North Africa, is generally presented as an intertwining of relationships that are established between its original Berber population and a long series of invaders or colonizers: Phoenicians-Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, Arabs, Portuguese, Spaniards, Turks, French. However, the indigenous stock in such relations appears, through powerful reactions and foundations of some large independent states, of greater activity and efficiency in comparison with Algeria, Tunisia and Tripolitania; just as the penetration into it of ethnic elements and foreign civilizations appears less profound. This strength depends in part on the number, since the Moroccan population can be estimated at several million.

This history can be divided into three periods: the ancient one, from the century. XII a. C. around the VII d. C., characterized by contacts with the Mediterranean world and especially with the Latin civilization; the medieval one (VII-XV centuries), in which the decline of Europe favors the Arab conquest of North Africa and therefore its Islamization, which attracts Morocco and the neighboring regions into the spiritual orbit of the East; the modern one (15th-20th centuries), in which European civilization, after a first attempt, in the 15th and 16th centuries, to reconquer the opposite shore of the Mediterranean, an attempt that failed and that led to the Islamic awakening and a state of vitality hostility in North African countries, succeeds in the century. XIX and XX to impose its own political dominion and its way of life on it.

According to, the sources of the ancient period are mainly Greek and Latin and, not to mention the Homeric information on the island of Calypso, they begin with the fragments of Hecateus, of the century. Street. C., and reach up to the Byzantines. From the examination of some of these sources which gives some hint of the commercial colonization of the Phoenicians, of the ports and colonies they founded on the Mediterranean and Atlantic coast of Morocco, it can be deduced that towards the end of the second millennium a. C., and perhaps even earlier, there were relations between the Moroccan people and the daring sailors tirî; reports that became more frequent when Carthage, created in the century. Street. C. its maritime hegemony in the western Mediterranean, also directed its activity to the Atlantic coasts of Africa, to explore them, revive the ancient Tyrian colonies and form new ones; activity that culminated in the famous circumnavigation of Annone, towards the middle of the century. V, whose report, which has come down to us in Greek translation, also provides some little information about places and people on the Moroccan coast. As in almost all the regions where they had established stopovers and colonies, the Carthaginians had no dominion in Morocco over large groups of indigenous people and vast expanses of land; however, it is likely that they exercised a certain influence on the people of the country through exchanges of products, dealings with leaders, and so on. Already for the century. IV a. C. there is news of a kingdom of Mauretania that extended between the ocean and the river Mulucha (today’s Moulouya, Muluiyyah); indigenous organization that probably had been formed even before and that continued to exist during the Punic wars and later, thus coming into contact with the Roman power, which, having established itself in Africa with the constitution in the province of the mainland territory that already belonged to Carthage, in followed in successive stages and with supreme prudence, it extended its influence, its protection and finally its direct dominion to other regions of northern Africa, attracting them in the full light of history and civilization. Mauretania, after the long period of indigenous kings who were friends or protégés of Rome, was annexed by Caligula and in 42 d. C. divided by Claudio into two provinces, Mauretania Tingitana, corresponding almost to the current northern Morocco (between the Ocean and Mulucha, with capital Tingh, that is Tangier), and Mauretania Caesariensis, between Mulucha and Numidia; provinces governed by procuratores Augusti directly dependent on the emperor (see Mauretania).

The Roman domination lasted for about 4 centuries, that is until the Vandal invasion. According to the state of knowledge, taking into account the explorations and excavations that have been carried out, the manifestations of Roman life in Morocco appeared to be much smaller than those in Algeria, Tunisia and Tripolitania; and therefore it has been stated that the Latin civilization has timidly touched that immense region and that we cannot speak of a true Romanization of Morocco. But it should be borne in mind that already the excavations of Volubilis and Sala have revealed grandiose monuments and some works of considerable artistic value, and moreover some written sources, such as eg. Ptolemy gives long lists of cities and towns, of the coast and of the interior, which must have constituted a network of urban and civil life, in which it is very likely that future identifications and excavations will show a notable part of Romanity.

Morocco History 1