Addoha Complex District Val Fleuri
Building n°20 apt n°8
Tangier - Morocco
+212 (0)6 37 33 48 19
+34 (0)6 12 51 04 13


His History

Tangier was founded as a Phoenician colony, possibly as early as the 10th century bce and almost certainly by the 8th century bce. The majority of Berber tombs around Tangier had Punic jewelry by the 6th century bce, speaking to abundant trade by that time. The Carthaginians developed it as an important port of their empire by the 5th century bce. It was probably involved with the expeditions of Hanno the Navigator along the West African coast. The city long preserved its Phoenician traditions, issuing bronze coins under the Mauretanian kings with Punic script and others under the Romans bearing Augustus and Agrippa's heads and Latin script obverse but an image of the Canaanite god Baal reverse. Some editions of Procopius place his Punic stelae in Tingis rather than Tigisis; in either case, however, their existence is highly dubious.

The Greeks knew this town as Tingis and, with some modification, record the Berber legends of its founding. Supposedly Tinjis, daughter of Atlas and widow of Antaeus, slept with Hercules and bore him the son Syphax. After Tinjis' death, Syphax then founded the port and named it in her honour. The gigantic skeleton and tomb of Antaeus were tourist attractions for ancient visitors. The Caves of Hercules, where he supposedly rested on Cape Spartel during his labors, remain one today.

Tingis came under the control of the Roman ally Mauretania during the Punic Wars. Q. Sertorius, in his war against Sulla's regime in Rome, took and held Tingis for a number of years in the 70s bce. It was subsequently returned to the Mauretanians but established as a republican free city during the reign of Bocchus III in 38 bce.

Tingis received certain municipal privileges under Augustus and became a Roman colony under Claudius, who made it the provincial capital of Mauretania Tingitana. Under Diocletian's 291 reforms, it became the seat of a count (comes) and Tingitana's governor (praeses). At the same time, the province itself shrank to little more than the ports along the coast and, owing to the Great Persecution, Tingis was also the scene of the martyrdoms by beheading of Saints Marcellus and Cassian in 298. Tingis remained the largest settlement in its province in the 4th century and was greatly developed.