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MAURETANIA—MAURICE, ST

efforts that Greece obtained a revised penal code, regular tribunals and an improved system of civil procedure. Soon after his recall he published Das griechische Volk in öffentlicher, kirchlicher, und privatrechtlicher Beziehung vor und nach dem Freiheitskampfe bis zum 31 Juli 1834 (Heidelberg, 1835–1836), a useful source of information for the history of Greece before Otto ascended the throne, and also for the labours of the council of regency to the time of the author’s recall. After the fall of the ministry of Karl von Abel (1788–1859) in 1847, he became chief Bavarian minister and head of the departments of foreign affairs and of justice, but was overthrown in the same year. He died at Munich on the 9th of May 1872. His only son, Conrad von Maurer (1823–1902), was a Scandinavian scholar of some repute, and like his father was a professor at the university of Munich.

Maurer’s most important contribution to history is a series of books on the early institutions of the Germans. These are: Einleitung zur Geschichte der Mark-, Hof-, Dorf-, und Stadtverfassung und der öffentlichen Gewalt (Munich, 1854); Geschichte der Markenverfassung in Deutschland (Erlangen, 1856); Geschichte der Fronhöfe, der Bauernhöfe, und der Hofverfassung in Deutschland (Erlangen, 1862–1863); Geschichte der Dorfverfassung in Deutschland (Erlangen, 1865–1866); and Geschichte der Slädteverfassung in Deutschland (Erlangen, 1869–1871). These works are still important authorities for the early history of the Germans. Among other works are, Das Stadt- und Landrechtsbuch Ruprechts von Freising, ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des Schwabenspiegels (Stuttgart, 1839); Über die Freipflege (plegium liberale), und die Entstehung der grossen und kleinen Jury in England (Munich, 1848); and Über die deutsche Reichsterritorial- und Rechtsgeschichte (1830).

See K. T. von Heigel, Denkwürdigkeiten des bayrischen Staatsrats G. L. von Maurer (Munich, 1903).


MAURETANIA, the ancient name of the north-western angle of the African continent, and under the Roman Empire also of a large territory eastward of that angle. The name had different significations at different times; but before the Roman occupation, Mauretania comprised a considerable part of the modern Morocco i.e. the northern portion bounded on the east by Algiers. Towards the south we may suppose it bounded by the Atlas range, and it seems to have been regarded by geographers as extending along the coast to the Atlantic as far as the point where that chain descends to the sea, in about 30 N. lat. (Strabo, p. 825). The magnificent plateau in which the city of Morocco is situated seems to have been unknown to ancient geographers, and was certainly never included in the Roman Empire. On the other hand, the Gaetulians to the south of the Atlas range, on the date-producing slopes towards the Sahara, seem to have owned a precarious subjection to the kings of Mauretania, as afterwards to the Roman government. A large part of the country is of great natural fertility, and in ancient times produced large quantities of corn, while the slopes of Atlas were clothed with forests, which, besides other kinds of timber, produced the celebrated ornamental wood called citrum (Plin. Hist. Nat. 13-96), for tables of which the Romans gave fabulous prices. (For physical geography, see Morocco.)

Mauretania, or Maurusia as it was called by Greek writers, signified the land of the Mauri, a term still retained in the modern name of Moors (q.v.). The origin and ethnical affinities of the race are uncertain; but it is probable that all the inhabitants of this northern tract of Africa were kindred races belonging to the great Berber family, possibly with an intermingled fair-skinned race from Europe (see Tissot, Géographie comparée de la province romaine d’Afrique, i. 400 seq.; also Berbers). They first appear in history at the time of the Jugurthine War (110-106 B.C.), when Mauretania was under the government of Bocchus and seems to have been recognized as organized state (Sallust, Jugurtha, 19). To this Bocchus was given, after the war, the western part of Jugurtha’s kingdom of Numidia, perhaps as far east as Saldae (Bougie). Sixty years later, at the time of the dictator Caesar, we find two Mauretanian kingdoms, one to the west of the river Mulucha under Bogud, and the other to the east under a Bocchus; as to the date or cause of the division we are ignorant. Both these kings took Caesar’s part in the civil wars, and had their territory enlarged by him (Appian, B.C. 4, 54). In 25 B.C., after their deaths, Augustus gave the two kingdoms to Juba II. of Numidia (see under Juba), with the river Ampsaga as the eastern frontier (Plin. 5. 22; Ptol. 4. 3. 1). Juba and his son Ptolemaeus after him reigned till a.d. 40, when the latter was put to death by Caligula, and shortly afterwards Claudius incorporated the kingdom into the Roman state as two provinces, viz. Mauretania Tingitana to the west of the Mulucha and M. Caesariensis to the east of that river, the latter taking its name from the city Caesarea (formerly Iol), which Juba had thus named and adopted as his capital. Thus the dividing line between the two provinces was the same as that which had originally separated Mauretania from Numidia (q.v.). These provinces were governed until the time of Diocletian by imperial procurators, and were occasionally united for military purposes. Under and after Diocletian M. Tingitana was attached administratively to the dioicesis of Spain, with which it was in all respects closely connected; while M. Caesariensis was divided by making its eastern part into a separate government, which was called M. Sitifensis from the Roman colony Sitifis.

In the two provinces of Mauretania there were at the time of Pliny a number of towns, including seven (possibly eight) Roman colonies in M. Tingitana and eleven in M. Caesariensis; others were added later. These were mostly military foundations, and served the purpose of securing civilization against the inroads of the natives, who were not in a condition to be used as material for town-life as in Gaul and Spain, but were under the immediate government of the procurators, retaining their own clan organization. Of these colonies the most important, beginning from the west, were Lixus on the Atlantic, Tingis (Tangier), Rusaddir (Melila, Melilla), Cartenna (Tenes), Iol or Caesarea (Cherchel), Icosium (Algiers), Saldae (Bougie), Igilgili (Jijelli) and Sitifis (Setif). All these were on the coast but the last, which was some distance inland. Besides these there were many municipia or oppida civium romanorum (Plin. 5. 19 seq.), but, as has been made clear by French archaeologists who have explored these regions, Roman settlements are less frequent the farther we go west, and M. Tingitana has as yet yielded but scanty evidence of Roman civilization. On the whole Mauretania was in a flourishing condition down to the irruption of the Vandals in a.d. 429; in the Notitia nearly a hundred and seventy episcopal sees are enumerated here, but we must remember that numbers of these were mere villages.

In 1904 the term Mauretania was revived as an official designation by the French government, and applied to the territory north of the lower Senegal under French protection (see Senegal).

To the authorities quoted under Africa, Roman, may be added here Göbel, Die West-küste Afrikas im Alterthum.  (W. W. F.*) 


MAURIAC, a town of central France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Cantal, 39 m. N.N.W. of Aurillac by rail. Pop. (1906), 2558. Mauriac, built on the slope of a volcanic hill, has a church of the 12th century, and the buildings of an old abbey now used as public offices and dwellings; the town owes its origin to the abbey, founded during the 6th century. It is the seat of a sub-prefect and has a tribunal of first instance and a communal college. There are marble quarries in the vicinity.


MAURICE [or Mauritius], ST (d. c. 286), an early Christian martyr, who, with his companions, is commemorated by the Roman Catholic Church on the 22nd of September. The oldest form of his story is found in the Passio ascribed to Eucherius, bishop of Lyons, c. 450, who relates how the “Theban” legion commanded by Mauritius was sent to north Italy to reinforce the army of Maximinian. Maximinian wished to use them in persecuting the Christians, but as they themselves were of this faith, they refused, and for this, after having been twice decimated, the legion was exterminated at Octodurum (Martigny) near Geneva. In late versions this legend was expanded and varied, the martyrdom was connected with a refusal to take part in a great sacrifice ordered at Octodurum and the name of Exsuperius was added to that of Mauritius. Gregory of Tours (c. 539–593) speaks of a company of the same legion which suffered at Cologne.

The Magdeburg Centuries, in spite of Mauritius being the patron saint of Magdeburg, declared the whole legend fictitious; J. A. du Bordien La Légion thébéenne (Amsterdam, 1705); J. J. Hottinger in Helvetische Kirchengeschichte (Zürich, 1708); and F. W. Rettberg, Kirchengeschichte Deutschlands (Göttingen, 1845–1848) have also demonstrated its untrustworthiness, while the Bollandists, De Rivaz and Joh. Friedrich uphold it. Apart from the a priori improbability of a whole legion being martyred, the difficulties are that in 286 Christians everywhere throughout the empire were not molested, that at no later date have we evidence of the presence of Maximinian in the Valais, and that none of the writers nearest to the event (Eusebius, Lactantius, Orosius, Sulpicius Severus) know anything of it. It is of course quite possible that isolated cases of officers being put to death for their faith occurred during Maximinian’s reign, and on some such cases the legend may have grown up during the century and a half between Maximinian and Eucherius. The cult of St Maurice and the Theban legion

is found in Switzerland (where two places bear the name in Valais,