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Juba II of Numidia

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Juba II of Numidia

Juba II
Louvre Museum
Spouse(s) 1. Princess Cleopatra Selene II
2. Glaphyra, Princess of Cappadocia
Children Ptolemy of Mauretania
Drusilla of Mauretania
Parents Juba I

Juba II (Iuba in Latin; Ancient Greek: Ἰóβας, Ἰóβα or Ἰούβας)[1] or Juba II of Numidia (52/50 BC – AD 23) was a king of Numidia and then later moved to Mauretania. His first wife was Cleopatra Selene II, daughter to Greek Ptolemaic Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt and Roman triumvir Mark Antony.

Early life

Juba II was a Berber Prince from North Africa. He was the only child and heir to King Juba I of Numidia and his mother is unknown. In 46 BC, his father had chosen to fight a duel to the death as he was defeated by Julius Caesar (in Thapsus, North Africa). Numidia became a Roman Province.[1] His father was an ally to the Roman General Pompey.

Juba II was brought to Rome by Julius Caesar and took part in Caesar’s triumphal procession. In Rome, he learned Latin and Greek, became romanized and was granted Roman citizenship.[1] Through dedication to his studies, he is said to have become one of Rome's best educated citizens, and by age 20 he wrote one of his first works entitled Roman Archaeology.[1] He was raised by Julius Caesar and later by his great-nephew Octavian (future Emperor Caesar Augustus). While growing up, Juba II accompanied Octavian on military campaigns, gaining valuable experience as a leader. He fought alongside Octavian in the battle of Actium in 31 BC. They became longtime friends.

Restored to the throne

Augustus restored Juba II as the king of Numidia between 29 BC – 27 BC. Juba II established Numidia as an ally of Rome. Juba II would become one of the most loyal client kings that served Rome. Between 26 BC – 20 BC, Augustus arranged for him to marry Cleopatra Selene II, giving her a large dowry and appointing her queen. It was probably due to his services with Augustus in a campaign in Spain that led Augustus to make him King of Mauretania.[2]

Mauretania

When they moved to Mauretania, they renamed their new capital to Caesaria (modern Cherchell, Algeria). The city was named in honor of Augustus. The construction and sculpture projects at Caesaria and another city Volubilis, display a rich mixture of Egyptian, Greek and Roman architectural styles.

Cleopatra is said to have exerted considerable influence on Juba II's policies. Juba II encouraged and supported the performing arts, research of the sciences and research of natural history. Juba II also supported Mauretanian trade. The Kingdom of Mauretania was of great importance to the Roman Empire. Mauretania traded all over the Mediterranean, particularly with Spain and Italy. Mauretania exported fish, grapes, pearls, figs, grain, wooden furniture and purple dye harvested from certain shellfish, which was used in the manufacture of purple stripes for senatorial robes. Juba II sent a contingent to Iles Purpuraires to re-establish the ancient Phoenician dye manufacturing process.[3] Tingis (modern Tangier), a town at the Pillars of Hercules (modern Strait of Gibraltar) became a major trade centre. In Gades, (modern Cádiz) and Carthago Nova (modern Cartagena) Spain, Juba II was appointed by Augustus as an honorary Duovir. A Duovir was a chief magistrate of a Roman colony or town, most probably involving with trade and was also a Patronus Colonaie.

The value and quality of Mauretanian coins became distinguished. The Greek historian Plutarch describes him as 'one of the most gifted rulers of his time'. Between 2 BC – AD 2, he travelled with Gaius Caesar (a grandson of Augustus), as a member of his advisory staff to the troubled Eastern Mediterranean. In 21, Juba II made his son Ptolemy co-ruler and Juba II died in 23. Juba II was buried alongside his first wife in the Royal Mausoleum of Mauretania. Ptolemy then became the sole ruler of Mauretania.

Marriages and children

  • First marriage to Greek Ptolemaic princess Cleopatra Selene II (40 BC – 6 AD). Their children were:
    • Ptolemy of Mauretania born in ca 10 BC – 5 BC[4]
    • A daughter of Cleopatra and Juba, whose name has not been recorded, is mentioned in an inscription. It has been suggested that Drusilla of Mauretania was that daughter, but she may have been a granddaughter instead. Drusilla is described as a granddaughter of Antony and Cleopatra, or may have been a daughter of Ptolemy of Mauretania.[4]
  • Second marriage to Glaphyra, a princess of Cappadocia, and widow of Alexander, son of Herod the Great. Alexander was executed in 7 BC for conspiracy against his father. Glaphyra married Juba II in 6 AD or 7 AD. She then fell in love with Herod Archelaus, another son of Herod the Great and Ethnarch of Judea. Glaphyra divorced Juba to marry him in 7 AD. Juba had no children with Glaphyra.

Author

Juba wrote a number of books in Greek and Latin on history, natural history, geography, grammar, painting and theatre. His guide to Arabia became a bestseller in Rome. Only fragments of his work survived. He collected a substantial library on a wide variety of topics, which no doubt complemented his own prolific output. Pliny the Elder refers to him as an authority 65 times in the Natural History and in Athens, a monument was built in recognition of his writings. His writings are published and translated in Roller: Scholarly Kings (Chicago 2004).

Natural history

Juba II was a noted patron of the arts and sciences and sponsored several expeditions and biological research. He also was a notable author, writing several scholarly and popular scientific works such as treatises on natural history or a best-selling traveller's guide to Arabia. Euphorbia regisjubae (King Juba's Euphorbia) was named to honor the king's contributions to natural history and his role in bringing the genus to notice.

According to Pliny the Younger, Juba II sent an expedition to the Canary Islands and Madeira.[5] Juba II had given the Canary Islands that name because he found particularly ferocious dogs (canarius – from canis – meaning of the dogs in Latin) on the island.

He is also known to have written a book about a spurge found in the High Atlas which he named Euphorbia after his personal physician. It was later called Euphorbia regisjubae (‘King Juba's euphorbia’) in his honor (it is now Euphorbia obtusifolia ssp. regis-jubae). The palm tree genus Jubaea is also named after him.

Flavius Philostratus recalled one of his anecdotes: "And I have read in the discourse of Juba that elephants assist one another when they are being hunted, and that they will defend one that is exhausted, and if they can remove him out of danger, they anoint his wounds with the tears of the aloe tree, standing round him like physicians." [6]

Euphorbus the physician

Euphorbus was the Greek physician of Juba II. He wrote that a succulent plant, similar to the Euphorbia, was a powerful laxative.[7] In 12 BC, Juba named this plant after his physician Euphorbus in response to Augustus dedicating a statue to Antonius Musa, Augustus's own personal physician and Euphorbus' brother.[7] Botanist and taxonomist Carl Linnaeus assigned the name Euphorbia to the entire genus in the physician's honor.[8]

References

8. ^ Tyldesley, Joyce (2008) Cleopatra: Last Queen of Egypt"Profile(UK)". p. 200

Sources

  • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology
  • Encyclopædia Britannica
  • Microsoft Encarta 2002 Encyclopaedia
  • emazighen.com/article.php3?_article=41
  • http://www.lunalucifera.com/Mauretania/index.html
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