Roman bust of young Ptolemy of Mauritania, grandson of Cleopatra VII and Mark Antony. The sculpture was made of bronze and dates to the 1st century CE.
Ptolemy lived at the turn of the era and sat on the Moorish throne as the successor to his father – Juba – in 23-40 CE. In practice, Mauritania was a client state and Rome made substantial profits from its treasury.
He was killed in 40 CE, commissioned by the emperor Caligula. According to Suetonius, the Roman ruler ordered to kill Ptolemy for having “dared” show himself publicly in a more decorative coat than he himself.
After Ptolemy’s death, a rebellion occurred in Mauritania, which resulted in the division of the state. His kingdom, Caligula joined to the Empire as a province of Mauritania, which later was divided by Claudius into two: Mauritania Caesariensis and Mauritania Tingitana.
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