An ancient city
of W Mauretania, possibly the Θυμιατήριον
Periplus, situated on the outlet of the Straits of Gibraltar
on the Atlantic, on the rim of a wide, only moderately
sheltered bay. The ruins, which could still be seen in the
11th c. according to the Arabian geographer El Bekri,
have been completely covered over by the Casbah and
the old quarters of Tangiers, which have never yielded
anything more than insignificant archaeological finds.
Legend has it that the city was founded by Antaeus
(Pomp. Mela, 1.5; Plin. HN
5.2); in fact, nothing is
known of its origins. Yet in the 5th c. B.C. and probably
earlier the inhabitants of the hinterland, whose necropoleis have been found from Ras Achakar to Malabata, were in continuous contact with the Punic traders of S Spain. It is possible therefore that a first settlement
was built in this period on the Marshan plateau—an
acropolis 62 m above the sea—and on the hillsides that
slope down to the SW toward what is now the port.
Some “Phoenician” tombs are claimed to have been
found at several points in the old city and on its immediate outskirts, yet the earliest remains that have been preserved hardly go back beyond the 2d c. B.C. (Marshan necropolis). Tingi appears to have been an autonomous
city in this period, minting coins with neo-Punic legends
and probably ruled by local dynasties that more or
less recognized the authority of the Mauretanian kings.
Sertorius seized the city some time in 81, and in 38
its inhabitants, who had sided with Octavius against
King Bogud, Anthony's supporter, received Roman citizenship (Dio Cass. 48.45). Called Colonia Iulia Tingi on its coins, governed most likely under Latin law and
at first attached administratively to Spain, it became under Claudius a Roman colony and chief city of the province of Mauretania Tingitana after it was set up. In 297 the city probably served Maximianus as a base during
his campaign against the Moorish rebels, and it was very
likely about this time that the Christians Marcellus and
Cassienus were put to death. The former belonged to a
Spanish community, the latter, however, probably to a
local church which funerary inscriptions show existed in
the 4th-5th c. although there is no mention of a bishopric
until the 6th c.
The limits of the ancient settlement are clearly marked
by the necropoleis discovered to the NW (that of Marshan and Avenue Cenario), to the W (Mendoubia) and S (Bou Kachkach). Nothing remains of the substructures, which could still be seen on the seashore at the beginning
of the century. There were also some baths underneath
the Casbah, and confused remains of a monument—apparently a Christian basilica—have been uncovered in
the Rue de Belgique. So far as the rest of the city is
concerned one can only presume that the forum was situated on the site of the Petit Socco and what was perhaps
a temple on the site of the Great Mosque, and that the
decumanus maximus corresponded roughly to the Zenga
Es Siaghine. Among the few antiquities that have been
discovered, the only noteworthy finds, aside from inscriptions and a few mosaic fragments, are a statue of a woman of indifferent workmanship and a mutilated head of the emperor Galba.
Several agricultural estates and brick-making works
from the Imperial period have been located in the suburbs and hinterland.
E. Michaux-Bellaire, Tanger et sa zone
(1921); A. Beltrán, “Las monedas de Tingi y las problemas que su estudio plantea,” Numario hispánico
(1952) 89-114; R. Thouvenot, “Les origines chrétiennes
en Maurétanie tingitane,” REA
71 (1969) 368-69; M.
Ponsich, Recherches archéologiques à Tanger et dans sa