The native people of Morocco are the Berbers, an ancient race who have seen their country invaded by a succession of foreign powers. In the 12th century BC the first of these invaders were the Phoenicians who established trading posts at several points along the North African coast. The Carthaginians later took over these Phoenician colonies and expanded them as part of the mighty Carthaginian Empire. When the city of Carthage fell to Rome in the second century BC, the African Mediterranean coast was under Roman dominance for almost six hundred years. When the Roman Empire in turn fell into decline, the area was invaded first by the Vandals in AD 429 and later by Byzantium in AD 533. An Arab invasion of Morocco in AD 682 marked the end of Byzantium dominance and the first Arab rulers, the Idrisid dynasty, ruled for 150 years.
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