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The Benemerine sultan started the Siege of Ceuta (1418) but was defeated by the first governor of Ceuta before reinforcements arrived in the form of John, Constable of Portugal and his brother Henry the Navigator who were sent with troops to defend Ceuta.
After this, a period of political instability persisted, under competing interests from the Kingdom of Fez and the Kingdom of Granada.
The Kingdom of Fez finally conquered the region in 1387, with assistance from the Crown of Aragon.
Byzantine governor, Julian (described as King of the Ghomara) who was a vassal of the Visigothic kings of Iberia changed his allegiance after the king Roderic raped his daughter, and exhorted the Muslims to invade the Iberian Peninsula.
Under the leadership of the Berber general Tariq ibn Ziyad, the Muslims used Ceuta as a staging ground for an assault on Visigothic Iberian Peninsula.
Ceuta's location has made it an important commercial trade and military way-point for many cultures, beginning with the Carthaginians in the 5th century BC, who called the city Abyla; initially, this was also its name in Greek and Latin.
It was known variously in Ancient Greek as: After being controlled by the Visigoths, it then became an outpost of the Byzantine Empire.
Ceuta reverted to Moorish Andalusian rule in 927 along with Melilla, and later Tangier, in 951.
Chaos ensued with the fall of the Umayyad caliphate in 1031.
Ceuta lay in ruins until it was resettled in the 9th century by Mâjakas, chief of the Majkasa Berber tribe, who started the short-lived Banu Isam dynasty.