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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.

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.

The main area of Portuguese expansion, at this time, was the coast of Magreb, where there was grain, cattle, sugar, and textiles, as well as fish, hides, wax, and honey.

Possession of Ceuta would indirectly lead to further Portuguese expansion.

After Julian's death, the Berbers took direct control of the city, which the indigenous Berber tribes resented.

They destroyed Ceuta during the Kharijite rebellion led by Maysara al-Matghari in 740.

Ceuta was an important Christian center since the fourth century (as recent discovered ruins of a Roman basilica show).