The study focusses on tribal chiefs and their role in integrating nomadic tribes into the Roman administration between 146 BC and the 5th century AD when Rome ruled over North Africa. It acted on the assumption that the specific organizational structure of nomadic tribes, based primarily on personal loyalties, represented a novel challenge for the Roman administration, which was based on a sedentary structure of its subjects. Similarly, the Roman administration posed a threat to the nomadic chietains as well, because it manifested an intensified form of control in comparison with the Numidian kings who had previously ruled large parts of North Africa. Therefore, it was predominantly these chietains who initially led the fierce resistance against Rome. The study raised the question how the Roman administration succeeded in accommodating to these quite different local power structures. In fact the increasing stability of Roman rule in North Africa from the 2nd century AD onward is closely connected with improved integration of local chietains, who were especially privileged, e.g. by being granted citizenship status. On the other hand, power structures within the nomadic tribes remained unaffected by the Roman authorities. The outcome was paradoxical. Whereas in the 5th century AD Romans gradually lost their hold over North Africa and nomadic tribes renewed their local autonomy, their chietains continued to see Rome as the source of their prestige.