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  • James Mathews
    Feb 16, 2014
      >>>> Libya <<<<

      In Homer’s Odyssey Libya was a narrow stretch of land in the northwestern part (or beyond the western border) of Egypt.  (2) It became the Greek name for the continent of Africa (regarded as a separate continent from the fifth century BC onward, with its frontier along the Nile or to the West -- and then East ----- of Egypt.  (3) In the Ptolemaic dominions Libya constituted a region (nome) on the Mediterranean coast to the West of the Nile delta (subsequently known as the Marietta nome).  (4) In the later Roman Empire it provided the names of two provinces, Libya Superior (Cyrenaica, the northeastern portion of the modern state of Libya), and Libya Inferior (northwestern Egypt, corresponding with parts of the Homeric and Ptolemaic Libyas).  The eastern emperor Valens (364- 368) grouped these two provinces with Egypt in the administrative diocese of Aegyptus, which was detached from the diocese of Oriens.

             For most of their history, the peoples of Libya have been subjected to varying degrees of foreign control. The Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Vandals, and Byzantines ruled all or parts of Libya. Although the Greeks and Romans left impressive ruins at Cyrene, Leptis Magna, and Sabratha, little else remains today to testify to the presence of these ancient cultures.

             The Arabs conquered Libya in the seventh century A.D. In the following centuries, most of the indigenous peoples adopted Islam and the Arabic language and culture. The Ottoman Turks conquered the country in the mid-16th century. Libya remained part of their empire, although at times virtually autonomous, until Italy invaded in 1911 and, in the face of years of resistance, made Libya a colony.


      >>Michael Grant, “A Guide To the Ancient World,” (H.W. Wilson Co., 1986);

      >>”CIA World Fact Book,” (March, 2012) Respectfully Submitted;

      Marcus Audens