- History of Islamic Tripolitania and Cyrenaica
With tenuous Byzantine control over Libya restricted to a few poorly defended coastal strongholds, the Arab horsemen who first crossed into Pentapolis, Cyrenaica in September 642 encountered little resistance. Under the command of
Amr ibn al-A'as, the armies of Islam conquered Cyrenaica, renaming the Pentapolis, Burqa.
Uqba bin Nafiled a campaign against Fezzan, marching to Zaweela, the capital of Fezzan. No resistance was offered, and the entire district submitted to the Muslims agreeing to pay Jizya. A clause was further inserted in the peace treaty that part of the Jizya coming from the district was to be spent on the poor of the area.
In 647 an army of 40,000
Arabs, led by ‘Abdu’llah ibn Sa‘ad, the foster-brother of Caliph Uthman ibn Affan, penetrated further into western Libya. Tripoli was taken from the Byzantines, followed by Sufetula, a city 150 miles south of Carthage, where the Exarch Gregory, was killed. The campaign lasted fifteen months, after which Abdallah's force returned to Egyptafter Gregory's successor Gennadius promised them an annual tribute of some 330,000 " nomismata". Gennadius also sent the usual surplus of revenues over expenditures to Constantinople, but otherwise administered Africa as he liked. The new Exarch's greatest source of strength was from the Amazigh tribes: the Sanhaja-Awrabi, Zenata, Shawia, Hoda and others. When Gennadius refused to pay the additional sums demanded from Constantinople, his own men overthrew him.
Following the revolt Gennadius fled to Damascus and asked for aid from
Muawiyah, to whom he had paid tribute for years. The caliph sent a sizable force with Gennadius to invade Africa in 665. Even though the deposed exarch died after reaching Alexandria, the Arabs marched on. From Sicily the Byzantines dispatched an army to reinforce Africa, but its commander Nicephorus the Patrician lost a battle with the Arabs and reembarked. Uqba ibn Nafiand Abu Muhajir al Dinardid much to promote Islam and in the following centuries most of the indigenous peoples converted. However, the social character of Libya remained overwhelmingly Amazigh.
In 750 the
Abbasid dynastyoverthrew the Ummayadcaliph and shifted the capital to Baghdad, with emirs retaining nominal control over the Libyan coast on behalf of the far-distant caliph. In 800 Caliph Harun ar-Rashidappointed Ibrahim ibn al-Aghlabas his governor. The Aghlabidsdynasty effectively became independent of the Baghdad caliphs, who continued to retain spiritual authority. The Aghlabid emirs took their custodianship of Libya seriously, repairing Roman irrigationsystems, restoring order and bringing a measure of prosperity to the region.
In the last decade of the
9th century, the Ismailis launched an assault on the SunniAghlabids. The Ismailispiritual leader, Grandmaster Ubaidalla Said of Syria, was installed as the imam of much of the Meghreb, including Tripolitania. The Amazigh of Libya eventually came to accept the imam as the Mahdi(Promised One).
Shiite Fatimid dynastyconquered Misr(Egypt) in 972and set up their caliphate in Cairo. The difficulty of maintaining control of Libya plagued the Fatimids, as it had almost every other authority preceding them. At the beginning of the 11th century, Bulukkin ibn Ziriwas installed as the Fatimid governor but he quickly returned Libya to orthodox Sunni Islam and swore allegiance to the Abbasid caliphs in Baghdad. The Fatimid anger at what they considered a gross betrayal profoundly altereed the fabric and makeup of Libyan society. Two tribes from the Arabian Peninsula, the Bani Hilal and the Bani Salim (or Bani Sulaim), were co-opted into migrating to the Meghreb. The Bani Salim settled in Libya, particularly in Cyrenaica, while the Bani Hilal spread across North Africa. The Amazigh tribespeople were displaced from their traditional lands, their farmland concerted to pasture and the new settlers cemented the cultural and linguistic Arabisation of the region.
Tripoli was pillaged in
1146by the Normansof Sicily. In 1158, the supporters of the Almohaddynasty arrived in Tripoli from Moroccoand established their authority. An Almohad emir, Muhammad bin Abu Hafs, ruled Libya from 1207to 1221and established the Hafsid dynasty, which outlived the Almohads. The Hafsids ruled Tripoli for nearly 300 years. There was significant trade with the city-states of Europe and Hafsid rulers encouraged art, literature and architecture, and gave scholarship priority. In 1321 the Beni Ammarestablished an independent dynasty there, which lasted (with an interval, 1354-1369, during which two sovereigns of the Beni Mekkireigned) until 1401, when Tripoli was reconquered by Tunis.
Meanwhile, in the Fezzan in the 13th century, King Danama of Kanem (near Lake Chad) annexed territories as far north as the Al-Jufra oases. His Toubou viceroy founded the autonomous Bani Nasr dynasty, which ruled the Fezzan until the 14th century. They were followed by the theocratic kingdoms of Kharijite sectarians, including the Bani Khattab in the Fezzan. In the early 16th century, the Libyan Sahara fell under the control of Muhammad al-Fazi from Morocco who, early in the 16th century, founded the Awlad Suleiman dynasty in Murzuq.
Pentapolis (North Africa)
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Tripolitania — as a subdivision of Libya 1934–1963. Tripolitania /trɨpɒlɨˈteɪniə/ or Tripolitana (Arabic: طرابلس Ṭarābulus, Berber … Wikipedia
Cyrenaica — Pentapolis (North Africa) redirects here. For other uses, see Pentapolis. Barqa redirects here. For other uses, see Barka. Cyrenaica as an administrative unit included all of eastern Libya from 1927 to 1963: Italian Cyrenaica from 1927 to 1937… … Wikipedia
History of Libya under Muammar Gaddafi — History of Libya This article is part of a series Prehistory … Wikipedia
History of Libya — The history of Libya includes the history of its rich mix of people added to the indigenous Berber tribes. For most of their history, the people of Libya have been subjected to varying degrees of foreign control. The modern history of independent … Wikipedia
History of colonialism — The historical phenomenon of colonisation is one that stretches around the globe and across time, including such disparate peoples as the Hittites, the Incas and the British, although the term colonialism is normally used with reference to… … Wikipedia
HISTORY bibliography — General ■ Abun Nasr, Jamil M. History of the Maghrib. 2nd rev. ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1975. ■ Ajayi, J. F. A, and Michael Crowder. History of West Africa. 2 vols. London: Longman Group, 1971, 1974. ■ Akkache, A. Tacfarinas.… … Historical dictionary of the berbers (Imazighen)
History of medieval Tunisia — The present day Republic of Tunisia, al Jumhuriyyah at Tunisiyyah , has over ten million citizens, almost all of Arab Berber descent. The Mediterranean Sea is to the north and east, Libya to the southeast, and Algeria to the west. Tunis is the… … Wikipedia
History of North Africa — North Africa is a relatively thin strip of land between the Sahara desert and the Mediterranean, stretching from Moroccan Atlantic coast to Egypt. The region comprises the modern countries, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Western Sahara, Mauritania,… … Wikipedia
Ottoman Tripolitania — ولايت طرابلس غرب Vilâyet i Trâblus Gârp Eyalet, Vilayet of Ottoman Empire … Wikipedia
Military history of Libya — History of Libya This article is part of a series Prehistory … Wikipedia