Tripolitania
Overview
 
Tripolitania trɨpɒlɨˈteɪniə or Tripolitana ( , Berber: , from Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 ) is a historic region and former province
Provinces of Libya
The Provinces of Libya existed during the last period of colonial Italian Libya through post-independence Libya. The country was divided into provinces from 1934 in the colonial era to 1963 when the Governorates system was instituted.-Italian colonial era:...

 of Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

.

Tripolitania was a separate Italian colony from 1927 to 1934. From 1934 to 1963, Tripolitania was one of three administrative divisions within Italian Libya
Italian Libya
Italian Libya was a unified colony of Italian North Africa established in 1934 in what represents present-day Libya...

 and the Kingdom of Libya
Kingdom of Libya
The Kingdom of Libya, originally called the United Libyan Kingdom came into existence upon independence on 24 December 1951 and lasted until a coup d'état led by Muammar Gaddafi on 1 September 1969 overthrew King Idris of Libya and established the Libyan Arab Republic.- Constitution :Under the...

, alongside Cyrenaica
Cyrenaica
Cyrenaica is the eastern coastal region of Libya.Also known as Pentapolis in antiquity, it was part of the Creta et Cyrenaica province during the Roman period, later divided in Libia Pentapolis and Libia Sicca...

 to the east and Fezzan
Fezzan
Fezzan is a south western region of modern Libya. It is largely desert but broken by mountains, uplands, and dry river valleys in the north, where oases enable ancient towns and villages to survive deep in the otherwise inhospitable Sahara.-Name:...

 to the south.
In the old system, Tripolitania included Tripoli
Tripoli
Tripoli is the capital and largest city in Libya. It is also known as Western Tripoli , to distinguish it from Tripoli, Lebanon. It is affectionately called The Mermaid of the Mediterranean , describing its turquoise waters and its whitewashed buildings. Tripoli is a Greek name that means "Three...

, the capital city of Libya and a vast northwestern portion of the country; in the subsequent systems, the sha'biyah of Tripoli has become much smaller than the original Tripolitania, including merely the city of Tripoli and its immediate surroundings.
Encyclopedia
Tripolitania trɨpɒlɨˈteɪniə or Tripolitana ( , Berber: , from Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 ) is a historic region and former province
Provinces of Libya
The Provinces of Libya existed during the last period of colonial Italian Libya through post-independence Libya. The country was divided into provinces from 1934 in the colonial era to 1963 when the Governorates system was instituted.-Italian colonial era:...

 of Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

.

Tripolitania was a separate Italian colony from 1927 to 1934. From 1934 to 1963, Tripolitania was one of three administrative divisions within Italian Libya
Italian Libya
Italian Libya was a unified colony of Italian North Africa established in 1934 in what represents present-day Libya...

 and the Kingdom of Libya
Kingdom of Libya
The Kingdom of Libya, originally called the United Libyan Kingdom came into existence upon independence on 24 December 1951 and lasted until a coup d'état led by Muammar Gaddafi on 1 September 1969 overthrew King Idris of Libya and established the Libyan Arab Republic.- Constitution :Under the...

, alongside Cyrenaica
Cyrenaica
Cyrenaica is the eastern coastal region of Libya.Also known as Pentapolis in antiquity, it was part of the Creta et Cyrenaica province during the Roman period, later divided in Libia Pentapolis and Libia Sicca...

 to the east and Fezzan
Fezzan
Fezzan is a south western region of modern Libya. It is largely desert but broken by mountains, uplands, and dry river valleys in the north, where oases enable ancient towns and villages to survive deep in the otherwise inhospitable Sahara.-Name:...

 to the south.

Geography

In the old system, Tripolitania included Tripoli
Tripoli
Tripoli is the capital and largest city in Libya. It is also known as Western Tripoli , to distinguish it from Tripoli, Lebanon. It is affectionately called The Mermaid of the Mediterranean , describing its turquoise waters and its whitewashed buildings. Tripoli is a Greek name that means "Three...

, the capital city of Libya and a vast northwestern portion of the country; in the subsequent systems, the sha'biyah of Tripoli has become much smaller than the original Tripolitania, including merely the city of Tripoli and its immediate surroundings. Because the city and the sha'biyah are nowadays almost coextensive, the term "Tripolitania" has more historical than contemporary value. In Arabic the same word (طرابلس) is used for both the city and the region, and that word, used alone, would be understood to mean only the city; in order to designate Tripolitania in Arabic, a qualifier such as "state", "province" or "sha'biyah" is required.

The system of administrative divisions that included Tripolitania was abolished in the early 1970s in favor of a system of smaller-size municipalities
Municipality
A municipality is essentially an urban administrative division having corporate status and usually powers of self-government. It can also be used to mean the governing body of a municipality. A municipality is a general-purpose administrative subdivision, as opposed to a special-purpose district...

 or baladiyat
Baladiyah
Baladiyah is a type of Arabic administrative division that can be translated as municipality or district. The plural is baladiyat . Grammatically, it is the feminine of بلدي "rural, country-, folk-"....

(singular baladiyah). The baladiyat system was subsequently changed many times and has lately become the "Sha'biyat" system. The region that was Tripolitania is now composed of several smaller baladiyat or sha'biyat – see administrative divisions in Libya.

Antiquity

The city of Oea, on the site of modern Tripoli
Tripoli
Tripoli is the capital and largest city in Libya. It is also known as Western Tripoli , to distinguish it from Tripoli, Lebanon. It is affectionately called The Mermaid of the Mediterranean , describing its turquoise waters and its whitewashed buildings. Tripoli is a Greek name that means "Three...

, was founded by the Phoenicia
Phoenicia
Phoenicia , was an ancient civilization in Canaan which covered most of the western, coastal part of the Fertile Crescent. Several major Phoenician cities were built on the coastline of the Mediterranean. It was an enterprising maritime trading culture that spread across the Mediterranean from 1550...

ns in the 7th century BC. It was conquered by the Greek rulers of Cyrenaica
Cyrenaica
Cyrenaica is the eastern coastal region of Libya.Also known as Pentapolis in antiquity, it was part of the Creta et Cyrenaica province during the Roman period, later divided in Libia Pentapolis and Libia Sicca...

, who were in turn displaced by the Carthaginians. The Greek
Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek is the stage of the Greek language in the periods spanning the times c. 9th–6th centuries BC, , c. 5th–4th centuries BC , and the c. 3rd century BC – 6th century AD of ancient Greece and the ancient world; being predated in the 2nd millennium BC by Mycenaean Greek...

 name "three cities" referred to Oea, Sabratha
Sabratha
Sabratha, Sabratah or Siburata , in the Zawiya District in the northwestern corner of modern Libya, was the westernmost of the "three cities" of Tripolis. From 2001 to 2007 it was the capital of the former Sabratha wa Sorman District. It lies on the Mediterranean coast about west of Tripoli...

 and Leptis Magna
Leptis Magna
Leptis Magna also known as Lectis Magna , also called Lpqy, Neapolis, Lebida or Lebda to modern-day residents of Libya, was a prominent city of the Roman Empire. Its ruins are located in Khoms, Libya, east of Tripoli, on the coast where the Wadi Lebda meets the sea...

. The Roman Republic
Roman Republic
The Roman Republic was the period of the ancient Roman civilization where the government operated as a republic. It began with the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, traditionally dated around 508 BC, and its replacement by a government headed by two consuls, elected annually by the citizens and...

 captured Tripolitania in 146 BC, and the area prospered during the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 period. The Latin name Regio Tripolitania dates to the 3rd century. The Vandals
Vandals
The Vandals were an East Germanic tribe that entered the late Roman Empire during the 5th century. The Vandals under king Genseric entered Africa in 429 and by 439 established a kingdom which included the Roman Africa province, besides the islands of Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia and the Balearics....

 took over in 435, and were in turn supplanted by the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 in the 530s.

Middle Ages

In the 7th century, Tripolitania was conquered by the Rashidun Caliphate
Rashidun Caliphate
The Rashidun Caliphate , comprising the first four caliphs in Islam's history, was founded after Muhammad's death in 632, Year 10 A.H.. At its height, the Caliphate extended from the Arabian Peninsula, to the Levant, Caucasus and North Africa in the west, to the Iranian highlands and Central Asia...

, and was inherited by its descendants the Umayyads and the Abbasids. The Fatimids, originally vassals of the Abbasids, rebelled in the 10th century, establishing a Caliphate from Tunisia to Syria. In the 1140s, the Normans of Sicily invaded Tripoli, but were ousted by the Almohad Caliphate in 1158. Emir Abu Zakariya, an Almohad vassal, established an independent state in Tunisia in 1229 and took control of Tripolitania shortly after. The Hafsids would control the region until the Ottoman
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 conquest of 1553.

Modern history

The Ottoman vilayet of Tripoli (Trablusgarb) extended beyond the region of Tripolitania proper, also including Cyrenaica. Tripolitania became effectively independent under the rulers of the Karamanli dynasty
Karamanli dynasty
The Karamanli or Caramanli or Qaramanli or al-Qaramanli dynasty was a series of Pashas, of Turkish origin who ruled from 1711 to 1835 in Tripolitania . At their peak, the Karamanlis' influence reached Cyrenaica and Fezzan covering most of Libya. The founder of the dynasty was Pasha Ahmed Karamanli...

 from 1711 until Ottoman control was re-imposed by Mahmud II
Mahmud II
Mahmud II was the 30th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1808 until his death in 1839. He was born in the Topkapi Palace, Istanbul, the son of Sultan Abdulhamid I...

 in 1835. Ottoman rule persisted until 1911–12, when it was captured by Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 in the Italo-Turkish War
Italo-Turkish War
The Italo-Turkish or Turco-Italian War was fought between the Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of Italy from September 29, 1911 to October 18, 1912.As a result of this conflict, Italy was awarded the Ottoman provinces of Tripolitania, Fezzan, and...

. Italy officially granted autonomy after the war, but gradually occupied the region.
After World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, an Arab Republic
Pan-Arabism
Pan-Arabism is an ideology espousing the unification--or, sometimes, close cooperation and solidarity against perceived enemies of the Arabs--of the countries of the Arab world, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Arabian Sea. It is closely connected to Arab nationalism, which asserts that the Arabs...

, Al-Jumhuriya al-Trabulsiya, or "Tripolitanian Republic", declared the independence of Tripolitania from Italian Libya
Italian Libya
Italian Libya was a unified colony of Italian North Africa established in 1934 in what represents present-day Libya...

. The proclamation of the Tripolitanian Republic in autumn 1918 was followed by a formal declaration of independence at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference
Paris Peace Conference, 1919
The Paris Peace Conference was the meeting of the Allied victors following the end of World War I to set the peace terms for the defeated Central Powers following the armistices of 1918. It took place in Paris in 1919 and involved diplomats from more than 32 countries and nationalities...

. This was the first formally declared republic
Republic
A republic is a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them, have supreme control over the government and where offices of state are elected or chosen by elected people. In modern times, a common simplified definition of a republic is a government where the head of...

an form of government in the Arab world, but it gained little support from international powers, and disintegrated by 1923. Italy managed to establish full control over Libya by 1930. Originally administered as part of a single colony, Italian Tripolitania was a separate colony from 26 June 1927 to 3 December 1934, when it was merged into Libya.

The Italian fascists constructed the Marble Arch
Marble Arch (Libya)
The Marble Arch , formerly known in Libya as El Gaus , was a monument in Libya built during the days of Italian colonization...

 as a form of an imperial triumphal arch at the border between Tripolitani and Cyrenaica near the coast.
During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 Libya was occupied by the Allies and until 1947, Tripolitania (and the region of Cyrenaica
Cyrenaica
Cyrenaica is the eastern coastal region of Libya.Also known as Pentapolis in antiquity, it was part of the Creta et Cyrenaica province during the Roman period, later divided in Libia Pentapolis and Libia Sicca...

) were administered by the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

. Italy formally renounced its claim upon the territory in the same year.

Tripolitania retained its status as a province
Provinces of Libya
The Provinces of Libya existed during the last period of colonial Italian Libya through post-independence Libya. The country was divided into provinces from 1934 in the colonial era to 1963 when the Governorates system was instituted.-Italian colonial era:...

 in the Kingdom of Libya
Kingdom of Libya
The Kingdom of Libya, originally called the United Libyan Kingdom came into existence upon independence on 24 December 1951 and lasted until a coup d'état led by Muammar Gaddafi on 1 September 1969 overthrew King Idris of Libya and established the Libyan Arab Republic.- Constitution :Under the...

 from 1951 to 1963, when it was replaced by a new system of governorates
Governorates of Libya
The governorates of Libya were a tenfold top-level administrative division of Libya from 1963 until 1983.They came into being on 27 April 1963...

, which divided Tripolitania into the governorates of Khoms, Zawiya, Jabal al Gharbi
Al Jabal al Gharbi Governorate
Al Jabal al Gharbi Governorate was one of the governorates of Libya from 1963 to 1983.. Its capital was Gharyan. Other important towns in the governorate were Yafran, Nalut, Ghadames and Mizda....

, Misrata
Misrata Governorate
Misrata Governorate or Misratah Governorate was one of the governorates of Libya from 1963 to 1983. Its capital was the town of Misrata.The governorate's population was 145,894 in 1964 and had risen to 156,980 by 1972....

 and Tarabulus
Tarabulus Governorate
Tarabulus Governorate was one of the governorates of Libya from 1963 to 1983. It was also known as Tripoli Governorate because it contained the city of Tripoli, which was also its administrative capital...

.

Population

Tripolitania is Libya's most populous region (compared to Fezzan and Cyrenaica). Tripolitania's population has grown throughout years, as has the population of Libya as a whole. Libya's overall population, however, has grown at a rate slightly greater. Because of this, the percentage of Libya's population living within Tripolitania has decreased.
Year Population Percent of
Libya's
population
1954 738,338 67.8
1964 1,034,089 66.1
1973 1,459,874 64.9
1984 2,390,039 65.7
1995 3,185,458 66.4
2006 3,601,853 63.3

Source: Gathered from bulletins of censuses 1964, 1973, 1995, 2006.

See also

  • Postage stamps of Tripolitania
    Postage stamps of Tripolitania
    This is a survey of the postage stamps and postal history of Tripolitania, now part of Libya.Tripolitana is a historic region of western Libya, centered on the coastal city of Tripoli. Formerly part of the Ottoman Empire, Tripolitania was captured by Italy in 1911 during the Italo-Turkish War. ...

  • Karamanli dynasty
    Karamanli dynasty
    The Karamanli or Caramanli or Qaramanli or al-Qaramanli dynasty was a series of Pashas, of Turkish origin who ruled from 1711 to 1835 in Tripolitania . At their peak, the Karamanlis' influence reached Cyrenaica and Fezzan covering most of Libya. The founder of the dynasty was Pasha Ahmed Karamanli...

  • List of colonial heads of Tripolitania
  • Libyan resistance movement
    Libyan resistance movement
    The Libyan resistance movement was the resistance movement against the Italian colonization of Libya.-History:It was initially led by Omar Mukhtar , who was from the tribe of Mnifa, born in a small village called Janzour located in the eastern part of Barqa...

  • In addition to Tripoli
    Tripoli
    Tripoli is the capital and largest city in Libya. It is also known as Western Tripoli , to distinguish it from Tripoli, Lebanon. It is affectionately called The Mermaid of the Mediterranean , describing its turquoise waters and its whitewashed buildings. Tripoli is a Greek name that means "Three...

    , the following are among the largest and most important cities of Tripolitania: Misrata, Zawiya, Gharyan
    Gharyan
    Gharyan District or Garian District was one of the districts of Libya. It was located in the northwest part of the country and its capital was Gharyan. Under the 2007 reorganization of districts, it became part of Jabal al Gharbi District....

    , Khoms, Tarhuna and Sirte
    Sirte
    Sirte is a city in LibyaSirte may also refer to:* Sirte Declaration, a 1999 resolution to create the African Union* Sirte Oil Company, a Libyan oil companyIn geography:* Gulf of Sirte, alias for Gulf of Sidra on Libya's coast...

    .

External links

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