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CYRENE and CYRENAICA
Images (Dec. 1999 - Jan. 2000)
Cyrene is situated in the northeastern of Libya. Colonized by the ancient Greeks, in origin the Cyrenaica extended along the African coast from the actual gulf of Sidra, to west, up to 80 kms within the delta of the Nile, to east. The actual region is to a large extent constituted from a highland of calcareous origin that toward east introduces terraces descending gradually toward the sea, while to west it leaves the place to a coastal lowland. Characteristics of this North African region, today lived by Arabs, are the Mediterranean climate, the numerous oases and the particularly fertile ground.
The Greek colonization of the territory had beginning probably with Battus I (in the 7th century B.C.), the first one of the Battiadis, that founded Cyrene (today Shahhat) around the 630 B.C. The Greeks founded subsequently others four important colonies: Teuchira, then call ArsinoŽ (today Tukrah); Barce (today al-Marj); Euesperide, subsequently Berenice (today Bengasi); Apollonia (today Susah or Marsa Susa). In the 450 B.C. around, the monarchy had demolished and the Cyrene became a republic.
The region was conquered in the 331 B.C. by Alexander the Great and annexed the 321 B.C. by the Egyptian king Ptolemy I. Under the Ptolemaic dynasty, the Cyrene's region assumed the name of Pentapolis: five were in fact the principal cities. In the 96 B.C. Ptolemy Apion ceded the region to the Romans. With the following decadence of the Roman empire, the zone gradually passed under the dominion of the camitis, the native Berber population. Conquered by the Arabs in 642 AD, it became dominion of the Fatimidis subsequently. To the beginning of the 16th century was annexed to Turkey and put under the government of Tripoli.
In the September of 1911, to the burst of the italo-Turkish war the Cyrene's region had occupied by Italians and at the end of the conflict, in the October of 1912, the Turks ceded it to the enemy together with the region of Tripoli: in the 1934 the regions of Cyrene and Tripoli became part of the Italian colony of Libya.