History of Tunisia

The present day Republic of Tunisia, al Jumhuriyah at-Tunisiyah, has over ten million people, almost all Arab-Berber. Tunis the capitol is about 700,000, Sfax 250,000. The population growth rate measured as births per woman has fallen from 7 (1960s) to 2 (2007). Life expectancy is female 75, male 72. Required education is eight years. The religion is Muslim (98%); the official language is Arabic, with French also spoken. Tunisia contains about 164,000 square kilometers (63,400 square miles), with the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east (1148 km. of coastline), and bounded by Libya to the southeast (459 km.), and by Algeria to the west (965 km.).[1] Jebel ech Chambi is the highest point at 1544 meters. Weather in the north is temporate, with mild rainy winters and hot dry summers; in the south it is semi-arid, until merging into the Sahara desert. In the north orchards and fields predominate, while in the central plains, pasturage. Overall, arable land is 19%, forest and woodland 4%, with 13% in crops, 20% pasture. The economy is primarily light industry (food processing, textiles, oil, mining, construction materials) and agriculture (grains, dates, olives, citrus, figs, vegetables, grapes). Per capita income is $2970 as of 2007. Over half the population is urban.

Early history

Berber Background People known as the Berbers (who today call themselves the Imazighen or Tamazight), their relations and descendants, have been the major population group to inhabit North Africa during the last eight thousand years.[2] This anciently included terrain from the Nile to the Atlantic, encompassing the vast Sahara with Ahaggar and Tibesti, and the long Mediterranean shore, including the region now called the Republic of Tunisia.

The twenty or so Berber languages form one of the branches of Afroasiatic,[3] a world language family which itself stretches from Mesopotamia to the Niger, its other branches being: Ancient Egyptian, Semitic (which includes Arabic and Hebrew), Cushitic, and Chadic.[4] Berber, however, is no longer widely spoken in present day Tunisia; e.g., centuries ago many Zanata Berbers became Arabized.[5]

Rock inscriptions in the Sahara, the Capsian stone blades and tools, and small figurines, found in al-Maghrib, as well as many of the dolmens by the Mediterranean have been associated with the Berbers.[6] Seasonal and migration routes across the Sahara evidence their travels in prehistoric times.

Egyptian hieroglyphs from early dynasties testify to the presence of Libyans, the Berbers of the "western desert". Among the ancients, the Berber peoples of North Africa were often known collectively as Libyans.[7] Berbers to the west were also know as Numidians, or Mauri or Maurisi (later Moors).[8] The Berbers developed their own writing system, called today Tifinagh.[9] Berbers, particularly those of Tunisia, became well known in antiquity due to their contact with the Mediterranean trade.

Migrating Peoples Tunisia in its history has seen the arrival of many peoples. By three thousand years ago the eastern Mediterranean had prospered, resulting in an excess of population. Consequently city-states started organizing their youth to migrate in groups to where land was less densely settled. To these migrants the western Mediterranean presented an opportunity and could be reached relatively easily by ship, without marching through foreign territory. Such colonists sailed westward across the seas, following the lead of their commercial traders. The Greeks later followed, coming to (what is now) Libya, Sicily, Italy, and southern France. Earlier the Phoenicians had arrived in (what is now) Sardinia, Spain, Morocco, Algeria, Sicily, and of course, Tunisia.

Throughout Tunisia's history many peoples have arrived among the Berbers to settle: most recently the French, before them came the Ottomans, yet earlier the Arabs who brought their language and the religion of Islam, before them the Byzantines, and the Vandals. Over two thousand years ago came the Romans, whose Empire long governed the region. The Phoenicians founded Carthage close to three thousand years ago. Also came migrations from the south. Perhaps eight millennia ago, there were already peoples established among whom the proto-Berbers mingled, and from whom the Berbers would spring, during an era of their ethno-genesis.[10]

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The city-state of Carthage and territories under its political or commercial influence, circa 264 B.C.


Foundation The city of Carthage (site of ruins in present day Tunisia) was initiated by Phoenicians from the Levant. Its name Kart Hudesht in the Punic language meant "new city".[11] Punic is a member of the west Semitic language group.[12] A maritime city-state of Phoenicia, Tyre, founded and settled Carthage in order to enjoy a permanent station for its trade in the western Mediterranean. Legends alive in the city for centuries assigned its founding to the queen Elissa, also called Dido (heroine of the Aeneid by Virgil, e.g., the Byrsa).[13]

Sovereignty Carthage had grown into a fully independent thalassocracy by the middle of the sixth century B.C. Under Mago (r., c.550-530) and later the Magonid family, Carthage came to be preeminent in the western Mediterranean, soon possessing Numidian Berber trading partners along the African coast to the west as well as traders to the east, stations in southern Sardinia and western Sicily, Ibiza in the Balearics, Lixus south of the straits, Gades north of the straits, as well as other trading stations in south and east Iberia. Also Carthage had an able ally in the Etruscans to the north of Rome.[14]

In the 530s there had been a three sided naval struggle between the Phoenicians, the Greeks, and the Etrusco-Punic allies; the Greeks lost Corsica to the Etruscans and Sardinia to Carthage. The Etruscans then unsuccessfully attacked the Greek colonies in the Campania south of Rome. As an eventual result, Rome threw off their Etruscan kings of the Tarquin dynasty. In 509 Carthage and the Roman Republic entered into a treaty which defined their commercial zones.[15]

Greek rivalty The energetic presence of Greek traders and their emporia in this region led to disputes over commercial spheres of influence, especially in Sicily. This Greek threat, plus the foreign conquest of Phoenicia in the Levant, had caused many Phoenician colonies to come under the leadership of Carthage. In 480 B.C. (concurrent with Persia's invasion of Greece), Mago's grandson Hamilcar landed a large army in Sicily in order to confront Syracuse (a colony of Corinth) on the island's eastern coast, but the Greeks prevailed at the Battle of Himera. A long struggle ensued with intermittent warfare between Carthage and Syracuse which was led by the tyrant Dionysius. Later, in 310-307, Greek armies from Sicily under Agathocles invaded Cape Bon near Carthage, but with disappointing results. Greece, preoccupied with its conquest of the Persian Empire in the east, eventually became supplanted in the western Meditarranean by Rome, the new rival of Carthage.[16]

All this while Carthage only enlarged its commercial sphere, venturing south to develop the Saharan trade, augmenting its markets along the African coast, in southern Iberia, and among the Mediterranean islands, and exploring in the far Atlantic. Carthage also established its authority directly among the Numidian Berber peoples in the lands immediately surrounding the city, which grew ever more prosperous.[17]

Religion of Carthage The Phoenicians of Tyre brought their lifestyle and inherited customs with them to North Africa. Their religious practices and beliefs were generally similar to those of their neighbors in Canaan, which in turn shared characteristics common throughout the ancient Semitic world.[18] Several aspects of Canaanite religion have been widely criticized, particularly temple prostitution and child sacrifice.[19] Canaanite religious sense and mythology do not seem as developed as those of Mesopotamia. In Canaan the supreme god was called El, which means "god" in common Semitic. The important storm god was called Baal, which means "master". Other gods were called after royalty, e.g., Melqart means "king of the city".[20]

The particular pantheon worshipped in Phoenicia would depend on the city-state. Eshmun the god of healing was the chief god of Sidon, Dagon (whose son was Baal) of Ashdod, the rejuvenating Melqart of Tyre, Terah the moon god of the Zebulon, while in Mesopotamia the moon god was Sin (called Nanna at Ur), the fertility goddess of Uruk being Ishtar, the great god of Babylon being Marduk.[21] When transplanted to Africa far from its origins, and co-existing with the surrounding Berbers, the Phoenician pantheon at Carthage evolved distinctly over time. Religion in Carthage.

The Constitution of Carthage The government of Carthage was undoubtedly patterned after the Phoenician, especially the mother city of Tyre, but Phoenician cities had kings and Carthage apparently did not.[22] An important office was called in Punic the Suffets (a Semitic word agnate with the Old Hebrew Shophet usually translated as Judges as in the Book of Judges). Yet the Suffet at Carthage was more the executive leader, but as well served in a judicial role. Birth and wealth were the initial qualifications. It appears that the Suffet was elected by the citizens, and held office for a one year term; probably there were two of them at a time; hence quite comparable to the Roman Consulship. A major difference was that the Suffet had no military power. Cathagenian generals marshalled mercenary armies and were separately elected. From about 550 to 450 the Magonid family monopolized the top military position; later the Barcid family acted similarly. Eventually it came to be that, after a war, the commanding general had to testify justifying his actions before a court of 104 judges.[23]

Aristotle (384-322, Greek) discusses Carthage in his Politica[24] describing the city as a "mixed constitution", a political arrangement with cohabiting elements of monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy. Later Polybus of Megalopolis (c.204-122, Greek) in his Histories[25] would describe the Roman Republic as a mixed constitution in which the Consuls were the monarchy, the Senate the aristocracy, and the Assemblies the democracy.

Evidently Carthage also had an institution of elders who advised the Suffets, similar to the Roman Senate. We do not have a name for this body. At times members would travel with an army general on campaign. Members also formed permanent committees. The institution had several hundred members from the wealthiest class who held office for life. Vacancies were probably filled by co-option. From among its members were selected the 104 Judges mentioned above. Later the 104 would come to judge not only army generals but other office holders as well. Aristotle regarded the 104 as most important; he compared it to the ephorate of Sparta with regard to control over security. In Hannibal's time, such a Judge held office for life. At some stage there also came to be independent self-perpetuating boards of five who filled vacancies and supervised (non-military) government administration.[26]

Popular assemblies as well existed at Carthage. When deadlocked the Suffets and the quasi-senatorial institution might request the assembly to vote, or in very crucial matters in order to achieve political coherence. The assembly members had no legal wealth or birth qualification. How its members were selected is unknown, e.g., whether by festival group or urban ward or another method.[27]

The Greeks were favorably impressed by the constitution of Carthage; Aristotle had a study of it made which unfortunately is lost. In the brief approving review of it found in his Politica[28] Aristotle saw one fault: that focus on pursuit of wealth led to oligarchy. So it was in Carthage. The people were politically passive; popular rights came late. Being a commercial republic fielding a mercenary army, the people were not conscripted for military service, an experience which can foster the feel for popular political action. On the other hand, Carthage was very stable; there were few openings for tyrants. "The superiority of their constitution is proved by the fact that the common people remain loyal," noted Aristotle.[29] Only after defeat by Rome devastated Carthage's imperial ambitions did the people express interest in reform.[30]

In 196, following the Second Punic War, Hannibal Barca, still greatly admired as a Barcid military leader, was elected Suffet. When his reforms were blocked by a financial official about to become a Judge for life, Hannibal rallied the populace against the 104 Judges. He proposed a one year term for the 104, as part of a major civic overhaul. His political opponents cravenly went to Rome and charged Hannibal with conspiracy, with plotting war against Rome in league with Antiochus the Hellenic ruler of Syria. Although Scipio Africanus resisted such maneuver, eventually Roman intervention forced Hannibal to leave Carthage. Thus corrupt officials of Carthage efficiently blocked Hannibal Barca's efforts at reform.[31].

The above description of the constitution basically follows Warmington. Largely it is taken from descriptions by Greek foreigners who likely would see in Carthage reflections of their own institutions. How strong was the Hellenizing influence within Carthage? The basic difficulty is the lack of adequate writings due to the secretive nature of the Punic state as well as to the utter destruction of the capitol city and its records. Another view of the constitution of Carthage is given by Picard as follows.

Mago (6th century) was King of Carthage, Punic MLK or malik (Greek basileus), not merely a SFT or Suffet, which then was only a minor official. Mago as MLK was head of state and war leader; being MLK was also a religious office. His family was considered to possess a sacred quality. Mago's office was somewhat similar to that of Pharaoh, but although kept in a family it was not hereditary, it was limited by legal consent; however, the council of elders and the popular assembly are late institutions. Carthage was founded by the King of Tyre who had a royal monopoly on this trading venture. Accordingly royal authority was the traditional source of power the MLK of Carthage possessed. Later, as other Phoenician ship companies entered the trading region, and so associated with the city-state, the MLK of Carthage had to keep order among a rich variety of powerful merchants in their negotiations over risky commerce across the seas. The office of MLK began to be transformed, yet it was not until the aristocrats of Carthage became landowners that a council of elders was institutionalized.[32]

The Punic Wars with Rome The emergence of the Roman Republic and its developing foreign interests led to sustained rivalry with Carthage for dominion of the western Mediterranean. As early as 509 B.C. Carthage and Rome had entered into treaty status, but eventually their opposing positions led to disagreement, alienation, and conflict.

The First Punic War (264-241) started in Sicily. It developed into a naval war in which the Romans learned how to fight at sea and prevailed. Carthage lost Sardinia and its western portion of Sicily.[33]

The Second Punic War (218-201) started at Saguntum (near modern Valencia) in Hispania. It was from Hispania that Hannibal Barca set out, leading his armies over the Alps into Italy. At first Hannibal ("grace of Baal") won great victories against Rome (Trasimeno, Cannae), which all but destroyed Roman military strength. Yet the majority of Rome's Italian allies remained loyal; Rome managed to rebuild her armies. For many years Hannible remained on campaign in Italy. An attempt in 207 by his brother Hasdrubal to reinforce him failed. Later, Roman armies under Scipio Africanus invaded Hispania and successfully contested Punic power there. Rome then landed armies in Africa near Carthage, forcing Hannibal's return. One Numidian king Syphax supported Carthage, another Masinissa Rome. It was at the Battle of Zama in 202 that Scipio Africanus defeated Hannibal Barca, ending the war. Carthage lost its trading cities in Hispania and elsewhere in the Western Mediterranean, and much of its influence over the Numidian Kingdoms in North Africa. Carthage became reduced to its immediate surroundings. Also it owed a large indemnity to Rome.[34]

Carthage rivived, which caused alarm in Rome. Carthage declined a change in terms and the Third Punic War (149-146) began. Roman armies besieged the magnificent city of Carthage, which rejected negotiations; eventually Carthage was destroyed and its citizens enslaved.[35]

Afterward The region (modern Tunisia) was annexed by the Roman Republic as the Province of Africa. Carthage itself was eventually rebuilt by the Romans. Long after the fall of Rome, the city of Carthage would be again destroyed.

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El Djem: the amphitheatre of Thysdrus

The Roman Province of Africa

During the Republic The province (basically what is now Tunisia) and the region west of it became the scene of military activities directed by several well known Romans. Gaius Marius advanced his career with a triumph as a result of finishing Rome's war against the Numidian king Jugurtha.[36] Marius, a wealthy novus homo and populares, was the first Roman general to enlist in his army proletari (landless citizens); he became Consul an unprecedented seven times (107, 104-100, 86). The optimate Lucius Cornelius Sulla, Consul (88, 80), and Dictator (82-79), had served as quaestor under the military command of Marius in Numidia. There in 106 Sulla persuaded Bocchus to hand over Jurgurtha, which ended the war.

In 47 B.C. Julius Caesar landed in Africa in pursuit of Pompey's remnant army which was headquartered at Utica, where they had the support of the Numidian King Juba I. Also present was Cato the Younger, a political leader of Caesar's republican opponents. Caesar's victory nearby at the battle of Thapsus nearly ended the civil war. Cato committed suicide by his sword.[37] Caesar then annexed Numidia as the province of Africa Nova.

Within the Empire Juba II, King of Mauretania, was restored to his throne by Augustus circa 27 B.C. Educated at Rome and obviously a client king, Juba also wrote about the culture and history of Africa, and a best seller about Arabia, books unfortunately lost. He married Cleopatra Selene, the daughter of Anthony and Cleopatra. Later, his kingdom was annexed as the Roman Provinces of Mauritania Tingitana and Mauritania Caesaria, to the west of the Province of Africa.[38]

Roman empire included much of Tunisia in 133 BC and most of Tunisia by 117 AD.

Renaissance of Carthage Rebuilding began under the Roman Emperor Augustus and, notwithstanding reported ill omens, during the 1st and 2nd centuries Carthage flourished. It became the Capitol of the Province of Africa. Several new towns were founded, and the older Punic settlements prospered. Its rich agricultural production made the province wealthy. Merchants came to Africa from all across the Empire; veterans retired to Africa. Before long, a sizable Latin speaking population had come to share the region with those speaking the Berber languages. The Romans governed well enough that the Province of Africa became fully integrated into the Empire.

African Emperors, 193-217 Septimus Severus (145-211, r.193-211) was born of mixed Punic Ancestry in Lepcis Magna, Tripolitania (now Libya) where he spent his youth. Although he was said to speak with a North African accent, he and his family were long members of the Roman cosmopolitan elite. His eighteen year reign was noted for frontier military campaigns. His wife Julia Domna of Emesa, Syria, was from a prominent family of priestly rulers; as empress in Rome she cultivated a salon which may have included Ulpian of Tyre, the jurist of Roman Law. After Severus,[39] his son Caracalla (r.211-217) became Emperor; Caracalla's edict of 212 granted citizenship to all free inhabitants of the Empire. Later, two grand nephews of Severus through his wife Julia Domna became Emperors: Elagabalus (r.218-222) who brought the black stone of Emesa to Rome; and Severus Alexander (r.222-235) born in Caesarea sub Libano. Though unrelated, the Emperor Macrinus (r.217-218) came from Iol Caesarea in Mauretania (Sharshal, Algeria).[40]

Emperors from the Province of Africa In 238 local proprietors rose in revolt, arming their clients and agricultural tenants who entered Thysdrus (modern El Djem) where they killed their target, a rapacious official and his bodyguards. In open revolt, they then proclaimed as co-emperors the aged Governor of the Province of Africa, Gordian I (c.159-238), and his son, Gordian II (192-238). Gordion I had served at Rome in the Senate and as Consul, and had been the Governor of various provinces. The very unpopular current Emperor Maximinus Thrax (who had succeeded the dynasty of Severus) was campaigning on the middle Danube. In Rome the Senate sided with the insurgents of Thysdrus. When the African revolt collapsed under an assault by local forces still loyal to the emperor, the Senate elected two of their number, Balbinus and Pupienus, as co-emperors. Then Maximus Thrax was killed by his disaffected soldiers. Eventually the grandson of Gordian I, Gordian III (225-244), of the Province of Africa, became the Emperor of the Romans, 238-244. He died on the Persian frontier. His successor was Philip the Arab.[41]

Christianity Two theologians arose in the Province of Africa, especially prominent being St. Augustine. Tertullian (160-230) was born, lived, and died in Carthage; his books were persuasive throughout the Christian world. St. Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo (near Carthage), was born at Tagaste in Numidia his mother being St. Monica; at Carthage he received his education. While teaching rhetoric at Milan (then the Roman capitol) he was a Manichaean; after his conversion to Christianity he returned to Africa. His books are still widely read today by theologians.[42]

The Donatist schism was a major disruption; it followed a severe Roman persecution of Christians ordered by the Emperor Diocletian (r.284-305). An earlier persecution had caused divisions over whether or how to accept back into the church contrite Christians who had apostatized under state threats, abuse, or torture. Then in 313 the new Emperor Constantine by the Edict of Milan had granted tolerance to Christianity, himself becoming a Christian; this turnabout led to confusion in the Church, which became divided between wealthy urban members aligned with the Empire, and the local rural poor who were believers. To this challenge the Church did not respond well. The Donatists became centered in southern Numidia, the Catholics in Carthage. One issue was whether a priest could perform his spiritual office if not personally worthy. The Donatist schismatics set up parallel churches in order to practice a ritual purity not required by the Catholic Church.[43] Augustine the Bishop came to condemn the Donatists throngs for rioting; there were Imperial persecutions. Long negotiations lasted until finally Catholics declared Donatism a heresy in 405, though tolerance persisted until the ban became enforced late in the 6th century.[44]

Fall of the Roman Empire in the West In the 5th century the western Roman Empire was in a steep decline. Carthage and the Roman province of Africa was captured by the Vandals in 439 and became the center of their Germanic kingdom. The Vandals tried to convert the Catholic Christians of Africa to their Arian heresy (named after the Egyptian Christian priest Arius, who taught that the Father is greater than the Son and the Spirit), without success; the Berbers remained aloof. The Byzantines, the Roman Empire in the East, eventually recaptured the province in 534. Neither the Vandals nor the Byzantines governed effectively beyond the coastal cities, so that the interior remained under the control of Berber confederacies.[45]

Middle ages

Umayyad Caliphate in Ifriqiya

By 661 the Umayyads had taken firm control of the new Muslim state, which it ruled from Damascus. The Caliph Mu'awiya could see the foreign lands west of Egypt in terms of the Muslim contest with the Byzantine Empire. In 670 an Arab Muslim army under Uqba ibn Nafi, who had commanded an earlier incursion in 666, entered the region of Ifriqiya (Arabic for the Province of Africa). Arriving by land the Arabs passed by Byzantine strongholds along the Mediterranean coast. In the more arid south, the city of Kairouan was established as their base, and the building of its famous Mosque begun. From 675 to 682 Dinar ibn Abu al-Muhadjir took command of the Arab Muslim army. In the late 670s, this army defeated the Berber forces (apparently composed of sedentary Christians mainly from the Awreba tribe and perhaps the Sanhadja confederation) led by Kusaila, who was taken prisoner.

In 682, Uqba ibn Nafi reassumed command. He defeated an alliance of Berber forces near Tahirt, then proceeded westward in military triumph, eventually reaching the Atlantic coast, where he lamented that there was no more land to conquer for Islam. Episodes of his conquests became legend throughout the Maghrib. Yet the prisoner Kusaila escaped and came to lead a Berber uprising, which interrupted the conquest and claimed the Arab leader's life. His deputy Zuhair b. Qais overturned Kusaila's subsequent Berber kingdom in 686; in doing so he employed Zanata Berbers from Cyrenaica.[46]

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Mosque of Uqba, or the Great Mosque of Kairouan, commenced by Uqba ibn Nafi circa 670.

Under the Caliph 'Abd al-Malik (685-705), the Umayyad conquest of North Africa was completed. In Egypt an army of forty thousand was assembled, commanded by Hassan b. al-Nu'man (known to Arabs as "the honest old man"). The Byzantines had been reinforced. The Arab Muslim army crossed the Cyrene and Tripoli without opposition, then quickly attacked and captured Carthage.

The Berbers, however, offered stiff resistance, being led by the prophetess ["al-Kahina" in Arabic]. According to Ibn Khaldun (writing many centuries later), al-Kahina was Jewish of the tribe Jarawa. On the river Nini, the Berbers defeated al-Nu'man, who escaped back to Cyrenaica. Thereupon, the Byzantines retook Carthage. Unlike the Berber Kusaila ten years before, al-Kahina did not establish a larger state, evidently being content to rule her own tribe. Some commentary speculates that to al-Kahina the Arabs seemed chiefly interested in booty, because of the fact that she then commenced to ravage and disrupt the region, making it unappealing to raiders; of course, it also made her unpopular to the residents. Yet she did not attack the Muslim base of Kairouan. From Egypt the Caliph 'Abdul-Malik had reinforced al-Nu'man in 698, who then reentered Ifriqiya. Although she told her two sons to go over to the Arabs, she herself gave battle, which she lost. It is said that at Bir al-Kahina [al-Kahina's well] in the Auras she was killed.[47]

In 705 Hassan b. al-Nu'man stormed Carthage and sacked it, leaving it a ruin. Nearby he founded Tunis as a naval base, whose ships came to dominate the Mediterranean coast; hence the Byzantines made their final withdrawal from al-Maghrib. Musa b. Nusair then succeeded al-Nu'man as Muslim leader.[48]

The Berbers population "converted in mass as tribes and assmilated juridically to the Arabs"; thereafter it is proposed that the Berbers came to play a role in al-Maghrib rather similar to that played by the Arabs elsewhere in Islam.[49] Like the Arabs, the Berbers had been living for centuries as pastoralists in arid lands at the fringe of civilization, without losing their own isolated identity. Too, the Arab and the Berber languages both are members of the Afro-Asiatic language family (although of different branches); perhaps this kinship shares a resonance in their culture as well.[50] These somewhat-Arabized Muslim Berbers, from Cyrenaica to al-Andalus, continuously remained in close contact with each other throughout the following centuries. While the ulama in the rest of Islam adopted either the Hanafi or Shafi'i school of law, the Berbers in the west chose the Maliki madhhab.[51]

Also inducing the Berbers to convert was the early lack of rigor in religious obligations, and the prospect of inclusion as warriors in the armies of conquest, with a corresponding share in tribute. A few years later, in 711, the Berber Muslim Tariq b. Ziyad would lead the Muslim invasion of the Visigothic Kingdom in Hispania. Additionally, many of the Arabs who came to settle in al-Maghrib were dissidents, often Kharijites who opposed the Umayyads and embraced egalitarian doctrines, popular among the Berbers.[52]

Ifriqiya was considered a natural center for an Arab-Islamic regime in North Africa, and the focus of culture and society. It was the region with the best urban, commercial and agricultural infrastructure, essential for a such a comprehensive project.

Aghlabid Dynasty, & the Fatimids

After several generations a local Arab-speaking aristocracy emerged, which was resentful of the distant caliphate's interference in local matters. A minor rebellion in Tunis in 797 took on a more ominous nature when it spread to Kairouan. The caliph's governor was unable to restore order, but Ibrahim ibn al-Aghlab, a provincial leader, had a well-disciplined army and did. He proposed to the 'Abbasid caliph Harun al-Rashid, that he be granted Ifriqiya (as the Arabs called the former Province of Africa) as a hereditary fief; the caliph acquiesced in 800. Thereafter, 'Abbasid rule was largely symbolic, e.g., in 864 the Caliph al-Mu'tasim required that a new wing be added to the Zaituna Mosque near Tunis.

Ibrahim bin al-Aghlab and his descendants, known as the Aghlabids, ruled Ifriqiya, Tripolitania, and eastern Algeria on behalf of the caliph from 800 to 909. The Aghlabid military elites were drawn from the descendants of Arab invaders, Islamized and Arabized Berbers, and black slave soldiers. The administrative staffs were composed of dependent client Arab and Persian immigrants, bilingual natives, and some Christians and Jews.

Ifriqiya flourished under Aghlabid rule. Extensive water works were installed to irrigate the royal gardens, promote olive production and other agricutlture; included were aqueducts to supply the towns with water. In the Kairouan (or Qayrawan) region hundreds of basins were constructed to store water to support the raising of horses. Important trade routes linked Tunisia with the African interior, the Sahara and the Sudan. Mediterranean commerce increased. A flourishing economy permitted a refined and luxurious court life and the construction of the new palace cities of al-'Abbasiya (809), and Raqada (877) near Kairouan (where the ruling amir would reside).

Despite the economic expansion and the grand construction projects, many from the Arab-speaking officer class and ulema of Kairouan were increasingly critical of the regime. The hostility in religious circles arose primarily from the contemptuous treatment of Berbers who had embraced Islam. The Islamic doctrine of equality regardless of race was a cornerstone of the Maghribi Sunni movement, as well as the Maliki school of Islamic law which had developed in Kairouan; these formed the basis of Maghribi opposition to Arab-caliphal rule from the Islamic east.

Opposition also surfaced from the Arab army (the jund), who would try out extortionist demands on the population and on the rulers. A dangerous revolt near Tunis lasted from 824 until 826.

Despite the strong religious sentiments, many of teh Aghlabid rulers led lives of pleasure and drank wine. As recompense, mosques were constructed or augmented, e.g., at Kairouan and at Tunis (the Zaituna Mosque). A well known ribat or fortified monastery was built at Susa in 821 by Ziyadat Allah I; here warriors trained.

In 835 the Aghlabids invaded Sicily, making Palermo the capitol of the region captured. The qadi (religious judge), Assad b. Furat, had been appointed to command the expedition by Ziyadat Allah I (r. 817-838). Later raids were made against the Italian peninsula; in 846 Rome was attacked and the Basilica of St. Peter sacked. In launching the invasion of Sicily, the Aghlabid ruler managed to unite two rebellious factions in a common effort against outsiders.[53]

In general, Aghlabid rule (799-909) resulted in an era of prosperity[54]

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Fatimid Empire (909-1171) at its greatest extent.

The rise of the Fatimids also involved their constant attacks on nearby Ifriqiya, which contributed to its unrest and political instability. The Fatimids eventually took over Kairouan in 909, forcing the last of the Aghlabid line, Ziyadat Allah III, to evacuate the palace at Raqadda. The Fatimids then built a new capitol on the east coast of Ifriqiaya, calling it Madhiyya.

Eventually the Fatimids conquered most of al-Maghrib, and later Egypt, as well as lands further east. After removing their capital to Cairo, the Fatimids withdrew from direct governance of al-Maghrib, which they delegated to local vassals; for Ifriqiya: the Zirid (972-1148) and the Hammadid (1015-1152).

The Fatimid movement had originated locally in al-Maghrib, among the Kutama Berbers in Kabylia (Setif, south of Bougie, eastern Algeria). However, both founders of the movement were dissidents, recent immigrants from the Islamic east: Abu 'Abdulla al-Shi'i, originally from San'a in al-Yemen; and, coming from Syria, 'Ubaidalla Sa'id (who claimed descent from Fatima the daughter of the prophet Muhammad, and who was to proclaim himself the Mahdi). The Fatimids were Shi'a (specifically Isma'ilis), while the majority of Tunisians identify as the opposing Sunni. Accordingly, Tunisians take little pride in the great extent and relative endurance, the peace and the prosperity of the Fatimid era in Islamic history.

After the Fatimids had relocated to Egypt, Ifriqiya became submerged by the various political quarrels conducted by their representatives, the Zirids and the Hammadids. There ensued a general disruption of well being that was also connected to the decline of regional trade and of agriculture. Then the telling blow struck, being dealt by nomadic migrations from Arabia and Egypt; the Bedouins of the Banu Hilal defeated the Zirid and Hammadid states and sacked Kairouan in 1057 . It has been said that much of the misfortune of the Maghrib can be traced to the chaos and regression occasioned by their arrival. As the Banu Halali invaders took control of the plains, the local sedentary people were forced to take refuge in the mountains. In central and northern Ifriqiya farming gave way to pastoralism.

These rough new Arab immigrants did accelerated the process of Arabization, with the Berber languages virtually disappearing even in some of the rural areas.[55]

Almohad Empire, & Hafsid Dynasty

Anarchy in Ifriqiya (Tunisia) made it a target for the Norman kingdom in Sicily, which between 1134 and 1148 seized Mahdia, Gabes, Sfax, and the island of Jerba. The only credible Muslim rulers in the Maghreb at the time were the Almohads, then led by their caliph a Berber Abd al-Mu'min (c.1090-1163). He responded with a several military counters which by 1160 had forced the Normans to retreat back to Sicily.

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Almohad Empire (1147-1269) at it greatest extent.

The Almohad movement [Arabic al-Muwahhidun, "the Unitarians"] ruled in the Maghrib from about 1130 to 1269. This movement had been founded by Ibn Tumart (1077-1130), a Masmuda Berber from the Atlas mountains of Morocco. After a pilgrimage to Mecca followed by study, he returned inspired by the teachings of al-Ash'ari and al-Ghazali. He preached an interior awareness of the Unity of God. A reformer, he gathered a following in the Atlas, founded a radical community, and began attacking the current rulers, the Almoravids [Arabic al-Murabitum, from Ribat, e.g., "defenders"]. The Almoravids (1056-1147) had also been a Berber Islamic movement of the Maghrib, which had run its course and since become decadent and weak. Although Almoravid power had reached from south of Morocco to al-Andalus (southern Spain), it had not controlled Infriqiya.

In 1130 Abd al-Mu'min had become the Almohad caliph followng Ibn Tumart's death. He immediately had attacked the ruling Almoravids and had wrestled Morocco away from them by 1147, suppressing subsequent revolts there. He intervened in al-Andalus, then in 1152 successfully invaded the Hammadids of Bougie (in Algeria). As mentioned, he had entered Ifriqiya, removing the Normans.[56]

Despite their power, the narrow religious doctrine championed by the unitarian Almohads was never successfully implemented. Although it might have worked to deepen the religious awareness of the Muslim people of the Maghrib, it could not suppress all other traditions and teachings. Alternative expressions of Islam, including that of the Maliki jurists, the popular cult of saints and Sufis, and the philosophy of Averroës (Ibn Rushd in Arabic), were always tolerated in Ifriqiya. The Almohad empire, like its predecessor, eventually dissolved.

Enlarge picture
Flag of Tunis under the Hafsids, according to the Catalan Atlas circa 1375

The Hafsids dynasty (1230-1574) succeeded Almohad rule in Ifriqiya, while claiming to be the true spiritual heirs of the Almohad movement. The Hafsid were recognised by Mecca, which acknowledged the ruler Al-Mustansir as caliph. In 1270 an attempted invasion by Louis IX of France was repulsed. Tunisia prospered through increasing European and Sudanese trade under Al-Mustansir, who used the money to transform Tunis, his capital, with a palace and the Abu Fihr park. Of course, from Tunis comes the name Tunisia. The estate he created near Bizerte was said to be without equal in the world.

Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406) lived in Tunis under the Hafsids for much of his life. Although his family had originated in Yemen, it had enjoyed long residency in al-Andalus before leaving to come to Ifriqiyah. The philosophic history written by Ibn Khaldun was informed in theory by his learning as an Hispanic faylasuf [philosopher], but in practice by his witnessing the apparent cyclical progression of the Maghrib as experienced by the effects on Ifriqiya. He was at one time an official of the Hafsids, where he experienced the effects on Ifriqiya of a long time downturn in its fortunes. His book, the Muqaddimah presents the development of social events as a field of study in quasi-sociological terms.[57]

During the Hafsid dynasty, Muslim and Jewish migration came into Ifriqiya from al-Andalus, especially after 1492 with the fall of Granada, the last Muslim state on the Iberian peninsula. These newcomers brought much-needed skills in agriculture and crafts. Yet Tunisia become one of the pawns in the Mediterranean power struggles between Spain and Turkey during the sixteenth century. By 1574 Ifriqiya had been incorporated into the Ottoman Empire.

Ottoman Empire (1574-1705/1881)

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Ottoman Empire (1299-1918), here to 1683.

The Tunisian state was rebuilt by the imposition of Ottoman rule in the late 16th century. The Ottomans made Tunisia a province of their empire in 1574, and garrisoned Tunis with 4,000 Janissaries recruited from Anatolia, reinforced by some Christian converts to Islam from Italy, Spain, and Provence.

In 1591 the local Janissary officers replaced the Sultan's appointee with one of their own men, called the Dey. While the Dey dominated the city of Tunis, a Corsican-born Tunisian tax collector (Bey) named Murad (d. 1640), and his descendants, dominated the rest of the country. The struggle for power made allies of the Dey, the Janissaries, and Bedouin tribes against the Beys, the towns, and the fertile region of the countryside. The Muradid Beys eventually triumphed, and ruled until 1705, when Hussein ibn Ali came to power.

The period from 1705 to 1957 witnessed the reign of the Husseinite Beys, including the highly effective Hammouda Pasha (1781-1813). In theory, Tunisia continued to be a vassal of the Ottoman empire -- the Friday prayer was pronounced in the name of the Ottoman Sultan, money was coined in his honor, and an annual ambassador brought gifts to Istanbul -- but the Ottomans never again were able to exact obedience.

Modern history, & France

In the 19th century, the country became mostly autonomous, although officially still an Ottoman province. In 1861, Tunisia enacted the first constitution in the Arab world, but a move toward a republic was hampered by the poor economy and political unrest. In 1869, Tunisia declared itself bankrupt; an international financial commission, with representatives from France, the United Kingdom, and Italy, took control over the economy.

Enlarge picture
All the areas ruled by France at one time or another.

In the spring of 1881, France invaded Tunisia, claiming that Tunisian troops had crossed the border to Algeria, France's main colony in Northern Africa. Italy, also interested in Tunisia, protested, but did not risk a war with France. On May 12 of that year, Tunisia was officially made a French protectorate with the signature of the treaty of Bardo by Muhammad III as-Sadiq.[59] The French progressively assumed the more responsible administrative positions, and by 1884 they supervised all Tunisian government bureaus dealing with finance, post, education, telegraph, public works and agriculture. They abolished the international finance commission and guaranteed the Tunisian debt, established a new judicial system for Europeans while keeping the sharia courts available for cases involving Tunisians, and developed roads, ports, railroads, and mines. In rural areas they strengthened the local officials (qa'ids) and weakened the independent tribes. French settlements in the country were actively encouraged; the number of French colonists grew from 34,000 in 1906 to 144,000 in 1945, with the French occupying approximately one-fifth of the cultivated land.

During World War II, the French authorities in Tunisia supported the Vichy government which ruled France after its capitulation to Germany in 1940 . After initial victories to the east the German General Erwin Rommel,[60] lacking supplies and reinforcements, in 1942 lost the decisive battle of al-Alamein (near Alexandria in Egypt) to the British General Bernard Montgomery. After learning of Allied landings in the west (Operation Torch), the German army retreated westward to Tunisia and set up defensive positions. The British following on his heels eventually broke these lines, although Rommel did have some early success against the "green" American troops advancing from the west, until the arrival of General George Patton who beat Rommel in battle. The fighting ended in early 1943. General Eisenhower (who earned trust by talking straight if not always clearly) stated that "far from governing a conquered country, we were attempting only to force a gradual widening of the base of government, with the final objective of turning all internal affairs over to popular control." Tunisia became a base for operations in the invasion of Sicily later that year.[61]

Enlarge picture
Map of modern Tunisia.

Nationalist sentiment had long been organized within Tunisia, especially following the formation of the League of Nations in 1919. The nationalist Destour Party was set up in 1920. Its successor the Neo-Destour Party, established in 1934 and led by Habib Bourguiba, was banned by the French. After World War II, the struggle for national independence continued and intensified. With a lack of progress, violent resistance to French rule began in the mountains during 1954. The Tunisians coordinated with independence movements in Algeria and Morocco, although it was Tunisia that first became independent. Ultimately, the Neo-Destour Party managed to gain sovereignty for its people by maneuver and finesse.[62]

Tunisia since independence

Independence from France was achieved on March 20, 1956. The State was established as a constitutional monarchy with the Bey of Tunis, Muhammad VIII al-Amin Bey, as the king of Tunisia.

In 1957 the Prime Minister Habib Bourguiba abolished the monarchy and established a strict state under the Neo-Destour (New Constitution) party. He dominated the country for 31 years, repressing Islamic fundamentalism and establishing rights for women unmatched by any other Arab nation.[63] Bourguiba envisioned a Tunisian republic (he also had ended the old quasi-monarchical institution of the dey), which was secular, populist, and imbued with a kind of French rationalist vision of the state that was Napoleonic in spirit.

Enlarge picture
Habib Bourguiba

"Bourguibism" was also resolutely nonmilitarist, arguing that Tunisia could never be a credible military power and that the building of a large military establishment would only consume scarce investment and perhaps thrust Tunisia into the cycles of military intervention in politics that had plagued the rest of the Middle East.

Socialism was not initially part of the project, but redistributive policies certainly were. In 1964, however, Tunisia entered a short lived socialist era. The Neo-Destour party became the Socialist Destour, and the new minister of planning, Ahmed Ben Salah, formulated a state-led plan for the formation of agricultural cooperatives and public-sector industrialization. The socialist experiment raised considerable opposition within Bourguiba's old coalition. Ahmed Ben Salah was dismissed in 1970, and many socialized operations (e.g., the farm cooperatives) were eventually returned to private ownership in the early 1970s. In 1978, a general strike was repressed with government violence killing dozens and union leaders jailed.

After independence, Tunsian economic policy was to promote light industry and tourism, and developed its phosphate deposits. The major sector remained agriculture with small farms prevailing, but these did not produce well. In the early 1960s the economy slowed down, but the socialist program did not prove to be the cure. In the 1970s the economy of Tunisia expanded at a very agreeable rate. Oil was discovered, and tourism continued. City and countryside poplulation drew equal. Yet agricultural problems and urban unemployment led to increased migration to Europe. In the 1980s the economy performed poorly. In 1983 the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forced the government to raise the price of bread and semolina, causing severe protest riots. In this situation, the Islamic Tendency Movement (MTI) under Cheikh Rached el-Ghannouchi provided popular leadership. These disturbances, including the Islamists, were repressed by government security forces under General Zine El abidine Ben Ali. Ben Ali was named prime minister.

The 84-year-old President Bourguiba was overthrown and replaced by Prime Minister Zine El Abidine Ben Ali on November 7, 1987. President Ben Ali changed little in the Bourguibist system except to rename the party the Democratic Constitutional Rally (RCD by its French acronym). In 1988 Ben Ali tried a new tack with reference to the government and Islam, by attempting to reaffirm the country's Islamic identity by releasing several Islamists activists from prison. He also forged a national pact with the Tunisian party Harakat al-Ittijah al-Islami (Islamic Tendency Movement), founded in 1981; later it changed its name to an-Nahda (the Renaissance Party). An-Nahda claims to have run strongly in the 1989 elections, but the elections appear to be unfair, with reports of pro-government votes often over 90%. Ben Ali subsequently banned Islamist political parties and jailed as many as 8,000 activists.

The economy more than doubled between 1988 and 1998. An association agreement with the European Union will move Tunisia toward full free trade with the EU by 2008. Many rural and urban poor were left out of the recent prosperity, including small businesses facing the world market. A widely popular human rights movement has emerged, which included not only Islamists, but also trade unionists, lawyers, journalists. Tunisia's political institutions, however, remain fixed in the authoritarian past. As of 2001, the government's response to calls for reform has been house arrests and prison.[64] As of February 2006, the government continues its refusal to recognize Muslim opposition parties, and governs the country by military and police repression.

In foreign affairs, Tunisia continued close ties to the West. The Arab League was headquartered in Tunis from 1979 to 1991. From the perspective of 2003, in recent years Tunisia has taken a moderate, non-aligned stance in its foreign relations.


1. ^ See map at end of article.
2. ^ Gabriel Camps, Les Berberes (Edisud 1996) at 11-14, 65, posits a new influx around 7000-5000 B.C. that joined a pre-existing population (an archeologist, Camps founded the Institut d'Etudes Berberes at the Univ.de Aix-en-Provence); Michael Brett and Elizabeth Fentress, The Berbers (Blackwell 1996) at 5, 12-13; cf., C. B. M. McBurney, The Stone Age in North Africa (Pelican 1960) at 84.
3. ^ Also known as Afrasian.
4. ^ Joseph Greenberg, The Languages of Africa (Indiana Univ. 1966) at 42, 50; see also David Crystal, Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language (1987) at 316; A. Basset, La langue berbere (Oxford 1952, 1969).
5. ^ Jamil M. Abun-Nasr, A History of the Maghrib (Cambridge Univ. 1971) at 8-9, 10.
6. ^ Michael Brent and Elizabeth Fentress, The Berbers (Blackwell 1996) at 10-13, 17-20.
7. ^ E.g., Genesis 10:13 (Lehabim); Galbraith Welch, North African Prelude (New York: Wm. Morrow 1949) at 39; Abun-Nasr, A History of the Maghrib at 7.
8. ^ Strabo, Geographica at XVIII, 3, ii, cited by Rene Basset in Moorish Literature (New York: Collier 1901) at iii.
9. ^ Brent and Fentress, The Berbers at 37-39, Tifinagh being the name for the script now used by the Tuareg for writing their Kabylia language.
10. ^ Camps, Les Berberes at 11-14; Brett & Fentress, The Berbers at 12-13.
11. ^ Gilbert Picard and Colette Picard, Vie et mort de Carthage (1968) translated as The Life and Death of Carthgare (New York: Taplinger 1968) at 30; kart meaning "city", hudesht "new" (pronounced Carchedon in Greek).
12. ^ On Punic see Serge Lancel, Carthage (Librairie Artheme Fayard 1993, Blackwell 1995) at 351-360.
13. ^ Lancel, Carthage at 23-25.
14. ^ Lancel, Carthage. A history at 20-25, 79-86; Gilbert Picard and Colette Picard, Vie et mort de Carthage (1968) translated as Life and Death of Carthage (New York: Taplinger 1969) at 59-72; Glenn Markoe, The Phoenicians (Univ.of California 2000) at 54-56.
15. ^ Picard, The Life and Death of Carthage at 72-78
16. ^ Picard, Life and Death of Carthage at 78-80, 166-171.
17. ^ Jamil M. Abun-Naysr, A History of the Maghrib (Cambridge Univ. 1971) at 17-20; Serge Lancel, Carthage. A history (Blackwell 1992, 1995) at 88-102; E. W. Bovill, The Golden Trade of the Moors (Oxford 1958, 1968) at 18-28.
18. ^ Sabatino Moscati, Ancient Semitic Civilizations (London 1957), e.g., at 40 & 113; W. Robertson Smith, Lectures on the Religion of the Semites (London, 3rd ed. 1927). Cf. Julian Baldick, who posits an even greater and more ancient sweep of a common religious culture in his Black God. Afroasiatic roots of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim religions (1998).
19. ^ S.G.F.Brandon (ed.), Dictionary of Comparative Religion (Scribners 1970), "Canaanite Religion" at 170, and "Molech" at 448. In the foundation story of Abraham and Isaac, the practice of child sacrifice is shown rejected by Hebrew religion (Genesis 22:1-19); and temple prostitution rejected as well per the reforms of Josiah (2 Kings 23:7).
20. ^ Moscati, Ancient Semitic Civilizations at 113-114.
21. ^ Brandon (ed.), Dictionary of Comparative Religion re "Canaanite Religion" at 173, "Phoenician Religion" at 501; Richard Carlyon, A Guide to the Gods (New York 1981) at 311, 315, 320, 324, 326, 329, 332, 333.
22. ^ This discussion first follows Warmington in essence, then turns to Picard's substantially different results.
23. ^ B. H. Warmington, Carthage (Robert Hale 1960, Pelican 1964) at 144-147.
24. ^ Aristotle, Politica in The Basic Works of Aristotle edited by R. McKeon, translated by B. Jowett (Random House 1941) at 1113-1316, "Carthage" at Book II, Chapter 11, at pages 1171-1174 (1272b-1274b).
25. ^ Polybus, Histories translated as Rise of the Roman Empire (Penguin 19xy) at Chapter VI.
26. ^ Warmington, Carthage at 147-148.
27. ^ Warmington, Carthage at 148.
28. ^ Aristotle, Politica at II, 11, pages 1171-1174 (1272b/23-1273b/26).
29. ^ Aristotle, Politica at II, 11, at page 1171 (1272b/29-32).
30. ^ Warmington, Carthage at 143-144, 148-150
31. ^ Warmington, Carthage at 240-241
32. ^ Picard, Life and Death of Carthage at 80-86
33. ^ Picard, Life and Death of Carthage at 182-202.
34. ^ Abun-Nasr, A History of the Maghrib at 25-28; Lancel, Carthage at 376-401; Picard, Life and Death of Carthage at 230-267; Theodor Mommsen, Romische Geschichte (3 volumes, Leipzig 1854-1856) translated by Wm. Dickson as History of Rome (4 volumes 1862, 4th ed. 1894); H. H. Scullard, History of the Roman World, 753-146 BC (rev.ed. 1951). Cf. the ancient Roman historian Livy, Ab urbe condita (c.20 B.C.) at Books XXI-XXX, translated as The War with Hannibal (Penguin 1965).
35. ^ Lancel, Carthage at 401-406, 409-427.
36. ^ Sallust, Belum Jugurthinum (c.40 B.C.), translated as The Jugurthine War (Penguin 19xy).
37. ^ H. L. Havel, Republican Rome (London 1914, reprinted 1996) at 522-524; Cato was widely admired.
38. ^ Abun-Nasr, History of the Maghrib at 31; Brett and Fentress, The Berbers at 43-44.
39. ^ Severus was well regarded as Emperor.
40. ^ Michael Grant, The Roman Emperors. A biographical guide to the rulers of Imperial Rome, 31 B.C. to A.D. 476 (New York: Scribner's 1985) at 108-113, 117-136; Diana Bowder, Who was who in the Roman World'' (Cornell Univ. 1980).
41. ^ Grant, The Roman Emperors at 140-155; Bowder, editor, Who was Who in the Roman World.
42. ^ Abun-Nasr, A History of the Maghrib at 38 & 43-44, 46; Bowder, Who was who in the Roman World; cf., Brown, Augustine of Hippo (Univ.of California 1967).
43. ^ It has been remarked that the rural Berbers more rigorous quest for religious purity, when compared to the more relaxed attitude of mainstream civilization, has led not only to Donatism with regard to Christianity, but also as regards Islam to the Berber attraction to the Kharijites, and to both the Almoravide and the Almohad movements.
44. ^ Johnson, A History of Christianity (New York: Atheneum 1979) at 83-85, 88, 115; Brown, Augustine of Hippo at 215-225, 240-241; Abun-Nasr, A History of the Maghrib at 39-44, 62.
45. ^ Abun-Nasr, A History of the Maghrib at 45-52, 65.
46. ^ Abun-Nasr, A History of the Maghrib at 67-69; John K. Cooley, Baal, Christ, and Mohammed (New York 1965) at 64-69. A slightly different view of Kusaila (Kusayla) is given by H. Mones, "The Conquest of North Africa and Berber resistance" in I. Hrbek (ed.), General History of Africa (Univ.of California/UNESCO 1992) at 118-129, 123-124; Prof. Mones relates that Kusayla converted to Islam at first but turned against Islam due to a perceived injustice (Arabs marching against Berber converts).
47. ^ Brett & Fentress, The Berbers at 85; Cooley, Baal, Christ, and Mohammed at 69-72; Welch, North African Prelude at 189-194.
48. ^ Abun-Nasr, A History of the Maghrib at 69-70.
49. ^ Marshall G. S. Hodgson, The Venture of Islam (Univ.of Chicago 1958, 1961, 1974), at volume I: 308.
50. ^ See above "Early History"; Joseph Greenberg, The Languages of Africa (Indiana Univ. 1966) at 42, 50; David Crystal, Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language (1987) at 316. As to possible linkage with culture, cf. Julian Baldick, Black God. Afro-Asiatic roots of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim religions (1998).
51. ^ Abun-Nasr, A History of the Maghrib at 71; Marshall G. S. Hodgson, The Venture of Islam, at volume I: 226, 308-312.
52. ^ H. Mones, "The Conquest of North Africa and Berber resistance" in I. Hrbek (ed.), General History of Africa (Univ.of California/UNESCO 1992) at 118-129, 127-129.
53. ^ A too common pattern among human beings in general.
54. ^ Abun-Nasr, A History of the Maghrib at 76-78.
55. ^ Abun-Nasr, A History of the Maghrib at 80-86.
56. ^ Roger Le Tourneau, The Almohad Movement in North Africa in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries (Princeton Univ. 1969) at 48-57, 92.
57. ^ Hodgson, The Venture of Islam at volume II: 476, 478-484; R. Idris, "Society in the Maghrib after the disappearance of the Almohad" in J.KiZerbo & D.T.Niane (editors), General History of Africa (Univ.of California/UNESCO 1997) volume IV: 44-49, 48-49.
58. ^ Clark, Stevens, Alden, Krafft, A Short History of the United States Navy (Philadelphia 1910, revised by Alden in 1927).
59. ^ Cooley, Baal, Christ, and Mohammed. Religion and Revolution in North Africa (New York 1965) at 193-196; Richard M. Brace, Morocco Algeria Tunisia (Prentice-Hall 1964) at 36-37.
60. ^ Rommel later joined the German military's plot to kill Hitler; Rommel's preference was to arrest and try Hitler for war crimes. Wm. L. Shirer, Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (New York 1960) at 1030-1032.
61. ^ Dwight D. Eisenhower, Crusade in Europe (New York 1948) at 137; Wm. L. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich at 912-913.
62. ^ Richard M. Brace, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia (Prentice-Hall 1964) at 39-52, 95-97.
63. ^ Brace, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia at 142.
64. ^ Moncef M. Khaddar, "Tunisia" at 848-850 in Joel Krieger (ed.), The Oxford Companion to Politics of the World (Oxford Univ. 2001).

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Hurriya, Nidham, 'Adala
"Liberty, Order, Justice"
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Berber languages / Tamazight are a group of closely related languages mainly spoken in Morocco and Algeria. A very sparse population extends into the whole Sahara and the northern part of the Sahel. They belong to the Afro-Asiatic languages phylum.
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Afro-Asiatic languages constitute a language family (Languages of Africa) with about 375 languages (SIL estimate) and more than 300 million speakers spread throughout North Africa, East Africa, West Africa, Central Africa, and Southwest Asia (including some 200 million speakers of
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The Capsian culture (named after the town of Gafsa in Tunisia) was a Mesolithic culture of the Maghreb, which lasted from about 10000 BP to 6000 BP. It was concentrated mainly in modern Algeria, and Tunisia, with some sites attested in Cyrenaica (Libya).
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Mediterranean is a sea of the Atlantic Ocean almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Europe, on the south by Africa, and on the east by Asia. It covers an approximate area of 2.
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The term ancient Greece refers to the periods of Greek history in Classical Antiquity, lasting ca. 750 BC[1] (the archaic period) to 146 BC (the Roman conquest). It is generally considered to be the seminal culture which provided the foundation of Western Civilization.
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Phoenicia (or Phenicia \fi-ˈnish-(ē-)ə, -ˈnēsh-\,[1] from Biblical Phenice \fi-ˈ
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State Party  Tunisia
Type Cultural
Criteria ii, iii, vi
Reference 37
Region Arab States

Inscription History
Inscription 1979  (3rd Session)
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Phoenicia (or Phenicia \fi-ˈnish-(ē-)ə, -ˈnēsh-\,[1] from Biblical Phenice \fi-ˈ
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The Levant (IPA: /lə'vænt/) is an imprecise geographical term historically referring to a large area in the Middle East south of the Taurus Mountains, bounded by the Mediterranean Sea on the west, and by the northern
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