The Info List - Tripolitania

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/trɪpɒlɪˈteɪniə/ or Tripolitana (Arabic: طرابلس‎ Ṭarābulus, Berber: Ṭrables, from Vulgar Latin *Trapoletanius, from Latin
Regio Tripolitana, from Greek Τριπολιτάνια) is a historic region and former province of Libya. Tripolitania
was a separate Italian colony from 1927 to 1934. From 1934 to 1963, Tripolitania
was one of three administrative divisions within Italian Libya
and the Kingdom of Libya, alongside Cyrenaica
to the east and Fezzan
to the south.


1 Geography 2 Administration 3 History

3.1 Antiquity 3.2 Middle Ages 3.3 Modern history

4 Episcopal sees 5 Demographics

5.1 Population 5.2 Ethnicity

6 See also 7 Notes 8 External links


Satellite image of Libya
with Tripolitania
on the upper left half, showing the green Mediterranean coast in the north and the large desert in the centre and south

Detailed map of Tripolitania

In the old system, Tripolitania
included Tripoli, 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. Administration[edit] The system of administrative divisions that included Tripolitania
was abolished in the early 1970s in favor of a system of smaller-size municipalities or baladiyat (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. History[edit] Further information: History of Libya Antiquity[edit] Further information: Ancient Libya, Roman Libya, Diocese of Africa, and Praetorian prefecture
Praetorian prefecture
of Africa The city of Oea, on the site of modern Tripoli, was founded by the Phoenicians in the 7th century BC. It was conquered by the Greek rulers of Cyrenaica, who were in turn displaced by the Carthaginians. The Greek name Τρίπολις "three cities" referred to Oea, Sabratha
and Leptis Magna. The Roman Republic
Roman Republic
captured Tripolitania
in 146 BC, and the area prospered during the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
period. The Latin
name Regio Tripolitania
dates to the 3rd century. The Vandals took over in 435, and were in turn supplanted by the counter offensive of the Eastern Roman Empire
Roman Empire
in the 530s. Middle Ages[edit] Main article: History of Islamic Tripolitania
and Cyrenaica In the 7th century, Tripolitania
was conquered by the Rashidun Caliphate, and was inherited by its descendants the Umayyads
and the Abbasids. The Fatimids, established a Caliphate from Tunisia to Syria. In the 1140s, the Normans of Sicily
Normans of Sicily
invaded Tripoli, but were ousted by the Almohad Caliphate
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 conquest of 1553. Modern history[edit] See also: Ottoman Tripolitania

Flag of the Tripolitania Vilayet
Tripolitania Vilayet

Official coat of arms of the Italian Tripolitania

Flag of the Tripolitanian Republic
Tripolitanian Republic

Ottoman Tripolitania
Ottoman Tripolitania
(Trablusgarb) extended beyond the region of Tripolitania
proper, also including Cyrenaica. Tripolitania
became effectively independent under the rulers of the Karamanli dynasty from 1711 until Ottoman control was re-imposed by Mahmud II
Mahmud II
in 1835. Ottoman rule persisted until 1911–12, when it was captured by Italy in the Italo-Turkish War. Italy
officially granted autonomy after the war, but gradually occupied the region. After World War I, an Arab Republic, Al-Jumhuriya al-Trabulsiya, or "Tripolitanian Republic", declared the independence of Tripolitania from Italian Libya. The proclamation of the Tripolitanian Republic
Tripolitanian Republic
in autumn 1918 was followed by a formal declaration of independence at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference (Treaty of Versailles). This was the first formally declared republican form of government in the Arab world, but it gained little support from international powers, and disintegrated by 1923. Italy
under Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini managed to reestablish 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 as a form of an imperial triumphal arch at the border between Tripolitani and Cyrenaica
near the coast. During World War II, several see-saw back and forth campaigns with mobile armour vehicles ebbed and flowed across the North African coastal deserts between first Italian Fascists and the British, soon joined by the Nazi Germans in 1941. Libya
was finally occupied by the western Allies, the British moving east from Egypt
after their victory at El Alamein
El Alamein
in October 1942 against German Field Marshall Erwin Rommel and his Afrika Korps, and the Americans from the west after landings in Operation: Torch in Morocco
and Algeria
in November 1942. From 1942 continuing to the end of the war in 1945 until 1951, when Libya
gained independence, Tripolitania
and the region of Cyrenaica were administered by the British Military Administration. Italy formally renounced its claim upon the territory in 1947. Tripolitania
retained its status as a province in the Kingdom of Libya from 1951 to 1963, when it was replaced by a new system of governorates, which divided Tripolitania
into the governorates of Khoms, Zawiya, Jabal al Gharbi, Misrata, and Tarabulus. Episcopal sees[edit] Ancient episcopal sees of the late Roman province
Roman province
of Tripolitania listed in the Annuario Pontificio
Annuario Pontificio
as titular sees:[4]

Gergis (Zargis) Gigthi Girba
(Djerba, Tunisia) Leptis Magna Oëa Paraetonium Sabrata Sinnipsa (ruins of Abd-es-Saade?) Tacapae Teuchira Villamagna in Tripolitania
Villamagna in Tripolitania

Modern Latin
missionary jurisdiction : Apostolic Vicariate of Tripolitana (later renamed after its see Benghazi). Demographics[edit] Population[edit] 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. Ethnicity[edit] The majority of the population in Tripolitania
is of Arab-Berber ancestry. Communities of Berber-speakers lives in the Jebel Nafusa region, the town of Zuwara
on the coast, and the city-oases of Ghadames. See also[edit]

Airmail stamp of Tripolitania

Banknotes of the Military Authority in Tripolitania Postage stamps of Tripolitania Karamanli dynasty List of colonial heads of Tripolitania Libyan resistance movement In addition to Tripoli, the following are among the largest and most important cities of Tripolitania: Misrata, Zawiya, Gharyan, Khoms, Tarhuna
and Sirte.


^ Abdel Aziz Tarih Sharaf, “Jughrafia Libia”, Munsha’at al Ma’arif, Alexandria, 2nd ed., 1971, pp.232-233. ^ 2006 census, based on the sum of population of districts Misrata, Murqub, Tripoli, Jafara, Zawiya, Nuqat al Khams, Jabal al Gharbi, Nalut ^ "World Statesmen-Libya". Retrieved 12 December 2009.  ^ Annuario Pontificio
Annuario Pontificio
2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2013, ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), "Sedi titolari", pp. 819-1013

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Tripolitania.

Brief history of Tripolitania Map of Tripolitania
showing its important cities and towns.

v t e

Historical regions of Libya

Cyrenaica Fezzan Tripolitania

Subdivisions Provinces Governorates Districts Municipalities

v t e

Late Roman provinces (4th–7th centuries AD)


As found in the Notitia Dignitatum. Provincial administration reformed and dioceses established by Diocletian, c. 293. Permanent praetorian prefectures established after the death of Constantine I. Empire permanently partitioned after 395. Exarchates of Ravenna and Africa established after 584. After massive territorial losses in the 7th century, the remaining provinces were superseded by the theme system in c. 640–660, although in Asia Minor and parts of Greece they survived under the themes until the early 9th century.

Western Empire (395–476)

Praetorian Prefecture of Gaul

Diocese of Gaul

Alpes Poeninae et Graiae Belgica I Belgica II Germania I Germania II Lugdunensis I Lugdunensis II Lugdunensis III Lugdunensis IV Maxima Sequanorum

Diocese of Vienne1

Alpes Maritimae Aquitanica I Aquitanica II Narbonensis I Narbonensis II Novempopulania Viennensis

Diocese of Spain

Baetica Balearica Carthaginensis Gallaecia Lusitania Mauretania Tingitana Tarraconensis

Diocese of the Britains

Britannia I Britannia II Flavia Caesariensis Maxima Caesariensis Valentia (?)

Praetorian Prefecture of Italy

Diocese of Suburbicarian Italy

Apulia et Calabria Campania Corsica Lucania et Bruttii Picenum
Suburbicarium Samnium Sardinia Sicilia Tuscia et Umbria Valeria

Diocese of Annonarian Italy

Alpes Cottiae Flaminia et Picenum
Annonarium Liguria et Aemilia Raetia I Raetia II Venetia et Istria

Diocese of Africa2

Africa proconsularis (Zeugitana) Byzacena Mauretania Caesariensis Mauretania Sitifensis Numidia Cirtensis Numidia Militiana Tripolitania

Diocese of Pannonia3

Dalmatia Noricum mediterraneum Noricum ripense Pannonia I Pannonia II Savia Valeria ripensis

Eastern Empire (395–c. 640)

Praetorian prefecture of Illyricum

Diocese of Dacia

Dacia Mediterranea Dacia Ripensis Dardania Moesia I Praevalitana

Diocese of Macedonia

Achaea Creta Epirus Nova Epirus Vetus Macedonia Prima Macedonia II Salutaris Thessalia

Praetorian Prefecture of the East

Diocese of Thrace5

Europa Haemimontus Moesia II4 Rhodope Scythia4 Thracia

Diocese of Asia5

Asia Caria4 Hellespontus Insulae4 Lycaonia
(370) Lycia Lydia Pamphylia Pisidia Phrygia Pacatiana Phrygia Salutaris

Diocese of Pontus5

Armenia I5 Armenia II5 Armenia Maior5 Armenian Satrapies5 Armenia III
Armenia III
(536) Armenia IV
Armenia IV
(536) Bithynia Cappadocia I5 Cappadocia II5 Galatia I5 Galatia II Salutaris5 Helenopontus5 Honorias5 Paphlagonia5 Pontus Polemoniacus5

Diocese of the East5

Arabia Cilicia I Cilicia II Cyprus4 Euphratensis Isauria Mesopotamia Osroene Palaestina I Palaestina II Palaestina III Salutaris Phoenice I Phoenice II Libanensis Syria I Syria II Salutaris Theodorias (528)

Diocese of Egypt5

Aegyptus I Aegyptus II Arcadia Augustamnica I Augustamnica II Libya
Superior Libya
Inferior Thebais Superior Thebais Inferior

Other territories

Taurica Quaestura exercitus (536) Spania

1 Later the Septem Provinciae 2 Re-established after reconquest by the Eastern Empire in 534 as the separate Prefecture of Africa 3 Later the Diocese of Illyricum 4 Placed under the Quaestura exercitus in 536 5 Affected (i.e. boundaries modified, abolished or renamed) by Justinian I's administrative reorganization in 534–536

Authority control

GND: 4119714-8

Coordinates: 32°54′00″N 13°11′00″E / 32.9000°N 13.1833°E