/sir'euh nay"i keuh, suy'reuh-/, n.
1. Also called Barca. an ancient district in N Africa.
2. the E part of Libya. Also, Cirenaica.

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Northeastern region of present-day Libya.

It was colonized by the Greeks (с 631 BC), who established five cities there. It became a Roman province in 67 BC. Arab armies conquered it in AD 642, as did the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century. Italy colonized it in the early 20th century, but Italian forces were expelled during World War II (1939–45). In 1963 it was incorporated into Libya.

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▪ historical region, North Africa
also spelled  Cirenaica , Arabic  Barqah 

      historic region of North Africa and until 1963 a province of the United Kingdom of Libya. As early as c. 631 BC Greek colonists settled the northern half of ancient Cyrenaica, known then as Pentapolis for the five major cities they established: Euhesperides (Banghāzī), Barce (al-Marj), Cyrene (Shaḥḥāt), Apollonia (Marsa Sūsah), and Tenchira (Tūkrah). In later times Ptolemais (Ṭulmaythah) and Daims-Zarine (Darnah) also rose to prominence.

      Under the Ptolemies of Egypt (ruled 323–30 BC), the inland cities of Barce and Cyrene declined and commercial competition with Egypt and Carthage intensified. Cyrenaica itself became a Roman province in combination with Crete in 67 BC. After Arab armies under the leadership of ʿAmr ibn al-ʿĀṣ had conquered the country in 642, inland Cyrenaica regained importance, lying as it did on the direct route between Alexandria and al-Qayrawān, and Barce became its chief centre. Ruled by a succession of Egyptian-based dynasties in the later Middle Ages, Cyrenaica came under the nominal suzerainty of the Ottoman Empire after the 15th century; in the mid-19th century the region became the centre of the Sanūsīyah religious brotherhood and dynasty.

      As a result of the Italo-Turkish War (1911–12), Cyrenaica, with Tripolitania, was ceded to Italy in 1912, and by 1940 about 50,000 Italian peasant colonists were converting northern Cyrenaica into the semblance of an Italian province, cultivating cereals, vines, and fruit trees. In 1939, along with Fezzan and Tripolitania, Cyrenaica was incorporated into the kingdom of Italy.

      Cyrenaica became a major theatre of operations during World War II. When the British finally occupied the area after the victory at el-Alamein in Egypt (al-ʿAlamayn; October 1942), the Italian colonists were evacuated, and the population was once again 98 percent Muslim and Arabic-speaking.

      After World War II the inability of the great powers to agree on the future of the former Italian colonies protracted the British military administration, and a united kingdom of Libya comprising the three provinces was not proclaimed until 1951. In 1963 the provinces were abolished and the country became a unitary state.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cyrenaica — Cyrenaica, Landschaft, s. Kyrenaika …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Cyrenaica — Cyrenaĭca, Cyrēne, s. Kyrenaika …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • CYRENAICA — regio Lybiae exterioris, ubi Basiliscus serpens generatur. Solin. c. 30. inter regionem Tripolitanam, ad Occasum, et Marmaricam ad Ortum, nunc in parte Barbariae, quae regnum Barcae dicitur. In ea est Pentapolis provinc. nunc Mesrata: Ubi Cyrene …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Cyrenaica — [sir΄ə nā′i kə, sī΄rənā′i kə] 1. region of E Libya 2. ancient Greek kingdom (7th 4th cent. B.C. ) in the same general region, dominated by the city of Cyrene …   English World dictionary

  • Cyrenaica — Pentapolis (North Africa) redirects here. For other uses, see Pentapolis. Barqa redirects here. For other uses, see Barka. Cyrenaica as an administrative unit included all of eastern Libya from 1927 to 1963: Italian Cyrenaica from 1927 to 1937… …   Wikipedia

  • Cyrenaica — Die Kyrenaika (auch Cyrenaica; arabisch ‏برقه‎ Barqah) ist eine Landschaft im östlichen Libyen. Ihr Name rührt von der antiken Stadt Kyrene her, der alte arabisch türkische Name der Region ist Barqa nach der gleichnamigen Stadt. Die Kyrenaika ist …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • cyrenaica —   L. ica, belonging to. From Cyrenaica, Libya …   Etymological dictionary of grasses

  • Cyrenaica Shrew — Conservation status Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)[1] …   Wikipedia

  • Cyrenaica — or Italian Cirenaica geographical name 1. (or Cyrene) ancient coastal region N Africa dominated by city of Cyrene 2. region E Libya; formerly a province • Cyrenaic adjective or noun • Cyrenaican adjective or noun …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Cyrenaica — noun A Roman province on the North African coast, now part of Libya …   Wiktionary

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