Islam is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion teaching that there is only one God, that Muhammad is the messenger of God. It is the world's second-largest religion with over 1.8 billion followers or 24% of the world's population, most known as Muslims. Muslims make up a majority of the population in 50 countries. Islam teaches that God is merciful, all-powerful and has guided humankind through prophets, revealed scriptures and natural signs; the primary scriptures of Islam are the Quran, viewed by Muslims as the verbatim word of God, the teachings and normative example of Muhammad. Muslims believe that Islam is the complete and universal version of a primordial faith, revealed many times before through prophets including Adam, Abraham and Jesus. Muslims consider the Quran in its original Arabic to be the final revelation of God. Like other Abrahamic religions, Islam teaches a final judgment with the righteous rewarded paradise and unrighteous punished in hell. Religious concepts and practices include the Five Pillars of Islam, which are obligatory acts of worship, following Islamic law, which touches on every aspect of life and society, from banking and welfare to women and the environment.
The cities of Mecca and Jerusalem are home to the three holiest sites in Islam. Aside from the theological narrative, Islam is believed to have originated in the early 7th century CE in Mecca, by the 8th century the Umayyad Islamic Caliphate extended from Iberia in the west to the Indus River in the east; the Islamic Golden Age refers to the period traditionally dated from the 8th century to the 13th century, during the Abbasid Caliphate, when much of the Muslim world was experiencing a scientific and cultural flourishing. The expansion of the Muslim world involved various caliphates, such as the Ottoman Empire and conversion to Islam by missionary activities. Most Muslims are of one of two denominations. About 13 % of Muslims live in the largest Muslim-majority country. Sizeable Muslim communities are found in the Americas, the Caucasus, Central Asia, Europe, Mainland Southeast Asia, the Philippines, Russia. Islam is the fastest-growing major religion in the world. Islam is a verbal noun originating from the triliteral root S-L-M which forms a large class of words relating to concepts of wholeness, submission and peace.
In a religious context it means "voluntary submission to God". Islām is the verbal noun of Form IV of the root, means "submission" or "surrender". Muslim, the word for an adherent of Islam, is the active participle of the same verb form, means "submitter" or "one who surrenders"; the word sometimes has distinct connotations in its various occurrences in the Quran. In some verses, there is stress on the quality of Islam as an internal spiritual state: "Whomsoever God desires to guide, He opens his heart to Islam." Other verses connect Islam and religion together: "Today, I have perfected your religion for you. Still others describe Islam as an action of returning to God—more than just a verbal affirmation of faith. In the Hadith of Gabriel, islām is presented as one part of a triad that includes imān, ihsān. Islam was called Muhammadanism in Anglophone societies; this term has fallen out of use and is sometimes said to be offensive because it suggests that a human being rather than God is central to Muslims' religion, parallel to Buddha in Buddhism.
Some authors, continue to use the term Muhammadanism as a technical term for the religious system as opposed to the theological concept of Islam that exists within that system. Faith in the Islamic creed is represented as the six articles of faith, notably spelled out in the Hadith of Gabriel. Islam is seen as having the simplest doctrines of the major religions, its most fundamental concept is a rigorous monotheism, called tawḥīd. God is described in chapter 112 of the Quran as: "He is God, the One and Only. Muslims repudiate polytheism and idolatry, called Shirk, reject the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. In Islam, God is beyond all comprehension and thus. God is described and referred to by certain names or attributes, the most common being Al-Rahmān, meaning "The Compassionate" and Al-Rahīm, meaning "The Merciful". Muslims believe that the creation of everything in the universe was brought into being by God's sheer command, "Be, it is" and that the purpose of existence is to worship or to know God.
He is viewed as a personal god who responds whenever a person in distress calls him. There are no intermediaries, such as clergy, to contact God who states, "I am nearer to him than jugular vein." God consciousness is referred to as Taqwa. Allāh is the term with no plural or gender used by Muslims and Arabic-speaking Christians and Jews to reference God, while ʾilāh is the term used for a deity or a god in general. Other non-Arab Muslims might use different names as much as Allah, for instance "Tanrı" in Turkish, "Khodā" in Persian or "Ḵẖudā" in Urdu. Belief in angels is fundamental
Benghazi is the second-most populous city in Libya and the largest in Cyrenaica. A port on the Mediterranean Sea in the State of Libya, Benghazi had joint-capital status alongside Tripoli because the King and the Senussi royal family were associated with Cyrenaica rather than Tripolitania; the city was provisional capital of the National Transitional Council. Benghazi continues to hold institutions and organizations associated with a national capital city, such as the country's parliament, national library, the headquarters of Libyan Airlines, the national airline, of the National Oil Corporation; this creates a constant atmosphere of rivalry and sensitivities between Benghazi and Tripoli, between Cyrenaica and Tripolitania. The population was 670,797 at the 2006 census. On 15 February 2011, an uprising against the government of Muammar Gaddafi occurred in the city; the revolts spread by 17 February to Bayda, Ajdabya, Al Marj in the East and Zintan, Zawiya in the West, calling for the end of the Gaddafi Regime.
Benghazi was taken by Gaddafi opponents on 21 February, who founded the National Transitional Council. On 19 March, the city was the site of the turning point of the Libyan Civil War, when the Libyan Army attempted to score a decisive victory against the NTC by attacking Benghazi, but was forced back by local resistance and intervention from the French Air Force authorized by UNSC Resolution 1973 to protect civilians, allowing the rebellion to continue; the ancient Greek city that existed within the modern day boundaries of Benghazi was founded around 525 BC. Euesperides was most founded by people from Cyrene or Barce, located on the edge of a lagoon which opened from the sea. At the time, this area may have been deep enough to receive small sailing vessels; the name was attributed to the fertility of the neighborhood, which gave rise to the mythological associations of the garden of the Hesperides The ancient city existed on a raised piece of land opposite of what is now the Sidi-Abayd graveyard in the Northern Benghazi suburb of Sbikhat al-Salmani.
The city is first mentioned by ancient sources in Herodotus' account of the revolt of Barca and the Persian expedition to Cyrenaica in c. 515 BC, where it is stated that the punitive force sent by the satrap of Egypt conquered Cyrenaica as far west as Euesperides. The oldest coins minted in the city date back to 480 BC. One side of those coins has an engraving of Delphi; the other side is an engraving of a silphium plant, once the symbol of trade from Cyrenaica because of its use as a rich seasoning and as a medicine. The coinage suggests that the city must have enjoyed some autonomy from Cyrene in the early 5th century BC, when the issues of Euesperides had their own types with the legend EU, distinct from those of Cyrene; the city was surrounded by inhospitable tribes. The Greek historian Thucydides mentions a siege of the city in 414 BC, by Libyans who were the Nasamones: Euesperides was saved by the unexpected arrival of the Spartan general Gylippus and his fleet, who were blown to Libya by contrary winds on their way to Sicily.
One of the Cyrenean kings whose fate is connected with the city is Arcesilaus IV. The king used his chariot victory at the Pythian Games of 462 BC to attract new settlers to Euesperides, where Arcesilaus hoped to create a safe refuge for himself against the resentment of the people of Cyrene; this proved ineffective, since when the king fled to Euesperides during the anticipated revolution, he was assassinated, thus terminating the 200-year rule of the Battiad dynasty. An inscription found there and dated around the middle of the 4th century BC states that the city had a constitution similar to that of Cyrene, with a board of chief magistrates and a council of elders. In the 4th century BC, during the unsettled period which followed Alexander's death, the city backed the losing side in a revolt by the Spartan adventurer Thibron. After the marriage around the middle of the 3rd century BC of Ptolemy III to Berenice, daughter of the Cyrenean Governor Magas, many Cyrenaican cities were renamed to mark the occasion.
Euesperides became Berenice and the change of name involved a relocation. Its desertion was due to the silting up of the lagoons; the Greek colony had lasted from the 6th to the mid-3rd centuries BC. Modern Benghazi, on the Gulf of Sidra, lies a little southwest of the site of the ancient Greek city of Berenice or Berenicis or Bernici; that city was traditionally founded in 446 BC, by a brother of the king of Cyrene, but got the name Berenice only when it was refounded in the 3rd century BC under the patronage of Berenice, the daughter of Magas, king of Cyrene, wife of Ptolemy III Euergetes, the ruler of Egypt. The new city was given the name Hesperides, in reference to the Hesperides, the guardians of the mythic western paradise; the name may have referred to green oases in low-lying areas in the nearby coastal plain. Benghazi became a Roman city and prospered for 600 years; the city superseded Cyrene and Barca as the chief center of Cyrenaica after the 3rd century AD and during the Persian attacks.
In its more prosperous period, Berenice became a Christian bishopric. The first of its bishops whose name is recorded in extant documents is Ammon, to whom Dionysius
Lake Chad is a large, endorheic lake in Africa, which has varied in size over the centuries. According to the Global Resource Information Database of the United Nations Environment Programme, it shrank by as much as 95% from about 1963 to 1998, but "the 2007 image shows significant improvement over previous years." Lake Chad is economically important, providing water to more than 30 million people living in the four countries surrounding it on the edge of the Sahara. It is the largest lake in the Chad Basin. Lake Chad is a freshwater lake located in the Sahelian zone of west-central Africa, it is located in the interior basin which used to be occupied by a much larger ancient sea sometimes called Mega Chad. The lake is ranked as one of the largest lakes in Africa. However, its surface area varies by season and as well as from year to year. Lake Chad is in the far west of Chad, bordering on northeastern Nigeria; the Chari River, fed by its tributary the Logone, provides over 90% of the lake's water, with a small amount coming from the Yobe River in Nigeria/Niger.
Despite high levels of evaporation, the lake is fresh water. Over half of the lake's area is taken up by its many small islands and mud banks, a belt of swampland across the middle divides the northern and southern halves; the shorelines are composed of marshes. Because Lake Chad is shallow—only 10.5 metres at its deepest—its area is sensitive to small changes in average depth, it shows seasonal fluctuations in size. Lake Chad has no apparent outlet; the climate is dry most of the year, with moderate rainfall from July through September. Lake Chad gave its name to the country of Chad; the name Chad is a local word meaning "large expanse of water", in other words, a "lake". Lake Chad is the remnant of a former inland sea, paleolake Mega-Chad, which existed during the African humid period. At its largest, sometime before 5000 BC, Lake Mega-Chad was the largest of four Saharan paleolakes, is estimated to have covered an area of 1,000,000 km2, larger than the Caspian Sea is today, may have extended as far northeast as within 100 km of Faya-Largeau.
At its largest extent the river Mayo Kébbi represented the outlet of the paleolake Mega-Chad, connecting it to the Niger River and the Atlantic. The presence of African manatees in the inflows of Lake Chad is an evidence of that history. Romans reached the lake in the first century of their empire. Indeed, during the time of Augustus Lake Chad was still a huge lake and two Roman expeditions were performed in order to reach it: Septimius Flaccus and Julius Maternus reached the "lake of hippopotamus", they passed near the Tibesti mountains. Both expeditions passed through the territory of the Garamantes, were able to leave a small garrison on the "lake of hippopotamus and rhinoceros" after three months of travel in desert lands. Lake Chad was first surveyed from shore by Europeans in 1823, it was considered to be one of the largest lakes in the world then. In 1851, a party including the German explorer Heinrich Barth carried a boat overland from Tripoli across the Sahara Desert by camel and made the first European waterborne survey.
British expedition leader James Richardson died just days before reaching the lake. In Winston Churchill's book The River War: An Account of the Reconquest of the Sudan, published in 1899, he mentions the shrinking of Lake Chad, he writes: Altogether France has enough to occupy her in Central Africa for some time to come: and when the long task is finished, the conquered regions are not to be of great value. They include the desert of the Great Sahara and wide expanses of profitless scrub or marsh. Only one important river, the Shari, flows through them, never reaches the sea: and Lake Chad, into which the Shari flows, appears to be leaking through some subterranean exit, is changing from a lake into an immense swamp. Lake Chad has shrunk since the 1960s, when its shoreline had an elevation of about 286 metres above sea level and it had an area of more than 26,000 square kilometres, making its surface the fourth largest in Africa. An increased demand on the lake's water from the local population has accelerated its shrinkage over the past 40 years.
The size of Lake Chad varies seasonally with the flooding of the wetlands areas. In 1983, Lake Chad was reported to have covered 10,000 to 25,000 km2, had a maximum depth of 11 metres, a volume of 72 km3. By 2000, its extent had fallen to less than 1,500 km2. A 2001 study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research blamed the lake's retreat on overgrazing in the area surrounding the lake, causing desertification and a decline in vegetation; the United Nations Environment Programme and the Lake Chad Basin Commission concur that at least half of the lake's decrease is attributable to shifting climate patterns. UNEP blames human water use, such as inefficient damming and irrigation methods, for the rest of the shrinkage; as late as December 2014, Lake Chad was still sufficient in size and volume such that boats could capsize or sink. The European Space Agency has presented data showing an actual increase in lake extent of Lake Chad between the years of 1985 to 2011. Referring to the floodplain as a lake may be misleading, as less than half of Lake Chad is covered by water through an entire year.
The remaining sections are considered as wetla
Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian, born in Halicarnassus in the Persian Empire. He is known for having written the book The Histories, a detailed record of his "inquiry" on the origins of the Greco-Persian Wars, he is considered to have been the first writer to have treated historical subjects using a method of systematic investigation—specifically, by collecting his materials and critically arranging them into an historiographic narrative. On account of this, he is referred to as "The Father of History", a title first conferred on him by the first-century BC Roman orator Cicero. Despite Herodotus's historical significance, little is known about his personal life, his Histories deals with the lives of Croesus, Cambyses, Smerdis and Xerxes and the battles of Marathon, Artemisium, Salamis and Mycale. Herodotus has been criticized for the fact that his book includes a large number of obvious legends and fanciful accounts. Many authors, starting with the late fifth-century BC historian Thucydides, have accused him of making up stories for entertainment.
Herodotus, states that he is reporting what he has been told. A sizable portion of the information he provides has since been confirmed by historians and archaeologists. Herodotus announced the purpose and scope of his work at the beginning of his Histories as such: Here are presented the results of the enquiry carried out by Herodotus of Halicarnassus; the purpose is to prevent the traces of human events from being erased by time, to preserve the fame of the important and remarkable achievements produced by both Greeks and non-Greeks. His record of the achievements of others was an achievement in itself, though the extent of it has been debated. Herodotus's place in history and his significance may be understood according to the traditions within which he worked, his work is the earliest Greek prose. However, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, a literary critic of Augustan Rome, listed seven predecessors of Herodotus, describing their works as simple, unadorned accounts of their own and other cities and people, Greek or foreign, including popular legends, sometimes melodramatic and naïve charming – all traits that can be found in the work of Herodotus himself.
Modern historians regard the chronology as uncertain, but according to the ancient account, these predecessors included Dionysius of Miletus, Charon of Lampsacus, Hellanicus of Lesbos, Xanthus of Lydia and, the best attested of them all, Hecataeus of Miletus. Of these, only fragments of Hecataeus's works survived, the authenticity of these is debatable, but they provide a glimpse into the kind of tradition within which Herodotus wrote his own Histories. In his introduction to Hecataeus's work, Genealogies: Hecataeus the Milesian speaks thus: I write these things as they seem true to me; this points forward to the "international" outlook typical of Herodotus. However, one modern scholar has described the work of Hecataeus as "a curious false start to history", since despite his critical spirit, he failed to liberate history from myth. Herodotus mentions Hecataeus in his Histories, on one occasion mocking him for his naive genealogy and, on another occasion, quoting Athenian complaints against his handling of their national history.
It is possible that Herodotus borrowed much material from Hecataeus, as stated by Porphyry in a quote recorded by Eusebius. In particular, it is possible that he copied descriptions of the crocodile and phoenix from Hecataeus's Circumnavigation of the Known World misrepresenting the source as "Heliopolitans", but Hecataeus did not record events that had occurred in living memory, unlike Herodotus, nor did he include the oral traditions of Greek history within the larger framework of oriental history. There is no proof that Herodotus derived the ambitious scope of his own work, with its grand theme of civilizations in conflict, from any predecessor, despite much scholarly speculation about this in modern times. Herodotus claims to be better informed than his predecessors by relying on empirical observation to correct their excessive schematism. For example, he argues for continental asymmetry as opposed to the older theory of a circular earth with Europe and Asia/Africa equal in size. However, he retains idealizing tendencies, as in his symmetrical notions of the Nile.
His debt to previous authors of prose "histories" might be questionable, but there is no doubt that Herodotus owed much to the example and inspiration of poets and story-tellers. For example, Athenian tragic poets provided him with a world-view of a balance between conflicting forces, upset by the hubris of kings, they provided his narrative with a model of episodic structure, his familiarity with Athenian tragedy is demonstrated in a number of passages echoing Aeschylus's Persae, including the epigrammatic observation that the defeat of the Persian navy at Salamis caused the defeat of the land army. The debt may have been repaid by Sophocles because there appear to be echoes of The Histories in his plays a passage in Antigone that resembles Herodotus's account of the death of Intaphernes. However, this point is one of the most contentious
A trade route is a logistical network identified as a series of pathways and stoppages used for the commercial transport of cargo. The term can be used to refer to trade over bodies of water. Allowing goods to reach distant markets, a single trade route contains long distance arteries, which may further be connected to smaller networks of commercial and noncommercial transportation routes. Among notable trade routes was the Amber Road, which served as a dependable network for long-distance trade. Maritime trade along the Spice Route became prominent during the Middle Ages, when nations resorted to military means for control of this influential route. During the Middle Ages, organizations such as the Hanseatic League, aimed at protecting interests of the merchants, trade became prominent. In modern times, commercial activity shifted from the major trade routes of the Old World to newer routes between modern nation-states; this activity was sometimes carried out without traditional protection of trade and under international free-trade agreements, which allowed commercial goods to cross borders with relaxed restrictions.
Innovative transportation of modern times includes pipeline transport and the well-known trade involving rail routes and cargo airlines. Long distance trade routes were developed in the Chalcolithic Period; the period from the middle of the 2nd millennium BCE to the beginning of the Common Era saw societies in Western Asia, the Mediterranean and the Indian subcontinent develop major transportation networks for trade. One of the vital instruments which facilitated long distance trade was portage and the domestication of beasts of burden. Organized caravans, visible by the 2nd millennium BCE, could carry goods across a large distance as fodder was available along the way; the domestication of camels allowed Arabian nomads to control the long distance trade in spices and silk from the Far East to the Arabian Peninsula. Caravans were useful in long-distance trade for carrying luxury goods, the transportation of cheaper goods across large distances was not profitable for caravan operators. With productive developments in iron and bronze technologies, newer trade routes – dispensing innovations of civilizations – began to rise.
Evidence of maritime trade between civilizations dates back at least 90 millennia. Navigation was known in Sumer between the 4th and the 3rd millennium BCE, was known by the Indians and the Chinese people before the Sumerians; the Egyptians had trade routes through the Red Sea, importing spices from the "Land of Punt" and from Arabia. Maritime trade began with safer coastal trade and evolved with the manipulation of the monsoon winds, soon resulting in trade crossing boundaries such as the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. South Asia had multiple maritime trade routes which connected it to Southeast Asia, thereby making the control of one route resulting in maritime monopoly difficult. Indian connections to various Southeast Asian states buffered it from blockages on other routes. By making use of the maritime trade routes, bulk commodity trade became possible for the Romans in the 2nd century BCE. A Roman trading vessel could span the Mediterranean in a month at one-sixtieth the cost of over-land routes.
The peninsula of Anatolia lay on the commercial land routes to Europe from Asia as well as the sea route from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea. Records from the 19th century BCE attest to the existence of an Assyrian merchant colony at Kanesh in Cappadocia. Trading networks of the Old World included the Grand Trunk Road of India and the Incense Road of Arabia. A transportation network consisting of hard-surfaced highways, using concrete made from volcanic ash and lime, was built by the Romans as early as 312 BCE, during the times of the Censor Appius Claudius Caecus. Parts of the Mediterranean world, Roman Britain, Tigris-Euphrates river system and North Africa fell under the reach of this network at some point of their history. According to Robert Allen Denemark: "The spread of urban trading networks, their extension along the Persian Gulf and eastern Mediterranean, created a complex molecular structure of regional foci so that as well as the zonation of core and periphery there was a series of interacting civilizations: Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley.
Beyond this was a margin which included not only temperate areas such as Europe, but the dry steppe corridor of central Asia. This was a world system though it occupied only a restricted portion of the western Old World. Whilst each civilization emphasized its ideological autonomy, all were identifiably part of a common world of interacting components." These routes – spreading religion and technology – have been vital to the growth of urban civilization. The extent of development of cities, the level of their integration into a larger world system, has been attributed to their position in various active transport networks; the Incense Route served as a channel for trading of Indian and East Asian goods. The incense trade flourished from South Arabia to the Mediterranean between the 3rd century BCE to the 2nd century CE; this trade was crucial to the economy of Yemen and the frankincense and myrrh trees were seen as a source of wealth by the its rulers. Ptolemy II Philadelphus, emperor of Ptolemaic Egypt, may have forged an alliance with the Lihyanites in order to secure the incense route at Dedan, thereby rerouting the incense trade from Dedan to the coast along the Red Sea to Egypt.
I. E. S. Edwards connects the Syro-Ephraimite War to the desire of the Israelites and the Aramaeans to cont
Berbers, or Amazighs are an ethnic group of several nations indigenous to North Africa and in some northern parts of Western Africa. Berbers constitute the populations of Morocco, Tunisia, Mauritania, northern Mali, northern Niger, a small part of western Egypt. Berber nations are distributed over an area stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Siwa Oasis in Egypt and from the Mediterranean Sea to the Niger River in West Africa. Berber nations spoke the Berber language, a branch of the Afroasiatic language family. There are about 100 million Berbers in North Africa, but only some 25–30 million of them still speak the Berber language; the number of ethnic Berbers is far greater than the speakers of the Berber language, as a large part of the Berbers have lost their ancestral language and switched to other languages over the course of many decades or centuries. The majority of North Africa's population west of Egypt is believed to be Berber in ethnic origin, although due to Arabization and Islamization some ethnic Berbers identify as Arabized Berbers.
Most Berber people who speak Berber today live in Morocco, Libya, northern Mali, northern Niger. Smaller Berber-speaking populations are found in Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Egypt's Siwa town. There are large immigrant Berber communities living in France, Canada, the Netherlands, Germany and other countries of Europe; the majority of Berbers are Sunni Muslim. Although, since some Berbers have converted to Shia Islam and atheism; the Berber identity is wider than language and ethnicity and encompasses the entire history and geography of North Africa. Berbers are not an homogeneous ethnicity, they encompass a range of societies and lifestyles; the unifying forces for the Berber people may be their shared language or a collective identification with Berber heritage and history. Berbers call themselves some variant of the word i-Mazigh-en meaning "free people" or "noble men"; the name had its ancient parallel in the Roman and Greek names for Berbers such as Mazices. Some of the best known of the ancient Berbers are the Numidian king Masensen, king Yugerten, the Berber-Roman author Apuleius, Saint Augustine of Hippo, the Berber-Roman general Lusius Quietus, instrumental in defeating the major wave of Jewish revolts of 115–117 in ancient Israel.
The Berber queen Dihya, or Kahina, was a religious and political leader who led a military Berber resistance against the Arab-Muslim expansion in Northwest Africa. Kusaila was a 7th-century leader of the Berber Awerba tribe and King of the Iẓnagen confederation and resisted the Arab-Muslim invasion. Yusef U Tashfin was a Muslim king of the Berber Almoravid dynasty. Abbas Ibn Firnas was a Berber-Andalusian prolific inventor and early pioneer in aviation. Ben Bettota was a medieval Berber explorer who departed from Tanja and traveled the longest known distances of his time and chronicled his impressions of hundreds of nations and cultures; the name Berber derives from an ancient Egyptian language term meaning "outlander" or variations thereof. The exonym was adopted by the Greeks, with a similar connotation. Among its oldest written attestations, Berber appears as an ethnonym in the 1st century AD Periplus of the Erythraean Sea. Despite these early manuscripts, certain modern scholars have argued that the term only emerged around 900 AD in the writings of Arab genealogists, with Maurice Lenoir positing an 8th or 9th century date of appearance.
The English term was introduced in the 19th century. The Berbers are the Mauri cited by the Chronicle of 754 during the Umayyad conquest of Hispania, to become since the 11th century the catch-all term Moros on the charters and chronicles of the expanding Christian Iberian kingdoms to refer to the Andalusi, the north Africans, the Muslims overall. For the historian Abraham Isaac Laredo the name Amazigh could be derived from the name of the ancestor Mezeg, the translation of biblical ancestor Dedan son of Sheba in the Targum. According to Leo Africanus, Amazigh meant "free man", though this has been disputed, because there is no root of M-Z-Gh meaning "free" in modern Berber languages; this dispute, however, is based on a lack of understanding of the Berber language as "Am-" is a prefix meaning "a man, one, " Therefore, the root required to verify this endonym would be zigh, "free", which however is missing from Tamazight's lexicon, but may be related to the well attested aze "strong", Tizzit "bravery", or jeghegh "to be brave, to be courageous".
Further, it has a cognate in the Tuareg word Amajegh, meaning "noble". This term is common in Morocco among Central Atlas and Shilah speakers in 1980, but elsewhere within the Berber homeland sometimes a local, more particular term, such as Kabyle or Chaoui, is more used instead in Algeria; the Egyptians, Greeks and Byzantines mentioned various tribes with similar names living in Greater "Libya" in the areas where Berbers were found. Tribal names differ from the classical sources, but are still related to the modern Amazigh; the Meshwesh tribe among them represents the first thus identified from the field. Scholars believe it would be the same tribe called a few centuries afterwards in Greek as Mazyes by Hektaios and as Maxyes by Herodotus, while it was called after that Mazaces and Mazax in Latin sources, related to the Massylii and Masaesyli. All those names are similar and foreign renditions of the
The Siwa Oasis is an urban oasis in Egypt between the Qattara Depression and the Great Sand Sea in the Western Desert, nearly 50 km east of the Libyan border, 560 km from Cairo. About 80 km in length and 20 km wide, Siwa Oasis is one of Egypt's most isolated settlements, with about 33,000 people Berbers, who developed a unique culture and a distinct language of the Berber family called Siwi, its fame lies in its ancient role as the home to an oracle of Ammon, the ruins of which are a popular tourist attraction which gave the oasis its ancient name Oasis of Amun Ra. It was part of Ancient Libya; the Siwa oasis is in a deep depression that reaches to about − 19 metres. To the west the Jaghbub oasis lies in a similar depression and to the east the large Qattara Depression lies below sea level; the Ancient Egyptian name of the oasis was Sekht-am, which meant "palm land". Early Arab geographers termed, its modern name Siwa, first appeared in the 15th century. Basset links it to a Berber tribal name swh attested further west in the early Islamic period, while Ilahiane, following Chafik, links it to the Tašlḥiyt Berber word asiwan, a type of bird of prey, hence to Amun-Ra, one of whose symbols was the falcon.
Although the oasis is known to have been settled since at least the 10th millennium BC, the earliest evidence of any connection with Ancient Egypt is the 26th Dynasty, when a necropolis was established. Ancient Greek settlers at Cyrene made contact with the oasis around the same time, the oracle temple of Amun, Herodotus was told, took the image here of a ram. Herodotus knew of a "fountain of the Sun". During his campaign to conquer the Persian Empire, Alexander the Great reached the oasis by following birds across the desert; the oracle, Alexander's court historians alleged, confirmed him as both a divine personage and the legitimate Pharaoh of Egypt, though Alexander's motives in making the excursion, following his founding of Alexandria, remain to some extent inscrutable and contested. During the Ptolemaic Kingdom, its Ancient Egyptian name was sḫ.t-ỉm3w, meaning "Field of Trees". Evidence of Christianity at Siwa is uncertain, but in 708 the Siwans resisted an Islamic army, did not convert until the 12th century.
A local manuscript mentions only seven families totaling 40 men living at the oasis in 1203. In the 12th century, Al-Idrisi mentions it as being inhabited by Berbers, with an Arab minority; the Egyptian historian Al-Maqrizi travelled to Siwa in the 15th century and described how the language spoken there'is similar to the language of the Zenata'. The first European to visit since Roman times was the English traveler William George Browne, who came in 1792 to see the ancient temple of the Oracle of Amun; the oasis was annexed to the Eyalet of Egypt by Muhammad Ali of Egypt in 1819. In the Spring of 1893, German explorer and photographer, Hermann Burchardt, took photographs of the architecture of the town of Siwa, now stored at the Ethnological Museum of Berlin; the Siwans are a Berber people, so demographically and culturally they were more related to nearby Libya, which has a large Berber population, than to Egypt, which has a negligible Berber population. Arab rule from distant Cairo was at first tenuous and marked by several revolts.
Egypt began to assert firmer control after a 1928 visit to the Oasis by King Fuad I, who berated the locals for "a certain vice" and specified punishments to bring Siwan behaviour in line with Egyptian morals. Siwa was the site of some fighting during World War I and World War II; the British Army's Long Range Desert Group was based here, but Rommel's Afrika Korps took possession three times. German soldiers went skinny dipping in the lake of the oracle, contrary to local customs which prohibit public nudity. In 1942 while the Italian 136th Infantry Division Giovani Fascisti occupied the oasis, a tiny Egyptian puppet government-in-exile was set up at Siwa; the oasis makes a brief appearance as a base of the LRDG in the 1958 war film Ice Cold in Alex. The ancient fortress of Siwa, known as the Shali Ghadi, was built on natural rock and made of kershif and palm logs. After it was damaged by three days of heavy rains in 1926 it was abandoned for similar unreinforced construction housing on the plain surrounding it, in some cases those in turn have been replaced by more modern cinder block and sheet metal roof buildings.
Only one building in the Shali complex has been repaired and is in use, a mosque. Eroded by infrequent rains and collapsing, the Shali remains a prominent feature, towering five stories above the modern town and lit at night by floodlights, it is most approached from its southwest side, south of the end of the paved road which curves around from the north side of the Shali. Several uneven pedestrian streets lead from the southwest end of the Shali into it, the ground rent in places by deep cracks. Many of the unreinforced kershif buildings bordering the streets of the Shali are split by large cracks, or they are collapsed. Other local historic sites of interest include: the remains of the oracle temple; the fragmentary rem