Bede known as Saint Bede, Venerable Bede, Bede the Venerable, was an English Benedictine monk at the monastery of St. Peter and its companion monastery of St. Paul in the Kingdom of Northumbria of the Angles. Born on lands belonging to the Monkwearmouth monastery in present-day Sunderland, Bede was sent there at the age of seven and joined Abbot Ceolfrith at the Jarrow monastery, both of whom survived a plague that struck in 686, an outbreak that killed a majority of the population there. While he spent most of his life in the monastery, Bede travelled to several abbeys and monasteries across the British Isles visiting the archbishop of York and King Ceolwulf of Northumbria, he is well known as an author and scholar, his most famous work, Ecclesiastical History of the English People, gained him the title "The Father of English History". His ecumenical writings were extensive and included a number of Biblical commentaries and other theological works of exegetical erudition. Another important area of study for Bede was the academic discipline of computus, otherwise known to his contemporaries as the science of calculating calendar dates.
One of the more important dates Bede tried to compute was Easter, an effort, mired with controversy. He helped establish the practice of dating forward from the birth of Christ, a practice which became commonplace in medieval Europe. Bede was one of the greatest teachers and writers of the Early Middle Ages and is considered by many historians to be the single most important scholar of antiquity for the period between the death of Pope Gregory I in 604 and the coronation of Charlemagne in 800. In 1899, Pope Leo XIII declared him a Doctor of the Church, he is the only native of Great Britain to achieve this designation. Bede was moreover a skilled linguist and translator, his work made the Latin and Greek writings of the early Church Fathers much more accessible to his fellow Anglo-Saxons, which contributed to English Christianity. Bede's monastery had access to an impressive library which included works by Eusebius and many others. Everything, known of Bede's life is contained in the last chapter of his Ecclesiastical History of the English People, a history of the church in England.
It was completed in about 731, Bede implies that he was in his fifty-ninth year, which would give a birth date in 672 or 673. A minor source of information is the letter by his disciple Cuthbert. Bede, in the Historia, gives his birthplace as "on the lands of this monastery", he is referring to the twinned monasteries of Monkwearmouth and Jarrow, in modern-day Wearside and Tyneside respectively. Bede says nothing of his origins, but his connections with men of noble ancestry suggest that his own family was well-to-do. Bede's first abbot was Benedict Biscop, the names "Biscop" and "Beda" both appear in a king list of the kings of Lindsey from around 800, further suggesting that Bede came from a noble family. Bede's name reflects West Saxon Bīeda, it is an Anglo-Saxon short name formed on the root of bēodan "to bid, command". The name occurs in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, s.a. 501, as Bieda, one of the sons of the Saxon founder of Portsmouth. The Liber Vitae of Durham Cathedral names two priests with this name, one of whom is Bede himself.
Some manuscripts of the Life of Cuthbert, one of Bede's works, mention that Cuthbert's own priest was named Bede. At the age of seven, Bede was sent, as a puer oblatus, to the monastery of Monkwearmouth by his family to be educated by Benedict Biscop and by Ceolfrith. Bede does not say whether it was intended at that point that he would be a monk, it was common in Ireland at this time for young boys those of noble birth, to be fostered out as an oblate. Monkwearmouth's sister monastery at Jarrow was founded by Ceolfrith in 682, Bede transferred to Jarrow with Ceolfrith that year; the dedication stone for the church has survived to the present day. In 686, plague broke out at Jarrow; the Life of Ceolfrith, written in about 710, records that only two surviving monks were capable of singing the full offices. The two managed to do the entire service of the liturgy; the young boy was certainly Bede, who would have been about 14. When Bede was about 17 years old, Adomnán, the abbot of Iona Abbey, visited Monkwearmouth and Jarrow.
Bede would have met the abbot during this visit, it may be that Adomnan sparked Bede's interest in the Easter dating controversy. In about 692, in Bede's nineteenth year, Bede was ordained a deacon by his diocesan bishop, bishop of Hexham; the canonical age for the ordination of a deacon was 25.
Reptiles are tetrapod animals in the class Reptilia, comprising today's turtles, snakes, lizards and their extinct relatives. The study of these traditional reptile orders combined with that of modern amphibians, is called herpetology; because some reptiles are more related to birds than they are to other reptiles, the traditional groups of "reptiles" listed above do not together constitute a monophyletic grouping or clade. For this reason, many modern scientists prefer to consider the birds part of Reptilia as well, thereby making Reptilia a monophyletic class, including all living Diapsids; the earliest known proto-reptiles originated around 312 million years ago during the Carboniferous period, having evolved from advanced reptiliomorph tetrapods that became adapted to life on dry land. Some early examples include Casineria. In addition to the living reptiles, there are many diverse groups that are now extinct, in some cases due to mass extinction events. In particular, the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event wiped out the pterosaurs, plesiosaurs and sauropods, as well as many species of theropods, including troodontids, dromaeosaurids and abelisaurids, along with many Crocodyliformes, squamates.
Modern non-avian reptiles inhabit all the continents except Antarctica, although some birds are found on the periphery of Antarctica. Several living subgroups are recognized: Testudines, 350 species. Reptiles are tetrapod vertebrates, creatures that either have four limbs or, like snakes, are descended from four-limbed ancestors. Unlike amphibians, reptiles do not have an aquatic larval stage. Most reptiles are oviparous, although several species of squamates are viviparous, as were some extinct aquatic clades – the fetus develops within the mother, contained in a placenta rather than an eggshell; as amniotes, reptile eggs are surrounded by membranes for protection and transport, which adapt them to reproduction on dry land. Many of the viviparous species feed their fetuses through various forms of placenta analogous to those of mammals, with some providing initial care for their hatchlings. Extant reptiles range in size from a tiny gecko, Sphaerodactylus ariasae, which can grow up to 17 mm to the saltwater crocodile, Crocodylus porosus, which can reach 6 m in length and weigh over 1,000 kg.
In the 13th century the category of reptile was recognized in Europe as consisting of a miscellany of egg-laying creatures, including "snakes, various fantastic monsters, assorted amphibians, worms", as recorded by Vincent of Beauvais in his Mirror of Nature. In the 18th century, the reptiles were, from the outset of classification, grouped with the amphibians. Linnaeus, working from species-poor Sweden, where the common adder and grass snake are found hunting in water, included all reptiles and amphibians in class "III – Amphibia" in his Systema Naturæ; the terms "reptile" and "amphibian" were interchangeable, "reptile" being preferred by the French. Josephus Nicolaus Laurenti was the first to formally use the term "Reptilia" for an expanded selection of reptiles and amphibians similar to that of Linnaeus. Today, the two groups are still treated under the same heading as herptiles, it was not until the beginning of the 19th century that it became clear that reptiles and amphibians are, in fact, quite different animals, Pierre André Latreille erected the class Batracia for the latter, dividing the tetrapods into the four familiar classes of reptiles, amphibians and mammals.
The British anatomist Thomas Henry Huxley made Latreille's definition popular and, together with Richard Owen, expanded Reptilia to include the various fossil "antediluvian monsters", including dinosaurs and the mammal-like Dicynodon he helped describe. This was not the only possible classification scheme: In the Hunterian lectures delivered at the Royal College of Surgeons in 1863, Huxley grouped the vertebrates into mammals and ichthyoids, he subsequently proposed the names of Ichthyopsida for the latter two groups. In 1866, Haeckel demonstrated that vertebrates could be divided based on their reproductive strategies, that reptiles and mammals were united by the amniotic egg; the terms "Sauropsida" and "Theropsida" were used again in 1916 by E. S. Goodrich to distinguish between lizards and their relatives on the one hand and mammals and their extinct relatives on the other. Goodrich supported this division by the nature of the hearts and blood vessels in each group, other features, such as the structure of the forebrain.
According to Goodrich, both lineages evolved from an earlier stem group, Protosauria in which he included some animals today considered reptile-like amphibians, as well as early reptiles. In 1956, D. M. S. Watson observed that the first two groups diverged early in reptilian history, so he divided Goodrich's Protosauria between them, he reinterpreted Sauropsida and Theropsida to exclude birds and mammals, respectively. Thus his Sauropsida included Procolophonia, Millerosauria, Squamata, Rhynchocephalia
Europe is a continent located in the Northern Hemisphere and in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south, it comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia. Since around 1850, Europe is most considered to be separated from Asia by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas and the waterways of the Turkish Straits. Although the term "continent" implies physical geography, the land border is somewhat arbitrary and has been redefined several times since its first conception in classical antiquity; the division of Eurasia into two continents reflects East-West cultural and ethnic differences which vary on a spectrum rather than with a sharp dividing line. The geographic border does not follow political boundaries, with Turkey and Kazakhstan being transcontinental countries. A strict application of the Caucasus Mountains boundary places two comparatively small countries and Georgia, in both continents.
Europe covers 2 % of the Earth's surface. Politically, Europe is divided into about fifty sovereign states of which the Russian Federation is the largest and most populous, spanning 39% of the continent and comprising 15% of its population. Europe had a total population of about 741 million as of 2016; the European climate is affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent at latitudes along which the climate in Asia and North America is severe. Further from the sea, seasonal differences are more noticeable than close to the coast. Europe, in particular ancient Greece, was the birthplace of Western civilization; the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD and the subsequent Migration Period marked the end of ancient history and the beginning of the Middle Ages. Renaissance humanism, exploration and science led to the modern era. Since the Age of Discovery started by Portugal and Spain, Europe played a predominant role in global affairs. Between the 16th and 20th centuries, European powers controlled at various times the Americas all of Africa and Oceania and the majority of Asia.
The Age of Enlightenment, the subsequent French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars shaped the continent culturally and economically from the end of the 17th century until the first half of the 19th century. The Industrial Revolution, which began in Great Britain at the end of the 18th century, gave rise to radical economic and social change in Western Europe and the wider world. Both world wars took place for the most part in Europe, contributing to a decline in Western European dominance in world affairs by the mid-20th century as the Soviet Union and the United States took prominence. During the Cold War, Europe was divided along the Iron Curtain between NATO in the West and the Warsaw Pact in the East, until the revolutions of 1989 and fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1949 the Council of Europe was founded, following a speech by Sir Winston Churchill, with the idea of unifying Europe to achieve common goals, it includes all European states except for Belarus and Vatican City. Further European integration by some states led to the formation of the European Union, a separate political entity that lies between a confederation and a federation.
The EU originated in Western Europe but has been expanding eastward since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The currency of most countries of the European Union, the euro, is the most used among Europeans. In classical Greek mythology, Europa was a Phoenician princess; the word Europe is derived from her name. The name contains the elements εὐρύς, "wide, broad" and ὤψ "eye, countenance", hence their composite Eurṓpē would mean "wide-gazing" or "broad of aspect". Broad has been an epithet of Earth herself in the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion and the poetry devoted to it. There have been attempts to connect Eurṓpē to a Semitic term for "west", this being either Akkadian erebu meaning "to go down, set" or Phoenician'ereb "evening, west", at the origin of Arabic Maghreb and Hebrew ma'arav. Michael A. Barry, professor in Princeton University's Near Eastern Studies Department, finds the mention of the word Ereb on an Assyrian stele with the meaning of "night, sunset", in opposition to Asu " sunrise", i.e. Asia.
The same naming motive according to "cartographic convention" appears in Greek Ἀνατολή. Martin Litchfield West stated that "phonologically, the match between Europa's name and any form of the Semitic word is poor." Next to these hypotheses there is a Proto-Indo-European root *h1regʷos, meaning "darkness", which produced Greek Erebus. Most major world languages use words derived from Europa to refer to the continent. Chinese, for example, uses the word Ōuzhōu. In some Turkic languages the Persian name Frangistan is used casually in referring to much of Europe, besides official names such as Avrupa or Evropa; the prevalent definition of Europe as a geographical term has been in use since the mid-19th century. Europe is taken to be bounded by large bodies of water
Alchemy was an ancient branch of natural philosophy, a philosophical and protoscientific tradition practiced throughout Europe and Asia, originating in Greco-Roman Egypt in the first few centuries AD. It aims to purify and perfect certain objects. Common aims were chrysopoeia, the transmutation of "base metals" into "noble metals"; the perfection of the human body and soul was thought to permit or result from the alchemical magnum opus and, in the Hellenistic and Western mystery tradition, the achievement of gnosis. In Europe, the creation of a philosopher's stone was variously connected with all of these projects. In English, the term is limited to descriptions of European alchemy, but similar practices existed in the Far East, the Indian subcontinent, the Muslim world. In Europe, following the 12th-century Renaissance produced by the translation of Medieval Islamic works on science and the rediscovery of Aristotelian philosophy, alchemists played a significant role in early modern science.
Islamic and European alchemists developed a structure of basic laboratory techniques, theory and experimental method, some of which are still in use today. However, they continued antiquity's belief in four elements and guarded their work in secrecy including cyphers and cryptic symbolism, their work was guided by Hermetic principles related to magic and religion. Modern discussions of alchemy are split into an examination of its exoteric practical applications and its esoteric spiritual aspects, despite the arguments of scholars like Holmyard and von Franz that they should be understood as complementary; the former is pursued by historians of the physical sciences who examine the subject in terms of early chemistry and charlatanism, the philosophical and religious contexts in which these events occurred. The latter interests historians of esotericism and some philosophers and spiritualists; the subject has made an ongoing impact on literature and the arts. Despite this split, which von Franz believes has existed since the Western traditions' origin in a mix of Greek philosophy, mixed with Egyptian and Mesopotamian technology, numerous sources have stressed an integration of esoteric and exoteric approaches to alchemy as far back as Pseudo-Democritus's first-century AD On Physical and Mystical Matters.
Although alchemy is popularly associated with magic, historian Lawrence M. Principe writes: Most readers are aware of several common claims about alchemy—for example... that it is akin to magic, or that its practice or now is deceptive. These ideas about alchemy emerged after. While each of them might have limited validity within a narrow context, none of them is an accurate depiction of alchemy in general." The word alchemy comes from Old French alquemie, used in Medieval Latin as alchymia. This name was itself brought from the Arabic word al-kīmiyā' composed of two parts: the Late Greek term khēmeía, khēmía, meaning'to fuse or cast a metal', the Arabic definite article al-, meaning'The'. Together this association can be interpreted as'the process of transmutation by which to fuse or reunite with the divine or original form', its roots can be traced to the Egyptian name kēme, meaning'black earth' which refers to the fertile and auriferous soil of the Nile valley, as opposed to red desert sand.
According to the Egyptologist Wallis Budge, the Arabic word al-kīmiyaʾ means "the Egyptian ", borrowing from the Coptic word for "Egypt", kēme. This Coptic word derives from Demotic kmỉ, itself from ancient Egyptian kmt; the ancient Egyptian word referred to both the country and the colour "black". However, according to Mahn, this theory may be an example of folk etymology. Assuming an Egyptian origin, chemistry is defined as follows: Chemistry, from the ancient Egyptian word "khēmia" meaning transmutation of earth, is the science of matter at the atomic to molecular scale, dealing with collections of atoms, such as molecules and metals. Thus, according to Budge and others, chemistry derives from an Egyptian word khemein or khēmia, "preparation of black powder" derived from the name khem, Egypt. A decree of Diocletian, written about 300 AD in Greek, speaks against "the ancient writings of the Egyptians, which treat of the khēmia transmutation of gold and silver"; the Medieval Latin form was influenced by Greek chymeia meaning'mixture' and referring to pharmaceutical chemistry.
Alchemy is several philosophical traditions spanning three continents. These traditions' general penchant for cryptic and symbolic language makes it hard to trace their mutual influences and "genetic" relationships. One can distinguish at least three major strands, which appear to be independent, at least in their earlier stages: Chinese alchemy, centered in China and its zone of cultural influence. Chinese alchemy was connected to Ta
A rooster known as a cockerel or cock, is a male gallinaceous bird, with cockerel being younger and rooster being an adult male chicken. Mature male chickens less than one year old are called cockerels; the term "rooster" originates in the United States, the term is used throughout North America, as well as Australia and New Zealand."Roosting" is the action of perching aloft to sleep at day, done by both sexes. The rooster can not guard several nests of eggs at once, he guards the general area where his hens are nesting, attacks other roosters that enter his territory. During the daytime, a rooster sits on a high perch 0.9 to 1.5 m off the ground, to serve as a lookout for his group. He sounds a distinctive alarm call if predators are nearby and will crow to assert his territory. Roosters always start crowing before four months of age. Although it is possible for a hen to crow as well, crowing is one of the clearest signs of being a rooster; the rooster is portrayed as crowing at the break of dawn.
However, while many roosters crow shortly after waking up, this idea is not true. A rooster will crow at any time of the day; some roosters are vociferous, crowing constantly, while others only crow a few times a day. These differences are dependent both upon individual personality. A rooster can be seen sitting on fence posts or other objects, where he crows to proclaim his territory. Roosters have several other calls as well, can cluck, similar to the hen. Roosters make a patterned series of clucks to attract hens to a source of food, the same way a mother hen does for her chicks. Rooster crowing contests are a traditional sport in several countries, such as Germany, the Netherlands, the United States and Japan; the oldest contests are held with longcrowers. Depending on the breed, either the duration of the crowing or the times the rooster crows within a certain time is measured. A capon is a castrated rooster. In the caponization procedure, the bird's testes are removed; as a result of this procedure, certain male physical characteristics will experience stunted development: The comb and wattles cease growing after castration, giving a capon's head a dwarfed appearance.
The hackle and saddle feathers grow unusually long. Caponization affects the disposition of the bird. Removal of the bird's testes eliminates the male sex hormones, lessening the male sex instincts and changing their behaviour: the birds become more docile, less active, tend not to fight; this procedure produces a unique type of poultry meat, favoured by a specialized market. The meat of normal uncastrated roosters has a tendency to become coarse and tough as the birds age; this process does not occur in the capon. As caponized roosters grow more than intact males, they accumulate more body fat; the concentration of fat in both the light and dark areas of the capon meat is greater than in that of the uncastrated males. Overall, it is thought that capon meat is more tender and flavorful than regular chicken. A cockfight is a contest held in a ring called a cockpit between two gamecocks or cocks, with the first use of the word gamecock appearing in 1646. After the term "cock of the game" used by George Wilson, in the earliest known book on the secular sport of cockfighting in The Commendation of Cocks and Cock Fighting in 1607.
Gamecocks are not typical farm chickens. The cocks are specially trained for increased stamina and strength; the comb and wattle are removed from a young gamecock because, if left intact, they would be a disadvantage during a match. This process is called dubbing. Sometimes the cocks are given drugs to increase their stamina or thicken their blood, which increases their chances of winning. Cockfighting is considered a traditional sporting event by some, an example of animal cruelty by others and is therefore outlawed in most countries. Wagers are made on the outcome of the match, with the surviving or last-bird-standing being declared the winner. There are religious significance and aspects of the rooster and the cockfight which are exampled by the religious belief of Tabuh Rah, a religious and spiritual cockfight where a rooster is used in religious custom by allowing him to fight against another rooster in the Balinese Hinduism spiritual appeasement exercise of Tabuh Rah, a form of animal sacrifice, where ritual fights take place outside the temple and follow an ancient and complex ritual as set out in the sacred lontar manuscripts.
Within the religious schema of Christianity and the cockfight within a religious and sacred context, there are numerous representations of the rooster or the cock and the cockfight as a religious vessel found in the Catacombs from the earliest period as well as similar illustrations of cocks in fighting stance taken from the Vivian Bible. The cockerel "waltz", when the cockerel struts in a half circle with one wing extended down, is an aggressive approach signifying to females his dominance, the female will submit by running or moving away from the cockerel in acknowledgement. On rare occasions, the hen will attempt to fight the cockerel for dominance. Once dominance is established, the cockerel will waltz again; when other cockerels are in the hen yard, this waltz is used more and most cockerels will waltz together if dominance has not been established.
Thirty Years' War
The Thirty Years' War was a war fought in Central Europe between 1618 and 1648. One of the most destructive conflicts in human history, it resulted in eight million fatalities not only from military engagements but from violence and plague. Casualties were overwhelmingly and disproportionately inhabitants of the Holy Roman Empire, most of the rest being battle deaths from various foreign armies. In terms of proportional German casualties and destruction, it was surpassed only by the period January to May 1945. A war between various Protestant and Catholic states in the fragmented Holy Roman Empire, it developed into a more general conflict involving most of the European great powers; these states employed large mercenary armies, the war became less about religion and more of a continuation of the France–Habsburg rivalry for European political pre-eminence. The war was preceded by the election of the new Holy Roman Emperor, Ferdinand II, who tried to impose religious uniformity on his domains, forcing Roman Catholicism on its peoples.
The northern Protestant states, angered by the violation of their rights to choose, granted in the Peace of Augsburg, banded together to form the Protestant Union. Ferdinand II was a devout Roman Catholic and much more intolerant than his predecessor, Rudolf II, who ruled from the Protestant city of Prague. Ferdinand's policies were considered pro-Catholic and anti-Protestant; these events caused widespread fears throughout northern and central Europe, triggered the Protestant Bohemians living in the relatively loose dominion of Habsburg Austria to revolt against their nominal ruler, Ferdinand II. After the so-called Defenestration of Prague deposed the Emperor's representatives in Prague, the Protestant estates and Catholic Habsburgs started gathering allies for war; the Protestant Bohemians ousted the Habsburgs and elected the Calvinist Frederick V, Elector of the Rhenish Palatinate as the new king of the Kingdom of Bohemia. Frederick took the offer without the support of the Protestant Union.
The southern states Roman Catholic, were angered by this. Led by Bavaria, these states formed the Catholic League to expel Frederick in support of the Emperor; the Empire soon crushed the perceived Protestant rebellion in the Battle of White Mountain, executing leading Bohemian aristocrats shortly after. Protestant rulers across Europe unanimously condemned the Emperor's action. After the atrocities committed in Bohemia, Saxony gave its support to the Protestant Union and decided to fight back. Sweden, at the time a rising military power, soon intervened in 1630 under its king Gustavus Adolphus, transforming what had been the Emperor's attempt to curb the Protestant states into a full-scale war in Europe. Habsburg Spain, wishing to crush the Dutch rebels in the Netherlands and the Dutch Republic, intervened under the pretext of helping its dynastic Habsburg ally, Austria. No longer able to tolerate the encirclement of two major Habsburg powers on its borders, Catholic France entered the coalition on the side of the Protestants in order to counter the Habsburgs.
The Thirty Years' War devastated entire regions, resulting in high mortality among the populations of the German and Italian states, the Crown of Bohemia, the Southern Netherlands. Both mercenaries and soldiers in fighting armies traditionally looted or extorted tribute to get operating funds, which imposed severe hardships on the inhabitants of occupied territories; the war bankrupted most of the combatant powers. The Dutch Republic enjoyed contrasting fortune; the Thirty Years' War ended with the Treaty of Osnabrück and the Treaties of Münster, part of the wider Peace of Westphalia. The war altered the previous political order of European powers; the rise of Bourbon France, the curtailing of Habsburg ambition, the ascendancy of Sweden as a great power created a new balance of power on the continent, with France emerging from the war strengthened and dominant in the latter part of the 17th century. The Peace of Augsburg, signed by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, confirmed the result of the Diet of Speyer, ending the war between German Lutherans and Catholics, establishing that: Rulers of the 224 German states could choose the religion of their realms.
Subjects had to follow that emigrate. Prince-bishoprics and other states ruled by Catholic clergy were excluded and should remain Catholic. Prince-bishops who converted to Lutheranism were required to give up their territories. Lutherans could keep the territory they had taken from the Catholic Church since the Peace of Passau in 1552. Although the Peace of Augsburg created a temporary end to hostilities, it did not resolve the underlying religious conflict, made yet more complex by the spread of Calvinism throughout Germany in the years that followed; this added a third major faith to the region, but its position was not recognized in any way by the Augsburg terms, to which only Catholicism and Lutheranism were parties. The rulers of the nations neighboring the Holy Roman Empir
Cyrenaica is the eastern coastal region of Libya. Known as Pentapolis in antiquity, it formed part of the Roman province of Crete and Cyrenaica divided into Libya Pentapolis and Libya Sicca. During the Islamic period, the area came to be known after the city of Barca. Cyrenaica was the name of an administrative division of Italian Libya from 1927 until 1943 under British military and civil administration from 1943 until 1951, in the Kingdom of Libya from 1951 until 1963. In a wider sense, still in use, Cyrenaica includes all of the eastern part of Libya, including the Kufra District. Cyrenaica borders on Fezzan in the southwest; the region that used to be Cyrenaica until 1963 has formed several shabiyat, the administrative divisions of Libya, since 1995. The 2011 Libyan Civil War started in Cyrenaica, which came under the control of the National Transitional Council for most of the war. In 2012, the National Transitional Council declared Cyrenaica to be an autonomous region of Libya. Geologically, Cyrenaica rests on a mass of Miocene limestone that tilts up steeply from the Mediterranean Sea and falls inland with a gradual descent to sea level again.
This mass is divided into two blocks. The Jebel Akhdar extends parallel to the coast from the Gulf of Sidra to the Gulf of Bomba and reaches an elevation of 872 meters. There is no continuous coastal plain, the longest strip running from the recess of Gulf of Sidra past Benghazi to Tolmeita. Thereafter, except for deltaic patches at Susa and Derna, the shore is all precipitous. A steep escarpment separates the coastal plain from a level plateau, known as the Marj Plain, which lies at about 300 meters elevation. Above the Marj Plain lies a dissected plateau at about 700 meters elevation, which contains the highest peaks in the range; the Jebel Akhdar and its adjacent coast are part of the Mediterranean woodlands and forests ecoregion and have a Mediterranean climate of hot, dry summers and mild and rainy winters. The plant communities of this portion of Cyrenaica include forest, maquis, garrigue and oak savanna. Garrigue shrublands occupy the non-agricultural portions coastal plain and coastal escarpments, with Sarcopoterium spinosum, along with Asphodelus microcarpus and Artemisia herba-alba, as the predominant species.
Small areas of maquis are found on north-facing slopes near the sea, becoming more extensive on the lower plateau. Juniperus phoenicea, Pistacia lentiscus, Quercus coccifera and Ceratonia siliqua are common tree and large shrub species in the maquis; the upper plateau includes areas of garrigue, two maquis communities, one dominated by Pistacia lentiscus and the other a mixed maquis in which the endemic Arbutus pavarii is prominent, forests of Cupressus sempervirens, Juniperus phoenicea, Olea europaea, Quercus coccifera, Ceratonia siliqua, Pinus halepensis. Areas of red soil are found on the Marj Plain, which has borne abundant crops of wheat and barley from ancient times to the present day. Plenty of springs issue on the highlands. Wild olive trees are abundant, large areas of oak savanna provide pasture to the flocks and herds of the local Bedouins. Large areas of range were covered in forest; the forested area of the Jebel Akhdar has been shrinking in recent decades. A 1996 report to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization estimated that the forested area was reduced to 320,000 hectares from 500,000 hectares cleared to grow crops.
The Green Mountain Conservation and Development Authority estimates that the forested area decreased from 500,000 hectares in 1976 to 180,000 hectares in 2007. The southward slopes of the Jebel Akhdar are occupied by the Mediterranean dry woodlands and steppe, a transitional ecoregion lying between the Mediterranean climate regions of North Africa and the hyper-arid Sahara Desert; the lower Jebel el-Akabah lies to east of the Jebel Akhdar. The two highlands are separated by a depression; this eastern region, known in ancient times as Marmarica, is much drier than the Jebel Akhdar and here the Sahara extends to the coast. Salt-collecting and sponge fishing were more important than agriculture. Bomba and Tobruk have good harbors. South of the coastal highlands of Cyrenaica is a large east-west running depression, extending eastward from the Gulf of Sidra into Egypt; this region of the Sahara is known as the Libyan Desert, includes the Great Sand Sea and the Calanshio Sand Sea. The Libyan Desert is home including Awjila and Jaghbub.
The Berbers were the earliest recorded inhabitants of Cyrenaica, most modern Cyrenaicans are considered to be Berber in origin. Remnants of the Berber languages spoken by their ancestors are still found in the Awjila language of the oasis of Awjila; the ancient Berbers founded a number of cities and settlements, both on the coast and in the inland oases. Egyptian records mention that, during the New Kingdom of Egypt, the Libu and Meshwesh tribes of Cyrenaica made frequent incursions into Egypt. Cyrenaica was colonized by the Greeks beginning in the 7th century BC, when it was known as Kyrenaika; the first and most important colony was that of Cyrene, established in about 631 BC by colonists from the Greek island of Thera, which they had abandoned because of a severe famine. Their commander, took the Libyan name Battos, his dynasty, the Battaid, persisted in spite of severe conflict with Greeks in neighboring cities. The eastern portion of the province, with no major population centers, was called Marmarica.