Tunisia is a country in the Maghreb region of North Africa, covering 163,610 square kilometres. Its northernmost point, Cape Angela, is the northernmost point on the African continent, it is bordered by Algeria to the west and southwest, Libya to the southeast, the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Tunisia's population was 11.435 million in 2017. Tunisia's name is derived from its capital city, located on its northeast coast. Geographically, Tunisia contains the eastern end of the Atlas Mountains, the northern reaches of the Sahara desert. Much of the rest of the country's land is fertile soil, its 1,300 kilometres of coastline include the African conjunction of the western and eastern parts of the Mediterranean Basin and, by means of the Sicilian Strait and Sardinian Channel, feature the African mainland's second and third nearest points to Europe after Gibraltar. Tunisia is a unitary semi-presidential representative democratic republic, it is considered to be the only democratic sovereign state in the Arab world.
It has a high human development index. It has an association agreement with the European Union. In addition, Tunisia is a member state of the United Nations and a state party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Close relations with Europe – in particular with France and with Italy – have been forged through economic cooperation and industrial modernization. In ancient times, Tunisia was inhabited by Berbers. Phoenician immigration began in the 12th century BC. A major mercantile power and a military rival of the Roman Republic, Carthage was defeated by the Romans in 146 BC; the Romans, who would occupy Tunisia for most of the next eight hundred years, introduced Christianity and left architectural legacies like the El Djem amphitheater. After several attempts starting in 647, the Muslims conquered the whole of Tunisia by 697, followed by the Ottoman Empire between 1534 and 1574; the Ottomans held sway for over three hundred years. The French colonization of Tunisia occurred in 1881.
Tunisia gained independence with Habib Bourguiba and declared the Tunisian Republic in 1957. In 2011, the Tunisian Revolution resulted in the overthrow of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, followed by parliamentary elections; the country voted for parliament again on 26 October 2014, for President on 23 November 2014. The word Tunisia is derived from Tunis; the present form of the name, with its Latinate suffix -ia, evolved from French Tunisie. in turn associated with the Berber root ⵜⵏⵙ, transcribed tns, which means "to lay down" or "encampment". It is sometimes associated with the Punic goddess Tanith, ancient city of Tynes; the French derivative Tunisie was adopted in some European languages with slight modifications, introducing a distinctive name to designate the country. Other languages remained untouched, such as Spanish Túnez. In this case, the same name is used for both country and city, as with the Arabic تونس, only by context can one tell the difference. Before Tunisia, the territory's name was Ifriqiya or Africa, which gave the present-day name of the continent Africa.
Farming methods reached the Nile Valley from the Fertile Crescent region about 5000 BC, spread to the Maghreb by about 4000 BC. Agricultural communities in the humid coastal plains of central Tunisia were ancestors of today's Berber tribes, it was believed in ancient times that Africa was populated by Gaetulians and Libyans, both nomadic peoples. According to the Roman historian Sallust, the demigod Hercules died in Spain and his polyglot eastern army was left to settle the land, with some migrating to Africa. Persians became the Numidians; the Medes settled and were known as Mauri Moors. The Numidians and Moors belonged to the race from; the translated meaning of Numidian is Nomad and indeed the people were semi-nomadic until the reign of Masinissa of the Massyli tribe. At the beginning of recorded history, Tunisia was inhabited by Berber tribes, its coast was settled by Phoenicians starting as early as the 12th century BC. The city of Carthage was founded in the 9th century BC by Phoenicians. Legend says that Dido from Tyre, now in modern-day Lebanon, founded the city in 814 BC, as retold by the Greek writer Timaeus of Tauromenium.
The settlers of Carthage brought their culture and religion from Phoenicia, now present-day Lebanon and adjacent areas. After the series of wars with Greek city-states of Sicily in the 5th century BC, Carthage rose to power and became the dominant civilization in the Western Mediterranean; the people of Carthage worshipped a pantheon of Middle Eastern gods including Tanit. Tanit's symbol, a simple female figure with extended arms and long dress, is a popular icon found in ancient sites; the founders of Carthage established a Tophet, altered in Roman times. A Carthaginian invasion of Italy led by Hannibal during the Second Punic War, one of a series of wars with Rome, nearly crippled the rise of Roman power. From the conclusion of the Second Punic War in 202 BC, Carthage functioned as a client state of the Roman Republic for another 50 years. F
Justinian I, traditionally known as Justinian the Great and Saint Justinian the Great in the Eastern Orthodox Church, was the Eastern Roman emperor from 527 to 565. During his reign, Justinian sought to revive the empire's greatness and reconquer the lost western half of the historical Roman Empire. Justinian's rule constitutes a distinct epoch in the history of the Later Roman empire, his reign is marked by the ambitious but only realized renovatio imperii, or "restoration of the Empire"; because of his restoration activities, Justinian has sometimes been known as the "last Roman" in mid 20th century historiography. This ambition was expressed by the partial recovery of the territories of the defunct Western Roman Empire, his general, swiftly conquered the Vandal Kingdom in North Africa. Subsequently, Belisarius and other generals conquered the Ostrogothic kingdom, restoring Dalmatia, Sicily and Rome to the empire after more than half a century of rule by the Ostrogoths; the prefect Liberius reclaimed the south of the Iberian peninsula, establishing the province of Spania.
These campaigns re-established Roman control over the western Mediterranean, increasing the Empire's annual revenue by over a million solidi. During his reign, Justinian subdued the Tzani, a people on the east coast of the Black Sea that had never been under Roman rule before, he engaged the Sasanian Empire in the east during Kavad I's reign, again during Khosrow I's. A still more resonant aspect of his legacy was the uniform rewriting of Roman law, the Corpus Juris Civilis, still the basis of civil law in many modern states, his reign marked a blossoming of Byzantine culture, his building program yielded such masterpieces as the church of Hagia Sophia. Justinian was born in Tauresium, around 482. A native speaker of Latin, he came from a peasant family believed to have been of Illyro-Roman or Thraco-Roman origins; the cognomen Iustinianus, which he took is indicative of adoption by his uncle Justin. During his reign, he founded Justiniana Prima not far from his birthplace, which today is in South East Serbia.
His mother was the sister of Justin. Justin, in the imperial guard before he became emperor, adopted Justinian, brought him to Constantinople, ensured the boy's education; as a result, Justinian was well educated in jurisprudence and Roman history. Justinian served for some time with the Excubitors but the details of his early career are unknown. Chronicler John Malalas, who lived during the reign of Justinian, tells of his appearance that he was short, fair skinned, curly haired, round faced and handsome. Another contemporary chronicler, compares Justinian's appearance to that of tyrannical Emperor Domitian, although this is slander; when Emperor Anastasius died in 518, Justin was proclaimed the new emperor, with significant help from Justinian. During Justin's reign, Justinian was the emperor's close confidant. Justinian showed much ambition, it has been thought that he was functioning as virtual regent long before Justin made him associate emperor on 1 April 527, although there is no conclusive evidence of this.
As Justin became senile near the end of his reign, Justinian became the de facto ruler. Justinian was appointed consul in 521 and commander of the army of the east. Upon Justin's death on 1 August 527, Justinian became the sole sovereign; as a ruler, Justinian showed great energy. He was known as "the emperor" on account of his work habits, he seems to have been amiable and easy to approach. Around 525, he married Theodora, in Constantinople, she was by some twenty years his junior. In earlier times, Justinian could not have married her owing to her class, but his uncle, Emperor Justin I, had passed a law allowing intermarriage between social classes. Theodora would become influential in the politics of the Empire, emperors would follow Justinian's precedent in marrying outside the aristocratic class; the marriage caused a scandal, but Theodora would prove to be a shrewd judge of character and Justinian's greatest supporter. Other talented individuals included his legal adviser. Justinian's rule was not universally popular.
Justinian recovered. Theodora died in 548 at a young age of cancer. Justinian, who had always had a keen interest in theological matters and participated in debates on Christian doctrine, became more devoted to religion during the years of his life; when he died on 14 November 565, he left no children, though his wife Theodora had given birth to a stillborn son several years into his reign. He was succeeded by Justin II, the son of his sister Vigilantia and married to Sophia, the niece of Empress Theodora. Justinian's body was entombed in a specially built mausoleum in the Church of the
A fortification is a military construction or building designed for the defense of territories in warfare, is used to solidify rule in a region during peacetime. The term is derived from the Latin fortis and facere. From early history to modern times, walls have been necessary for cities to survive in an ever-changing world of invasion and conquest; some settlements in the Indus Valley Civilization were the first small cities to be fortified. In ancient Greece, large stone walls had been built in Mycenaean Greece, such as the ancient site of Mycenae. A Greek phrourion was a fortified collection of buildings used as a military garrison, is the equivalent of the Roman castellum or English fortress; these constructions served the purpose of a watch tower, to guard certain roads and lands that might threaten the kingdom. Though smaller than a real fortress, they acted as a border guard rather than a real strongpoint to watch and maintain the border; the art of setting out a military camp or constructing a fortification traditionally has been called "castrametation" since the time of the Roman legions.
Fortification is divided into two branches: permanent fortification and field fortification. There is an intermediate branch known as semi-permanent fortification. Castles are fortifications which are regarded as being distinct from the generic fort or fortress in that they are a residence of a monarch or noble and command a specific defensive territory. Roman forts and hill forts were the main antecedents of castles in Europe, which emerged in the 9th century in the Carolingian Empire; the Early Middle Ages saw the creation of some towns built around castles. Medieval-style fortifications were made obsolete by the arrival of cannons in the 14th century. Fortifications in the age of black powder evolved into much lower structures with greater use of ditches and earth ramparts that would absorb and disperse the energy of cannon fire. Walls exposed to direct cannon fire were vulnerable, so the walls were sunk into ditches fronted by earth slopes to improve protection; the arrival of explosive shells in the 19th century led to yet another stage in the evolution of fortification.
Star forts did not fare well against the effects of high explosive, the intricate arrangements of bastions, flanking batteries and the constructed lines of fire for the defending cannon could be disrupted by explosive shells. Steel-and-concrete fortifications were common during the early 20th centuries; however the advances in modern warfare since World War I have made large-scale fortifications obsolete in most situations. Demilitarized zones along borders are arguably another type of fortification, although a passive kind, providing a buffer between hostile militaries. Many US military installations are known as forts. Indeed, during the pioneering era of North America, many outposts on the frontiers non-military outposts, were referred to generically as forts. Larger military installations may be called fortresses; the word fortification can refer to the practice of improving an area's defence with defensive works. City walls are fortifications but are not called fortresses; the art of setting out a military camp or constructing a fortification traditionally has been called castrametation since the time of the Roman legions.
The art/science of laying siege to a fortification and of destroying it is called siegecraft or siege warfare and is formally known as poliorcetics. In some texts this latter term applies to the art of building a fortification. Fortification is divided into two branches: permanent fortification and field fortification. Permanent fortifications are erected at leisure, with all the resources that a state can supply of constructive and mechanical skill, are built of enduring materials. Field fortifications—for example breastworks—and known as fieldworks or earthworks, are extemporized by troops in the field assisted by such local labour and tools as may be procurable and with materials that do not require much preparation, such as earth and light timber, or sandbags. An example of field fortification was the construction of Fort Necessity by George Washington in 1754. There is an intermediate branch known as semi-permanent fortification; this is employed when in the course of a campaign it becomes desirable to protect some locality with the best imitation of permanent defences that can be made in a short time, ample resources and skilled civilian labour being available.
An example of this is the construction of Roman forts in England and in other Roman territories where camps were set up with the intention of staying for some time, but not permanently. Castles are fortifications which are regarded as being distinct from the generic fort or fortress in that it describes a residence of a monarch or noble and commands a specific defensive territory. An example of this is the massive medieval castle of Carcassonne. From early history to modern times, walls have been a necessity for many cities. In Bulgaria, near the town of Provadia a walled fortified settlement today called Solnitsata starting from 4700 BC had a diameter of about 300 feet, was home to 350 people living in two-storey houses, was encircled by a fortified wall; the huge walls around the settlement, which were built tall and with stone blocks which are 6 feet high and 4.5 feet thick, make it one of the earliest walled settlements in Europe but it is younger than the walled town of Sesklo in Greece from 6800 BC.
Uruk in ancient Su
Acropolium of Carthage
The Acropolium known as Saint Louis Cathedral, is a Roman Catholic church located in Carthage, Tunisia. The cathedral sits on the peak of Byrsa Hill, near the ruins of the ancient Punic and Roman city, it was built atop the ruins of an old temple dedicated to the Punic god of healing. The edifice can still be accessed from the basement. Since 1993, the cathedral has been known as the "Acropolium", it is no longer used for worship, but instead hosts public events or concerts of Tunisian music and classical music. The only Roman Catholic cathedral operating in Tunisia is the Cathedral of St. Vincent de Paul in Tunis. Hussein II Bey authorised the French consul-general to build a cathedral on the site of ancient Carthage, to determine where it would be situated and to take all the land necessary for the project, his words were: Praise to the one God, to whom all things return! We cede in perpetuity to His Majesty the King of France a location in the Malka, sufficient to raise a religious monument in honour of King Louis IX at the place where this prince died.
We commit ourselves to respect and to make respected this monument consecrated by the King of France to the memory of one of his most illustrious ancestors. Greetings from the servant of God, Hussein Pasha Bey. May the Most High be propitious! Amen; the 17th of Safar of the year 1246. Done at Bardo the 8th of August 1830. For the consul-general Mathieu de Lesseps; the consul charged his son Jules with this duty. The latter, having examined possible sites, concluded that the chapel ought to be built on Byrsa Hill, in the centre of the Punic acropolis, where the temple of Aesculapius was once located. King Louis-Philippe approved the project; the architect chosen conceived a building of modest proportions that contained a mix of Gothic and Byzantine architectural styles. In any case, he succeeded in giving it the look of a rich marabout while recalling the royal chapel at Dreux. A cross, the only one standing at that time in Tunisia, topped the building. Descendants of crusaders' families, companions of the sovereign, helped finance the construction.
Built between 1884 and 1890, under the French protectorate, the cathedral acquired primacy for all of Africa when the title of primate of Africa was restored for the benefit of Cardinal Lavigerie, titular of the Archdioceses of Algiers and of Carthage, united in his person. The building was consecrated with great pomp in the presence of numerous ecclesiastical dignitaries. After his death, Cardinal Lavigerie was buried there and a funerary monument was erected in his memory. However, his body now lies in Rome. Late 19th century French architecture tended to feature composite styles; the building, constructed according to the plans of the abbot Pougnet, has a Byzantine-Moorish style, is in the shape of a Latin cross of 65 meters by 30. The façade is framed by two square towers, the crossing lies beneath a large cupola surrounded by eight little steeples, there is a smaller cupola above the apse; the church contains two aisles separated by arches passing above. Its ceiling is adorned with beams that have sculpted and gilt arabesques on them.
The stained glass features arabesques. The great bell weighs six tons and there is a four-bell carillon as well
A citadel is the core fortified area of a town or city. It may be fortress, or fortified center; the term is a diminutive of "city" and thus means "little city", so called because it is a smaller part of the city of which it is the defensive core. Ancient Sparta had a citadel as did towns. In a fortification with bastions, the citadel is the strongest part of the system, sometimes well inside the outer walls and bastions, but forming part of the outer wall for the sake of economy, it is positioned to be the last line of defense, should the enemy breach the other components of the fortification system. A citadel is a term of the third part of a medieval castle, with higher walls than the rest, it was to be the last line of defense. Some of the oldest known structures which have served as citadels were built by the Indus Valley Civilisation, where the citadel represented a centralised authority; the main citadel in Indus Valley was 12 meters tall. The purpose of these structures, remains debated. Though the structures found in the ruins of Mohenjo-daro were walled, it is far from clear that these structures were defensive against enemy attacks.
Rather, they may have been built to divert flood waters. Several settlements in Anatolia, including the Assyrian city of Kaneš in modern-day Kültepe, featured citadels. Kaneš' citadel contained the city's palace and official buildings; the citadel of the Greek city of Mycenae was built atop a highly-defensible rectangular hill and was surrounded by walls in order to increase its defensive capabilities. In Ancient Greece, the Acropolis, placed on a commanding eminence, was important in the life of the people, serving as a refuge and stronghold in peril and containing military and food supplies, the shrine of the god and a royal palace; the most well-known is the Acropolis of Athens, but nearly every Greek city-state had one – the Acrocorinth famed as a strong fortress. In a much period, when Greece was ruled by the Latin Empire, the same strong points were used by the new feudal rulers for much the same purpose. In the first millennium BCE, the Castro culture emerged in Northernwestern Portugal and Spain in the region extending from the Douro river up to the Minho, but soon expanding north along the coast, east following the river valleys.
It was an autochthonous evolution of Atlantic Bronze Age communities. In 2008, the origins of the Celts were attributed to this period by John T. Koch and supported by Barry Cunliffe; the Ave River Valley in Portugal was the core region of this culture, with a large number of small settlements, but settlements known as citadels or oppida by the Roman conquerors. These had several rings of walls and the Roman conquest of the citadels of Abobriga and Cinania around 138 B. C. was possible only by prolonged siege. Ruins of notable citadels still exist, are known by archaeologists as Citânia de Briteiros, Citânia de Sanfins, Cividade de Terroso and Cividade de Bagunte. Rebels who took power in the city but with the citadel still held by the former rulers could by no means regard their tenure of power as secure. One such incident played an important part in the history of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire; the Hellenistic garrison of Jerusalem and local supporters of the Seleucids held out for many years in the Acra citadel, making Maccabean rule in the rest of Jerusalem precarious.
When gaining possession of the place, the Maccabeans pointedly destroyed and razed the Acra, though they constructed another citadel for their own use in a different part of Jerusalem. At various periods, during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the citadel – having its own fortifications, independent of the city walls – was the last defence of a besieged army held after the town had been conquered. Locals and defending armies have held out citadels long after the city had fallen. For example, in the 1543 Siege of Nice the Ottoman forces led by Barbarossa conquered and pillaged the town and took many captives – but the citadel held out. In the Philippines The Ivatan people of the northern islands of Batanes built fortifications to protect themselves during times of war, they built their so-called idjangs on elevated areas. These fortifications were likened to European castles because of their purpose; the only entrance to the castles would be via a rope ladder that would only be lowered for the villagers and could be kept away when invaders arrived.
In time of war the citadel in many cases afforded retreat to the people living in the areas around the town. However, Citadels were used to protect a garrison or political power from the inhabitants of the town where it was located, being designed to ensure loyalty from the town that they defended. For example, during the Dutch Wars of 1664-67, King Charles II of England constructed a Royal Citadel at Plymouth, an important channel port which needed to be defended from a possible naval attack. However, due to Plymouth's support for the Parliamentarians in the then-recent English Civil War, the Plymouth Citadel was so designed that its guns could fire on the town as well as on the sea approaches. Barcelona had a great citadel built in 1714 to intimidate the Catalans against repeating their mid-17th- and early-18th-century rebellions against the Spanish central government. In the 19th century, when the political climate had liberalized enough to permit it, the people of Barcelona had the citadel torn down, replaced it with the city's main central park, the Parc de la Ciutadella.
A similar example is the Citadella in Hungary. The attack on the Bastille in the French Revolution – though afterwards remembered for th
Haplogroup U (mtDNA)
Haplogroup U is a human mitochondrial DNA haplogroup. The clade arose from haplogroup R during the early Upper Paleolithic, its various subclades are found distributed across Northern and Eastern Europe, Central and South Asia, as well as North Africa, the Horn of Africa, the Canary Islands. The haplogroup U8b's most common subclade is haplogroup K, estimated to date to between 30,000 and 22,000 years ago. Haplogroup U descends from the haplogroup R mtDNA branch of the phylogenetic tree; the defining mutations are estimated to have arisen between 43,000 and 50,000 years ago, in the early Upper Paleolithic. Ancient DNA classified as belonging to the U* mitochondrial haplogroup has been recovered from human skeletal remains found in Western Siberia, which have been dated to c. 45,000 years ago. The mitogenome of the Peştera Muierii 1 individual from Romania has been identified as the basal haplogroup U6* not found in any ancient or present-day humans. Haplogroup U has been found among Iberomaurusian specimens dating from the Epipaleolithic at the Taforalt and Afalou prehistoric sites.
Among the Taforalt individuals, around 13% of the observed haplotypes belonged to various U subclades, including U4a2b, U4c1, U6d3. A further 41% of the analysed haplotypes could be assigned to either haplogroup U or haplogroup H. Among the Afalou individuals, 44% of the analysed haplotypes could be assigned to either haplogroup U or haplogroup H. Haplogroup U has been observed among ancient Egyptian mummies excavated at the Abusir el-Meleq archaeological site in Middle Egypt, dated to the 1st millennium BC. Additionally, haplogroup U has been observed in ancient Guanche fossils excavated in Gran Canaria and Tenerife on the Canary Islands, which have been radiocarbon-dated to between the 7th and 11th centuries CE. All of the clade-bearing individuals were inhumed at the Tenerife site, with these specimens found to belong to the U6b1a and U6b subclades. Haplogroup U is found in 8 % of Indian tribal populations. Haplogroup U is found in 11% of native Europeans and is held as the oldest maternal haplogroup found in that region.
In a 2013 study, all but one of the ancient modern human sequences from Europe belonged to maternal haplogroup U, thus confirming previous findings that haplogroup U was the dominant type of Mitochondrial DNA in Europe before the spread of agriculture into Europe and the presence and the spread of the Indo-Europeans in Western Europe. Haplogroup U has various subclades numbered U1 to U9. Haplogroup K is a subclade of U8; the old age has led to a wide distribution of the descendant subgroups across Western Eurasia, North Africa, South Asia. Some subclades of haplogroup U have a more specific geographic range. Subclades are labelled U1–U9. Van Oven and Kayser proposed subclades "U2'3'4'7'8" and "U4'9". Behar et al. amended this by grouping "U4'9" as subordinate to "U2'3'4'7'8" for a new intermediate subclade "U2'3'4'7'8'9". The U1 subclades are: U1b. Haplogroup U1 estimated to have arisen between 37,000 years ago, it is found at low frequency throughout Europe. It is more observed in eastern Europe and the Near East.
It is found at low frequencies in India. U1 is found in the Svanetia region of Georgia at 4.2%. Subclade U1a is found from India to Europe, but is rare among the northern and Atlantic fringes of Europe including the British Isles and Scandinavia. Several examples in Tuscany have been noted. In India, U1a has been found in the Kerala region. U1b is rarer than U1a; some examples of U1b have been found among Jewish diaspora. Subclades U1a and U1b appear in equal frequency in eastern Europe; the rare U1 clade is found among Algerians in Oran and the Reguibat tribe of the Sahrawi. The U1a1a subclade has been observed in an ancient individual excavated at the Kellis 2 cemetery in the Dakleh Oasis, located in the southwestern desert of Egypt. 21 of the Kellis burials have been radiocarbon-dated to around 80-445 AD, a timeframe within the Romano-Christian period. Haplogroup U1 has been found among specimens at the mainland cemetery in Kulubnarti, which date from the Early Christian period. DNA analysis of excavated remains now located at ruins of the Church of St. Augustine in Goa, India have revealed the unique mtDNA subclade U1b.
This sublineage is present in Georgia and surrounding regions. Since the genetic analysis corroborates archaeological and literary evidence, it is believed that the excavated remains belong to Ketevan the Martyr, queen of Georgia; the age of U5 is estimated at between 25,000 and 35,000 years old. 11% of Europeans and 10% of European-Americans have some of haplogroup U5. U5 has been found in human remains dating from the Mesolithic in England, Lithuania, Portugal, Sweden and Spain. Neolithic skeletons that were excavated from the Avellaner cave in Catalonia, northeastern Spain included a specimen carrying haplogroup U5. Haplogroup U5 and its subclades U5a and U5b today form the highest population concentrations in the far north, among Sami and Estonians. However, it is spread at lower levels throughout Europe; this distribution, the age of the haplogroup, indicate individuals belonging to this clade were part of the initial
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