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
Olive oil is a liquid fat obtained from olives, a traditional tree crop of the Mediterranean Basin. The oil is produced by pressing whole olives, it is used in cooking, whether for frying or as a salad dressing. It is used in cosmetics and soaps, as a fuel for traditional oil lamps, has additional uses in some religions. There is limited evidence of its possible health benefits; the olive is one of three core food plants in Mediterranean cuisine. Olive trees have been grown around the Mediterranean since the 8th millennium BC. Spain is the largest producer of olive oil, followed by Greece. However, per capita national consumption is highest in Greece, followed by Spain and Morocco. Consumption in South Asia, North America and northern Europe is far less; the composition of olive oil varies with the cultivar, time of harvest and extraction process. It consists of oleic acid, with smaller amounts of other fatty acids including linoleic acid and palmitic acid. Extra virgin olive oil is required to have no more than 0.8% free acidity and is considered to have favorable flavor characteristics.
The olive tree is native to the Mediterranean basin. The wild olive tree originated in ancient Greece, it is not clear when and where olive trees were first domesticated: in Asia Minor, in the Levant, or somewhere in the Mesopotamian part of the Fertile Crescent. Archaeological evidence shows that olives were turned into olive oil by 6000 BC and 4500 BC at a now-submerged prehistoric settlement south of Haifa; until 1500 BC, eastern coastal areas of the Mediterranean were most cultivated. Evidence suggests that olives were being grown in Crete as long ago as 2500 BC; the earliest surviving olive oil amphorae date to 3500 BC, though the production of olive oil is assumed to have started before 4000 BC. Olive trees were cultivated by the Late Minoan period in Crete, as early as the Early Minoan; the cultivation of olive trees in Crete became intense in the post-palatial period and played an important role in the island's economy, as it did across the Mediterranean. Recent genetic studies suggest that species used by modern cultivators descend from multiple wild populations, but a detailed history of domestication is not yet forthcoming.
Olive trees and oil production in the Eastern Mediterranean can be traced to archives of the ancient city-state Ebla, which were located on the outskirts of the Syrian city Aleppo. Here some dozen documents dated 2400 BC describe lands of the queen; these belonged to a library of clay tablets preserved by having been baked in the fire that destroyed the palace. A source is the frequent mentions of oil in the Tanakh. Dynastic Egyptians before 2000 BC imported olive oil from Crete and Canaan and oil was an important item of commerce and wealth. Remains of olive oil have been found in jugs over 4,000 years old in a tomb on the island of Naxos in the Aegean Sea. Sinuhe, the Egyptian exile who lived in northern Canaan about 1960 BC, wrote of abundant olive trees. Besides food, olive oil has been used for religious rituals, medicines, as a fuel in oil lamps, soap-making, skin care application; the Minoans used olive oil in religious ceremonies. The oil became a principal product of the Minoan civilization, where it is thought to have represented wealth.
Olive oil, a multi-purpose product of Mycenaean Greece at that time, was a chief export. Olive tree growing reached Iberia and Etruscan cities well before the 8th century BC through trade with the Phoenicians and Carthage was spread into Southern Gaul by the Celtic tribes during the 7th century BC; the first recorded oil extraction is known from the Hebrew Bible and took place during the Exodus from Egypt during the 13th century BC. During this time, the oil was derived through hand-squeezing the berries and stored in special containers under guard of the priests. A commercial mill for non-sacramental use of oil was in use in the tribal confederation and in 1000 BC, in the Levant, an area consisting of present-day Lebanon and Palestine. Over 100 olive presses have been found in Tel Miqne, one of the five main cities of the Biblical Philistines; these presses are estimated to have had output of between 1,000 and 3,000 tons of olive oil per season. Many ancient presses still exist in the Eastern Mediterranean region, some dating to the Roman period are still in use today.
Olive oil was common in ancient Greek and Roman cuisine. According to Herodotus, Plutarch, Pausanias and other sources, the city of Athens obtained its name because Athenians considered olive oil essential, preferring the offering of the goddess Athena over the offering of Poseidon; the Spartans and other Greeks used oil to rub themselves while exercising in the gymnasia. From its beginnings early in the 7th century BC, the cosmetic use of olive oil spread to all of the Hellenic city states, together with athletes training in the nude, lasted close to a thousand years despite its great expense. Olive oil was popular as a form of birth control. Olive trees were planted throughout the entire Mediterranean basin during evolution of the Roman Republic and Empire. According to the
Wheat is a grass cultivated for its seed, a cereal grain, a worldwide staple food. The many species of wheat together make up the genus Triticum; the archaeological record suggests that wheat was first cultivated in the regions of the Fertile Crescent around 9600 BCE. Botanically, the wheat kernel is a type of fruit called a caryopsis. Wheat is grown on more land area than any other food crop. World trade in wheat is greater than for all other crops combined. In 2016, world production of wheat was 749 million tonnes, making it the second most-produced cereal after maize. Since 1960, world production of wheat and other grain crops has tripled and is expected to grow further through the middle of the 21st century. Global demand for wheat is increasing due to the unique viscoelastic and adhesive properties of gluten proteins, which facilitate the production of processed foods, whose consumption is increasing as a result of the worldwide industrialization process and the westernization of the diet.
Wheat is an important source of carbohydrates. Globally, it is the leading source of vegetal protein in human food, having a protein content of about 13%, high compared to other major cereals but low in protein quality for supplying essential amino acids; when eaten as the whole grain, wheat is a source of dietary fiber. In a small part of the general population, gluten – the major part of wheat protein – can trigger coeliac disease, noncoeliac gluten sensitivity, gluten ataxia, dermatitis herpetiformis. Cultivation and repeated harvesting and sowing of the grains of wild grasses led to the creation of domestic strains, as mutant forms of wheat were preferentially chosen by farmers. In domesticated wheat, grains are larger, the seeds remain attached to the ear by a toughened rachis during harvesting. In wild strains, a more fragile rachis allows the ear to shatter and disperse the spikelets. Selection for these traits by farmers might not have been deliberately intended, but have occurred because these traits made gathering the seeds easier.
As the traits that improve wheat as a food source involve the loss of the plant's natural seed dispersal mechanisms domesticated strains of wheat cannot survive in the wild. Cultivation of wheat began to spread beyond the Fertile Crescent after about 8000 BCE. Jared Diamond traces the spread of cultivated emmer wheat starting in the Fertile Crescent sometime before 8800 BCE. Archaeological analysis of wild emmer indicates that it was first cultivated in the southern Levant, with finds dating back as far as 9600 BCE. Genetic analysis of wild einkorn wheat suggests that it was first grown in the Karacadag Mountains in southeastern Turkey. Dated archeological remains of einkorn wheat in settlement sites near this region, including those at Abu Hureyra in Syria, suggest the domestication of einkorn near the Karacadag Mountain Range. With the anomalous exception of two grains from Iraq ed-Dubb, the earliest carbon-14 date for einkorn wheat remains at Abu Hureyra is 7800 to 7500 years BCE. Remains of harvested emmer from several sites near the Karacadag Range have been dated to between 8600 and 8400 BCE, that is, in the Neolithic period.
With the exception of Iraq ed-Dubb, the earliest carbon-14 dated remains of domesticated emmer wheat were found in the earliest levels of Tell Aswad, in the Damascus basin, near Mount Hermon in Syria. These remains were dated by Willem van Zeist and his assistant Johanna Bakker-Heeres to 8800 BCE, they concluded that the settlers of Tell Aswad did not develop this form of emmer themselves, but brought the domesticated grains with them from an as yet unidentified location elsewhere. The cultivation of emmer reached Greece and Indian subcontinent by 6500 BCE, Egypt shortly after 6000 BCE, Germany and Spain by 5000 BCE. "The early Egyptians were developers of bread and the use of the oven and developed baking into one of the first large-scale food production industries." By 3000 BCE, wheat had reached Scandinavia. A millennium it reached China; the oldest evidence for hexaploid wheat has been confirmed through DNA analysis of wheat seeds, dating to around 6400-6200 BCE, recovered from Çatalhöyük.
The first identifiable bread wheat with sufficient gluten for yeasted breads has been identified using DNA analysis in samples from a granary dating to 1350 BCE at Assiros in Macedonia. From Asia, wheat continued to spread across Europe. In the British Isles, wheat straw was used for roofing in the Bronze Age, was in common use until the late 19th century. Technological advances in soil preparation and seed placement at planting time, use of crop rotation and fertilizers to improve plant growth, advances in harvesting methods have all combined to promote wheat as a viable crop; when the use of seed drills replaced broadcasting sowing of seed in the 18th century, another great increase in productivity occurred. Yields of pure wheat per unit area increased as methods of crop rotation were applied to long cultivated land, the use of fertilizers became widespread. Improved agricultural husbandry has more included threshing machines and reaping machines, tractor-drawn cultivators and planters, better varieties.
Great expansion of wheat production occurred as new arable land was farmed in the Americas and Australia in the 19th and 20th centuries. Leaves emerge from the shoot apical meristem in a telescoping fashion until the transition to reprod
Climate change occurs when changes in Earth's climate system result in new weather patterns that last for at least a few decades, maybe for millions of years. The climate system is comprised of five interacting parts, the atmosphere, cryosphere and lithosphere; the climate system receives nearly all of its energy from the sun, with a tiny amount from earth's interior. The climate system gives off energy to outer space; the balance of incoming and outgoing energy, the passage of the energy through the climate system, determines Earth's energy budget. When the incoming energy is greater than the outgoing energy, earth's energy budget is positive and the climate system is warming. If more energy goes out, the energy budget is negative and earth experiences cooling; as this energy moves through Earth's climate system, it creates Earth's weather and long-term averages of weather are called "climate". Changes in the long term average are called "climate change"; such changes can be the result of "internal variability", when natural processes inherent to the various parts of the climate system alter Earth's energy budget.
Examples include cyclical ocean patterns such as the well-known El Nino Southern Oscillation and less familiar Pacific decadal oscillation and Atlantic multidecadal oscillation. Climate change can result from "external forcing", when events outside of the climate system's five parts nonetheless produce changes within the system. Examples include changes in solar volcanism. Human activities can change earth's climate, are presently driving climate change through global warming. There is no general agreement in scientific, media or policy documents as to the precise term to be used to refer to anthropogenic forced change; the field of climatology incorporates many disparate fields of research. For ancient periods of climate change, researchers rely on evidence preserved in climate proxies, such as ice cores, ancient tree rings, geologic records of changes in sea level, glacial geology. Physical evidence of current climate change covers many independent lines of evidence, a few of which are temperature records, the disappearance of ice, extreme weather events.
The most general definition of climate change is a change in the statistical properties of the climate system when considered over long periods of time, regardless of cause. Accordingly, fluctuations over periods shorter than a few decades, such as El Niño, do not represent climate change; the term "climate change" is used to refer to anthropogenic climate change. Anthropogenic climate change is caused by human activity, as opposed to changes in climate that may have resulted as part of Earth's natural processes. In this sense in the context of environmental policy, the term climate change has become synonymous with anthropogenic global warming. Within scientific journals, global warming refers to surface temperature increases while climate change includes global warming and everything else that increasing greenhouse gas levels affect. A related term, "climatic change", was proposed by the World Meteorological Organization in 1966 to encompass all forms of climatic variability on time-scales longer than 10 years, but regardless of cause.
During the 1970s, the term climate change replaced climatic change to focus on anthropogenic causes, as it became clear that human activities had a potential to drastically alter the climate. Climate change was incorporated in the title of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Climate change is now used as both a technical description of the process, as well as a noun used to describe the problem. Prior to the 18th century, scientists had not suspected that prehistoric climates were different from the modern period. By the late 18th century, geologists found evidence of a succession of geological ages with changes in climate. In the years since, a great deal of scientific progress has been made understanding the workings of the climate system. On the broadest scale, the rate at which energy is received from the Sun and the rate at which it is lost to space determine the equilibrium temperature and climate of Earth; this energy is distributed around the globe by winds, ocean currents, other mechanisms to affect the climates of different regions.
Factors that can shape climate are called climate forcings or "forcing mechanisms". These include processes such as variations in solar radiation, variations in the Earth's orbit, variations in the albedo or reflectivity of the continents and oceans, mountain-building and continental drift and changes in greenhouse gas concentrations. There are a variety of climate change feedbacks that can either amplify or diminish the initial forcing; some parts of the climate system, such as the oceans and ice caps, respond more in reaction to climate forcings, while others respond more quickly. There are key threshold factors which when exceeded can produce rapid change. Forcing mechanisms can be either "internal" or "external". Internal forcing mechanisms are natural processes within the climate system itself. External forcing mechanisms can be either natural. Whether the initial forcing mechanism is internal or external, the response of the climate system might be fast, slow (e.g. thermal exp
Africa (Roman province)
Africa Proconsularis was a Roman province on the northwest African coast, established in 146 BC following the defeat of Carthage in the Third Punic War. It comprised the territory of present-day Tunisia, the northeast of Algeria, the coast of western Libya along the Gulf of Sirte; the territory was inhabited by Berber people, known in Latin as Mauri indigenous to all of North Africa west of Egypt. It was one of the wealthiest provinces in the western part of the Roman empire, second only to Italia. Apart from the city of Carthage, other large settlements in the province were Hadrumetum, capital of Byzacena, Hippo Regius. Rome's first province in northwest Africa was established by the Roman Republic in 146 BC, following its defeat of Carthage in the Third Punic War. Africa Proconsularis or Africa Vetus, was governed by a proconsul, it is possible that the name "Africa" comes from the Berber word "afer" or "ifri" that designated a tribe. Utica was formed as the administrative capital; the remaining territory was left in the domain of the Berber Numidian client king Massinissa.
At this time, the Roman policy in Africa was to prevent another great power from rising on the far side of Sicily. In 118 BC, the Numidian prince Jugurtha attempted to reunify the smaller kingdoms. However, upon his death, much of Jugurtha's territory was placed in the control of the Berber Mauretanian client king Bocchus. In 27 BC, when the Republic had transformed into an Empire, the province of Africa began its Imperial occupation under Roman rule. Several political and provincial reforms were implemented by Augustus and by Caligula, but Claudius finalized the territorial divisions into official Roman provinces. Africa was a senatorial province. After Diocletian's administrative reforms, it was split into Africa Zeugitana in the north. All of which were part of the Dioecesis Africae; the region remained a part of the Roman Empire until the Germanic migrations of the 5th century. The Vandals crossed into Northwest Africa from Spain in 429 and overran the area by 439 and founded their own kingdom, including Sicily, Corsica and the Balearics.
The Vandals controlled the country as a warrior-elite but faced strong resistance from the native Berbers. The Vandals persecuted Catholic Berbers, as the Vandals were adherents of Arianism. Towards the end of the 5th century, the Vandal state fell into decline, abandoning most of the interior territories to the Mauri and other Berber tribes of the region. In AD 533, Emperor Justinian, using a Vandal dynastic dispute as pretext, sent an army under the general Belisarius to recover Africa. In a short campaign, Belisarius defeated the Vandals, entered Carthage in triumph and re-established Roman rule over the province; the restored Roman administration was successful in fending off the attacks of the Amazigh desert tribes, by means of an extensive fortification network managed to extend its rule once again to the interior. The northwest African provinces, together with the Roman possessions in Spain, were grouped into the Exarchate of Africa by Emperor Maurice; the exarchate prospered, from it resulted the overthrow of the emperor Phocas by Heraclius in 610.
Heraclius considered moving the imperial capital from Constantinople to Carthage. After 640, the exarchate managed to stave off the Muslim Conquest, but in 698, a Muslim army from Egypt sacked Carthage and conquered the exarchate, ending Roman and Christian rule in Northwest Africa. Legend Even so, the Roman military presence of Northwest Africa was small, consisting of about 28,000 troops and auxiliaries in Numidia and the two Mauretanian provinces. Starting in the 2nd century AD, these garrisons were manned by local inhabitants. A sizable Latin speaking population developed, multinational in background, sharing the northwest African region with those speaking Punic and Berber languages. Imperial security forces began to be drawn from the local population, including the Berbers. Abun-Nasr, in his A History of the Maghrib, said that "What made the Berbers accept the Roman way of life all the more was that the Romans, though a colonizing people who captured their lands by the might of their arms, did not display any racial exclusiveness and were remarkably tolerant of Berber religious cults, be they indigenous or borrowed from the Carthaginians.
However, the Roman territory in Africa was unevenly penetrated by Roman culture. Pockets of non-Romanized Berbers continued to exist throughout the Roman period such as in the rural areas of the romanised regions of Tunisia and Numidia." By the end of the Western Roman Empire nearly all of the Maghreb was romanised, according to Mommsen in his The Provinces of the Roman Empire. Roman Africans enjoyed a high level of prosperity; this prosperity touched even the populations living outside the Roman limes, who were reached with Roman expeditions to Sub-Saharan Africa. The willing acceptance of Roman citizenship by members of the ruling class in African cities produced such Roman Africans as the comic poet Terence, the rhe
Niger or the Niger the Republic of the Niger, is a landlocked country in West Africa named after the Niger River. Niger is bordered by Libya to the northeast, Chad to the east, Nigeria to the south, Benin to the southwest, Burkina Faso and Mali to the west, Algeria to the northwest. Niger covers a land area of 1,270,000 km2, making it the largest country in West Africa. Over 80% of its land area lies in the Sahara Desert; the country's predominantly Islamic population of about 21 million live in clusters in the far south and west of the country. The capital city is Niamey, located in Niger's southwest corner. Niger is a developing country, which ranks near the bottom in the United Nations' Human Development Index. Much of the non-desert portions of the country are threatened by periodic drought and desertification; the economy is concentrated around subsistence, with some export agriculture in the more fertile south, export of raw materials uranium ore. Niger faces serious challenges to development due to its landlocked position, desert terrain, inefficient agriculture, high fertility rates without birth control, the resulting overpopulation, the poor educational level and poverty of its people, lack of infrastructure, poor healthcare, environmental degradation.
Nigerien society reflects a diversity drawn from the long independent histories of its several ethnic groups and regions and their short period living in a single state. What is now Niger has been on the fringes of several large states. Since independence, Nigeriens have lived under five constitutions and three periods of military rule. After the military coup in 2010, Niger became a multi-party state. A majority of the population lives in rural areas, have little access to advanced education. Early human settlement in Niger is evidenced by numerous archaeological remains. In prehistoric times, the climate of the Sahara was wet and provided favorable conditions for agriculture and livestock herding in a fertile grassland environment five thousand years ago. In 2005–06, a graveyard in the Ténéré desert was discovered by Paul Sereno, a paleontologist from the University of Chicago, his team discovered 5,000-year-old remains of two children in the Ténéré Desert. The evidence along with remains of animals that do not live in desert are among the strongest evidence of the'green' Sahara in Niger.
It is believed that progressive desertification around 5000 BC pushed sedentary populations to the south and south-east. By at least the 5th century BC, Niger had become an area of trans-Saharan trade, led by the Berber tribes from the north, who used camels as a well-adapted means of transportation through the desert; this trade made Agadez a pivotal place of the trans-Saharan trade. This mobility, which would continue in waves for several centuries, was accompanied with further migration to the south and interbreeding between southern black and northern white populations, it was aided by the introduction of Islam to the region at the end of the 7th century. Several empires and kingdoms flourished during this era, up to the beginning of colonization in Africa; the Songhai Empire was an empire bearing the name of its main ethnic group, the Songhai or Sonrai, located in western Africa on the bend of the Niger River in present-day Niger and Burkina Faso. In the 7th century, Songhai tribes settled down north of modern-day Niamey and founded the Songhai city-states of Koukia and Gao.
By the 11th century, Gao had become the capital of the Songhai Empire. From 1000 to 1325, The Songhai Empire prospered and managed to maintain peace with its neighboring empires including the Mali Empire. In 1325 the Songhai Empire was conquered by the Mali Empire but was freed in 1335 by prince Ali Kolen and his brother, Songhai princes held captive by Moussa Kankan, the ruler of the Mali Empire. From the mid-15th to the late 16th century, Songhai was one of the largest Islamic empires in history. Between the Niger River and Lake Chad lay Hausa kingdoms and fertile areas; these kingdoms flourished from the mid-14th century up until the early 19th century, when they were conquered by Usman dan Fodio, founder of the Sokoto Empire. The Hausa kingdoms were not a compact entity but several federations of kingdoms more or less independent of one other, their organization was somewhat democratic: the Hausa kings were elected by the notables of the country and could be removed by them. The Hausa Kingdoms began as seven states founded according to the Bayajidda legend by the six sons of Bawo.
Bawo was the only son of the Hausa queen Bayajidda or who came from Baghdad. The seven original Hausa states were: Daoura, Rano, Gobir and Biram; the Mali Empire was a Mandinka empire founded by Sundiata Keita circa 1230 that existed up to 1600. At its peak circa 1350, the empire extended as far west as Senegal and Guinee Conakry and as far east as western Niger; the Kanem-Bornu Empire was an empire that existed in modern-day Chad, Cameroon and Libya. The empire first existed and prospered as the Kanem Empire as early as the 9th century and as the Kingdom of Bornu until 1900. In the 19th century, contact with Europe began with the first European explorers—notably Monteil and Barth —to travel to Niger. Following the 1885 Berlin conference during which colonial powers outlined the division of Africa into colonial spheres, French military efforts to conquer existing African states were intensified in all French colo
The Tibesti Mountains are a mountain range in the central Sahara located in the extreme north of Chad, with a small extension into southern Libya. The highest peak in the range, Emi Koussi, lies to the south at a height of 3,445 metres and is the highest point in both Chad and the Sahara. Bikku Bitti, the highest peak in Libya, is located in the north of the range; the central third of the Tibesti is of volcanic origin and consists of five shield volcanoes topped by large craters: Emi Koussi, Tarso Toon, Tarso Voon, Tarso Yega and Toussidé. Major lava flows have formed vast plateaus; the volcanic activity was the result of a continental hotspot that arose during the Oligocene and continued in some places until the Holocene, creating fumaroles, hot springs, mud pools and deposits of natron and sulfur. Erosion has shaped volcanic spires and carved an extensive network of canyons through which run rivers subject to irregular flows that are lost to the desert sands. Tibesti, which means "place where the mountain people live," is the domain of the Toubou people.
The Toubou live along the wadis, on rare oases where palm trees and limited grains grow. They harness the water that collects in gueltas, the supply of, variable from year-to-year and decade-to-decade; the plateaus are used to graze livestock in the harvest grain in the summer. Temperatures are high, although the altitude ensures that the range is cooler than the surrounding desert; the Toubou, who first appeared in the range in the 5th century BC, adapted to these conditions and turned the range into a large natural fortress. They arrived in several waves, taking refuge in times of conflict and dispersing in times of prosperity, although not without intense internal hostility at times; the Toubou came into contact with the Carthaginians, Tuaregs and the Arabs, as well as the French colonists who first entered the range in 1914 and took control of the area in 1929. The independent spirit of the Toubou and the geopolitical situation in the region has complicated the exploration of the range as well as the ascent of its peaks.
Tensions continued after Chad and Libya gained independence in the mid-20th century, with hostage-taking and armed struggles occurring amid border disputes over the allocation of natural resources. The geopolitical situation and the lack of infrastructure has hampered the development of tourism; the Saharomontane flora and fauna, which include the rhim gazelle and Barbary sheep, have adapted to the mountains, yet the climate has not always been as harsh. Greater biodiversity existed in the past, as evidenced by scenes portrayed in rock and parietal art found throughout the range, which date back several millennia before the arrival of Toubou; the isolation of the Tibesti has sparked the cultural imagination in both literature. The Tibesti Mountains are named for the Toubou people written Tibu or Tubu, that inhabit the area. In the Kanuri language, tu means "rock" or "mountain" and bu means "a person" or "dweller," and thus Toubou translates to "people of the mountains" and Tibesti to "place where the mountain people live."Most of the mountain names are derived from Arabic as well as the Tedaga and Dazaga languages.
The term ehi refers to peaks and rocky hills, emi to larger mountains, era to craters and tarso to high plateaus or sloping mountains. For example, the Ehi Mousgou is a 2,849-metre stratovolcano near Tarso Voon; the name Toussidé means "that which killed the Tou," as in the Toubou, reflecting the danger of the still active volcano. The name of Bardaï, the principal town in the range, means "cold" in Chadian Arabic, because of its low nocturnal temperatures. In the Tedaga language, the town is known as Goumodi, which means "red pass," signifying the color of the mountains at dusk; the mountains lie on the border between Chad and Libya, straddling the Chadian regions of Borkou and Tibesti and the Libyan districts of Murzuq and Kufra, around 1,000 kilometres north of N'djamena and 1,500 kilometres south-southeast of Tripoli. The range is adjacent to Niger and located halfway between the Mediterranean Sea and Lake Chad, just south of the Tropic of Cancer; the East African Rift is 1,900 km to the east and the Cameroon line lies 1,800 km to the southwest.
The range is 380 km in length, 350 km in width, spans 100,000 km2. It draws a large triangle with sides of 400 km and vertices facing south and northeast in the heart of the Sahara, making it the largest geologic area of the desert, it is larger than the Massif Central in France, with which it shares some geomorphological characteristics. The highest peak in the Tibesti Mountains, as well as the highest point in Chad and the Sahara Desert, is the 3,445-metre Emi Koussi, located at the southern end of the range. Other prominent peaks include Pic Toussidé at 3,296 m and the 3,012-metre Ehi Timi on its western side, the 2,972-metre Tarso Yega, the 2,925 m Tarso Tieroko, the 2,849-metre Ehi Mousgou, the 2,845-metre Tarso Voon, the 2,820-metre Ehi Sunni, the 2,774-metre Ehi Yéy near the center of the range; the 2,978-metre Mouskorbe and the 2,812-metre Kegueur Terbi are two peaks notable for their height in the northeastern part of the mountain range. The 2,267-metre Bikku Bitti, the highest point in Libya, is nearby, on the other side of the border.
The average elevation of the Tibesti Mountains is about 2,000 metres.