Gulf of Sirte
Gulf of Sirte, or Gulf of Sidra after the port of Sidra, is a body of water in the Mediterranean Sea on the northern coast of Libya. It has been known as the Great Sirte or Greater Syrtis; the Gulf of Sirte has been a major centre for tuna fishing in the Mediterranean for centuries. It gives its name to the city of Sirte situated on its western side; the gulf measures 439 kilometres from the promontory of Boreum on the East side to the promontory of Cephalae on the West. The greatest extension of the gulf inland is 177 kilometres land inward and occupies an area of 57,000 square kilometers. Syrtis is referred to in the New Testament of the Bible, where the Apostle Paul relates being sent in chains to Rome to stand trial before the Roman emperor, Nero; the crew of his ship was worried about being driven by a storm into Syrtis, he took precautions to prevent it, but the ship was shipwrecked on the island of Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea. In ancient literature, the Syrtes were notorious sandbanks, which sailors always took pains to avoid.
The local climate features frequent calms and a powerful north wind. The shoreline between Cyrene in the east and Carthage in the west featured few ports. Ancient writers mention the sandbanks and their vicinity as dangerous for shipping; the Syrtes maiores are unusually tidal and feature a strong clockwise current, at the rising tide, which switches when the tide ebbs. That feature may explain the curious corkscrew shape in the area on the Peutinger Table; the landward side was a featureless plain which contrasted with the fertility of the rest of Tripolitania, to the west. Ancient writers mention serpents in this area. Strabo describes a march by the Roman general, Cato the Younger in 47 BC which took thirty days ‘ through deep and scorching sand’. Strabo gives a full account of the dangers for shipping: the difficulty with both the Greater and the Lesser Syrtes is that in many places the water is shallow, at the rise and fall of the tides ships sometimes fall into the shallows and settle there, it is rare for them to be saved.
Pomponius Mela gives a melodramatic description: The Syrtes … have no ports and are alarming because of the frequent shallows and more dangerous because of the reversing movements of the sea as it flows in and out...then a second Syrtes, equal in name and nature to the first, but about twice the size. These sources should not however be taken at face value: Mela goes on to say that there were no ports in the Greater Syrtes either, but his reliability on this point – and therefore others – is questionable: Pseudo-Scylax, writing in the early 4th century BC, records a port in the larger gulf, Strabo places a ‘very large emporium’ in the smaller one before Mela’s time. Furthermore, the ancient textual evidence is not unambiguous in its condemnation of the Syrtes. Plutarch gives a much less melodramatic account of Cato’s march than Strabo’s, saying that it took only seven days, that locals were engaged to protect his troops from serpents, and while Strabo pointed out the dangers of the sandbanks, he continues: On this account sailors travel along the coast at a distance, taking care lest they are caught off their guard and driven into these gulfs by winds.
As in Cato, they do not avoid the area, but take precautions against its relative dangers. Pliny’s warning that the gulf was ‘formidable because of the shallow and tidal water of the two Syrtes’ at Natural History 5.26 should be seen in the context of his broader claim in that work that all the coastlines of the Mediterranean were welcoming. Their infamous reputation is, found in Roman poetry, from Virgil on; the information in this section is taken from The Syrtes between East and West by Josephine Crawley Quinn. First Battle of Sirte, World War II naval battle between Regia Marina and Royal Navy in December 1941. Second Battle of Sirte, World War II naval battle between Regia Marina and Royal Navy in March 1942. After the coup d'état which brought Muammar Gaddafi to power in 1969, there were a number of international incidents concerning territorial claims of the Gaddafi regime over the waters of the Gulf of Sirte; the gulf was referred to by the US military in those times as'Gulf of Sidra', after the important oil port of Sidra on its shores.
In 1973, Gaddafi claimed much of the Gulf of Sirte to be within Libyan internal waters by drawing a straight line at 32 degrees, 30 minutes north between a point near Benghazi and the western headland of the gulf at Misrata with an exclusive 62 nautical miles fishing zone. Gaddafi declared it The Line of Death; the US claimed its rights to conduct naval operations in international waters, using the modern international standard of 12-nautical-mile territorial limit from a country's shore as defined by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Gaddafi claimed it to be a territorial sea, not just a coastal area. In response the United States authorized Naval exercises in the Gulf of Sidra to conduct Freedom of Navigation operations. On 21 March 1973, Libyan fighter planes intercepted and fired on a U. S. Air Force C-1
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and completely enclosed by land: on the north by Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa and on the east by the Levant. Although the sea is sometimes considered a part of the Atlantic Ocean, it is identified as a separate body of water. Geological evidence indicates that around 5.9 million years ago, the Mediterranean was cut off from the Atlantic and was or desiccated over a period of some 600,000 years, the Messinian salinity crisis, before being refilled by the Zanclean flood about 5.3 million years ago. It covers an approximate area of 2.5 million km2, representing 0.7 % of the global ocean surface, but its connection to the Atlantic via the Strait of Gibraltar-the narrow strait that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea and separates Spain in Europe from Morocco in Africa- is only 14 km wide. In oceanography, it is sometimes called the Eurafrican Mediterranean Sea or the European Mediterranean Sea to distinguish it from mediterranean seas elsewhere.
The Mediterranean Sea has an average depth of 1,500 m and the deepest recorded point is 5,267 m in the Calypso Deep in the Ionian Sea. The sea is bordered on the north by Europe, the east by Asia, in the south by Africa, it is located between latitudes 30° and 46° N and longitudes 6° W and 36° E. Its west-east length, from the Strait of Gibraltar to the Gulf of Iskenderun, on the southwestern coast of Turkey, is 4,000 km; the sea's average north-south length, from Croatia's southern shore to Libya, is 800 km. The sea was an important route for merchants and travellers of ancient times that allowed for trade and cultural exchange between emergent peoples of the region; the history of the Mediterranean region is crucial to understanding the origins and development of many modern societies. The countries surrounding the Mediterranean in clockwise order are Spain, Monaco, Slovenia, Croatia and Herzegovina, Albania, Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco. In addition, the Gaza Strip and the British Overseas Territories of Gibraltar and Akrotiri and Dhekelia have coastlines on the sea.
The Ancient Greeks called the Mediterranean ἡ θάλασσα or sometimes ἡ μεγάλη θάλασσα, ἡ ἡμέτερα θάλασσα, or ἡ θάλασσα ἡ καθ'ἡμᾶς. The Romans called it Mare Mare Internum and, starting with the Roman Empire, Mare Nostrum; the term Mare Mediterrāneum appears later: Solinus used it in the 3rd century, but the earliest extant witness to it is in the 6th century, in Isidore of Seville. It means'in the middle of land, inland' in Latin, a compound of medius, -āneus; the Latin word is a calque of Greek μεσόγειος, from μέσος and γήινος, from γῆ. The original meaning may have been'the sea in the middle of the earth', rather than'the sea enclosed by land'; the Carthaginians called it the "Syrian Sea". In ancient Syrian texts, Phoenician epics and in the Hebrew Bible, it was known as the "Great Sea" or as "The Sea". Another name was the "Sea of the Philistines", from the people inhabiting a large portion of its shores near the Israelites. In Modern Hebrew, it is called HaYam HaTikhon'the Middle Sea'. In Modern Arabic, it is known as al-Baḥr al-Mutawassiṭ'the Middle Sea'.
In Islamic and older Arabic literature, it was Baḥr al-Rūm'the Sea of the Romans' or'the Roman Sea'. At first, that name referred to only the Eastern Mediterranean, but it was extended to the whole Mediterranean. Other Arabic names were Baḥr al-šām'the Sea of Syria' and Baḥr al-Maghrib'the Sea of the West'. In Turkish, it is the Akdeniz'the White Sea'; the origin of the name is not clear, as it is not known in earlier Greek, Byzantine or Islamic sources. It may be to contrast with the Black Sea. In Persian, the name was translated as Baḥr-i Safīd, used in Ottoman Turkish, it is the origin of the colloquial Greek phrase Άσπρη Θάλασσα. Johann Knobloch claims that in Classical Antiquity, cultures in the Levant used colours to refer to the cardinal points: black referred to the north, yellow or blue to east, red to south, white to west; this would explain both the Turkish Akdeniz and the Arab nomenclature described above. Several ancient civilizations were located around the Mediterranean shores and were influenced by their proximity to the sea.
It provided routes for trade and war, as well as food for numerous communities throughout the ages. Due to the shared climate and access to the sea, c
Kerkennah Islands are a group of islands lying off the east coast of Tunisia in the Gulf of Gabès, at 34°42′N 11°11′E. The Islands are low-lying; the main islands are Gharbi. The archipelago has an area of 160 square kilometres and a population of 15,501. Kerkennah's main town, has a population of 2,000; the population of the islands decreased during the 1980s due to drought. The islands were unable to provide suitable irrigation systems and, with clean water running out, many islanders were forced to leave for mainland Tunisia, the nearest town being Sfax. Kerkennah has a simple history; the natives of Tunisia and Kerkennah settled there, but during the spread of the Roman Empire, Kerkennah was used as a port and look-out point by the Romans, to keep note of off-shore activity. In 2 BC, Augustus exiled Sempronius Gracchus, a lover of Julia the Elder, to the islands for 14 years for his indiscretions with his then-married daughter. Among the Catholic bishops whom the Arian Vandal king Huneric summoned to Carthage in 484, was a Bishop Athenius of Cercina, the seat of the bishopric being in the most easterly island of the group.
No longer a residential bishopric, Cercina is today listed by the Catholic Church. In 532, Saint Fulgentius of Ruspe built a monastery on one of the islets of the group. In World War 2, the Battle of the Tarigo Convoy was fought near the islands on 16 April 1941; the islands are dry, with strong prevailing winds. This is due to its positioning in the Gulf of Gabes, with strong sea winds, carried over the mainland, making them hot and dry. What little water vapour there is, is lost over cooler Tunisia first; this causes the general ecology of the island to consist of tall xerophytic flora, such as palms and saltbushes. The land is arid. There is little agriculture, though the islanders own chickens and goats for their own personal consumption. Fishing for octopus, is a key industry of Kerkennah, whence it is exported to mainland Tunisia and other nearby countries. Relative to the mainland and as a result of the lack of tourist-attracting "endless" sandy beaches, tourism is limited in Kerkennah. Many mainland Tunisians spend their holidays in Kerkennah, many more affluent Tunisians build private second homes on the island.
Tourists come from European countries. Temperatures on the island are high, with a minimum of 4 °C and reaching 40 °C; the north includes a port known as Kraten. Kerkennah Islands gerbil Océano Club de Kerkennah
Djerba transliterated as Jerba or Jarbah, is, at 514 square kilometres, the largest island of North Africa, located in the Gulf of Gabès, off the coast of Tunisia. It had a population of 139,544 at the 2004 Census, while the latest official estimate is 163,726. Citing the long and unique Jewish minority's history on Djerba, Tunisia has sought UNESCO World Heritage status protections for the island. Legend has it that Djerba was the island of the lotus-eaters where Odysseus was stranded on his voyage through the Mediterranean sea; the tradition of the Jewish minority of Djerba says in the year 586 BC, some of the Israelite temple priests who were able to escape the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple there, settled in Djerba. The island, called Meninx until the third century AD, includes three principal towns. One of these, whose modern name is Būrgū, is found near Midoun in the center of the island. Another city, on the southeast coast of the island at Meninx, was a major producer of priceless murex dye, is cited by Pliny the Elder as second only to Tyre in this regard.
A third important town was the ancient Haribus. The island was densely inhabited in the Roman and Byzantine periods, imported much of the grain consumed by its inhabitants; the island appears in the 13th century Peutinger Map. During the Middle Ages, Djerba was occupied by Ibadi Muslims; the Christians of Sicily and Aragon disputed this claim with the Ibadites. Remains from this period include numerous small mosques dating from as early as the twelfth century, as well as two substantial forts; the island was controlled twice by the Norman Kingdom of Sicily: in *1135–1158 and in *1284–1333. During the second of these periods it was organised as a feudal lordship, with the following Lords of Jerba: 1284–1305 Roger I, 1305–1307 and 1307–1310 Roger II, 1310 Charles, 1310 Francis-Roger III. 1305–1308 Simon de Montolieu, 1308–1315 Ramon Muntaner. In 1503, Barbary pirate Oruç Reis and his brother Hayreddin Barbarossa took control of the island and turned it into their main base in the western Mediterranean, thus bringing it under Ottoman control.
Spain launched a disastrous attempt to capture it in November 1510. In 1513, after three years in exile in Rome, the Fregosi family returned to Genoa, Ottaviano was elected Doge, his brother, Archbishop Federigo Fregoso, having become his chief educator, was placed at the head of the army, defended the republic against internal dangers and external dangers, notably suppression of the Barbary piracy: Cortogoli, a corsair from Tunis, blockaded the coast with a squadron, within a few days had captured eighteen merchantmen. Soon after, he carried out an invasion and occupation of the island and returned to Genoa with great booty. Spanish forces returned to Djerba in 1520, this time was successful in capturing the island, it was twice occupied by Spain, from 1521 to 1524 and from 1551 to 1560. On May 14, 1560, the Ottoman fleet, under the command of Piali Pasha and Dragut defeated the "Holy League" of Philip II of Spain at the Battle of Djerba. From that time until 1881, Djerba belonged to the Ottoman regency of Tunis.
Subsequently, it came under the French colonial protectorate, which became the modern republic of Tunisia. An archaeological field survey of Djerba carried out between 1995 and 2000 under the auspices of the University of Pennsylvania, the American Academy in Rome and the Tunisian Institut National du Patrimoine, revealed over 400 archaeological sites, including many Punic and Roman villas and an amphitheatre. According to their oral history, the Jewish minority has dwelled on the island continuously for more than 2,500 years; the first physical evidence that historians know of come from the 11th century found in Cairo Geniza. This community is unique in the Jewish diaspora for its unusually high percentage of Kohanim, direct patrilineal descendants of Aaron the first high priest from Mosaic times.. Local tradition tells that when Nebuchadnezzar II leveled Solomon’s temple and lay waste to Judah and the city of Jerusalem in the year 586 BC, some of the Kohanim who were able to escape the slavery awaiting the residents of Jerusalem settled in Djerba.
A key point in this oral history has been backed up by genetic tests for Cohen modal haplotype showing that the vast majority of male Jews on Djerba claiming the family status of Cohen had a common ancient male ancestor which matches that of nearly all of both European and Middle Eastern Jewish males with a family history of patrilineal membership in the Jewish priestly caste. Because of this, the island is known among Jews as the island of the Kohanim. During the destruction of the temple, the Kohanim, who were serving the temple at the time of destruction escaped from Jerusalem and found themselves on the island of Djerba; the legend says that with them, the Kohanim carried the door and some stones from the Temple in Jerusalem which they incorporated into the "marvelous synagogue" known as Ghirba, which still stands in Djerba. The Jewish community differs from others in Djerba in their dress, personal names, accents; the Jewish rabbinate of Djerba have established
The Ancient Greek language includes the forms of Greek used in Ancient Greece and the ancient world from around the 9th century BCE to the 6th century CE. It is roughly divided into the Archaic period, Classical period, Hellenistic period, it is succeeded by medieval Greek. Koine is regarded as a separate historical stage of its own, although in its earliest form it resembled Attic Greek and in its latest form it approaches Medieval Greek. Prior to the Koine period, Greek of the classic and earlier periods included several regional dialects. Ancient Greek was the language of Homer and of fifth-century Athenian historians and philosophers, it has contributed many words to English vocabulary and has been a standard subject of study in educational institutions of the Western world since the Renaissance. This article contains information about the Epic and Classical periods of the language. Ancient Greek was a pluricentric language, divided into many dialects; the main dialect groups are Attic and Ionic, Aeolic and Doric, many of them with several subdivisions.
Some dialects are found in standardized literary forms used in literature, while others are attested only in inscriptions. There are several historical forms. Homeric Greek is a literary form of Archaic Greek used in the epic poems, the "Iliad" and "Odyssey", in poems by other authors. Homeric Greek had significant differences in grammar and pronunciation from Classical Attic and other Classical-era dialects; the origins, early form and development of the Hellenic language family are not well understood because of a lack of contemporaneous evidence. Several theories exist about what Hellenic dialect groups may have existed between the divergence of early Greek-like speech from the common Proto-Indo-European language and the Classical period, they differ in some of the detail. The only attested dialect from this period is Mycenaean Greek, but its relationship to the historical dialects and the historical circumstances of the times imply that the overall groups existed in some form. Scholars assume that major Ancient Greek period dialect groups developed not than 1120 BCE, at the time of the Dorian invasion—and that their first appearances as precise alphabetic writing began in the 8th century BCE.
The invasion would not be "Dorian" unless the invaders had some cultural relationship to the historical Dorians. The invasion is known to have displaced population to the Attic-Ionic regions, who regarded themselves as descendants of the population displaced by or contending with the Dorians; the Greeks of this period believed there were three major divisions of all Greek people—Dorians and Ionians, each with their own defining and distinctive dialects. Allowing for their oversight of Arcadian, an obscure mountain dialect, Cypriot, far from the center of Greek scholarship, this division of people and language is quite similar to the results of modern archaeological-linguistic investigation. One standard formulation for the dialects is: West vs. non-west Greek is the strongest marked and earliest division, with non-west in subsets of Ionic-Attic and Aeolic vs. Arcadocypriot, or Aeolic and Arcado-Cypriot vs. Ionic-Attic. Non-west is called East Greek. Arcadocypriot descended more from the Mycenaean Greek of the Bronze Age.
Boeotian had come under a strong Northwest Greek influence, can in some respects be considered a transitional dialect. Thessalian had come under Northwest Greek influence, though to a lesser degree. Pamphylian Greek, spoken in a small area on the southwestern coast of Anatolia and little preserved in inscriptions, may be either a fifth major dialect group, or it is Mycenaean Greek overlaid by Doric, with a non-Greek native influence. Most of the dialect sub-groups listed above had further subdivisions equivalent to a city-state and its surrounding territory, or to an island. Doric notably had several intermediate divisions as well, into Island Doric, Southern Peloponnesus Doric, Northern Peloponnesus Doric; the Lesbian dialect was Aeolic Greek. All the groups were represented by colonies beyond Greece proper as well, these colonies developed local characteristics under the influence of settlers or neighbors speaking different Greek dialects; the dialects outside the Ionic group are known from inscriptions, notable exceptions being: fragments of the works of the poet Sappho from the island of Lesbos, in Aeolian, the poems of the Boeotian poet Pindar and other lyric poets in Doric.
After the conquests of Alexander the Great in the late 4th century BCE, a new international dialect known as Koine or Common Greek developed based on Attic Greek, but with influence from other dialects. This dialect replaced most of the older dialects, although Doric dialect has survived in the Tsakonian language, spoken in the region of modern Sparta. Doric has passed down its aorist terminations into most verbs of Demotic Greek. By about the 6th century CE, the Koine had metamorphosized into Medieval Greek. Ancient Macedonian was an Indo-European language at least related to Greek, but its exact relationship is unclear because of insufficient data: a dialect of Greek; the Macedonian dialect (or l
The Triassic is a geologic period and system which spans 50.6 million years from the end of the Permian Period 251.9 million years ago, to the beginning of the Jurassic Period 201.3 Mya. The Triassic is the shortest period of the Mesozoic Era. Both the start and end of the period are marked by major extinction events. Triassic began in the wake of the Permian–Triassic extinction event, which left the Earth's biosphere impoverished. Therapsids and archosaurs were the chief terrestrial vertebrates during this time. A specialized subgroup of archosaurs, called dinosaurs, first appeared in the Late Triassic but did not become dominant until the succeeding Jurassic Period; the first true mammals, themselves a specialized subgroup of therapsids evolved during this period, as well as the first flying vertebrates, the pterosaurs, like the dinosaurs, were a specialized subgroup of archosaurs. The vast supercontinent of Pangaea existed until the mid-Triassic, after which it began to rift into two separate landmasses, Laurasia to the north and Gondwana to the south.
The global climate during the Triassic was hot and dry, with deserts spanning much of Pangaea's interior. However, the climate became more humid as Pangaea began to drift apart; the end of the period was marked by yet another major mass extinction, the Triassic–Jurassic extinction event, that wiped out many groups and allowed dinosaurs to assume dominance in the Jurassic. The Triassic was named in 1834 by Friedrich von Alberti, after the three distinct rock layers that are found throughout Germany and northwestern Europe—red beds, capped by marine limestone, followed by a series of terrestrial mud- and sandstones—called the "Trias"; the Triassic is separated into Early and Late Triassic Epochs, the corresponding rocks are referred to as Lower, Middle, or Upper Triassic. The faunal stages from the youngest to oldest are: During the Triassic all the Earth's land mass was concentrated into a single supercontinent centered more or less on the equator and spanning from pole to pole, called Pangaea.
From the east, along the equator, the Tethys sea penetrated Pangaea, causing the Paleo-Tethys Ocean to be closed. In the mid-Triassic a similar sea penetrated along the equator from the west; the remaining shores were surrounded by the world-ocean known as Panthalassa. All the deep-ocean sediments laid down during the Triassic have disappeared through subduction of oceanic plates; the supercontinent Pangaea was rifting during the Triassic—especially late in that period—but had not yet separated. The first nonmarine sediments in the rift that marks the initial break-up of Pangaea, which separated New Jersey from Morocco, are of Late Triassic age. S. these thick sediments comprise the Newark Group. Because a super-continental mass has less shoreline compared to one broken up, Triassic marine deposits are globally rare, despite their prominence in Western Europe, where the Triassic was first studied. In North America, for example, marine deposits are limited to a few exposures in the west, thus Triassic stratigraphy is based on organisms that lived in lagoons and hypersaline environments, such as Estheria crustaceans.
At the beginning of the Mesozoic Era, Africa was joined with Earth's other continents in Pangaea. Africa shared the supercontinent's uniform fauna, dominated by theropods and primitive ornithischians by the close of the Triassic period. Late Triassic fossils are more common in the south than north; the time boundary separating the Permian and Triassic marks the advent of an extinction event with global impact, although African strata from this time period have not been studied. During the Triassic peneplains are thought to have formed in what is now southern Sweden. Remnants of this peneplain can be traced as a tilted summit accordance in the Swedish West Coast. In northern Norway Triassic peneplains may have been buried in sediments to be re-exposed as coastal plains called strandflats. Dating of illite clay from a strandflat of Bømlo, southern Norway, have shown that landscape there became weathered in Late Triassic times with the landscape also being shaped during that time. At Paleorrota geopark, located in Rio Grande do Sul, the Santa Maria Formation and Caturrita Formations are exposed.
In these formations, one of the earliest dinosaurs, Staurikosaurus, as well as the mammal ancestors Brasilitherium and Brasilodon have been discovered. The Triassic continental interior climate was hot and dry, so that typical deposits are red bed sandstones and evaporites. There is no evidence of glaciation near either pole. Pangaea's large size limited the moderating effect of the global ocean; the strong contrast between the Pangea supercontinent and the global ocean triggered intense cross-equatorial monsoons. The Triassic may have been a dry period, but evidence exists that it was punctuated by several episodes of increased rainfall in tropical and subtropical latitudes of the Tethys Sea and its surrounding land. Sediments and fossils suggestive of a more humid climate are known from the Anisian to Ladinian of the Tethysian domain, from the Carnian and Rhaetian of a larger area that includes the Boreal domain, the North