Tébessa or Tebessa, the classical Theveste, is the capital city of Tébessa Province in the Shawi region of Algeria, 20 km west of its Tunisian border. There is a phosphate mine nearby and the city is known for its traditional Algerian carpets. Tébessa was home to over 634,332 people in 2007. Tebessa, written Tébessa in French, was known to the ancient Greeks as Thebéstē or Hekatompýlē; this was latinized as Theveste. In antiquity, Theveste formed part of the Roman empire BC. After the establishment of the Roman Empire, the 3rd Augustan Legion was based in Theveste before being transferred to Lambaesis. Theveste became a Roman colony under Trajan in the early 2nd century. At the time of Trajan, it was a flourishing city with around 30,000 inhabitants; the ruins surviving in present-day Tebessa are rich in ancient monuments, among them being a triumphal arch of Caracalla, a Roman temple, a Christian basilica of the 4th century. There is mention of a council held there by the Donatists. Among its saints were its bishop Lucius, who assisted at the 256 Council of Carthage and died as a martyr two years later.
Some of its other bishops are known: Romulus in 349. During the 4th and 5th century, Theveste was a hotbed of Manichaeism as well. In June 1918, a Latin codex of 26 leaves written by the Manichaeans was discovered in a cave near the city. A month Henri Omont found its other 13 initial leaves; the whole book is kept in Cologne. It has been edited by Markus Stein. Theveste was rebuilt by the patrician Solomon at the beginning of the reign of Justinian I. Solomon built his own tomb in Theveste, Arch of Caracalla, a Roman triumphal arch. Roman theater Temple of Minerva, with walls decorated by mosaics. Amphitheatre Remains of the basilica of St. Crispinus, one of the biggest in Africa, it has chapels, baptism urns and gardens. Byzantine walls, popularly flanked by thirteen square towers. Archaeological museum. Tébessa has a semi-arid climate, with hot dry summers and mild, somewhat wetter winters. Tébessa is connected by rail with the other parts of both Algeria and Tunisia, it is served by Tébessa Airport for air transport.
Stein Manichaica Latina 3.1. Codex Thevestinus Paderborn, Munich and Zurich: Ferdinand Schöningh, 2004, Pp. xx + 328. Stein Manichaica Latina 3.2. Codex Thevestinus Paderborn, Munich and Zurich: Ferdinand Schöningh, 2006, Pp. vi + 81, ills. Media related to Tébessa at Wikimedia Commons Official site of Tebessa Acta Maximiliani Martyris Page with photos of ancient ruins This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed.. "Theveste". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton. Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Tebessa". Encyclopædia Britannica. Cambridge University Press
Arab-Berbers are an ethnic group native to Maghreb, a North African region along the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Arab-Berbers are people of mixed Berber and Arab origin and whose native language is a variant of Maghrebi Arabic. Many Arab-Berbers identify as Arab and secondarily as Berber. While some Arab-Berbers claim West Asian descent, genetic studies there have determined that Arab and non-Arab Berbers are genetically nearly identical; this suggest that the processes of "Arabization" in the Maghreb was mainly cultural rather than genetic. The Arab-Berber identity came into being as a direct result of the Arab conquest of North Africa, the intermarriage between the Arabian and Persian people who immigrated to those regions and local Roman Africans and other Berber people. Alongside Berber speakers, arabized Berbers form the core of the native populations of the Maghreb, namely Algeria, Libya and Tunisia. Arab-Berbers speak variants of Maghrebi Arabic known as (Darija or Derja, which means "everyday/colloquial language".
The variants of Maghrebi derja have a significant Berber and Neo-Punic substratum. However, they have many loanwords from French, Turkish and the languages of Spain. Medieval Arabic sources refers as Bilad Al Barbar; this designation may have given rise to the term Barbary Coast, used by Europeans until the 19th century to refer to coastal Northwest Africa. Since the populations were affiliated with the Arab Muslim culture, Northwest Africa started to be referred to by the Arabic speakers as Al-Maġrib, the Maghreb as it was considered as the western part of the known world. For historical references, medieval Arab and Muslim historians and geographers used to refer to Morocco as Al-Maghrib al Aqşá, disambiguating it from neighboring historical regions called Al-Maghrib al Awsat and Al-Maghrib al Adna; the Maghreb was arabized with the spread of Islam in the 7th century AD, when the liturgical language Arabic was first brought to the Maghreb. However, the bulk of the population of northwestern Africa remained Berber or Roman Africans at least until the 14th century.
Arabization was at least strengthened in the rural areas in the 11th century with the emigration of the Banu Hilal tribes from Egypt. However, many parts of the Maghreb were only arabized recently in the 19th and 20th centuries, such as the area of the Aurès mountains. Lastly, the mass education and promotion of Arabic language and culture through schools and mass media, during the 20th century, by the maghrebis governments, is regarded as the strongest contributor to the Arabization process in the Maghreb. Various population genetics studies along with historians such as Gabriel Camps and Charles-André Julien lend support to the idea that the bulk of the gene pool of modern Maghrebis, irrespective of linguistic group, is derived from the Berber populations of the pre-Islamic period. Maghrebis Arabs Banu Hilal Banu Sulaym Beni Hassan North Africa Maghreb Kouloughlis
The Ifranids called Banu Ifran, Ifran, or the children of the Ifran, were a Zenata Berber tribe prominent in the history of pre-Islamic and early Islamic North Africa. In the 8th century, they established a kingdom in Central Maghreb, Algeria with Tlemcen as its capital; the Banu Ifran resisted or revolted against foreign occupiers—Romans and Byzantines—of their territory in Africa. In the seventh century, they sided with Kahina in her resistance against the Muslim Umayyad invaders. In the eighth century they mobilized around the dogma of sufri, revolting against the Arab Umayyads and Abbasids. In the 10th century they founded a dynasty opposed to the Fatimids, the Zirids, the Umayyads, the Hammadids and the Maghraoua; the Banu Ifran were defeated by the Almoravids and the invading Arabs to the end of the 11th century. The Ifranid dynasty was recognized as the only dynasty that has defended the indigenous people of the Maghreb, by the Romans referred to as the Africani. In 11th century Iberia, the Ifrenid founded a Taifa of Ronda since 1039 at Ronda in Andalusia and governed from Cordoba for several centuries.
The Banu Ifran were one of the four major tribes of the Zenata or Gaetulia confederation, were known as expert cavalrymen. According to Ibn Khaldoun, "Ifrinides" or "Ait Ifren" were resisting Romans and Byzantines who sought to occupy North Africa before the arrival of the Muslim armies. According to Corippus in his Iohannis, during the reign of Justinian I between 547 and 550, the Banu Ifran challenged the Byzantine armies under John Troglita to war, their chief Abu Qurra rebuilt the city of Tlemcen in Algeria in 765. They opposed the Egyptian Fatimid Caliphate, aligning themselves with the Maghrawa tribe and the Umayyad Caliphate of Córdoba, although they themselves became Kharijites. Led by Abu Yazid, they surged east and attacked Kairouan in 945. Another leader, Ya'la ibn Muhammad captured Oran and constructed a new capital, near Mascara. Under the leadership of their able general Jawhar, who killed Ya'la in battle in 954, the Fatimids struck back and destroyed Ifgan, for some time afterward the Banu Ifran reverted to being scattered nomads in perpetual competition with their Sanhaja neighbours.
Some settled in regions such as Málaga. Others, led by Hammama, managed to gain control of the Moroccan province of Tadla. Led by Abu al-Kamāl, they established a new capital at Salé on the Atlantic coast, though this brought them into conflict with the Barghawata tribes on the seaboard. During the 11th century, the Banu Ifran contested with the Maghrawa tribe for the control of Morocco after the fall of the Idrisid dynasty. Ya'la's son Yaddū took Fes by surprise in January 993 and held it for some months until the Maghrawa ruler Ziri ibn Atiyya returned from Spain and reconquered the region. In May or June 1033, Fes was recaptured by Ya'la's grandson Tamīm. Fanatically devoted to religion, he began a persecution of the Jews, is said to have killed 6000 of their men while confiscating their wealth and women, but Ibn Khaldoun says only persecution without killing. Sometime in the period 1038-1040 the Maghrawa tribe retook Fes, forcing Tamīm to flee to Salé. Soon after that time, the Almoravids began their rise to power and conquered both the Banu Ifran and their brother-rivals the Maghrawa.
The name of the Berber dynasty "Ifran" is the plural form of the Berber language word "ifri" or "afri" which means "cave / tunnel". Other possibilities are that their name is derived from one of the major gods of the pagan Berbers, Ifru or Ifrou, or that the name is derived from the region of Yifran in present-day north-west Libya where they may have originated; the name of the Ifran tribe has many alternative spellings, such as Ifuraces or Afar in Latin, or Ifrinidi, Fren, Yefren, Yafren, or Yafran, but all of the names mean "The Sons of Ifri". The Arabic prefix banu- was added by the Muslim writers and is equal to the Berber prefix "ayt" which means: "the sons of" or "those of". Among the Ifran, animism was the principal spiritual philosophy. Ifri was the name of a Berber deity, their name may have an origin in their beliefs. Ifru rites symbolized in caves were held to gain protection for merchants and traders; the myth of this protection is befittingly depicted on Roman coins. Ifru was regarded as cave goddess and protector of the home.
Ifru or Ifran was regarded as a Berber version of Vesta. Dehia referred to as The Kahina was the Dejrawa Berber queen and leader of the non-Muslim response to the advancing Arab armies; some historians claim Kahina was Christian, or a follower of the Judaic faith, though few of the Ifran were Christians after more than half a millennium of Christianity among the urban populations and the more sedentary tribes. Ibn Khaldun states that Ifran were Berbers, says nothing of their religion before the advent of Islam; the Banu Ifran were opposed to the Sunnis of the Arab armies. They converted, but summoned under the Kharidjite movement within Islam. Ibn Khaldun claimed that the "Zenata people say they are Muslims but they still oppose the Arab army.". After 711, the Berbers were systematically converted to Islam and many became devout members of the faith; the Banu Ifran were influential in Spain in the 11th century AD. The Ifran house of Corra ruled the Andalusian city Ronda in Spain. Yeddas was the military leader of the Berber troops who were at war against the Christian king and El Mehdi.
Abu Nour or Nour of the house of Corra became lord of Ronda and Seville in Andalusia from 1023 to 1039 and from 1039 to 1054. The son of Nour bin Badis Hallal ruled Ronda
Numidia was an ancient Berber kingdom of the Numidians, located in what is now Algeria and a smaller part of Tunisia and Libya in the Berber world, in North Africa. The polity was divided between Massylii in the east and Masaesyli in the west. During the Second Punic War, king of the Massylii, defeated Syphax of the Masaesyli to unify Numidia into one kingdom; the kingdom began as a sovereign state and alternated between being a Roman province and a Roman client state. It was bordered by Atlantic ocean to the west, Africa Proconsularis to the east, the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Sahara Desert to the south, it is considered to be one of the first major states in the history of the Berber world. The Greek historians referred to these peoples as "Νομάδες", which by Latin interpretation became "Numidae". Historian Gabriel Camps, disputes this claim, favoring instead an African origin for the term; the name appears first in Polybius to indicate the peoples and territory west of Carthage including the entire north of Algeria as far as the river Mulucha, about 160 kilometres west of Oran.
The Numidians were composed of two great tribal groups: the Massylii in eastern Numidia, the Masaesyli in the west. During the first part of the Second Punic War, the eastern Massylii, under their king Gala, were allied with Carthage, while the western Masaesyli, under king Syphax, were allied with Rome. However, in 206 BC, the new king of the eastern Massylii, allied himself with Rome, Syphax of the Masaesyli switched his allegiance to the Carthaginian side. At the end of the war, the victorious Romans gave all of Numidia to Masinissa of the Massylii. At the time of his death in 148 BC, Masinissa's territory extended from Mauretania to the boundary of the Carthaginian territory, southeast as far as Cyrenaica, so that Numidia surrounded Carthage except towards the sea. After the death of the long-lived Masinissa around 148 BC, he was succeeded by his son Micipsa; when Micipsa died in 118 BC, he was succeeded jointly by his two sons Hiempsal I and Adherbal and Masinissa's illegitimate grandson, Jugurtha, of Ancient Libyan origin, popular among the Numidians.
Hiempsal and Jugurtha quarrelled after the death of Micipsa. Jugurtha had Hiempsal killed. By 112 BC, Jugurtha resumed his war with Adherbal, he incurred the wrath of Rome in the process by killing some Roman businessmen who were aiding Adherbal. After a brief war with Rome, Jugurtha surrendered and received a favourable peace treaty, which raised suspicions of bribery once more; the local Roman commander was summoned to Rome to face corruption charges brought by his political rival Gaius Memmius. Jugurtha was forced to come to Rome to testify against the Roman commander, where he was discredited once his violent and ruthless past became known, after he had been suspected of murdering a Numidian rival. War broke out between Numidia and the Roman Republic and several legions were dispatched to North Africa under the command of the Consul Quintus Caecilius Metellus Numidicus; the war dragged out into a long and endless campaign as the Romans tried to defeat Jugurtha decisively. Frustrated at the apparent lack of action, Metellus' lieutenant Gaius Marius returned to Rome to seek election as Consul.
Marius was elected, returned to Numidia to take control of the war. He sent his Quaestor Lucius Cornelius Sulla to neighbouring Mauretania in order to eliminate their support for Jugurtha. With the help of Bocchus I of Mauretania, Sulla captured Jugurtha and brought the war to a conclusive end. Jugurtha was placed in the Tullianum. Jugurtha was executed by the Romans in 104 BC, after being paraded through the streets in Gaius Marius' Triumph. After the death of Jugurtha, the far west of Numidia was added to the lands of Bocchus I, king of Mauretania. A rump kingdom continued to be governed by native princes, it appears that on the death of King Gauda in 88 BC, the kingdom was divided into a larger eastern kingdom and a smaller western kingdom. The kings of the east minted coins, while no known coins of the western kings survive; the western kings may have been vassals of the eastern. The civil war between Caesar and Pompey brought an end to independent Numidia in 46 BC; the western kingdom between the Sava and Ampsaga rivers passed to Bocchus II, while the eastern kingdom became a Roman province.
The remainder of the western kingdom plus the city of Cirta, which may have belonged to either kingdom, became an autonomous principality under Publius Sittius. Between 44 and 40 BC, the old western kingdom was once again under a Numidian king, who killed Sittius and took his place, he was himself killed. After the death of Arabio, Numidia became the Roman province of Africa Nova except for a brief period when Augustus restored Juba II as a client king. Eastern Numidia was annexed in 46 BC to create Africa Nova. Western Numidia was annexed after the death of its last king, Arabio, in 40 BC, the two provinces were united with Tripolitana by Emperor Augustus, to create Africa Proconsularis. In AD 40, the western portion of Africa Proconsularis, including its legionary garrison, was placed under an imperial legatus, in effect became a separate province of Numidia, though the
The Meshwesh were an ancient Libyan tribe of Berber origin from beyond Cyrenaica. According to Egyptian hieroglyphs, this area is where the Tehenu inhabited. Early records of the Meshwesh date back to the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt from the reign of Amenhotep III. During the 19th and 20th dynasties, the Meshwesh were in constant conflict with the Egyptian state. During the late 21st Dynasty, increasing numbers of Meswesh Libyans began to settle in the Western Delta region of Egypt, they would take control of the country during the late 21st Dynasty first under Osorkon the Elder. After an interregnum of 38 years, during which the native Egyptian kings Siamun and Psusennes II assumed the throne, the Meshwesh ruled Egypt throughout the 22nd and 23rd Dynasties under such powerful pharaohs as Shoshenq I, Osorkon I, Osorkon II, Shoshenq III and Osorkon III; that the Meshwesh were of Libyan origin is explicitly stated in a genealogy contained on the stela of Pasenhor, where the great chiefs of the Meshwesh are stated to be the descendants of "Buyuwawa the Libyan."
The Libyo-Berber origin of the Meshwesh is indicated in their personal names and a handful of non-Egyptian titles used by these people that are related to the Berber languages. After the Egyptians, the Greeks and Byzantines mentioned various other tribes in Libya. Tribal names differ from the Egyptian ones but some tribes were named in the Egyptian sources and the ones, as well; the Meshwesh tribe represents this assumption. Some scholars argue it would be the same tribe called Mazyes by Hecataeus of Miletus and Maxyes by Herodotus, while the tribe was called Mazaces and Mazax in Latin sources; the Meshwesh are known from ancient Egyptian texts as early as the 18th Dynasty, where they are mentioned as a source of cattle provided to king Amenhotep III's palace at Malkata. This indicates there may have been some trade relations between the Meshwesh and the Egyptians at the time. At the least, it can be said that the Egyptians were familiar with the Meshwesh. For the remainder of the 18th Dynasty, information about Meshwesh or Libyans in general is sketchy.
There are, representations of Libyans from the reign of Akhenaten, including a remarkable papyrus depicting a group of Libyans slaying an Egyptian. However, the papyrus is fragmentary; the Meshwesh or Ma were nomad hunter pastoralists, living off their goats and other livestock while hunting and gathering at the same time. Milk, meat and wool were gathered from their livestock for food and clothing; the first Ancient Egyptian sources described the Meshwesh men with tattoos and long hair with longer side locks in the front, while centuries they appear with shorter hair of Egyptian influence but braided and beaded, neatly parted in both sides from their temples and decorated with one or two feathers attached to leather bands around the crown of the head. They still used the same robes as before, a thin mantle of antelope hide and printed, crossing one of their shoulders and coming down until mid calf length to make an open robe over a loincloth with an adorned phallus sheath, being the only exception of the new addition of a kilt above the knees and an animal tail in the Egyptian manner of king Narmer and the phallus adornment over it.
Men wore facial hair trimmed except at their chin and the older men kept their longer chin tufts braided. Women wore the same robes as men, decorated hair and both genders wore heavy jewelry. Images showed them to have accepted and adapted some Greek or Macedonian tunics. Weapons included bows and arrows, hatchets and daggers; the relations between the Libyans and the Egyptians during the Ramesside Period were one of constant conflict. Battle reliefs at Karnak from the reign of Seti I depict the king in combat with Libyan masses. During the following reign, that of Ramesses II, the Egyptians constructed a series of coastal fortresses running west to the region of Marsa Matruh, including at al-Alamayn and Zawayat Umm al-Rakham; the presence of these fortresses indicates a serious threat from the west, Ramesses does claim to have overthrown Libyans in various rhetorical texts. However, as with Seti I, he does not specify. During the reign of Merneptah it seems that the early-warning system from his father's time had fallen into disrepair, as there was an unexpected Libyan invasion into the Nile Delta and the Western Oases in Year 5 of his reign.
Unlike his predecessors, Merenptah states in his battle reliefs at Karnak that it was the Libu tribe who led the conflict, but that Meshwesh and Sea People allies were involved. Indeed, Merenptah claims. About twenty-five years during the reign of Ramesses III, the growing conflict between the Egyptians and Libyans came to a head; this time, it was the Meshwesh who instigated the conflict, though other Libyan tribes and their Sea People allies were involved in fighting two major campaigns against the Egyptian king, in Ramesses III's Regnal Years 5 and 11. The Year 11 campaign was concerned exclusively with the Meshwesh, however. Ramesses claimed victory, settled the Meshwesh in military concentration camps in Middle Egypt in order to force
The Barghawatas were a group of Berber tribes on the Atlantic coast of Morocco, belonging to the Masmuda confederacy. After allying with the Sufri Kharijite rebellion in Morocco against the Umayyad Caliphate, they established an independent state in the area of Tamesna on the Atlantic coast between Safi and Salé under the leadership of Tarif al-Matghari; some historians believe that the term Barghawata is a phonetic deformation of the term Barbati, a nickname which Tarif carried. It is thought that he was born in the area near Cádiz in Spain. However, Jérôme Carcopino and other historians think the name is much older and the tribe is the same as that which the Romans called Baquates, who up until the 7th century lived near Volubilis. Few details are known about Barghawata. Most of the historical sources are posterior to their rule and present a contradictory and confused historical context. However, one tradition appears more interesting, it comes from Córdoba in Spain and its author is the Large Prior of Barghawata and the Barghawata ambassador to Córdoba Abu Salih Zammur, around the middle of the 10th century.
This tradition is regarded as most detailed concerning Barghwata. It was reported by Al Bakri, Ibn Hazm and Ibn Khaldun, although their interpretations comprise some divergent points of view; the Barghawatas, along with the Ghomara and the Miknasa, launched the Berber Revolt of 739 or 740. They were fired up by Sufri Kharijite preachers, a Muslim sect that embraced a doctrine representing total egalitarianism in opposition to the aristocracy of the Quraysh which had grown more pronounced under the Umayyad Caliphate; the rebels elected Maysara al-Matghari to lead their revolt, seized control of nearly all of what is now Morocco, inspiring further rebellions in the Maghreb and al-Andalus. At the Battle of Bagdoura, the rebels annihilated a strong army dispatched by the Umayyad caliph from Syria, but the rebels army itself was defeated in the outskirts Kairouan, Ifriqiya in 741. In the aftermath, the rebel alliance dissolved. Before this denouement, the Barghawatas, as founders of the revolt, had grown resentful of the attempt by adherents, notably the Zenata chieftains, in alliance with the authoritarian Sufri commissars, to take control of the leadership of the rebellion.
As their primary objective – the liberation of their people from Umayyad rule – had been achieved, there was little prospect of it being re-imposed, the Barghwata saw little point in continued military campaigns. In 742 or 743, the Barghwata removed themselves from the rebel alliance, retreated to the Tamesna region, on the Atlantic coast of Morocco, where they founded their new independent state and abandoned their Sufri Kharijitism; the Barghawatas ruled in the Tamesna region for more than three centuries. Under the successors of Salih ibn Tarif, Ilyas ibn Salih. After good relations with the Caliphate of Cordoba there was a break at the end of the 10th century with the ruling Umayyads. Two Umayyad incursions, as well as attacks by the Fatimids were fought off by the Barghawata. From the 11th century there was an intensive guerrilla war with the Banu Ifran. Though the Barghawata were subsequently much weakened, they were still able to fend off Almoravid attacks—the spiritual leader of the Almoravids, Ibn Yasin, fell in battle against them.
Only in 1149 were the Barghawata eliminated by the Almohads as a religious group. After the conversion to Islam at the beginning of the 8th century and the Maysara uprising, the Barghawata Berbers formed their own state on the Atlantic coast between Safi and Salé; the Barghawata kingdom followed a syncretic religion inspired by Islam with elements of Sunni, Shi'a and Kharijite Islam, mixed with astrological and traditional Berber mythology such as their taboo surrounding eating eggs and chickens, the belief that the saliva of the prophet contained baraka, or translated, blessedness. They had their own Qur'an in the Berber language comprising 80 suras under the leadership of the second ruler of the dynasty Salih ibn Tarif who had taken part in the Maysara uprising, he proclaimed himself a prophet. He claimed to be the final Mahdi, that Isa would be his companion and pray behind him; the Barghawata confederacy was made of 29 tribes. 12 of these tribes adopted the Barghawata religion. Barghawata religion tribes Khariji Muslim tribes Some constituent tribes, such as Branès, Matmata and Trara, were fractions of much larger tribal groups, only the Tamesna-based fractions joined the Barghawata Confederacy.
Tarif al-Matghari Ṣāliḥ ibn Tarīf, who declared himself prophet in 744 and went away at the age of 47, promising to return. Ilyas ibn Salih, said to have professed Islām publicly but Ṣāliḥ's religion secretly, died in the 50th year of his reign. Yunus ibn Ilyas, who fought those who would not convert. Curiously enough, he is said to have performed the Hajj, he died in the 44th year of his reign. Abu-Ghufayl Muhammad, who may have been called a prophet and who had 44 wives and more sons, he died in the 29th year of his reign. Abu al-Ansar Abdullah, buried at Ameslakht, he died in the 44th year of his reign. Abu Mansur Isa, 22 when he became king. King
The Tuareg people are a large Berber ethnic confederation. They principally inhabit the Sahara in a vast area stretching from far southwestern Libya to southern Algeria, Niger and Burkina Faso. Traditionally nomadic pastoralists, small groups of Tuareg are found in northern Nigeria; the Tuareg speak the Tuareg languages. The Tuaregs have been called the "blue people" for the indigo-dye coloured clothes they traditionally wear and which stains their skin. A semi-nomadic Muslim people, they are believed to be descendants of the Berber natives of North Africa; the Tuaregs have been one of the ethnic groups that have been influential in the spread of Islam and its legacy in North Africa and the adjacent Sahel region. Tuareg society has traditionally featured clan membership, social status and caste hierarchies within each political confederation; the Tuareg have controlled several trans-Saharan trade routes and have been an important party to the conflicts in the Saharan region during the colonial and post-colonial era.
The origin and the meaning of the name Tuareg have long been debated, with various etymologies hypothesized. It would appear that Twārəg is derived from the broken plural of Tārgi, a name whose former meaning was "inhabitant of Targa", the Tuareg name of the Libyan region known as Fezzan. Targa in Berber means " channel". Another theory is that Tuareg is derived from the plural of the Arabic exonym Tariqi; the term for a Tuareg man is the term for a woman Tamajaq. Spellings of the appellation vary by Tuareg dialect. However, they all reflect the same linguistic root, expressing the notion of "freemen"; as such, the endonym refers only to the Tuareg nobility, not the artisanal client castes and the slaves. Two other Tuareg self-designations are Kel Tamasheq, meaning "speakers of Tamasheq", Kel Tagelmust, meaning "veiled people" in allusion to the tagelmust garment, traditionally worn by Tuareg men; the English exonym "Blue People" is derived from the indigo color of the tagelmust veils and other clothing, which sometimes stains the skin underneath.
Another term for the Tuareg is Imuhagh or Imushagh, a cognate to the northern Berber self-name Imazighen. The Tuareg today inhabit a vast area in the Sahara, stretching from far southwestern Libya to southern Algeria, Niger and Burkina Faso, their combined population in these territories exceeds 2.5 million, with an estimated population in Niger of around 2 million and in Mali of another 0.5 million (3% of inhabitants. The Tuareg are the majority ethnic group in the Kidal Region of northeastern Mali; the Tuareg traditionally speak the Tuareg languages known as Tamasheq, Tamashekin and Kidal. These tongues belong to the Berber branch of the Afroasiatic family. According to Ethnologue, there are an estimated 1.2 million Tuareg speakers. Around half this number consists of speakers of the Eastern dialect; the exact number of Tuareg speakers per territory is uncertain. The CIA estimates that the Tuareg population in Mali constitutes 0.9% of the national population, whereas about 3.5% of local inhabitants speak Tuareg as a primary language.
In contrast, Imperato estimates. In antiquity, the Tuareg moved southward from the Tafilalt region into the Sahel under the Tuareg founding queen Tin Hinan, believed to have lived between the 4th and 5th century; the matriarch's 1,500 year old monumental Tin Hinan tomb is located in the Sahara at Abalessa in the Hoggar Mountains of southern Algeria. Vestiges of an inscription in Tifinagh, the Tuareg's traditional Libyco-Berber writing script, have been found on one of the ancient sepulchre's walls. External accounts of interaction with the Tuareg are available from at least the 10th century. Ibn Hawkal, El-Bekri, Ibn Batutah, Leo Africanus, all documented the Tuareg in some form as Mulatthamin or “the veiled ones.” Of the early historians, fourteenth century Arab scholar, Ibn Khaldûn has some of the most detailed commentary on the life and people of the Sahara, though he never met them. Some studies have linked the Tuareg to early ancient Egyptian civilization. At the turn of the 19th century, the Tuareg territory was organised into confederations, each ruled by a supreme Chief, along with a counsel of elders from each tribe.
These confederations are sometimes called "Drum Groups" after the Amenokal's symbol of authority, a drum. Clan elders, called Imegharan, are chosen to assist the chief of the confederation. There have been seven major confederations: Kel Ajjer or Azjar: centre is the oasis of Aghat. Kel Ahaggar, in Ahaggar mountains. Kel Adagh, or Kel Assuk: Kidal, Tin Buktu Iwillimmidan Kel Ataram, or Western Iwillimmidan: Ménaka, Azawagh region Iwillimmidan Kel Denneg, or Eastern Iwillimmidan: Tchin-Tabaraden, Teliya Azawagh. Kel Ayr: Assodé, Agadez, In Gal and Ifrwan. Kel Gres: Zinder and Tanut and south into northern Nigeria. Kel Owey: Aïr Massif, seasonally south to Tessaoua In the late 19th century, the Tuareg resisted the French colonial invasion of their Central Saharan homelands and annihilated a French expedition led by Paul Flatters in 1881. However, in the long run Tuareg broadswords were no match for the more advanced weapons of French