Tuesday, August 02, 2005

History of Tunisia

History of Tunisia. This is a brief and sketchy history of the African nation of Tunisia. Despite this, it does the job of educating the newbie to the subject on the basics of the topic.

Wikipedia notes that, "The Tunisian Republic (الجمهرية التونسية), or Tunisia, is a Muslim Arab country situated on the North African Mediterranean coast. It is the easternmost and smallest of the three nations along the Atlas mountain range, bordering one of the others, Algeria to the west, as well as Libya to the south and east. Forty per cent of the country is comprised by the Sahara desert, with much of the remainder consisting of particularly fertile land and easily accessible coasts. Both played a prominent role in ancient times, first with the founding of the famous Phoenician city of Carthage, and later, as the Africa Province, it became known as the bread basket of the Roman Empire. It is thought that the name Tunis originated from Berber, meaning either a geographical promontory, or, 'to spend the night.' "

From the site:

Modern Tunisians are the descendents of indigenous Berbers and of people from numerous civilizations that have invaded, migrated to, and been assimilated into the population over the millenia. Recorded history in Tunisia begins with the arrival of Phoenicians, who founded Carthage and other North African settlements in the 8th century BC. Carthage became a major sea power, clashing with Rome for control of the Mediterranean until it was defeated and captured by the Romans in 146 B.C. The Romans ruled and settled in North Africa until the 5th century when the Roman Empire fell and Tunisia was invaded by European tribes, including the Vandals. The Muslim conquest in the 7th century transformed Tunisia's and the make-up of its population, with subsequent waves of migration from around the Arab and Ottoman world, including significant numbers of Spanish Moors and Jews at the end of the 15th century. Tunisia became a center of Arab culture and learning and was assimilated into the Turkish Ottoman Empire in the 16th century. It was a French protectorate from 1881 until independence in 1956, and retains close political, economic, and cultural ties with France.

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