Libya’s known ancient history is particularly related to Greek and Roman rule over the area, which was originally inhabited by the Berbers. The country was later Arabized, and at the same time characterized by Islam. Following a military coup in 1969, Libya gained a special people’s government under Muammar al-Gaddafi. In February 2011, a riot against the Gaddafi regime broke out. He was himself killed by rebels on October 20, 2011.

Older history

Libya’s oldest history is poorly documented, until the area was occupied by Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans and Arabs, and then incorporated into the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century, before becoming an Italian colony in the early 1900s. For a long time, Libya was a major exporter of agricultural products, especially olive oil; In recent times, petroleum exports are the economic foundation.

  • Countryaah: Check to see the location of Libya on the world map. Also covers major mountains, rivers and lakes in Libya.

Recent history

History Timeline of Libya

The country’s history is most recently linked to the three areas that, in independence in 1951, were merged into the Libyan state formation: Fezzan, Kyrenaika and Tripolitania. To see more information other than history, please visit Abbreviationfinder to learn more about climate, population, government, and economy for the country of Libya. From ancient times, these were separate entities, most often governed independently of one another. Their different history has contributed to regional contradictions in modern times, also related to the civil war during the Arab Spring.

Libya was an important trading partner for European powers in ancient and ancient times, and a center for slave trade and piracy in recent times. Italy launched an ideological colonization project in Libya in the interwar period, but lost the colony as a result of the defeat of World War II. When the great powers did not find a common solution to the future of the three territories, the question was left to the UN, and Libya became independent as a federal kingdom in 1951.

Contemporary History

The monarchy was overthrown by a military coup in 1969, after which a revolutionary and unconventional regime led by Muammar al-Gaddafi was introduced. He and his regime were overthrown in 2012, after a popular uprising broke out in 2011. This developed into a civil war, which was only brought to an end after an international, UN- anchored military intervention – in which Norway also participated. Then a democratization process is initiated.

A brief historical overview

Older history

Year Event
1000 BCE The Phoenicians establish themselves in Libya
Garamentes empire founded in Fezzan
631 BCE The Greeks take the Kyrene
525 BCE The Persians invade Libya
331 BCE The Greeks take Libya back
165 BCE The Numids take on Tripolitania
74 BCE The Romans invade Libya
395 AD Libya shared with the Roman Empire
431 The vandals invade Libya
533 Libya is subservient to the Byzantine Empire
642 The Arabs invade Libya
750 Libya is subject to the caliphate in Baghdad
969 The Fatimids invade Libya
1146 The Normans conquer Tripoli
1510 Tripoli is governed by Spain from Sicily
1530 The Johannite Order gains control of Tripoli

Recent history

yearSort EventSort
1517 Kyrenaika is subject to the Ottoman Empire
Tripolitania is subject to the Ottoman Empire
1711 Ahmed Karamanli gains power in Tripolitania
1835 The Karamanli dynasty is set aside by the Ottomans
1911 Tripolitania and Kyrenaika are subject to Italy
1915 Independent Republic is declared in Misrata
1918 Independent Republic is declared in Tripolitania
1920 The Sanusians gain autonomy in Kyrenaika
Muhammad al-Idris becomes emir of Kyrenaika
1921 Italy launches ‘la reconquista’
1922 Muhammad al-Idris becomes emir of Tripolitania
Idris flees to Egypt
1923 Umar al-Mukhtar organizes resistance
1934 Italy unites the Libyan provinces
1937 Benito Mussolini visits the colony of Italy
1940 Italian forces from Libya enter Egypt
1942 British forces take Kyranaika and Tripolitania
Free French forces take Fezzan
1947 Italy states its demands on Libya
1948 The Libya issue is referred to the UN
1949 The UN adopts independence for Libya
1951 Libya becomes an independent state
Idris is inaugurated as king
1952 Libya holds free elections
1953 Military agreement with the UK is signed
1954 Military agreement with the US is signed
1961 Libya starts exporting oil
1963 Libya becomes a united state

Contemporary History

Year Event
1969 The kingdom is abolished by military coup
1970 Foreign military bases are wound up
1971 National congresses are established
1973 The third universal theory is launched
Muammar al-Gaddafi announces cultural revolution
1976 al-Gaddafi launches The Green Book
1977 Libya is proclaimed a Jamahiriyya
Short war with Egypt
1978 Private ownership is abolished
1980 Libya intervenes in Chad
1981 The US shoots down two Libyan planes over the Sirt Gulf
1983 Libya invades Chad
1986 US bombs targets in Tripoli and Benghazi
1988 Libya participates in attacks on Pan Am aircraft
Libya participates in attacks against UTA aircraft
1993 The UN tightens sanctions on Libya
2001 Libya supports the United States in the fight against terror
2003 Libya gives up its weapons of mass destruction
2011 Popular uprising starts in Benghazi; Civil War
International military intervention
The regime is set aside, al-Gaddafi is killed
2012 First free elections since 1952
2014 Elections to the Constitutional Assembly
History of Libya
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