North Africa during Antiquity

Northern Africa in Antiquity (map related to the period under Roman rule)

The History of North Africa during the period of Classical Antiquity (c. 8th century BCE – 5th century CE) can be divided roughly into the history of Egypt in the east, the history of Ancient Libya in the middle and the history of Numidia and Mauretania in the West. The Roman Republic established the province of Africa in 146 BCE after the defeat of Carthage. The Roman Empire eventually controlled the entire Mediterranean coast of Africa, adding Egypt in 30 BCE, Creta et Cyrenaica in 20 BCE, and Mauretania in CE 44.

Initially, in the east, Egypt was under Persian rule during the early phase of classical antiquity, passing to the Ptolemaic dynasty in the Hellenistic era. Libya was inhabited by Berber tribes, while along the coast Phoenician and Greek colonies were set up.

Western Rome lost most part of Africa to the Vandals in the 5th century. After its reincorporation into Roman realm, Eastern Rome finally lost all control of Africa as the region fell to the Umayyad conquest of North Africa by the close of the 7th century.