Ifriqiya

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In medieval history, Ifriqiya or Ifriqiyah (Arabic: إفريقيةIfrīqiya) was the area comprising what is today Tunisia, as well as Tripolitania (western Libya) and the Constantinois (eastern Algeria). This area included what had been the Roman province of Africa, whose name it inherited.

Ifriqiya was bounded on the south by the semi-arid areas and salt marshes called el-Djerid. At various times, the rulers of this area also conquered Sicily, and the western boundary was in continual flux but usually went as far as Bejaia. Its capital was Qayrawan (Kairouan) in central Tunisia.

De Lacy O'Leary in his Arabic Thought and its Place in History (London: Kegan, Paul [1922], p. 227-8) says: "Gradually the Arabs spread all along North Africa and down to the desert edge, their tribes as a rule occupying the lower ground, whilst the older population had its chief centres in the mountainous districts. During the invasion of 45 (A.H.) the city of Kairouan (Qairouan, Qayrawan) was founded some distance south of Tunis. The site was badly chosen, and is now marked only by ruins and a scanty village, but for some centuries it served as the capital city of Ifrikiya, which was the name given to the province lying next to Egypt, embracing the modern states of Tripoli, Tunis, and the eastern part of Algeria up to the meridian of Bougie."

From their base in Kairouan, the Aghlabids initiated the invasion of Sicily, beginning in 827 and establishing the Emirate of Sicily, which lasted until it was conquered by the Normans.

Rulers of Ifriqiya[edit]

Conquest phase[edit]

Umayyad Governors of Ifriqiya[edit]

Fihrid Emirs of Ifriqiya[edit]

Kharijite rulers[edit]

Abbasid governors in Kairouan[edit]

Appointed governors
Muhallabids
Appointed governors

Aghlabid Emirs of Ifriqiya[edit]

[3]

Fatimid Caliphs in Ifriqiya[edit]

[4]

Zirid rulers of Ifriqiya[edit]

[5]

(invasion of the Banu Hillal (1057) - Kairouan destroyed, Zirids reduced to tiny coastal strip, remainder fragments into petty Bedouin emirates)[6]

(Ifriqiyan coast annexed by Norman Sicily (1143-1156))
(All of Ifriqiya conquered and annexed by the Almohads (1160))[7]

Hafsid governors of Ifriqiya[edit]

[8]

Hafsid caliphs of Ifriqiya[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ See chronicles of Ibn Abd al-Hakam and al-Nuwayri for accounts of the conquest.
  2. ^ This follows the tradition of al-Nuwayri, who says Mu'waiya ibn Hudaij was the first emir of Ifriqiya (ruling from Baqra) in 665. Ibn Khaldoun, however, dates the appointment of Mu'waiya ibn Hudaij as early as 651/52, when Abdallah ibn Sa'ad was governor in Egypt.
  3. ^ This is primarily covered in the chronicle of al-Nuwayri.
  4. ^ On the rise of the Fatimids, see Ibn Khaldoun (v.2 App. #2(pp.496-549))
  5. ^ See al-Nuwayri (v.2, App.1) and Ibn Khaldoun, v.2
  6. ^ On the Banu Hillal invasion, see Ibn Khaldoun (v.1).
  7. ^ For an account of the Almohad and Norman conquests of Ifriqiya, see Ibn al-Athir (p.578ff)
  8. ^ See Ibn Khaldoun (v.2 & 3)

Sources[edit]

Chronicles[edit]

  • Ibn Abd al-Hakam, English trans. by C.C. Torrey, 1901, "The Mohammedan Conquest of Egypt and North Africa", Historical and Critical Contributions to Biblical Science, pp.277-330. online; French trans. in De la Salle Histoire des Berbères et des dynasties musulmanes de l'Afrique Septentrionale, 1852, v.1, App. 1 (pp.301-308)
  • al-Nuwayri, French trans. in De La Salle, Histoire des Berbères et des dynasties musulmanes de l'Afrique Septentrionale, 1852, v.1, App. 2 (pp.314-444) (From 647 raid through end of Aghlabids) and 1854, v. 2 App.1 (pp.483-89) (for Zirids). Italian transl. in M. Amari (1851) Nuova raccolta di scritture e documenti intorno alla dominazione degli arabi in Sicilia, (p.27-163) (Aghlabids only)
  • Ibn Khaldoun, French trans. in De La Salle (1852-56), Histoire des Berbères et des dynasties musulmanes de l'Afrique Septentrionale 4 vols, Algiers: Imprimerie du Gouvernment. v.1, v.2 v.3, vol. 4
  • Ibn al-Athir extracts from Kamel al-Tewarikh, French trans. in De La Salle, Histoire des Berbères et des dynasties musulmanes de l'Afrique Septentrionale, 1854, v.2, App.#5, (pp.573ff)

Secondary[edit]

  • Julien, C.A. (1931) Histoire de l'Afrique du Nord, vol. 2 - De la conquête arabe à 1830, 1961 edition, Paris: Payot.

See also[edit]

Coordinates: 35°00′N 7°00′E / 35.000°N 7.000°E / 35.000; 7.000