Σάββατο, 9 Ιανουαρίου 2016

The history and culture of the indigenous ancient white tribes of Libya, modern Africa

The Latin name Libya (from Greek Λιβύη, Libyē) referred to the region west of the Nile Valley, generally corresponding to modern Northwest Africa. Its people were ancestors of the modern Berber people. Berbers occupied the area for thousands of years before the beginning of human records in Ancient Egypt. Climate changes affected the locations of the settlements. More narrowly, Libya could also refer to the country immediately west of Egypt, viz. Marmarica (Libya Inferior) and Cyrenaica (Libya Superior). The Libyan Sea or Mare Libycum was the part of the Mediterranean south of Crete, between Cyrene and Alexandria. In the Greek period the Berbers were known as Libyans, a Greek term for the inhabitants of northwest Africa. Their lands were called Libya, and extended from modern Morocco to the western borders of Ancient Egypt. Modern Egypt contains the Siwa Oasis, historically part of Libya, where the Berber Siwi language is still spoken. In Classical Greece, the term had a broader meaning, encompassing the continent that later (2nd century BC) became known as Africa, which, in antiquity, was assumed to constitute one third of the world's land mass, besides Europe and Asia. Homer also names Libya, in Odyssey (IX.95; XXIII.311). Menelaus had travelled there on his way home from Troy; it was a land of wonderful richness, where the lambs have horns as soon as they are born, where ewes lamb three times a year and no shepherd ever goes short of milk, meat or cheese. Homer used the name in a geographic sense, while he called its inhabitants Lotophagi, meaning "Lotus-eaters". After Homer, Aeschylus, Pindar, and other Ancient Greek writers use the name. Later, the name Libya appeared in the Hebrew language, written in the Bible as Lehabim andLubim, indicating the ethnic population and the geographic territory as well. Herodotus (1.46) used Λιβύη Libue to indicate the African continent; the Libues proper were the light-skinned North Africans, while those south of the Ancient Egypt (and Elephantine on the Nile) were known to him as "Aethiopians"; this was also the understanding of later Greek geographers suchDiodorus, Strabo, Pliny the Elder, etc. Latin absorbed the name from Greek and the Punic languages. The Romans would have known them before their colonization of North Africa, because of the Libyan role in the Punic wars against the Romans. The Romans used the name Libyes, but only when referring to Barca and the Western desert of Egypt. The other Libyan territories became known as Africa. There were many Berber tribes in ancient Libya, including the now extinct Psylli, with the Libu being the most prominent. The ancient Libyans were nomad hunter gatherers, living off their goats, camels and other livestock while hunting and gathering at the same time. Milk, meat, hides and wool were gathered from their livestock for food, tents and clothing. Ancient Egyptian sources describe Libyan men with long hair, braided and beaded, neatly parted from different sides and decorated with feathers attached to leather bands around the crown of the head while wearing thin robes of antelope hide, dyed and printed, crossing the shoulder and coming down until mid calf length to make a robe. Older men kept long braided beards. Women wore the same robes as men, plaited, decorated hair and both genders wore heavy jewelry. Weapons included bows and arrows, hatchets, spears and daggers. The Libyan script that was used in Libya was mostly a funerary script. It is difficult to understand, and there are a number of variations. Information on Ancient Libya comes from archaeological evidence and historic sources written by Egyptians neighbors, the Ancient Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines, and from Arabs of Medieval times. Since Neolithic times, the climate of North Africa has become drier. A reminder of thedesertification of the area is provided by megalithic remains, which occur in great variety of form and in vast numbers in presently arid and uninhabitable wastelands: dolmens and circles like Stonehenge, cairns, underground cells excavated in rock, barrows topped with huge slabs, and step-pyramid like mounds. Most remarkable are the trilithons, some still standing, some fallen, which occur isolated or in rows, and consist of two squared uprights standing on a common pedestal that supports a huge transverse beam. In the Terrgurt valley, Cowper says, "There had been originally no less than eighteen or twenty megalithic trilithons, in a line, each with its massive altar placed before it." In ancient times, the Phoenicians and Carthaginians, Achaemenid Empire of Iran, the armies of Alexander the Great and his Ptolemaic successors from Egypt, then Romans, Vandals, and local representatives of the Byzantine Empire ruled all or parts of Libya. The territory of modern Libya had separate histories until Roman times, as Tripoli and Cyrenaica. Cyrenaica, by contrast, was Greek before it was Roman. It was also known as Pentapolis, the "five cities" being Cyrene (near the village of Shahat) with its port of Apollonia (Marsa Susa),Arsinoe (Tocra), Berenice (Bengazi) and Barca (Merj). From the oldest and most famous of the Greek colonies the fertile coastal plain took the name of Cyrenaica. These five cities were also known as the Western Pentapolis; not to be confused with the Pentapolis of the Roman era on the current west Italian coast. Herodotus described the inhabitants of Libya as two peoples: The Libyans in northern Africa and the Ethiopians in the south. According to Herodotus, Libya began where ancient Egypt ended, and extended to Cape Spartel, south of Tangier on the Atlantic coast. Herodotus divided them into Eastern Libyans and Western Libyans. Eastern Libyans werenomadic shepherds east of Lake Tritonis. Western Libyans were sedentary farmers who lived west of Lake Tritonis. At one point, a catastrophic change reduced the vast body of fresh water to a seasonal lake or marsh. Ibn Khaldun and Herodotus distinguish the Libyans on the basis of their lifestyles rather than ethnic background. Modern historians tend to follow Herodotus's distinction. Examples, Oric Bates in his book The Eastern Libyans. Some other historians have used the modern name of theBerbers in their works, such as the French historian Gabriel Camps. The Libyan tribes mentioned in these sources were: "Adyrmachidae", "Giligamae", "Asbystae", "Marmaridae", "Auschisae", "Nasamones", "Macae", "Lotus-eaters (or Lotophagi)", "Garamantes", "Gaetulians", "Maures (Berbers)", and "Luwatae", as well as many others. White Aethiopians (Leucaethiopes) is a term found in ancient Roman literature which may have referred to the lighter skinned Berber non-negroid populations of Saharan-Africa. The term is used by Pliny the Elder, and is also mentioned by Pomponius Mela, Ptolemy and Orosius. These authorities do not, however, agree on the geographical location of the White Aethiopians. The 10th-century traveller Ibn Hawqal describes a similar situation among the Berber, which Richard Smith suggests may reflect "a real event, the absorption of tribes" from Ethiopia. "If we pass through the interior of Africa in a southerly direction, beyond the Gætuli, after having traversed the intervening deserts, we shall find, first of all the Liby-Egyptians, and then the country where the Leucæthiopians dwell."” Oric Bates notes that Ptolemy wrote of the White Aethiopians and the Melanogaetulians, and compares this to the mention by Orosius of the "Libyoaethopians". Pomponius Mela wrote, in Frank E. Romer's translation, that "On those shores washed by the Libyan Sea, however, are found the Libyan Aegyptians, the White Aethiopians, and, a populous and numerous nation, the Gaetuli. Then a region, uninhabitable in its entire length, covers a broad and vacant expanse." According to Smith,Ptolemy placed two peoples, Leukaethiopes and Melanogaetulians ('Black Gaetulians') in the far west of North Africa, namely in southern Morocco. The Leukaethiopes, "literally, 'white Ethiopians'" could also, Smith suggests, be described as "white black men", since in ancient times "the term 'Ethiopian' referred to skin color". According to Richard Smith, Pliny the Elder however places the Leukaethiopes south of the (Sahara) desert between the white Gaetulians and the black Nigritae, with closest neighbours the Libyaegyptians, "literally the 'Egyptian Libyans', another oxymoron"; but, Smith says, Pliny does not mention any black Gaetulians.Fula women: Edmund Dene Morel conjectured that the White Ethiopians of classical times were Fula people. The Fula people or Fulani or Fulɓe (Fula: Fulɓe; French: Peul; Hausa: Fulani; Portuguese: Fula; Wolof: Pël; Bambara: Fulaw) numbering approximately 20 million people in total are one of the most widely dispersed and culturally diverse of the peoples of Africa. The Fulani are bound together by the common language of Fulfulde, as well as by some basic elements of Fulbe culture, such as the pulaaku, a code of conduct common to all Fulani groups. A significant proportion of their number, (an estimated 13 million), are nomadic, making them the largest pastoral nomadic group in the world. Spread over many countries, they are found mainly in West Africa and northern parts of Central Africa, but also in Sudan and Egypt.Egypt The earliest evidence that shed some light on the pre-historic Fulani culture can be found in the Tassili n'Ajjer rock art Fulani's artifacts, which seem to depict the early life of the people dating back thousands of years (6000 B.C.E.). Examination of these rock paintings suggests the presence of proto-Fulani cultural traits in the region by at least the 4th millennium B.C.E. Tassili-N'Ajjer in Algeria is one of the most famous North African sites of rock painting. In the 9th century the Fulani may have been involved in the formation of a state with its capital at Takrur which is suggested to have had influx of Fulani migrating from the east and settling in the Senegal valley, although John Donnelly Fage suggests that Takrur was formed through the interaction of Berbers from the Sahara and "Negro agricultural peoples" who were "essentially Serer".Fula are primarily known to be pastoralists, but are also traders in some areas. Most Fula in the countryside spend long times alone on foot, and can be seen frequently parading with their cattle throughout the west African hinterland, moving their herds in search of water and better pasture. They were, and still are, the only major migratory people group of West Africa, although the Tuareg, another nomadic tribe of North African origin, live just immediately north of Fula territory, and sometimes live alongside the Fulani in countries such as Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso.Fula society in most parts of West Africa features the caste divisions typical of the region.There are the Fulani proper, also referred to as the Fulɓe, including the Pullo (also called the Rimɓe (singular)) and the Dimo, meaning "noble". There is the artisan caste, including blacksmiths, potters, griots, genealogists, woodworkers, and dressmakers. They, like the Fulɓe, are free people. Then there are those groups of captive, slave or serf ancestry: the Maccuɗo, Rimmayɓe, Dimaajo, and less often Ɓaleeɓe, the Fulani equivalent of the Tuareg Ikelan known as Bouzou (Buzu)/Bella in the Hausa and Songhay languages respectively. The last two categories are not distinguishable in any significant way, and today, most are essentially free by law. The castes are endogamous in nature, meaning individuals marry only within their caste.  Fulani culture continued to emerge in the area of the upper Niger and Senegal Rivers. A study by Hassan et al. (2008) on the Fulani in Sudan observed a significantly higher occurrence of the West Eurasian haplogroup R-M173 (53.8%). The remainder belonged to various Afro-Asiatic associated haplogroup E1b1b subclades, including 34.62% E-M78 and 27.2% E-V22.The paternal lineages of the Fula/Fulɓe/Fulani tend to vary depending on geographic location. According to a study by Cruciani et al. (2002), around 90% of Fulani individuals from Burkina Faso carried haplotype 24, which corresponds with the common Sub-Saharan haplogroup E1b1a.A minority carried the West Eurasian haplogroups T (18%) and R-M173 (12%).In contrast to their heterogeneous paternal lineages, the Fulani largely cluster maternally with other Niger-Congo populations. Only 8.1% of their mtDNA clades were associated with West Eurasian or Afro-Asiatic groups (J1b, U5, H, and V).According to Tishkoff et al. (2009), the Fulani's genomic ancestry clusters near that of Chadic and Central Sudanic speaking populations. Based on this, the researchers suggest that the Fulani may have adopted a Niger-Congo language at some point in their history while intermarrying with local populations. Additionally, low to moderate levels of West Eurasian admixture was also observed in the Fulani samples, which the authors propose may have been introduced via the Iberian peninsula.
Πηγή: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Libya

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