August 10 2015

In the language of Arabic political geography, the Maghrib (i.e., “the West”) means in a general way the whole of the Arabic World west of Egypt, though the term is apt to be confined to the Arabic domain in North-West Africa to the exclusion of the Arabic domain in the Iberian Peninsula (Andalūs). Maghrib al-Aqsā (i.e., “the Far West”) means Morocco. Ifriqīyah (an Arabization of the Latin name “Africa”) means a region of rather wider extent than the modern Tunisia in which urban and agricultural life had the ascendancy over Nomadism. The successive capitals of Ifriqīyah have been Carthage, Qayrawān [Kairouan], Mahdīyah [Mahdia], and Tunis.

Carthage was capital of the Vandal Kingdom for most (439-534) of the Kingdom’s existence (435-534). It remained the capital of the Byzantine province (534-698), called Exarchate of Africa from c 585.

The early Moslem capital was Kairouan.

The Fatimids (909-1171) founded Mahdia in 921.

Tunis took over during the subsequent Almohad era. The Sunni Almohad Caliphate was the Mahgrebian successor of the Ismaili Shiite Fatimid Caliphate. Saladin’s Ayyubid dynasty was its successor in Egypt and the Levant.

The flowers of Africa (old post).


The Roman province Africa Proconsularis (red), to which Ifriqiya corresponded and from which it derived its name

A Study of History, Vol III, OUP, 1934 (footnote)

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