Tripoli (ii) [Ṭarābulus]
- Margaret Graves
Capital city and principal seaport on the North African coast of Libya. Founded in the 7th century bce by the Phoenicians, the site was occupied successively by the Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals and Byzantines before being conquered by the Arabs in the 7th century. After many centuries of complex governance passing between various dynasties, Tripoli became almost independent for much of the 15th century. Taken briefly by the Spanish in the 16th century, the city was then occupied by the Ottomans in 1551. In 1771 the Ottoman governor of Tripoli established his own dynasty, the Qaramanli dynasty, which lasted until the Ottomans re-occupied the area in 1835. Following the oil boom of 1995, Tripoli has grown dramatically: it is the largest city in Libya, with a population of around 1.7 million. It is sometimes known in Arabic as Ṭarābulus al-gharb (Western Tripoli) to distinguish it from the city of the same name in present day Lebanon that is known as ...