The History of Libya
by Bukola A. Oyeniyi
March 2019, 250pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-5606-8
$70, £54, 61€, A96
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-5607-5
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

The indigenous peoples of Libya have always had to fight invaders in order to preserve and protect their histories, cultures, traditions, and identities as separate but related peoples.

Covers Libyan history from the prehistoric period through the Phoenician, Roman, and Islamic/Ottoman periods to Italian colonization, independence, and the 2011 uprising and civil war.

Libya experienced its own Arab Spring in February of 2011, ultimately leading to a civil war in which different groups have since been vying for power. How did the events of Libya’s past lead to this point?

This addition to the Greenwood Histories of the Modern Nations series takes a chronological approach to examining Libyan history. Considering the history of Libya from its earliest times to the present, it features government records, memoirs, and diaries and provides a general overview of the history of Libya as well as a discussion on geography. While not discounting the contributions of traders and invaders to Libya’s history, this book, unlike others, identifies and traces the histories of indigenous Libyans, showcasing their achievements while situating them within the broader context of contact with Libya had by groups of people from Europe to the Arabian Peninsula. By demonstrating that Libyans had their own unique history prior to colonization, the book works to essentially decolonize Libyan history. Rounding out the chapters are a timeline, glossary, appendix of notable people, and annotated bibliography.


  • Includes a timeline of significant events, providing students with an at-a-glance overview of Libya’s history
  • Provides reads with an appendix of Notable People in the History of Syria that has brief biographies of those who have made important contributions to the country’s history
  • Presents photos and maps to provide additional context and support the text
  • Offers an annotated bibliography with detailed information on resources for further research
Bukola A. Oyeniyi is a historian of African History, with specialization in Africa's social and cultural history in the early nineteenth to the twentieth centuries. His current research focuses on the place of Africa's expressive culture, especially dress in the construction of individual and group identity. He is coauthor of Nigeria and Culture and Customs of Libya , among other publications.


"...for the breadth of coverage, this is an excellent introduction to Libyan history, best suited to support high-school and college level courses."—Booklist, July 26, 2019

"This volume will serve as a good introduction to the history of a country often in the news in the recent past. High school, public, and academic libraries should consider adding it to their history collections.—ARBA, August 1, 2019

The Greenwood Histories of the Modern Nations

Every school and public library should update its resources with these engagingly written and succinct narrative histories of the world’s nations covering prehistoric times through today. Based on the most recent scholarship, each history provides a chronological narrative examining the political, cultural, philosophical, and religious continuities in the featured nation’s long, rich history in an exploration of how its people came to be who they are today. Each volume includes a chronological narrative history, a timeline of events, biographical sketches of key figures, a glossary, and a bibliographic essay.
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