Cyrenaica, which had remained an outpost of the Byzantine Empire during the Vandal period, also took on the characteristics of an armed camp.
Unpopular Byzantine governors imposed burdensome taxation to meet military costs, while the towns and public services—including the water system—were left to decay.
Alexander the Great was greeted by the Greeks when he entered Cyrenaica in 331 BC, and Eastern Libya again fell under the control of the Greeks, this time as part of the Ptolemaic Kingdom.
After the fall of Carthage the Romans did not immediately occupy Tripolitania (the region around Tripoli), but left it under control of the kings of Numidia, until the coastal cities asked and obtained its protection.
In the second Libyan Civil War ongoing since 2014, two authorities initially claimed to govern Libya: the Council of Deputies in Tobruk, and the 2014 General National Congress (GNC) in Tripoli, which considered itself the continuation of the General National Congress, elected in 2012.
As of July 2017 talks are still ongoing between the GNA and the Tobruk-based authorities to end the strife and unify the divided establishments of the state including the Libyan National Army and the Central Bank of Libya.
In 630 BC, the ancient Greeks colonized Eastern Libya and founded the city of Cyrene.
By the 5th century BC, the greatest of the Phoenician colonies, Carthage, had extended its hegemony across much of North Africa, where a distinctive civilization, known as Punic, came into being.It is a member of the United Nations (since 1955), the Non-Aligned Movement, Arab League, OIC, and OPEC.The country's official religion is Islam, with 96.6% of the Libyan population being Sunni Muslims.The Latin name Libya (from Greek Λιβύη, Libyē) referred to the region west of the Nile generally corresponding to its central location in North Africa historically visited by many Mediterranean cultures which referred to its original inhabitants as the "Libúē." The name Libya was introduced in 1934 for Italian Libya, reviving the historical name for Northwest Africa, from the ancient Greek It was intended to supplant terms applied to Ottoman Tripolitania, the coastal region of what is today Libya having been ruled by the Ottoman Empire from 1551 to 1911, as the Eyalet of Tripolitania.The name "Libya" was brought back into use in 1903 by Italian geographer Federico Minutilli.The Phoenicians established trading posts in western Libya, and ancient Greek colonists established city-states in eastern Libya.Libya was variously ruled by Carthaginians, Persians, Egyptians and Greeks before becoming a part of the Roman Empire. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the area of Libya was mostly occupied by the Vandals until the 7th century, when invasions brought Islam.Ibn Ziri's Berber Zirid dynasty ultimately broke away from the Shiite Fatimids, and recognised the Sunni Abbasids of Baghdad as rightful Caliphs.In retaliation, the Fatimids brought about the migration of thousands from mainly two Arab Qaisi tribes, the Banu Sulaym and Banu Hilal to North Africa.By the beginning of the 7th century, Byzantine control over the region was weak, Berber rebellions were becoming more frequent, and there was little to oppose Muslim invasion.For the next several decades, Libya was under the purview of the Umayyad Caliph of Damascus until the Abbasids overthrew the Umayyads in 750, and Libya came under the rule of Baghdad.