Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia


Libe, Lubee, Lybee, Lybia, Lyby

Libya is a country located in North Africa.

This African kingdom features in several Arthurian texts: Geoffrey of Monmouth says that Arthur killed King Sertorious of Libya, an ally of Lucius the Roman, during the Roman War. The Alliterative Morte Arthure says that this king was slain by Cador of Cornwall.

In Wirnt von Grafenberg’s WigaloisKing Amire of Libya is murdered, but his death is avenged by Wigalois. Finally, the Prose Lancelot features a mysterious beast called the Crowned Lion of Libya that was killed by Lionel.

Libya | 0 to 800 AD

Roman Libya | 1st century BC to 5th century AD
During the late Roman Republic and early Roman Empire, the region corresponding to modern-day Libya was part of the Roman province of Africa, which included much of North Africa’s coastal areas. The cities of Leptis Magna, Sabratha, and Oea (modern-day Tripoli) were major Roman settlements in Libya and prospered under Roman rule. Libya played a role in Roman trade, agriculture, and the grain supply for the Roman Empire.

Christianity in Libya | 1st to 4th centuries AD
Christianity began to spread in North Africa, including Libya, during the early centuries of the Christian era. The city of Cyrene in eastern Libya was an early center of Christianity, and it produced notable early Christian theologians such as St. Mark the Evangelist. The region witnessed the growth of Christian communities and the construction of churches.

Vandal Rule | 5th century AD
In the fifth century, the Vandals, a Germanic people, established control over North Africa after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. Vandal rule brought significant changes to the region, including religious persecution of Christians.

Byzantine Conquest | 6th century AD
The Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine Empire) under Emperor Justinian I launched a campaign to reclaim North Africa from the Vandals in the sixth century. Libya was gradually reintegrated into the Byzantine Empire during this period.

Islamic Conquest | 7th century AD
In the seventh century, Arab-Muslim forces began their expansion into North Africa. Libya, including cities like Tripoli and Cyrene, was gradually conquered by Muslim armies. The spread of Islam and Arab culture had a profound and lasting impact on the region.

Early Islamic Period | 8th century AD
By the end of the eighth century, Libya was firmly under Muslim rule, and it became part of the Umayyad Caliphate and later the Abbasid Caliphate. The region experienced Arabization and the adoption of Islamic cultural and religious practices.

Historia Regum Britanniae | Geoffrey of Monmouth, c. 1138
Wigalois | Wirnt von Grafenberg, early 13th century
Lancelot do Lac | 1215-1220
Vulgate Lancelot | 1215-1230
Alliterative Morte Arthure | c. 1400
Le Morte Darthur | Sir Thomas Malory, 1469-1470