berber history

Tipaza (formerly Tefessedt, تيپازة‎) is a Berber-speaking town on the coast of Algeria. When it was part of the Roman Empire, it was called Tipasa. The modern town, founded in 1857, is remarkable for its sandy beach, and ancient ruins. Tipasa, as it was then called, was an ancient Punic trading-post conquered by Ancient Rome and turned into a military colony by the emperor Claudius for the conquest of the kingdoms of Mauretania. Afterwards it became a municipium called Colonia Aelia Tipasensis, that reached the population of 20,000 inhabitants in the 4th century. The city was an important Christian center during the last centuries of Roman domination. It was destroyed by the Vandals in 430 AD, but was rebuilt by the Byzantines one century later. At the end of the 7th century the city was destroyed by the Arabs and reduced to ruins. In the 19th century the place was settled again. Now it is a town of nearly 30,000 inhabitants and an important tourist place in modern Algeria. The town and its surroundings are home to the largest Berber-speaking group of western Algeria, the Chenoua people.

What we today call Tunisia was conquered by the Arabs in 647 CE. Although the Arabs initially unified North Africa, by 1230 a separate Tunisian dynasty had been established by the Ḥafṣids. They were Amazigh (Berber). Ḥafṣid rule saw the development of the Maliki school of law in the region. One of the four major schools of law in Sunni Islam, it stresses local community practices and relying on tradition and analogical reasoning over the relatively newer hadiths, or sayings of the prophet. Under the Hafsids, the belief of Maliki as the basis of social life took hold in Tunisian society. It is still the major school of thought in Northern Africa. The Hafsids’ other major legacy is making Tunis the capital of their domain.