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Libya is a country located in northern Africa directly west of Egypt. While under the dominion of the Roman Republic and Empire, the eastern most region was known by the name Cyrenaica.


Libya is a country with particularly varied geography. Bound to the north by the Mediterranean Sea, most of the country's major cities are nestled in between it and a shallow mountain range that divides the country. Throughout antiquity, the city of Cyrene was the largest established settlement in the province, with smaller settlements such as Balagrae residing further inland.[1]

The region is more lush then the adjacent country of Egypt, which allowed for the production of wine on a large scale. It had a thriving viticulture industry in the 1st century BCE.[1]


Ancient Libya

In classical antiquity, the eastern region of Libya was known as Kyrenaika. During the 7th century BCE, the region was colonized by the Greeks from Thera, led by Battus I who founded the colony of city of Cyrene.[1]

By 49 BCE, Kyrenaika was staunchly under the control of the Roman Republic, which was later known as the province of Cyrenaica, with Flavius Metellus serving as the proconsul of the region.[1] Apollodorus, a loyal follower of the Egyptian pharaoh Cleopatra, also set up a network of spies throughout the region that year.[2][3]

In 47 BCE, the Medjay, Bayek of Siwa, passed by the region during his journey to Cyrene from Siwa. Along the way, he gained the acquaintances of Praxilla, Vitruvius and later Diocles in Cyrene.[1]

Islamic era

In 1511, the Spanish Army, led by Pedro Navarro, conquered Tripoli, the capital city of Libya. The Ottoman Assassins came seeking his expertise in weaponry and explosives, and returned to investigate his apparent kidnapping. They also seized the city from Templar control, installing several Assassin Dens.[4]

Ottoman period

In 1796, the United States and the Ottoman province of Tripoli signed a treaty, protecting Americans sailing in the Mediterranean Sea from their privateers. The treaty included a clause mentioning that religious differences between the two countries were no reason for them to go to war.[5]

Sometime before 1805, Tavis Olier, the Black Cross, was sent to Tripoli to infiltrate the palace of Sultan Selim III to investigate the Koh-i-Noor but was captured and imprisoned. Believed dead, a new Black Cross, Solomon Bolden, was appointed, who eventually discovered clues about Tavis' survival and presence in Tripoli. However, Bolden was killed by the Sultan's men and his travel companion, Jan van der Graff, whom Selim believed to be another Templar infiltrator, was put in Tavier's cell.[6]

During the three following years, the Black Cross took van der Graff as his student, teaching him the Templar tenets. On July 29, 1808, Olier sacrificed himself to allow van der Graff to escape. Afterwards, van der Graff successfully retrieved the Koh-i-Noor after tricking the Assassins by handing them an empty box.[6]