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a historical region in Libya.
In the early first millennium B.C., three Phoenician colonies— Sabratha, Leptis Magna, and Oea (now Tripoli)—were founded in the coastal area of the region. In the late sixth century B.C., these colonies achieved partial independence and, together with the lands under their control, constituted the region of Tripolita-nia. From the mid-fifth to the late third century B.C., Tripolitania was under the control of Carthage, and from the late third century B.C., of Numidia. It was conquered by Rome in the late second or the first century B.C. In the fifth century A.D. it was captured by the Vandals, and in the sixth century, by Byzantium; in the mid-seventh century it became part of the Arab Caliphate. In the early 16th century Tripolitania was conquered by Spain. In 1551 it became a vilayet (province) of the Ottoman Empire; from 1711 to 1835 it was ruled by the virtually independent Karamanli Dynasty. In the 1840’s and 1850’s the Libyans staged anti-Ottoman rebellions.
After the Italo-Turkish War (1911–12), part of Tripolitania was occupied by Italian troops (by the late 1920’s, the entire re gion had been occupied). In November 1918, through the efforts of liberation movements in Tripolitania, an independent republic was proclaimed, but it existed only until August 1919. Later, Tripolitania, Cyrenaica, and Fezzan, united in 1939 under the authority of an Italian governor-general, were named Libya. In 1943, during World War II (1939–45), Tripolitania was occupied by British troops. From December 1951 to May 1963 it was a province of independent Libya, and in 1963 it was abolished as an administrative unit.