This is the part 2 of my previous MyTake Who Are the Indigenous People of North Africa? (Part 1).
In this MyTake, I wanted to talk about some important indigenous North African (Berber / Amazigh) figures, from the Antiquity to modern times.
I wanted to shed some lights on the people of North Africa because many people don’t know about us and Afro-centrists tend to say and spread some inaccurate claims about North Africans and their civilizations.
All of the following people were Berber/Amazigh, but the 2 last ones were North African Arabs with possible Berber ancestry although it’s unsure.
1. Shoshenq I, pharaoh of ancient Egypt
The founder of the Twenty-second Dynasty of Ancient Egypt was a Berber.
2. Hannibal Barca, Carthaginian general, considered as one of the greatest military commanders in history (from modern day Tunisia).
Carthaginians were native Amazigh people genetically and culturally influenced by Phoenicians who founded the city of Carthage (Punic culture). Around 800 BC Phoenician merchants from the levant (modern day Lebanon) settled in the coasts of Tunisia and made pacts with the native Africans, they intermarried with the Berbers, including Numidian Royalties to strengthen the ties between the 2 neighbouring powers of the religion.
After the defeat of the Carthaginians and the death of Hannibal, North Africa fell to the Romans.
The North African province of Africa (modern Tunisia, eastern Libya and Western Algeria) held a very important status in the Roman Empire and was considered a Senatorial province (while most of European territories conquered outside of South Europe were Imperial provinces, thus had a less prestigious status). Its capital city Carthage was one of the wealthiest Roman cities.
3. Massinissa, Amazigh king of Numidia
His position during the Punic wars between Carthaginians and Romans made a crucial difference.
4. Clodius Albinus, governor of Britannia, (from modern day Tunisia)
Clodius Albinus was a Roman usurper who was proclaimed emperor by the legions in Britain and Hispania (the Iberian Peninsula, comprising modern Spain and Portugal) after the murder of Pertinax in 193 (known as "Year of the Five Emperors"), and who proclaimed himself emperor again in 196, before his final defeat the following year.
5. Septimius Severus, Roman Emperor (from modern day Libya).
6. Macrinus, Roman Emperor (from modern day Algeria)
II) Early Christianity
7. Saint Augustine of Hippo (Christian theologian and philosophe) from modern day Algeria
He was an early North African Christian theologian and philosopher whose writings influenced the development of Western Christianity and Western philosophy.
8. 3 popes of early christianity: Pope Victor I, Pope Miltiades and Pope Gelasius I
9. Saint Cyprian of Carthage and Saint Flavien(modern day Tunisia)
Cyprian was bishop of Carthage and a notable Early Christian writer of Berber descent, many of whose Latin works are extant. He was one of the most important authors of early christian doctrine.
10. Tertullian, from modern day Tunisia, called "the father of Latin Christianity" and "the founder of Western theology."
He was the first Christian author to produce an extensive corpus of Latin Christian literature.
Tertullian has been called "the father of Latin Christianity"and "the founder of Western theology.
11. Arius , from modern day Libya, father of the Christian Doctrine of Arianism (which was the dominant doctrine in many parts of Europe)
12. Kahina/Dhiya , Berber warrior queen who fought the Arabs
III) Early Islam
13. Tariq ibn Ziyad, commander who led the Islamic Umayyad conquest of Visigothic Hispania
The name "Gibraltar" is the Spanish derivation of the Arabic name Jabal Ṭāriq (جبل طارق), meaning "mountain of Ṭāriq", which is named after him.
14. Abbas ibn Firnas, inventor, Andalusia
Abbas Ibn Firnas designed a water clock called al-Maqata, devised a means of manufacturing colorless glass, invented various glass planispheres, made corrective lenses ("reading stones"), devised a chain of rings that could be used to simulate the motions of the planets and stars, and developed a process for cutting rock crystal that allowed Spain to cease exporting quartz to Egypt to be cut. He is also reputed to have attempted flight.
The crater Ibn Firnas on the Moon is named in his honor
15. Ibn Battuta (modern day Morocco), Medieval explorer
He was a Moroccan scholar who widely travelled the medieval world. The account of his journeys provides a picture of medieval civilization that is still widely consulted today.
16. Abu Yaqub Yusuf I, had the Giralda in Seville (Spain) built.
17. Ibn Tumart (founder of the Almohad dynasty) and Yusuf ibn Tashfin (founder of the Almoravid dynasty) in Spain, also known as the infamous "Moors".
From modern day Morocco
18. Ibn Khaldun , considered as one of the greatest philosophers of the Middle Ages (Modern Day Tunisia)
He was an Arab with most likely Berber ancestry as-well (although unsure).
He was a North African Arab historiographer and historian.He is claimed as a forerunner of the modern disciplines of sociology and demography. 19th-century European scholars also acknowledged the significance of his book and considered Ibn Khaldun as one of the greatest philosophers of the Middle Ages.
19. Fatima Al Fihri (from modern day Tunisia)
It’s unsure if she was purely Arab or both Arab and Berber (which I believe is the most likely).
She was an Arab Muslim woman who is credited for founding the oldest existing, continually operating and first degree-awarding educational institution in the world, The University of Al Quaraouiyine in Fes, Morocco in 859 CE.
IV) Modern day
20. Zinedine Zidane, Footballer of Algerian (Kabyle) Origins , widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time
Thank you for reading!