Tripoli is the capital and largest city of Libya, with a population of about 1.18 million people in 2019. It is located in the northwest of Libya on the edge of the desert, on a point of rocky land projecting into the Mediterranean Sea and forming a bay. It includes the port of Tripoli and the country’s largest commercial and manufacturing center. It is also the site of the University of Tripoli.
Tripoli was founded in the 7th century BC by the Phoenicians, who gave it the Libyco-Berber name Oyat before passing into the hands of the Greek rulers of Cyrenaica as Oea. Due to the city’s long history, there are many sites of archeological significance in Tripoli. Tripoli may also refer to the sha’biyah (top-level administrative division in the Libyan system), the Tripoli District.
The city was founded in the 7th century BC by the Phoenicians, who gave it the Libyco-Berber name Oyat, suggesting that the city may have been built upon an existing native Berber city. The Phoenicians were probably attracted to the site by its natural harbor, flanked on the western shore by the small, easily defensible peninsula, on which they established their colony. The city then passed into the hands of the Greek rulers of Cyrenaica as Oea. Cyrene was a colony on the North African shore, a bit east of Tambroli and halfway to Egypt. The Carthaginians later wrested it again from the Greeks.