Libya ( ( listen); Arabic: ليبيا), officially the State of Libya (Arabic: دولة ليبيا Dawlat Lībyā), is a sovereign state in the Maghreb region of North Africa, bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west. The country is made of three historical regions, Tripolitania, Fezzan, and Cyrenaica. With an area of almost 1.8 million square kilometres (700,000 sq mi), Libya is the fourth largest country in Africa, and is the 16th largest country in the world. Libya has the 10th-largest proven oil reserves of any country in the world. Libya has been inhabited by Berbers since the late Bronze Age. The Phoenicians established trading posts in western Libya, and ancient Greek colonists established city-states in eastern Libya. Libya was variously ruled by Carthaginians, Persians, Egyptians, and Greeks before becoming a part of the Roman Empire. Libya was an early centre of Christianity. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the area of Libya was mostly occupied by the Vandals until the 7th century, when invasions brought Islam to the region. In the 16th century, the Spanish Empire and the Knights of St John occupied Tripoli, until Ottoman rule began in 1551.
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