Ancient Africa or Libya Part II, produced by the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (SDUK) and published in London in 1845, offers a comprehensive cartographic portrayal of North Africa's coastline between the Nile River and Meniux or Lotophagitis Island. Notably, the delineated territories include Aegyptus, Libya Exterior, Marmarica, Cyrenaica, and Tripolitana, each representing distinct regions with their own historical significance.
In the mid-19th century, there was an increased interest in documenting and understanding ancient geographies, driven by scholarly pursuits, colonial endeavors, and a desire for a more comprehensive grasp of historical terrains. North Africa, with its rich tapestry of ancient civilizations and its crucial role in the evolution of Mediterranean cultures, was a focal point of such interests. The distinctions between areas like Aegyptus and Cyrenaica shed light on the complex interactions and dominions that characterized the region in antiquity.
The very detail and precision exhibited in the map underscore the SDUK's commitment to producing high-quality educational materials. Such maps were instrumental in furthering knowledge of regions that had hitherto been glossed over in less specialized atlases. By dividing the coast into its historic regions, the map provides a layered understanding, highlighting the nuanced differences and relationships between these regions during ancient times.
The strategic importance of this stretch of the African coast, marked by the historical regions of Aegyptus, Libya Exterior, and others, cannot be understated. It functioned as a nexus of trade, culture, and power struggles, influencing and being influenced by neighboring regions and empires. Thus, a map like Ancient Africa or Libya Part II not only offers geographical insight but also invites deeper exploration into the historical dynamics of North Africa.