Currently part of Libya, it was colonized by the Greek in the seventh century BC. The area came under the influence of Egypt, and later (67 BC) was made a Roman province. Main cities: Benghazi and Barce.
Cyrenaica was conquered by the Arabs in 642 AD, and it has been Islamic ever since. It was ceded by the Turks to Italy in 1912 (at the beginning of our brief and ill-fated colonial adventure): Italy tried to turn it into an agricultural colony, people by Sicilian peasants.
During World War II Cyrenaica saw violent fighting; the Italians were evacuated, and the area remained under a British provisional administration until 1951 when the Kingdom of Libya (comprising Cyrenaica, Tripolitania and Fezzan) was proclaimed.
Cyrenaica is also spelled Cirenaica.