Changing Planet

Cyrenaica, Libya: Part II

Map of the Countries Bordering the Mediterranean Supplement, January 1912

A year ago, a blog titled Cyrenaica, Libya  was posted on the NGM Blog Central site. It was spurred by a number of letters received about the meaning of this geographic term and how it is portrayed on our maps.

Much has happened in Libya since its posting. Of some significance was the Cyrenaica Transitional Council’s March 6, 2012, self-declaration of the region’s semi-autonomy from Tripoli–Libya’s capital. Only a declaration on the part of the council, its claim has not been recognized by the Libyan government or the international community to date.

Cyrenaica, enlarged from map above

Cyrenaica is but the latest entry in a list of world regions that, at one time or another, have self-declared autonomy. Like Cyrenaica, some have been known and mapped since ancient times. If liberties could be taken with a quote from the book of Ecclesiastes, then here is another instance where cartographers could say:

” What has been could be again, what has been mapped could be mapped again; there is nothing new under the sun.”

Juan José Valdés
The Geographer
Director of Editorial and Research
National Geographic Maps

Juan José Valdés is The Geographer and National Geographic Maps' Director of Editorial and Research. He guides and assists the Map Policy Committee in setting border representations, disputed territories, and naming conventions for National Geographic. As NG Map's Director of Editorial and Research, he is responsible for ensuring the accuracy and consistency of its maps and map products.
  • […] this date the Cyrenaica Transitional Council self-declared this region as being semi-autonomous from Tripoli. Only a […]

  • omar

    I would like from National Geographic to come in Libya , and to see the Treasures in Cyrenaica .

    • Juan Valdes


      Thank you for your offer.

      Juan José Valdés
      The Geographer
      Director of Editorial
      and Research

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