Libyans


Libyans
(Libu) c.1304-1116 BC.
    The *Greeks used the term 'Libyans' for the occupants of the Mediterranean coast of Africa who had white skin, red or blonde hair and blue eyes.The name 'Libu' occurs before that, in the Ramesside period and is used to identify a particular tribe. Together with the *Tjemhu, *Tjehnyu and *Meshwesh (who were other Libyan tribes), the Libu were driven through hunger to attempt to invade and settle in the Delta; on occasions they united with the *Sea-peoples in their conflict against Egypt. *Ramesses II successfully drove them off and built a line of forts along the western coast in an attempt to hold them back. In Year 5 of his on, *Merneptah's reign, they united with the *Sea-peoples to attack Egypt, but were again repulsed; this was followed, in Years 5, 8 and 11 of *Ramesses III's reign, by further unsuccessful onslaughts.
    Unlike some of the *Sea-peoples, the Libu were uncircumcised; this is known because there are wall-scenes in Egyptian temples which show how, in the battle against *Merneptah, the genitals of the slain enemies were piled up for presentation to the Egyptian king.
BIBL. CAH ii, ch xxviii; Holscher, W. Libyer und Agypter. Gluckstadt: 1937; Wainwright, G.A. The Meshwesh. JEA 48 (1962) pp. 89 ff.
Biographical Dictionary of Ancient Egypt by Rosalie and Antony E. David

Ancient Egypt. A Reference Guide. . 2011.

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