Where Is Cyrene in Ancient Times?

Cyrene was an ancient Greek city in North Africa that was founded in 631 BC by a group of settlers from the island of Thera. The city was located in what is now modern-day Libya and was known for its intellectual and cultural achievements.

History of Cyrene:

The city of Cyrene was founded during a period when Greece was experiencing a wave of colonization. The settlers who founded the city were led by a man named Battus, who had been sent to Thera by the Oracle at Delphi to establish a colony.

Under Battus’ leadership, Cyrene grew into one of the most important cities in North Africa. The city became known for its wealth, which came from its fertile farmland and its access to valuable trade routes.

Throughout its history, Cyrene was ruled by a series of powerful dynasties. One such dynasty was the Battiads, who ruled the city for over two centuries. Under their rule, Cyrene became known as a center of learning and culture.

The Importance of Cyrene:

Cyrene played an important role in the ancient world due to its strategic location and its wealth. The city’s location on the coast made it an important trading hub, connecting North Africa with Greece and other parts of the Mediterranean.

Cyrene also played a significant role in ancient philosophy and science. The city was home to several prominent philosophers, including Aristippus and Eratosthenes. Eratosthenes is best known for his work on measuring the size of the Earth.

The Decline of Cyrene:

Despite its importance in ancient times, Cyrene eventually fell into decline. In 365 AD, a devastating earthquake struck the region, causing extensive damage to the city and surrounding areas.

Over time, Cyrene’s importance waned as other cities rose to prominence in North Africa. Today, little remains of the once-great city, but its legacy lives on in the writings and accomplishments of its famous residents.


In conclusion, Cyrene was an ancient Greek city that played an important role in the history of North Africa. The city’s wealth, culture, and intellectual achievements made it a center of learning and commerce in the ancient world. Although Cyrene is no longer a thriving metropolis, its legacy lives on through the works of its famous residents.