Libya, officially the State of Libya, is a country in the Maghreb region in North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad to the south, Niger to the southwest, Algeria to the west and Tunisia to the northwest. The sovereign state is made of three historical regions: Tripolitania, Fezzan and Cyrenaica. With an area of almost 700,000 square miles, Libya is the fourth largest country in Africa and is the 16th largest country in the world. Libya has the 10th-largest proven oil reserves of any country in the world. The largest city and capital, Tripoli, is located in western Libya and contains over three million of Libya's seven million people.
Libya has been inhabited by Berbers since the late Bronze Age as descendants from Iberomaurusian and Capsian cultures. The Phoenicians established trading posts in western Libya and ancient Greek colonists established city-states in eastern Libya. Libya was variously ruled by Carthaginians, Persians, Egyptians and Greeks before becoming a part of the Roman Empire. Libya was an early center of Christianity.