Autonomous state of North Africa subject to the protectorate of France. The name of Tunisia began to be used towards the middle of the century. XIX to designate what was already commonly called the kingdom or regency of Tunis, or even the beylicate, from the name of bey pertaining to the sovereign authority to which the regency obeyed. Tunisia is between Algeria to the west and south and Libya to the south-east, while to the north and east it overlooks the Mediterranean with a coastline of over a thousand km. The western border, which was established by a treaty concluded up to 1614, starts from Cape Roux at 13 km. to the west of Tabarca, it then proceeds with a tortuous route, which however maintains the direction towards the south through the mountainous region, which constitutes the easternmost section of the Atlas, until reaching the 34th parallel in the Chotts depression, to the west of which follows the western edge of the Chott el-Gharsa. Hence the conventional dividing line that separates Tunisia from the southern Algerian territories follows geometric patterns through Saharan areas that from the point indicated touch Bir es-Sof, Bir Aouin to rejoin Bir Pistor (35 km. North-east of Gadames) with route of the Libyan border. This border, drawn regularly on the ground by a joint Franco-Turkish commission a few months before the Italian occupation of Libya, leaves from Ras Agedir on the Mediterranean, crosses these bcheTader and for Mechehed Salah, having reached the Jebel Nefusa in Dehibat, proceeds on the heights that limit the great Saharan Erg to the east to rejoin Bir Pistor on the border between Libya and the Algerian south. Within these limits, and including the small island lands that depend on it, Tunisia measures an area of 125,130 sq km, of which more than a third are to be considered desert territories, that is, marshy expanses and salty ponds. The importance that belongs to Tunisia, especially with regard to Italy, therefore derives not so much from its extension and the availability of fertile lands suitable for profitable colonization, as from its position in the heart of the Mediterranean, just 150 km away. from the Sicilian coasts, from the ancient historical relationships and from the complex of interests.
Climate. – Due to its position in latitude, waves are between 30 ° and 37 ° lat. north, and due to the large influence of the sea from which it is nowhere more than 250 km., Tunisia enjoys a mild and moderate climate that the different altitude naturally tends to modify. On the coasts there are the same climatic conditions as the coastal towns of Sicily, with more limited rainfall. These abound, reaching an annual average of 2 m., On the Krumiria Mountains, exposed to the action of the humid winds of the Mediterranean. In the southern inland regions, where the desert formations of the Saharan Great Erg extend, the seasonal temperature range is accentuated, with summer averages above 30 °, and rainfall significantly decreases.
Hydrography. – Tunisia, therefore, is a region with a warm and semi-arid climate, with scarce and irregularly distributed rainfall. The waterways are few and of little importance, with the exception of the Megerda (see) which, developing the first 100 km in Algeria. of its route of a total of km. 265, collects the abundant sloping waters from the mountains of Cabilia and Krumiria, crossing a wide valley filled with its floods, a fertile field for intense agricultural activity. Of much lesser importance is the Miliane which flows into Tunis. The others are all simple uidians. Numerous and of considerable extension are the lake formations, generally sauces, and the sebchee, which cover quite extensive parts of the interior of the Sahel. Among the lake formations, the Chotts are of particular importance, which almost continuously occupy the vast depression that extends just north and south of the 34th parallel. The largest is the Chott el-Djerid which with its eastern appendix, the Chott el-Fedjedj, extends for 180 km. from east to west and for 75 km. from north to south covering a large area, which varies in extent in the different periods of rainfall. The depth of the waters is a few decimetres and in the arid season the Chott el-Djerid remains completely dried up and becomes large salt flats. To the west of the previous one and divided from it by a hilly isthmus of a few kilometers, the Chott el-Gharsa extends which reaches the Algerian border to the west. One of its peculiarities is being in a negative altitude, at 21 m. that is, lower than sea level. For Tunisia travel information, please check zipcodesexplorer.com.
Tunisia was populated since the Palaeolithic era. The Greek-Latin authors have left us some names of Berber tribes of the Bizacena and Numidia, which have now disappeared.
Since the early Middle Ages the country was as if submerged by the waves of the great nomadic camel tribes, one after the other, especially at the beginning of the century. XI: Bedouins, Arabs, Hilal and Soleim. On the border of Tripolitania there are some recognizable traces of Berber populations prior to the great invasions. There exists a very ancient human nucleus, troglodytes and fishermen, who remained tenaciously attached to the rocks of Matmata and to the inlets of the coast (the Island of Gerba).
Matmata and Djerba Island are the only places in Tunisia where the Berber language has remained in use; and although much threatened by the Arab, it still manages to maintain some of its positions. The south-east of Tunisia retains a religious characteristic: it is the refuge of the Ibadi heresy, a heresy that still lives in Djerba and in the Algerian Mzab. On the other hand, Ibadism has not completely disappeared from the rocky coast. Throughout the remainder of Tunisia, the Arabic language and orthodoxy have submerged everything. However, the population groups remain very different.
The south of Tunisia, in the interior, was devastated and conquered by the Arab Bedouins. Pastoral life predominates with them, in a country where the Roman ruins are the testimony of an ancient agricultural prosperity. The masters of the country, and more properly its only indigenous residents, are the great nomadic tribes, living in groups, the Frainchiches, the Ouled Aoun, the Madjeur, the Ouled Ayar, which lead the same kind of life as many others. tribe of North Africa.
The pastoral life of the Bedouins, the olive groves and fish ponds of the Sahel, the cultivation of wheat and barley in the relatively rainy plains of the north, around the Megerda, are the elements by which it can be traced as a sketch of the different aspects of life. of the region. For the very important characteristic of Tunisia which is urbanism, see below: Cities and towns.