Online Encyclopedia

GADAMES GHADAMES

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V11, Page 916 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
Spread the word: del.icio.us del.icio.us it!
GADAMES GHADAMES or RHADAMES, a town in an oasis of the same name, in that part of the Sahara which forms part of the Turkish vilayet of Tripoli. It is about 30o m. S.W. of the city of Tripoli and some ro in. E. of the Algerian frontier. According to Gerhard Rohlfs, the last form given to the word most correctly represents the Arabic pronunciation, but the other forms are more often used in Europe. The streets of the town are narrow and vaulted and have been likened to the bewildering galleries of a coalpit. The roofs are laid out as gardens and preserved for the exclusive use of the women. The Ghadamsi merchants have been known for centuries as keen and adventurous traders, and their agents are to be found in the more important places of the western and central Sudan, such as Kano, Katsena, Kanem, Bornu, Timbuktu, as well as at Ghat and Tripoli. Ghadames itself is the centre of a large number of caravan routes, and in the early part of the 19th century about 30,000 laden camels entered its markets every year. The caravan trade was created by the Ghadamsi merchants who, aided by their superior intelligence, capacity and honesty, long enjoyed a monopoly. In 1873 Tripolitan merchants began to compete with them. In 1893 came the invasion of Bornu by Rabah, and the total stoppage of this caravan route for nearly ten years to the great detriment of the merchants of Ghadames. The caravans from Kano were also frequently pillaged by the Tuareg, so that the prosperity of the town declined. Later on, the opening of rapid means of transport from Kano and other cities to the Gulf of Guinea also affected Ghadames, which, however, maintains a considerable trade. The chief articles brought by the caravans are ostrich feathers, skins and ivory and one of the principal imports is tea. In 1845 the population was estimated at 3000, of whom about 500 were slaves and strangers, and upwards of 1200 children; in 1905 it amounted in round numbers to 7000. The inhabitants are chiefly Berbers and Arabs. A Turkish garrison is maintained in the town. Before the Christian era Ghadames was a stronghold of the Observed. A Calculated. 251° B 266° 278° GEZER-GHADAMES 915 Imam ul-IJaramain) until io85, when he visited the celebrated vizier Nizam ul-Mulk, who appointed him to a professorship in his college at Bagdad in 1091. Here he was engaged in writing against the Isma'ilites (Assassins). After four years of this work he suddenly gave up his chair, left home and family and gave himself to an ascetic life. This was due to a growing scepticism, which caused him much mental unrest and which gradually gave way to mysticism. Having secured his chair for his brother he went to Damascus, Jerusalem, Hebron, Mecca, Medina and Alexandria, studying, meditating and writing in these cities. In IIo6 he was tempted to go to the West, where the Moravid (Almoravid) reformation was being led by Yusuf ibn Tashfin, with whom he had been in correspondence earlier. Yusuf, however, died in this year, and Ghazali abandoned his idea. At the wish of the sultan Malik Shah he again undertook professorial work, this time in the college of Nizam ul-Mulk at Nishapur, but returned soon after to Tus, where he died in December 1111. Garamantes whose power was overthrown in the days of Augustus by L. Cornelius B albus Minor,who captured Ghadames(Cydamus). It is not unlikely that Roman settlers may have been attracted to the spot by the presence of the warm springs which still rise in the heart of the town, and spread fertility in the surrounding gardens. In the 7th century Ghadames was conquered• by the Arabs. It appears afterwards to have fallen under the power of the rulers of Tunisia, then to a native dynasty which reigned at Tripoli, and in the 16th century it became part of the Turkish vilayet of Tripoli. It has since then shared the political fortunes of that country. In the first half of the 19th century it was visited by several British explorers and later by German and French travellers. See J. Richardson, Travels in the Great Desert of Sahara in 1845-.1846 ... including a Description of ... Ghadames (London, 1848) ; G. Rohlfs, Reise durch Marokko ... and Reise durch die Grosse Waste fiber Rhadames nach Tripoli (Bremen, 1868).
End of Article: GADAMES GHADAMES
[back]
AUGUST FRIEDRICH GFRORER (1803–1861)
[next]
GHAT, or RHAT

Additional information and Comments

There are no comments yet for this article.
» Add information or comments to this article.
Please link directly to this article:
Highlight the code below, right click and select "copy." Paste it into a website, email, or other HTML document.