Mediterranean coastal region, North Africa. It extends from Egypt to the Atlantic Ocean. Once part of Roman Africa, the region was overrun by Vandals in the 5th century AD. Reconquered by the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine Empire) c. AD 533, it was overcome by Arabs during the 7th century and was eventually broken up into the independent Muslim polities known collectively as the Barbary states (Morocco, Algeria [Algiers], Tunisia [Tunis], and Libya [Tripoli]). For centuries the coast was notorious as a haven for pirates, who ravaged shipping and collected tribute from European states. After the U.S. war with Tripoli (seeTripolitan War), the U.S. expedition to Algiers (1815), and the bombardment of Algiers by the British (1816), the pirates ceased exacting tribute.