Libanius, a Greek sophist and rhetorician, born in Antioch in A. I). 314, died there toward the close of the same century. He taught rhetoric at Constantinople, where his school drew such vast numbers of students that his rivals caused him to be expelled from the city as a sorcerer. He went to Nicomedia, where he taught for five years, but returned finally to Antioch. He was highly esteemed by the emperors Julian, Valens, and Theodo-sius. He was a pagan, but maintained friendly relations with many Christians, including St. Basil and St. Chrysostom, who were his pupils, He was a voluminous author, and many of his orations and other compositions are extant, but there is no complete edition of them.
Libau, a seaport of Russia, in the government of Courland, on the Baltic and on the river Libau, 121 m. W. S. W. of Riga; pop. in 1867, 9,090. It has four churches, a synagogue, a theatre, a hospital, an orphan home, two poorhouses, and a lighthouse. The increasing shallowness of the port has of late considerably reduced its commerce, but it still remains the most important commercial town of Courland.
Liburnia, in ancient geography, a mountainous district of Illyricum along the coast of the Adriatic, now included partly in Croatia and partly in Dalmatia. The inhabitants, who maintained themselves chiefly by navigation, occupied the northern islands of the Adriatic, and had settlements on the Italian coast. They were a piratical race, and used fast-sailing vessels with one large lateen sail, which, adopted by the Romans in the struggle with Carthage, gradually supplanted the high-bulwarked galleys and became known as naves Liburnce or simply Liburnce. The Liburnians were the first of the Illyrians to submit to Rome.
Libya, the name given by the ancient geographers to Africa, or that portion lying between Egypt and the Atlantic. It was also the name of a district between Egypt and Mar-marica, which, in contradistinction to the former, was often designated as Libya Exterior. (See Libyans.)
Libyan Desert, that part of the Sahara or Great Desert which lies E. of Fezzan and the country of the Tibboos. It is about 1,000 m. in length from Tripoli to Darfoor and Waday, and from 500 to 600 m. in width, its E. border being Egypt and Nubia. Unlike the W. division of the Sahara, the Libyan desert contains a number of oases or fertile tracts which support a moderate population, and nearly all of them are overspread with extensive groves of date trees and fields in which durra is grown. Generally, however, the surface consists of vast level sandy plains or gravelly deserts extending E. and W., separated by low rocky ridges, or shelving down in a series of terraces toward the Mediterranean. - Portions of the Libyan desert have recently been explored by the German traveller Gerhard Rohlfs. (See Rohlfs.) See also Bayle St. John's "Adventures in the Libyan Desert" (1849).