- This is a very significant aspect of Berber culture and heritage. Poets of all sorts would recite histories and cultural traditions, and this oral stock was and is the basis of much of the Berber literature, which has been written largely in French. Despite the dominance and favoritism of Arabic, especially in North Africa, French is and remains the dominant means of expression among many Berber writers and poets. The great Kabyle poet Si Mohand ou-M'hand is a good example of this tradition. Mouloud Feraoun, Mouloud Mammeri, Jean Amrouche, Marguerite Taos-Amrouche, Mohammed Kaïr-Eddine, Mohammed Choukri, Malek Ouary, Mano Dayak, Azayku Ali, and Tassadit Yacine authored collections dealing with Berber culture, identity, and history. Recently, however, there have been timid, individual efforts in Morocco and Algeria to publish in Tamazight. Another aspect of this literary tradition involves the use of Arabic in writing down Berber artistic creations, shari`a and customs (azerf), and translation of the holy book of Islam, the Qur'an. This type of scholarly work in Arabic is encountered among the people of Sous and Ibadithe communities. The translation of the Qur'an and other Islamic studies publications by Barghwata, Ibn Tumart, Zakariya Abu al-Warijlani, Mohamed al-Mokhta-r al-Soussi, Addessalam Yassine, and Jouhadi al-Houssain al-Ba'amrani are good examples of this approach.During Roman times, Berber societies produced great literary figures who penned their works in Latin. Marcus Cornelius Fronto (A.D. 110-180), a native of Cirta (Constantine, Algeria), was a proponent of older styles of Latin and was a teacher of Marcus Aurelius. Lucius Appuleius (A.D. 125-170) from Madaure (M'Daourouch, Algeria) was the author of the Metamorphoses and particularly the Golden Ass, the story of a man transformed into a donkey before Isis returns him to a human shape. Minucius Felix, a lawyer from Thelepe (Tebessa, Algeria), was a Christian convert who authored the dialogue Octavius, which is said to represent the earliest Christian work written in Latin. The most famous figure was Saint Augustine (A.D. 354-430) from Thagaste (Souk Ahras, Algeria), the bishop of Hippo and author of Confessions and The City of God.
Historical Dictionary of the Berbers (Imazighen) . Hsain Ilahiane. 2014.