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Mount Lebanon
Lebanon
(Arabic: جَبَل لُبْنَان‎, jabal lubnān, Lebanese Arabic
Lebanese Arabic
pronunciation [ˈʒɛbəl lɪbˈneːn]; Syriac: ܛܘܪ ܠܒܢܢ‎, ṭūr leḇnān, Western Syriac pronunciation: [tˤur livˈnɔn]) is a mountain range in Lebanon. It averages above 2,500 m (8,200 ft) in elevation.

Contents

1 Geography 2 Etymology 3 History 4 As a political name 5 See also 6 References 7 External links

Geography[edit] The Mount Lebanon
Lebanon
range extends along the entire country for about 170 km (110 mi), parallel to the Mediterranean coast.[1] Their highest peak is Qurnat as Sawda', at 3,088 m (10,131 ft). The range receives a substantial amount of precipitation, including snow, which averages around 4 m (13 ft) deep.[1] Lebanon
Lebanon
has historically been defined by the mountains, which provided protection for the local population. In Lebanon, changes in scenery are related less to geographical distances than to altitudes. The mountains were known for their oak and pine forests. The last remaining old growth groves of the famous Cedar of Lebanon
Lebanon
(Cedrus libani var. libanii) are on the high slopes of Mount Lebanon, in the Cedars of God
Cedars of God
World Heritage Site. The Phoenicians used the forests from Mount Lebanon
Lebanon
to build their ship fleet and to trade with their Levantine neighbors. The Phoenicians and successor rulers consistently replanted and restocked the range; even as late as the 16th century, its forested area was considerable.[2] Etymology[edit] The name Mount Lebanon
Lebanon
traces back to the Semitic root lbn, meaning "white", likely a reference to the snow-covered mountains.[3] History[edit]

Flag of the region of Lebanon
Lebanon
after the fall of the Ottoman empire (1918–1920): white flag with a cedar tree in the center.

Flag of the State of Greater Lebanon
Lebanon
during the French mandate (1920–1943): the French flag with a cedar tree in the center.

Flag of Republic of Lebanon
Lebanon
(1943–present): red stripes with a cedar tree in the center.

Mount Lebanon
Lebanon
is mentioned in the Old Testament
Old Testament
several times. King Hiram I of Tyre sent engineers with Cedar wood which was abundant in Mount Lebanon, to build the Jewish Temple of Jerusalem. Since then the Cedar species known scientifically as Cedrus libani
Cedrus libani
is often associated with Mount Lebanon. The Phoenicians used cedar to build ships in which they sailed the Mediterranean, thus they were the first to establish villages in Mount Lebanon
Lebanon
and would live from cutting down Cedars and sending them to the coast.[2]

Mount Lebanon, Bsharri District.

Eusebius
Eusebius
records that the Emperor Constantine destroyed a temple of Venus 'on the summit of Mount Lebanon.'[4] After the 5th century AD, Christian monks who were followers of a hermit named Maron, arrived from the Orontes valley in Northern Syria
Syria
and began preaching their religion to the inhabitants of the northernmost parts of the mountain range. In the late 8th century a group known as the Mardaites
Mardaites
(also Jarajima) settled in North Lebanon
Lebanon
following the order of the Byzantine Emperor; their mission was to raid Islamic territories in Syria. They merged with the local population, refusing to leave after the emperor struck a deal with the Muslim Caliph of Damascus; thus, they became part of the Maronite society. In 1291 after the fall of Acre, the last crusader outpost in the Levant, the remnants of the European settlers who succeeded in escaping capture by the Mamelukes, settled in the Northern part of Lebanon
Lebanon
and become part of the Maronite society. In the 9th century AD, tribes from the "Jabal el Summaq" area north of Aleppo
Aleppo
in Syria
Syria
began settling the southern half of the mountain range. These tribes were known as the Tanoukhiyoun and in the 11th century they converted to the Druze
Druze
faith and ruled the areas of Mount Lebanon
Lebanon
stretching from Metn
Metn
in the north to Jezzine
Jezzine
in the south. This entire area became known as the ‘Jabal ad-Duruz’. In the early 17th century, Emir Fakhr-al-Din II
Fakhr-al-Din II
ascended the throne in the Druze
Druze
part of the mountains known as the Chouf. In an effort to unify Mount Lebanon, Emir Fakhreddine opened the door to Christians and in particular the Maronite settlement of the Chouf
Chouf
and Metn.[2] Throughout the 18th century and into the 19th century more and more Maronites settled in the Druze
Druze
regions of the Mount. The Druze
Druze
viewed these Maronite settlements as a threat to their power in Mount Lebanon and in a series of clashes in the 1840s and 1860s, a miniature civil war erupted in the area resulting in the massacre of thousands of Christians.[5] The Druze
Druze
won militarily, but not politically, because European powers (mainly France and Britain) intervened on behalf of the Maronites and divided Mount Lebanon
Lebanon
into two areas; Druze
Druze
and Maronite. Seeing their authority decline in Mount Lebanon, a few Lebanese Druze
Druze
began migrating to the new Jabal ad-Duruz
Jabal ad-Duruz
in southern Syria. In 1861, the "Mount Lebanon" autonomous district was established within the Ottoman system, under an international guarantee.[2] For centuries, the Maronites of the region have been protected by the noble Khazen family, which was endowed the responsibility by Pope Clement X and King Louis XIV and given Cheikh
Cheikh
status in return for guarding the princes Fakhr-al-Din II
Fakhr-al-Din II
and Younès al-Maani.[6][7][8] The Khazen crest reflects the family's special closeness to Mount Lebanon, with snowy mountains and a cedar tree depicted.[6][9][10] As a political name[edit] See also: Mount Lebanon
Lebanon
Mutasarrifate

Armed men from Mount Lebanon, late 1800s.

Mount Lebanon
Lebanon
also lent its name to two political designations: a semi-autonomous province in Ottoman Syria
Syria
that existed since 1516 and the central Governorate of modern Lebanon
Lebanon
(see Mount Lebanon Governorate). The Mount Lebanon
Lebanon
administrative region emerged in a time of rise of nationalism after the civil war of 1860: France intervened on behalf of the local Christian population and Britain on behalf of the Druze
Druze
after the 1860 massacres, when 10,000 Christians were killed in clashes with the Druze. In 1861 the "Mount Lebanon" autonomous district was established within the Ottoman system, under an international guarantee. It was ruled by a non-Lebanese Christian subject of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
known locally as the "Mutasarrıf", (one who rules the district Mutasarrifiyya). Christians formed the majority of the population of Mount Lebanon, with a significant number of Druze.[2] For decades the Christians pressured the European powers, to award them self determination by extending their small Lebanese territory to what they dubbed "Greater Lebanon", referring to a geographic unit comprising Mount Lebanon
Lebanon
and its coast, and the Beqaa Valley
Beqaa Valley
to its east. After the First World War, France took hold of the formerly Ottoman holdings in the northern Levant, and expanded the borders of Mount Lebanon
Lebanon
in 1920 to form Greater Lebanon, which was to be populated by remnants of the Middle Eastern Christian community. While the Christians ended up gaining territorially, the new borders merely ended the demographic dominance of Christians in the newly created territory of Lebanon.[2] See also[edit]

Cedars of God
Cedars of God
Nature Reserve Horsh Ehden
Horsh Ehden
Nature Reserve Mount Lebanon
Lebanon
Governorate French Mandate of Lebanon Subdivisions of the Ottoman Empire

References[edit]

^ a b Jin and Krothe. Hydrogeology: Proceedings of the 30th International Geological Congress, p. 170 ^ a b c d e f An Occasion for War, Civil Conflict in Lebanon
Lebanon
and Damascus in 1860, Leila Tarazi Fawaz. ISBN 0-520-20086-1 ^ Room, Adrian (2006). Placenames of the World: Origins and Meanings of the Names for 6,600 Countries, Cities, Territories, Natural Features and Historic Sites (2nd ed.). McFarland. pp. 214–215. ISBN 978-0-7864-2248-7.  ^ Eusebius
Eusebius
'Life of Constantine' III.54 ^ United Nations Decade on Human Rights Education, 1995-2005 ^ a b The sword of the Maronite Prince. Khazen.org. ^ Origins of the "Prince of Maronite" Title. Khazen.org. ^ An Interview with Cheikh
Cheikh
Malek el-Khazen. CatholicAnalysis.org. Published: 28 July 2014. ^ The Khazen Crest (image). ^ LES KHAZEN CONSULS DE FRANCE. Khazen.org. (English Translation)

External links[edit]

Media related to Mount Lebanon
Lebanon
at Wikimedia Commons

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 119145067237266631351 GN

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