Lebanon (Arabic: جَبَل لُبْنَان, jabal lubnān,
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.
4 As a political name
5 See also
7 External links
Lebanon range extends along the entire country for about
170 km (110 mi), parallel to the Mediterranean coast.
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.
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
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 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
The name Mount
Lebanon traces back to the Semitic root lbn, meaning
"white", likely a reference to the snow-covered mountains.
Flag of the region of
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 during the French mandate
(1920–1943): the French flag with a cedar tree in the center.
Flag of Republic of
Lebanon (1943–present): red stripes with a cedar
tree in the center.
Lebanon is mentioned in the
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 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 and would live from cutting
down Cedars and sending them to the coast.
Mount Lebanon, Bsharri District.
Eusebius records that the Emperor Constantine destroyed a temple of
Venus 'on the summit of Mount Lebanon.' After the 5th century AD,
Christian monks who were followers of a hermit named Maron, arrived
from the Orontes valley in Northern
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
Jarajima) settled in North
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 and become part of the
In the 9th century AD, tribes from the "Jabal el Summaq" area north of
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 faith and ruled the areas of Mount
Lebanon stretching from
Metn in the north to
Jezzine in the south.
This entire area became known as the ‘Jabal ad-Duruz’. In the
early 17th century, Emir
Fakhr-al-Din II ascended the throne in the
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 and Metn.
Throughout the 18th century and into the 19th century more and more
Maronites settled in the
Druze regions of the Mount. The
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
Druze won militarily, but not politically, because
European powers (mainly France and Britain) intervened on behalf of
the Maronites and divided Mount
Lebanon into two areas;
Maronite. Seeing their authority decline in Mount Lebanon, a few
Druze began migrating to the new
Jabal ad-Duruz in southern
Syria. In 1861, the "Mount Lebanon" autonomous district was
established within the Ottoman system, under an international
For centuries, the Maronites of the region have been protected by the
Khazen family, which was endowed the responsibility by Pope
Clement X and King Louis XIV and given
Cheikh status in return for
guarding the princes
Fakhr-al-Din II and Younès al-Maani.
Khazen crest reflects the family's special closeness to Mount
Lebanon, with snowy mountains and a cedar tree depicted.
As a political name
See also: Mount
Armed men from Mount Lebanon, late 1800s.
Lebanon also lent its name to two political designations: a
semi-autonomous province in Ottoman
Syria that existed since 1516 and
Governorate of modern
Lebanon (see Mount Lebanon
Governorate). The Mount
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 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 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
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
Lebanon and its coast, and the
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
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.
Cedars of God
Cedars of God Nature Reserve
Horsh Ehden Nature Reserve
French Mandate of Lebanon
Subdivisions of the Ottoman Empire
^ 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
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.
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 Malek el-Khazen. CatholicAnalysis.org.
Published: 28 July 2014.
Khazen Crest (image).
^ LES KHAZEN CONSULS DE FRANCE. Khazen.org. (English Translation)
Media related to Mount
Lebanon at Wikimedia Commons