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Mount Lebanon

Lebanon Cedars on the slopes of Mount Lebanon. Note the thawing winter snow cover. Photo April 2004.
Elevation 3,088 m (10,131 ft)
Mount Lebanon is located in Lebanon
Mount Lebanon
Coordinates 34°18′N 36°07′E / 34.3°N 36.117°E / 34.3; 36.117Coordinates: 34°18′N 36°07′E / 34.3°N 36.117°E / 34.3; 36.117
Easiest route scramble

Mount Lebanon (Arabic: جبل لبنان‎, Ǧabal Lubnān), as a geographic designation, is the Lebanese mountain range, known as the Western Mountain Range of Lebanon. It extends across the whole country along about 160 km (99 mi), parallel to the Mediterranean coast with the highest peak, Qurnat as Sawda', at 3,088 m (10,131 ft). Lebanon has historically been defined by these mountains, which provided protection for the local population. In Lebanon the changes in scenery are not connected to geographical distances, but to altitudes. The mountains were known for their oak and pine forests. Also, in the high slopes of Mount Lebanon are the last remaining groves of the famous Cedars of Lebanon (Cedrus libani). The Phoenicians used the forests from Mount Lebanon to build their ship fleet and to trade with their Levantine neighbors. However, the Phoenicians and successor rulers replanted and restocked the range so that even as late as the 16th century, its forested area was considerable.[1]



The name Mount Lebanon traces back to the Semitic root lbn, meaning "white", likely a reference to the snow-covered mountains.[2]

History of Mount Lebanon

Lebanese flag before the French Mandate: white flag with a cedar tree in the center

Mount 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 to would live from cutting down Cedars and sending them to the coast.[1]

After the 5th century, Christian monks who were followers of a hermit named Maroun, arrived from the Orontes valley in Northern Syria and began preaching their religion to the Pagan Phoenician inhabiting the northernmost parts of the mountain range. In the late 8th century a group known as the Maradites (also 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. And in 1291 AD 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, becoming part of the Maronite society. In the 9th century, tribes from the northern areas of the Arabian Peninsula, known as the Tanukhiyoun, began settling in the southern areas of the mountain range and in the 11th century these tribes became Druze 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 1600s, Emir Fakhreddine the 2nd 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 Christian and in particular Maronite settlement of the Chouf and Metn.[1]

Throughout the 1700s and into the 1800s more and more Maronites settled in the Druze regions of the Mount. Seeing their numbers increasing the Maronites began to demand a larger share of the authority. The Druze viewed these Maronite settlements as a threat to their existence in Mount Lebanon and in a series of clashes in the 1840s and 1860s a mini civil war erupted in the area resulting in the death of thousands of Druze and Christians. The 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; Druze and Maronite. Seeing their authority decline in Mount Lebanon, few Lebanese Druzes 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 guarantee.[1]

Mount Lebanon as a political name

Armed men from Mount Lebanon, late 1800s.

Mount Lebanon also lent its name to two political designations: a semi-autonomous province in Ottoman Syria that existed since the year 1516 AD and the central 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 Druze.[1]

During World War I, the Ottoman Empire - more precisely the Young Turks - launched a campaign against the Maronites as part of its Middle Eastern region-wide massacres of Christians. As part of this campaign, the Ottoman fleet blockaded the entire Levantine coast, encircled the region with troops and cut off Mount Lebanon from the rest of the world. In Lebanon it is estimated today that half the population of Mount Lebanon died of an orchestrated famine during this time. Modern Turkey continues to deny the systematic genocidal nature of this event, like they also deny the Armenian Genocide, the Assyrian Genocide and the Greek genocide, and this has traditionally strained Lebanese views of Turkey. Lebanon is among the countries that recognizes the Armenian Genocide.[3][4][5][6][7]

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 and its coast, and the Beqaa Valley to its east. France took hold of the formally Ottoman holdings in the northern Levant, and expanded the borders of Mount 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.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f An Occasion for War, Civil Conflict in Lebanon and Damascus in 1860, Leila Tarazi Fawaz. ISBN 0-520-20086-1
  2. ^ 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 9780786422487. 
  3. ^
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  5. ^
  6. ^
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External links

See also


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Asia : Middle East : Lebanon : Mount Lebanon

The Mount Lebanon region is an outdoor adventure-lover’s paradise. With high, snow-capped mountains running north to south through the center of the country, this region offers a rocky, rugged terrain that is perfect for a variety of outdoor sports and adventure activities. On the west side of the mountain range, the foothills slope down to the sunny Mediterranean coast. On the east side stretches the wide, agricultural Bekaa Valley. At the height of Mount Lebanon’s peaks are excellent opportunities for skiing, hiking, mountain climbing, and other winter and outdoor adventure sports.

  • Byblos (Joubeil) - another city with plenty of remains, castles and museums
  • Jounieh - known for its seaside resorts and nightclubs
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Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010
(Redirected to Lebanon article)

From BibleWiki

white, "the white mountain of Syria," is the loftiest and most celebrated mountain range in Syria. It is a branch running southward from the Caucasus, and at its lower end forking into two parallel ranges, the eastern or Anti-Lebanon, and the western or Lebanon proper. They enclose a long valley (Josh 11:17) of from 5 to 8 miles in width, called by Roman writers Coele-Syria, now called el-Buka'a, "the valley," a prolongation of the valley of the Jordan.

Lebanon proper, Jebel es-Sharki, commences at its southern extremity in the gorge of the Leontes, the ancient Litany, and extends north-east, parallel to the Mediterranean coast, as far as the river Eleutherus, at the plain of Emesa, "the entering of Hamath" (Num 34:8; 1 Kg 8:65), in all about 90 geographical miles in extent. The average height of this range is from 6,000 to 8,000 feet; the peak of Jebel Mukhmel is about 10,200 feet, and the Sannin about 9,000. The highest peaks are covered with perpetual snow and ice. In the recesses of the range wild beasts as of old still abound (2Kg 14:9; Song 4:8). The scenes of the Lebanon are remarkable for their grandeur and beauty, and supplied the sacred writers with many expressive similes (Ps 295, 6; 72:16; 104:16-18; Song 4:15; Isa 2:13; 35:2; 60:13; Hos 14:5). It is famous for its cedars (Song 5:15), its wines (Hos 14:7), and its cool waters (Jer 18:14). The ancient inhabitants were Giblites and Hivites (Josh 13:5; Jdg 3:3). It was part of the Phoenician kingdom (1 Kg 5:2-6).

The eastern range, or Anti-Lebanon, or "Lebanon towards the sunrising," runs nearly parallel with the western from the plain of Emesa till it connects with the hills of Galilee in the south. The height of this range is about 5,000 feet. Its highest peak is Hermon (q.v.), from which a number of lesser ranges radiate.

Lebanon is first mentioned in the description of the boundary of Palestine (Deut 1:7; 11:24). It was assigned to Israel, but was never conquered (Josh 13:2-6; Jdg 3:1-3).

The Lebanon range is now inhabited by a population of about 300,000 Christians, Maronites, and Druses, and is ruled by a Christian governor. The Anti-Lebanon is inhabited by Mohammedans, and is under a Turkish ruler.

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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This article needs to be merged with LEBANON (Jewish Encyclopedia).
This article needs to be merged with Lebanon (Catholic Encyclopedia).


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