Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Lebanon, a mountain range of Syria, to the north of Palestine, stretching from lat. 33° to 34° N. The name signifies "White," this characteristic proceeding from the whitish colour of the limestone and chalk composing the mountains. The range consists of the two almost parallel ranges'from N. to S. of Lebanon on the W., and Anti-Lebanus on the' E., enclosing the Buka, u. valley which narrows towards the S. This valley is watered by two rivers which rise near each other, the El-Asi (ancient Orontes) flowing N., and the Litany, flowing S. and then W., and there are numerous streams between the different mountain spurs. The line of geological cleavage is, generally speaking, from N. to S., and there are traces of volcanic and of glacial action. The spurs generally trend E. and W., but there are some parallel to the general direction of the chain. The west of Lebanon slopes to the sea, and the margin between mountain and coast is often-very narrow, and this western region has the ordinary trees, shrubs, etc., of the neighbouring parts of Syria. The eastern part is barren, save for a few plants and coarse brushwood. The mountain region bears dwarf oaks, and then, higher, tall pines, till in a belt from 4,000 to 6,000 feet occur the cypress and the noted cedar of Lebanon. The south parts generally are more fertile than the N., and the W. than the E. The chief heights, which, however, are not abrupt, are in the N. Zahr el Kazib is 10,000 feet high, the pass from Baalbec to Tripoli 8,351 feet, that of the French route from Beyrout to Damascus 4,700, and the pass to Sidon 6,000. Sunnim, visible from Beyrout, is about 9,000 feet high. The population are chiefly Syrian, their numerical order being Maronites, Orthodox Greeks, Druses, and Mohammedans. Since the religious outbreaks of 1860 the province of Lebanon Proper; 87 square miles in extent, has been administered by a Christian governor, appointed through European intervention. The people are a fine race, fond of gay colours, and practise tattooing. They employ themselves in cattle-breeding, in cultivating the walnut, olive, mulberry, vine (for home use), wheat, barley, sorghum, and tobacco; coal, bitumen,'and petroleum are found.