Lebanon is a republican country located in the eastern region of the Mediterranean Sea. The republic is bordered in the north and south by Syria while Israel is in the south. The critical location aspect of Lebanon at crossroads of the Mediterranean basin and the hinterland of Arabia has a rich history of ethnic, religious and culture events.
The earliest Lebanon civilization dates to over seven thousand years. The country is considered as the origin place of the Phoenicians. They resembled a maritime culture, which flourished more than two thousand years before. However, during 64 BC, Lebanon was conquered and incorporated under the great Roman Empire. With the passage of time, the region transformed as a leading center of Christianity under the rule of the Empire. A Monastic tradition of Maronite Church was also established in the range of Mount Lebanon.
Portions of Lebanon upheld Maronite tradition after the region was taken over by Arab Muslims. Even within that period, a new religious sect of Druze emerged and expanded their presence across Mount Lebanon. After the commencement of the Crusades, the sect of Maronites was able to rejuvenate their contact with the Roman Catholic Church in an attempt to assert their union with Rome. It is due to this factor that the present Lebanon region has an incredible Latin influence.
Ancient relics and historical excavations have effectively proved that an early race of human beings dominated the region over 45,000 years ago. Excavations also suggest that the people of the region, even at that time, had the idea of personal ornaments. From these evidences, historians have also concluded that Lebanon is perhaps one of the few regions having the seeds of civilization in the human era.
Historical evidence indicates that Lebanon is the birthplace of early prehistoric culture like Qaraoun, which was responsible for the evolution of civilization at a later period in Canaanite. The era saw emerging innovations like living in groups and societies and even cultivating land for sustenance, even as early as the 2nd millennium BC.
The coastal plain of the region of Lebanon had even observed a string of cities for carrying out coastal trading of Semitic culture along with the Greeks. This gave rise to Phoenicia. The region has ancient remains suggesting that it was considered a cosmopolitan epicenter of a number of cultures and nations.
The Romans took over the region in 64 BC. Afterwards they divided the empire into a number of provinces for better administration. The region flourished in trade, culture and religious thoughts under the rich Roman era. Innumerable arenas, theaters, public baths, temples and porticos came into being under the Roman rule. Heliopolis or 'the City of Sun' was established in the region with the help of the biggest man-made stones. The city of Beirut or Beryte came into being and was designated the capital of the coastal region of the Roman Empire. Soon it became a renowned center of University of the Empire.
After the Great Roman Empire was divided, the Eastern half of the divided empire came to be known as Byzantine, of which Lebanon was an important region. Byzantine was the last remains of the Great Roman Empire and was even able to hold its reign for a longer period than the other section of the divided Empire. However, during the early part of the 4th century, Lebanon was ravaged by a series of tidal waves and earthquakes. The region of Beirut was ravaged by tidal waves for over six times, but rebuilt again.
During 635 AD, Lebanon faced another change of rule. This time the region was attacked under an Islamic invasion. The religious leader of Islam, the Caliph, declared Jihad and was in a spree to conquer the northern territories of the Arabian Peninsula. After the Byzantine Christian army was defeated under the Muslim invasion, Lebanon became an intrinsic part of the Islamic empire.
At a later period, at around 906, the hospitality towards Christians to offer them access of their holy land was not taken in a generous manner by the Seljuks. This set off the dark period of Lebanon under the crusades. The crusaders were however, able to re-capture the holy land of Jerusalem, including Sur, Sayda and Beirut. In order to protect the re-captured land, the crusaders built a number of historic forts throughout Palestine and Lebanon.
The modern era of Lebanon was initiated under the French proclamation in 1920. France approved the constitution of Lebanon in 1926 and the Republic of Lebanon came into being. The present Republic consists of major regions like Mount Lebanon, Wadi el-Taym, the Beka'a, Jabal Amel, Tripoli, Beirut, Saida and Sur.