Lebanon today, much as in ancient times, consists of a strip of land at the northeast corner of the Mediterranean Sea. With its western edge on the Mediterranean and its western limits generally the Lebanon Mountains, Lebanon has four cities which are of importance. Anciently, two major cities were Tyre and Sidon, while Beirut and Tripoli dominate in modern times, all situate on the coast. .
Lebanese history is very interesting. Lebanon was settled by the Phoenicians (people from the Arabian Peninsula) around 3500BC. Their main cities that were established were Beirut, Byblos, Tyre, Sidon, and Baalbek. In 64BC, these cities fell to the Roman Empire as a part of the providence of Syria. Lebanon was originally inhabited by the Hivites and Giblites. The whole mountain range was assigned to the Israelites, but was never conquered by them. During the Jewish monarchy it appears to have been subject to the Phoenicians. From the Greek conquest until modern times Lebanon had no separate history from the other countries. Lebanon occurs in history in reference as do the cedar trees which were used in the marine industry. .
By 300AD, Christianity was firmly established. In fact, Lebanon became home to many religious minorities (mostly Christian dominations) that were fleeing persecution. In the 600'sAD, the Maronites settled in the mountains of Lebanon to avoid conversion to Islam. The Shiites and the Druze also settled in Lebanon because of its remoteness and also to avoid persecution.
Lebanon became part of the Ottoman Empire in the 1500's, but for 300 years they received relative autonomy. It was under Ottoman rule that Lebanon developed economic and religious ties with Europe. France gave support to the Christian Maronites. In 1860, the Druze massacred the Maronites in a civil was and Europe pressured the Ottoman Empire to establish a Christian administration in Lebanon. After World War I, Lebanon became a French mandate until receiving independence in 1943.