- country in SW Asia, at the E end of the Mediterranean: formerly a French mandate, it became independent after elections (1944): 4,015 sq mi (10,400 sq km); cap. Beirut
- mountain range extending nearly the entire length of Lebanon: highest peak, 10,131 ft (3,088 m)also Lebanon Mountains
A country of southwest Asia on the Mediterranean Sea. The site of ancient Phoenicia, the region was gradually absorbed by the Persian Empire and later conquered by Alexander the Great. Eventually it came under Roman control and was Christianized before the Arab conquest of the 7th century. Part of the Ottoman Empire from the early 16th century, Lebanon became a French League of Nations mandate after World War I and proclaimed its independence in 1941, although full self-government was not achieved until 1946. Tensions between Christians and Muslims led to civil war (1975), which finally came to an end in 1990. Beirut is the capital and the largest city.