Lebanon, officially the Lebanese Republic, is a country in the East Mediterranean, and is the smallest country in continental Asia. It is bordered by Syria to the north and east, and Israel to the south. Lebanon's location at the crossroads of the Mediterranean Basin and the Arabian hinterland has dictated its rich history, and shaped a cultural identity of religious and ethnic diversity. The earliest evidence of civilization in Lebanon dates back more than 7,000 yearspredating recorded history. Lebanon was the home of the Phoenicians, a maritime culture that flourished for over 2,500 years (8000539 BC). Following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, the five provinces that comprise modern Lebanon were mandated to France.
Contributions by Cedrus-Libani, Addoula, and Jayjg.