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{{#invoke:Hatnote|hatnote}} {{#invoke:Infobox|infobox}} The Levant ({{#invoke:IPAc-en|main}}; Arabic: المشرق /ʔal-maʃriq/<ref name=OEAGR /><ref name="Naim">Naim, Samia, Dialects of the Levant, in Weninger, Stefan et al. (eds.), The Semitic Languages: An International Handbook, Berlin/Boston: Walter de Gruyter (2011), p. 921</ref><ref>Amy Chua (2004), World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability p. 212</ref><ref>Mandyam Srinivasan, Theodore Stank, Philippe-Pierre Dornier, Kenneth Petersen (2014), Global Supply Chains: Evaluating Regions on an EPIC Framework – Economy, Politics, Infrastructure, and Competence: “EPIC” Structure – Economy, Politics, Infrastructure, and Competence, p. 3</ref><ref>Ayubi, Nazih N. (1996), Over-stating the Arab State: Politics and Society in the Middle East p. 108</ref><ref>David Thomas, Alexander Mallett (2012), Christian-Muslim Relations. A Bibliographical History. Volume 4 (1200-1350), p. 145</ref><ref>Jeff Lesser (1999), Negotiating National Identity: Immigrants, Minorities, and the Struggle for Ethnicity in Brazil p. 45</ref>) is an approximate historical geographical term referring to a large area in the eastern Mediterranean. In its widest historical sense, the Levant included all of the eastern Mediterranean with its islands,<ref name="Oxford Dictionaries Online 2015" /> that is, it included all of the countries along the eastern Mediterranean shores, extending from Greece to Cyrenaica.<ref name=OEAGR /><ref name="Microsoft Encarta 2009 Levant"/> The term Levant entered English in the late 15th century from French.<ref name="Oxford Dictionaries Online 2015"/> It derives from the Italian levante, meaning “rising,” implying the rising of the sun in the east.<ref name=OEAGR /><ref name="Microsoft Encarta 2009 Levant"/> As such, it is broadly equivalent to the Arabic term Mashriq,<ref name="Naim"/> 'the land where the sun rises'. The western counterpart in Arabic is the Maghreb.<ref name="Naim"/>

In the 13th and 14th centuries CE the term levante was used for Italian maritime commerce in the eastern Mediterranean, including Greece, Anatolia, Syria-Palestine, and Egypt, that is, the lands east of Venice.<ref name=OEAGR /> Eventually the term was restricted to the Muslim countries of Syria-Palestine and Egypt.<ref name=OEAGR /> In 1581 England set up the Levant Company to monopolize commerce with the Ottoman Empire.<ref name=OEAGR />

The name Levant States was used to refer to the French mandate over Syria and Lebanon after World War I.<ref name=OEAGR /><ref name="Microsoft Encarta 2009 Levant"/> This is probably the reason why the term Levant has come to be used synonymously with Syria-Palestine.<ref name=OEAGR /> Some scholars misunderstood the term thinking that it derives from the name of Lebanon.<ref name=OEAGR /> Today the term is typically used in conjunction with prehistoric or ancient historical references. It has the same meaning as Syria-Palestine or the region of Syria (Arabic: الشام /ʔaʃ-ʃaːm/), that is, it means an area bounded by the Taurus Mountains of Turkey in the North, the Mediterranean Sea in the west, and the north Arabian Desert and Mesopotamia in the east.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> It does not include Anatolia (the former Asia Minor, now Asian Turkey; although at times Cilicia may be included), the Caucasus Mountains, or any part of the Arabian Peninsula proper. The Sinai Peninsula (Asian Egypt) is sometimes included, though more considered an intermediate, peripheral or marginal area forming a land bridge between the Levant and northern African Egypt.

The Levant has been described as the "crossroads of western Asia, the eastern Mediterranean and northeast Africa",<ref name=UCL/> and the "northwest of the Arabian plate".<ref>Egyptian Journal of Geology - Volume 42, Issue 1 - Page 263, 1998</ref>

Levant sections
Intro  Etymology  Geography and modern-day use of the term   History   People, religion and culture  Language  Dance  See also  Notes  References  External links  

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