The Levant is a term in geography that refers to an area in the Middle East. It includes the historic areas of Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Israel and Syria.
The Levant is bounded by the Taurus Mountains to the north, the Mediterranean Sea to the west, the northern Arabian Desert to the south and Upper Mesopotamia to the east.
The word "Levant" entered the English language in the 16th century, together with the first English merchant adventurers in the region. English ships appeared in the Mediterranean in the 1570s and the English merchant company signed its agreement ("capitulations") with the Grand Turk in 1579 (Braudel).
Today, the word "Levant" is usually used by archaeologists and historians who are talking about the prehistory and the ancient and medieval history of the region, as when discussing the Crusades. The term is also used sometimes to refer to modern or contemporary events, peoples, states, or parts of states in the same region, such as Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the Palestinian territories.
- Braudel, Fernand, The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Phillip II
- http://www.levantine.plus.com/index.htm Archived 2007-11-14 at the Wayback Machine. Levantine Heritage Site. Includes many oral and scholarly histories, and genealogies for some Levantine Turkish families.
- France and the Levant from 1920