Greater Syria  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Greater Syria is a hypothetical united Fertile Crescent state. The proclaimed area extends roughly over the medieval Arab Caliphate province of Bilad al-Sham, encompassing the Eastern Mediterranean or the Levant and Western Mesopotamia.

The pre-Islamic, Hellenistic name of the region, "Syria", was used by the Ottomans in the Syria Vilayet until the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1918. The wave of Arab nationalism in the region evolved towards the creation of a new "Great Syria" over French-governed Occupied Enemy Territory Administration, declared as Hashemite Kingdom on March 1920, claiming extent over the entire Levant. Following the Franco-Syrian War, in July 1920, French armies defeated the newly proclaimed Arab Kingdom of Syria and captured Damascus, aborting the Arab state. The area was consequently partitioned under French and British Mandates into Greater Lebanon, various Syrian states, Mandatory Palestine and Transjordan. The Syrian states were gradually unified as the State of Syria and became the independent Republic of Syria in 1946.

Historical background

In the most common historical sense, Syria refers to the entire northern Levant, including Alexandretta and the ancient city of Antioch (the pre-Islamic capital of Syria), or in an extended sense the entire Levant as far south as Egypt, but not including Mesopotamia.

Before the Arabs came to "Greater Syria" the people spoke Aramaic, and identified as Arameans. They never were united as one nation in that time, but dived between other empires. Sometimes they had their own country, or province for example Osroene, and Palmyra. Syria is a synonym for Aram.

Arab conquest of the Levant in the 7th century gave rise to the Bilad al-Sham province, which functioned under the Caliphates. The province was encompassing much of the region of Syria and became largely overlapping with this concept. Other sources indicate that the term Greater Syria was coined during Ottoman rule, after 1516, to designate the approximate area included in present-day Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Palestine.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Greater Syria" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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