Syria, the Land of Lebanon

Syria, the Land of Lebanon  (1914) 
by Lewis Gaston Leary

SYRIA
THE LAND
OF
LEBANON

SL 1914 D008 evening in the harbour of beirut.jpg

Evening in the harbor of Beirut

SYRIA

THE LAND OF

LEBANON


BY

LEWIS GASTON LEARY, Ph.D.

FORMERLY INSTRUCTOR IN THE AMERICAN
COLLEGE, BEIRUT, SYRIA

Author of The Real Palestine of To-day,
Andorra, the Hidden Republic, etc.


NEW YORK

McBRIDE, NAST & COMPANY

1913


Copyright, 1913, by
McBride, Nast & Co.



Second Printing
January, 1914




Published, November, 1913

AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED
TO HIM WHO FIRST TURNED MY THOUGHTS
TOWARD SYRIA
MY FORMER PRECEPTOR AND ALWAYS
LOYAL FRIEND
GEORGE L. ROBINSON

PREFACE


Although Syria possesses a rare natural beauty and boasts a wealth of historic and religious interest, its fame has been so overshadowed by that of the neighboring Land of Israel that most travelers are content to take the easy railway journey to Baalbek and Damascus, and know nothing of the wild mountain valleys and snow-capped summits of Lebanon or the many ancient shrines of a country whose history reaches far back of the classic days of Greece.

It is therefore with great pleasure that I accede to the request of the publishers of my "Real Palestine of To-day" and supplement the earlier work by the present companion-volume on Syria; so that, though the books may be read independently, the two together may give a complete view of the lands of the Bible.

The chapter on Palmyra is from the pen of Professor Harvey Porter, Ph.D., of the Syrian Protestant College; and for many of the hitherto unpublished photographs I am indebted to other members of the faculty of that institution. Grateful acknowledgment is also made to The World To-day, The New Era, The Sunday School Times, The Newark (N. J.) News, and especially to Travel and Scribner's Magazine, for permission to include material which originally appeared in these publications.

In the writing of Arabic words, my aim has been smooth reading, rather than a systematic transliteration of the numerous sounds which are not found in English. As an aid to pronunciation, it should be noted that the stress always falls upon a syllable bearing a circumflex accent.

It will be seen that this book is written from a more intimate and personal viewpoint than the volume on Palestine. I could not write otherwise of the country which was for years my own home and where to-day I have many cherished friends among both Syrians and Franks. In fact, I must write very slowly; for every now and then I lay down my pen and, with a homesick lump in my throat, dream over again the happy days in that land of wondrous beauty which I still love with all my heart.

Lewis Gaston Leary

Pelham Manor, N. Y.,
October 15, 1913.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE
I The White Mountain 1
II The Left-Hand Land 6
III The City of Saturn 26
IV The Spirit of Olympia 44
V Across the Mountains 60
VI The Land of Uz 72
VII The Earthly Paradise 88
VIII The Port of the Wilderness 95
IX The Riches of Damascus 110
X The Desert Capital 128
XI Some Salt People 144
XII The Cedars of the Lord 163
XIII The Giant Stones of Baalbek 184
XIV Hamath the Great 201
INDEX

THE ILLUSTRATIONS

Evening in the harbor of Beirut Frontispiece
FACING
PAGE
Along the coast north of Beirut 4
Looking up the western slopes of Lebanon 5
Lebanon soldiers 16
Village of Deir el-Kamr 17
Bay of Beirut and Mount Sunnin 26
Pine groves of Beirut 27
Bridge over the Dog River 36
Procession in Beirut 37
Students of the American College 48
Cape of Beirut viewed from Lebanon 49
Old Bridge over the Barada River 70
Cascade in the Yarmuk Valley 71
A caravan 82
Damascus — a distant view 83
Damascus — one of the more modern avenues 100
A Syrian café 101
Damascus — court of a private residence 112
Damascus — Moslem cemetery 113
Damascus — The Street called Straight 120
Damascus — The Omayyade Mosque 121

Palmyra — General view of the ruins 134
Palmyra — the Triple Gate 135
Funeral procession of the patriarch 160
A summer camp in Lebanon 161
The Cedar Mountain 170
Source of the Kadisha River 171
The oldest Cedar of Lebanon 182
Baalbek — the six great columns 183
Baalbek — the stone in the quarry 198
Hama — the Orontes River 199
Maps and Plans
The railway from Beirut to Damascus 62
Cross-section of Syria 64
The Hauran 74
The temples of Baalbek 194