This study follows the social, intellectual and political development of the Phoenician myth of origin in Lebanon from the middle of the 19th century to the end of the 20th. Asher Kaufman demonstrates the role played by the lay, liberal Syrian-Lebanese who resided in Beirut, Alexandria and America towards the end of the 19th century in the birth and dissemination of this myth. Kaufman investigates the crucial place Phoenicianism occupied in the formation of Greater Lebanon in 1920. He also explores the way the Jesuit Order and the French authorities propagated this myth during the mandate years. The book also analyses literary writings of different Lebanese who advocated this myth, and of others who opposed it. Finally, the text provides an overview of Phoenicianism from Independece in 1943 to the present, demonstrating that despite the general objection to this myth, some aspects of it entered mainstream Lebanese national narratives. Kaufman's works should be of use to anyone interested in the birth of modern Lebanon as we know it today.
Asher Kaufman teaches at the University of Notre Dame and is a research fellow at the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace.
Note on Transliteration. Acknowledgements. Introduction. Who Were the Phoenicians?; National Identities in the Arab Middle East; Theorizing Lebanese Nationalism?; The French Colonial Idea.; SECTION I ORIGINS. Chapter 1 First Buds 1860-1918 21 - France in the Levant: Franco-Maronite Relations; The Jesuits in Syria and Lebanon; Maronite Clergy and the History of Syria and Lebanon; Lay Syro-Lebanese and the Ancient History of Syria; Chapter II: Before and After the War; The Syro-Lebanese Community in Egypt; Syro-Lebanese in America; Between Paris and Beirut: 1913-1919; Beirut 1919: Charles Corm and La Revue Phenicienne. SECTION 2 THE MANDATE YEARS. Chapter III - The Mandate Years: The French Mandate and the Lebanese Educational System; Universite Saint Joseph and Its Graduates; Archeology and National Museums; 1936-1937: A Case Study of Phoenicianism and Its Adversaries; Towards Independence 129 Chapter IV: Three Phoenician Currents; Charles Corm, the Inspired Maronite Francophone; Michel Chiha, the Merchant Republic and the Lebanese Identity; Sa'id Aql, Arabophones and Maronite Nationalism; Chapter V: The Adversaries; Arab-Muslims: Rashid Rida and Shekib Arslan; Christian Arab Nationalists -Qonstantine Zurayq, Edmond Rabbath, Amin al-Rihani, Antun Sa'adeh and the Syrian Social Nationalist Party, Muhammad Jamil Bayhum and Sunni Lebanese.; SECTION 3 AFTER INDEPENDENCE AND BEYOND. Chapter VI - Chronicle of a Dream and Disillusionment: Conclusion: Arabs, Phoenicians and What Lies Between. Bibliography. Index.