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Al-Anṣariyyah (or Jabal Ansāriyya,[1][2] Jebel Ansariye,[3][4] Djebel Ansariye, Ansariye Mountains,[5] Ansariyah mountains[6] Jabal an Nusayriyah,[7] or Alaouite Mountains,[2] Alawite Mountains (Jibal al-‘Alawiyin) or Syrian coastal range (Silsilat al-Jibal al-Saheliyya)[8]) is a mountain range in Syria. The mountains range runs in a north–south direction along the coast of Syria.[9] The range is about 120 kilometres (75 miles) long.[10] To the west of the mountain range is the plain along the coast, and on the west is the valley of the Orontes. (The Orontes runs through the Ghab Depression.) The tallest mountains in the range are in the north: there their average height is about 3,000 feet (910 m), but in the south the average mountains are only 2,000 feet (610 m) high. The harbour city Latakia is to the west of the mountain range's highest mountain, which is 5,125 feet (1,562 m) high.[9] Al-Ansariyyah is the only area of land in Syria which has thick forests.[11]

At the southern end of the mountain range is the plain (the Homs Gap) which separates it from Mount Lebanon, in the country of Lebanon.[5] On the south end is Krak de Chevaliers, a castle of the Middle Ages.[5] In Classical Antiquity, the fresh water that came from these mountains supplied the cities of Antioch, Seleucia Pieria, Apamea, and Laodicea.[5] Laodicea (now Latakia) was famous for its wine (from vines grown in this region), and the Roman geographer Strabo wrote that most of the wine in Alexandria in Roman Egypt came from Laodicea.[5] Latakia was famous in the more recent past for its tobacco production.[5]

The mountain range is the homeland of the Alawites.[11] In the Middle Ages, during the Crusades, the Order of Assassins lived in these mountains.[6]

People often migrate from the mountains to the plain of the coast and to the valley of the Ghab Depression, for economic reasons.[11]

References[change | change source]

  1. Eddé, Anne-Marie (2002). "Lebanon". In Vauchez, André (ed.). Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages (online ed.). James Clarke & Co. doi:10.1093/acref/9780227679319.001.0001. ISBN 978-0-227-67931-9.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Yon, Marguerite (2011). "Ugarit". In Meyers, Eric M. (ed.). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acref/9780195065121.001.0001. ISBN 978-0-19-506512-1.
  3. "MARINE AQUACULTURE DEVELOPMENT: SYRIAN ARAB REPUBLIC". United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. Retrieved 2021-03-30.
  4. Darke, Diana (2010). Syria. Bradt Travel Guides. p. 207. ISBN 978-1-84162-314-6.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 La Boda, Sharon (1994). International Dictionary of Historic Places: Middle East and Africa. Taylor & Francis. pp. 439, 451. ISBN 978-1-884964-03-9.
  6. 6.0 6.1 France, John (2001). "Assassins". In Holmes, Richard; Singleton, Charles; Jones, Spencer (eds.). The Oxford Companion to Military History (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acref/9780198606963.001.0001. ISBN 978-0-19-860696-3.
  7. "Syria : a country study". Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. Retrieved 2021-03-30.
  8. Nakkash, A. (2013). The Alawite Dilemma in Homs: Survival, Solidarity and the Making of a Community (PDF). Beirut: Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung. p. 1.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Al-Anṣariyyah | mountain range, Syria". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2021-03-30.
  10. Wagner, Wolfgang (2011). Groundwater in the Arab Middle East. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 978-3-642-19351-4.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 "Syria - Settlement patterns". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2021-03-30.