LEVANT Splendour and Catastrophe on the Mediterranean
The history of Smyrna, Alexandria and Beirut as Mediterranean cities and Levantine ports, linked closely to other Mediterranean cities as well as to their hinterlands, from the beginning of the French–Ottoman alliance in the sixteenth century to the present. The role of French ambassadors, consuls, military advisers and travellers is seen as central to the development of the Levant. Helped from 1800 by the spread of French schools, and the popularity of Paris and French culture, French became the second or first language of Levantine cities until the 1960’s.
Levant puts military and political history at the heart of urban history.
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