Prelims 2022

Q. The term “Levant” often heard in the news roughly corresponds to which of the following regions?

a) Region along the eastern Mediterranean shores
b) Region along North African shores stretching from Egypt to Morocco
c) Region along Persian Gulf and Horn of Africa
d) The entire coastal areas of Mediterranean Sea
Correct Answer: a) Region along the eastern Mediterranean shores

Question from UPSC Prelims 2022 GS Paper

Explanation : 

Levant Region UPSC

The term “Levant” refers to a historical and geographical region that encompasses the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea. This area includes the modern-day countries of Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, and Jordan, and sometimes it extends to parts of Cyprus and Turkey. The Levant has been a crossroads of various civilizations, cultures, and religions throughout history, which is reflected in its rich cultural and historical heritage.

Origin and Meaning of the Term

The term itself comes from the French word “levant,” meaning “rising,” as in the direction of the rising sun, indicating the east. It was used historically to describe the lands to the east of the Mediterranean Sea.

Other Regions and their Distinctions

The other regions mentioned do not correspond to the Levant:

  • The North African shores stretching from Egypt to Morocco are known as the Maghreb.
  • The region along the Persian Gulf and the Horn of Africa are separate geographical areas that do not fall under the traditional definition of the Levant.
  • The entire coastal areas of the Mediterranean Sea include many different regions and countries, extending far beyond the Levant.

Therefore, the correct answer is indeed the region along the eastern Mediterranean shores.

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