Mid-Syria shows a medley of populations of more or less mixed origin, in large part alien, for which see Druses; Maronites and Lebanon.
The Ansarieh, for instance, and no doubt the Druses also, were originally survivals of the Syrian population.
The proportion borne to one another by the different religions, as estimated in 1910, is: 50% Mussulman, 41% Orthodox, 6% Catholic, 3% all others (Jews, Druses, Nestorians, &c.).
There are also about 300,000 Druses and about 200,000 Gipsies.
Activity in missionary work, especially in alleviating the distresses of the victims of the Druses, soon brought him prominently into notice; he was made a chevalier of the Legion of Honour, and in October 1861, shortly after his return to Europe, was appointed French auditor at Rome.
There is consequently much emigration, the Christian surplus going mainly to Egypt, and to America, the Druses to the latter country and to the Hauran.
Feudalism is practically extinct among them and with the decline of the Druses, and the great stake they have acquired in agriculture, they have laid aside much of their warlike habit together with their arms. Even their instinct of nationality is being sensibly impaired by their gradual assimilation to the Papal Church, whose agents exercise from Beirut an increasing influence on their ecclesiastical elections and church government.
(f) Druses (q.v.), now barely an eighth of the whole and confined to Shuf and Metn in S.
Lebanon, chiefly by the immigration of various more or less heretical elements, Kurd, Turkoman, Persian and especially Arab, the latter largely after the break-up of the kingdom of Hira; and early in the i ith century these coalesced into a nationality (see Druses) under the congenial influence of the Incarnationist creed brought from Cairo by Ismael Darazi and other emissaries of the caliph Hakim and his vizier Hamza.
The subsequent history of Lebanon to the middle of the 19th century will be found under Druses and Maronites, and it need only be stated here that Latin influence began to be felt in N.
Lebanon during the Frank period of Antioch and Palestine, the Maronites being inclined to take the part of the crusading princes against the Druses and Moslems; but they were still regarded as heretic Monothelites by Abulfaragius (Bar-Hebraeus) at the end of the 13th century; nor is their effectual reconciliation to Rome much older than 1736, the date of the mission sent by the pope Clement XII., which fixed the actual status of their church.
An informal French protection had, however, been exercised over them for some time previously, and with it began the feud of Maronites and Druses, the latter incited and spasmodically supported by Ottoman pashas.
The Druses renounced their Shehab amirs when Beshir al-Kassim openly joined the Maronites in 1841, and the Maronites definitely revolted from the Khazin in 1858.
It should be added, however, that among the Druses of Shuf, feudalism has tended to re-establish itself, and the power is now divided between the Jumblat and Yezbeki families, a leading member of one of which is almost always Ottoman kaiynakam of the Druses, and locally called amir.
A central mejliss or Council of twelve members is composed of four Maronites, three Druses, one Turk, two Greeks (Orthodox), one Greek Uniate and one Metawali.
This was the original proportion, and it has not been altered in spite of the decline of the Druses and increase of the Maronites.
The old feudal and mukataji (see DRusEs) jurisdictions are abolished, i.e.
In the Lebanon both the Christian clans and the Druses are ruled by hereditary amirs.
Non-Turkish ethnical elements - Albanians, Macedonians, Armenians, Greeks, Arabs, Kurds, Druses - were to be moulded as far as possible into uniformity with the dominant Turkish element.
The operations, however, did not result entirely to the advantage of the Turks, who suffered at least one serious reverse, and a compromise followed under which the Druses accepted conscription for the Ottoman army.
In July 1860, when the Moslems of that city, taking advantage of disturbances among the Druses of Lebanon, attacked the Christian quarter and killed over 3000 persons, Abd-el-Kader helped to repress the outbreak and saved large numbers of Christians.
The interval was in part devoted to the study of the religion of the Druses, which was the subject of his last and unfinished work, the Expose de la religion des Druzes (2 vols., 1838).
His system of persecution was not abandoned till in the last year of his reign (1020) he thought fit to claim divinity, a doctrine which is perpetuated by the Druses, called after one DarazI, who preached the divinity of Ijakim at the time; the violent opposition which this aroused among the Moslems probably led him to adopt milder measures towards his other subjects, and those who had been forcibly converted were permitted to return to their former religion and rebuild their places of worship. Whether his disappearance at the beginning of the year 1021 was due to the resentment of his outraged subjects, or, as the historians say, to his sisters fear that he would bequeath the caliphate to a distant relative to the exclusion of his own son, will never be known.
Were not long in revealing themselves- Scarcely a year from the signing of the convention of Kutaya the application by Ibrahim of Egyptian methods of government, notably of the monopolies and conscription, had driven Syrians, Druses and Arabs, who had welcomed him as a deliverer, into revolt.
HASBEYA, or Hasbeiya, a town of the Druses, about 36 m.
This little community suffered much persecution at first from the Greek Church, and afterwards from the Druses, by whom in 1860 nearly 1000 Christians were massacred, while others escaped to Tyre or Sidon.
The castle in Hasbeya was held by the crusaders under Count Oran; but in 1171 the Druse emirs of the great Shehab`family (see Druses) recaptured it.
This madman caused the church of the Holy Sepulchre to be entirely destroyed: and giving himself out to be the incarnation of Deity, his cult was founded by two Persians, Darazi and Hamza ibn Ali, in the Lebanon; where among the Druses it still persists (see Druses).
Formerly they were wholly organized on a clan system under feudal chiefs, of whom those of the house of Khazin were the most powerful; and these fought among themselves rather than with the Druses or other denominations down to the 18th century, when the Arab family of Shehab for its own purposes began to stir up strife between Maronites and Druses (see Druses).
The Maronite population has greatly increased at the expense of the Druses, and is now obliged to emigrate in considerable numbers.
Fund Quarterly Statement (1892); and authorities for DRUSES and LEBANON.