Beirut under Russian rule Part 1. The eve of the occupation (1772-1773)

Cover Page

Cite item


During the Russian-Ottoman war of 1768-1774 Russia became the fi rst European country that invaded Middle East in the Modern times and even for the short period occupied its part: the town of Beirut. The events that preceded the assault and capture of the town were fi xed by the local chroniclers and Russian offi cers; as well they were refl ected in the messages of Arab rulers and the reports of the diplomats residing in Syria. As a result the volumetric picture of the society is emerging that for the first time faced the colonial expansion of the modernized Europe. The fi rst part of presented article is devoted to the analysis of the socio-political situation in the region on the eve of the arrival of the Russian squadron at the Syrian coast. Special attention is paid to the situation in Beirut before and during the fi rst assault of the town in June 1772, and to the subsequent change in the balance of power in Lebanon.

About the authors

Taras Y Kobishchanov

Institute of Asian and African Studies, Lomonosov Moscow State University

Author for correspondence.

Assistant Professor at the Chair of History of the Near and Middle East’ Countries, Institute of Asian and African Studies (IAAS)

11 Mohovaya St., Moscow, 125009, Russia


  1. Archive of Foreign Policy of the Russian Empire (AFPRE). Fund “Embassy in Constantinople”.
  2. Russian Navy State Archive (RNSA).
  3. Basily K.M. Syria and Palestine under Ottoman Government in the Historical and Political Attitudes [Siria i Palestina pod turetskim pravitelstvom v istoricheskom i politicheskom otnosheniyah]. Jerusalem, Moscow, 2007.
  4. al-Bustani Butrus. Dairat al-ma‘arif [Enciclopedia]. Beirut, 1875.
  5. Yanni Jirji. Tarikh Suriya [History of Syria] // Bairut fi -l-musannfat al-‘arabiya. Nusus mukhtara [Beirut in the Arab Works. Collection of Texts]. Under red. of Yussuf al-Khuri. Beirut, 1995.
  6. Kan‘an Daud-eff endi. Djawahir Yakut fi Tarikh Bairut [Precious Stones of Beirut History] // Bairut fi -l-musannfat al-‘arabiya. Nusus mukhtara [Beirut in the Arab Works. Collection of Texts]. Under red. of Yussuf al-Khuri. Beirut, 1995.
  7. Kobischanov T.Y. Hristianskie obshhiny v arabo-osmanskom mire (XVII – pervaja tret’ XIX v.) [Christian Communities in the Arab-Ottoman World (XVII – First Third of XIX centuries)]. Moscow, 2003.
  8. Kobischanov T.Y. Krest nad Beirutom: rossiiskaya expeditsiya v Vostochnoye Sredizemnomorye 1769–1774 gg. v vospriyatii siriiskih sovremennikov. Chast 1. Ot poyavleniya v Sredizemnomoye rossiiskoi eskadry do pervogo shturma Beiruta [Cross Hoisting in Beirut: Russian Expedition of 1769–1774 to Eastern Mediterranean in Perception of Syrian Contemporaries Part 1. From the Appearance of Russian Squadron to the First Assault of Beirut] // Vestnik Moskovskogo Universiteta [Moscow University Revue]. Part. 13. Oriental Studies. 2009, № 1.
  9. al-Mahami Tawfi k Muammar. Dahir al-‘Umar. Kitab yatanawal tarikh al-Jalil khassa wa-lbilad al-Suriya ‘amma min sanat 1697 hatta sanat 1777 [Dahir al-‘Umar. The History of Galilee and all of Syria from 1697 till 1777]. Nazareth, 1996.
  10. al-Munayyir Hananiya. Al-durr al-marsuf fi tarikh al-Shuf [The Strung Pearls of the History of Shuf]. Beirut, 1984.
  11. al-Sabbag Mikhail Nikula. Tarikh sheikh al-‘Umar al-Zaydani [The History of Sheikh al-‘Umar al-Zaydani]. Cairo, 2010.
  12. Siriya i Palestina v opisaniyah rossiyskih puteshestvennikov, konsulskih I voyennyh obzorah pervoi poloviny XIX v. [Syria and Palestine in the Descriptions of Russian Travelers, the Consular and Military Reviews of the First Part of XIX century]. Moscow, 1991.
  13. Smilyanskaya I.M., Velizhev M.B., Smilyanskaya E.B. Rossiya v Sredizemnomorye. Arhipelagskaya expeditsiya Ekateriny Velikoy [Russia in the Mediterranean. The Archipelago’s Expedition of Catherine the Great]. Moscow, 2011.
  14. Sokolov A.P. Istoriya Arhipelagskiya kampanii 1769–74 goda [The History of Archipelago’s Campaign 1769–74] // Zapiski gidrografi cheskogo departaments morskogo ministerstva [The Briefs of Hydrographic Department of the Navy Ministry]. Part VII. Saint Petersburg, 1849.
  15. Trad ‘Abdallah ibn Mikhail. Mukhtasar tarikh al-asakifa al-lazina rakku martabat piasat al-kahnut al-jalila fi madinat Bairut [The Short History of Bishops Sanitized to the Rank of High Priests of the Town of Beirut]. Beirut, 2002.
  16. Ushakov S. Zhizn grafa Alexeya Grigorievitcha Orlova-Chesmenskogo, podcherpnutaya iz dostovernyh Rossiyskih i Inostrannyh istochnikov [The Life of the Count Alexei Grigorievich Orlov-Chesmenskiy, Scooped from Authentically Russian and Foreign Sources]. Saint Petersburg, 1811.
  17. al-Shihabi Haydar Ahmad. Tarikh Ahmad Basha al-Jazzar [The History of Ahmad-pasha al-Jazzar]. Beirut, 1955.
  18. al-Shihabi Haydar Ahmad. Lubnan fi ‘ahd al-umara’ al-Shihabiyyin [The Lebanon at the Age of Emirs al-Shihabs]. Beirut, 1933.
  19. Auriant. Catherine II et l’Orient, 1770–1774 // L’Acropole. Paris, 1930.
  20. Charles-Roux Fr. Les échelles de Syrie et de Palestine au XVIIIe siècle. Paris, 1928.
  21. Finkel C. Osman’s Dream. The History of the Ottoman Empire, 1300–1923. New York, 2005.
  22. Harik Iliya F. Politics and Change in a Traditional Society Lebanon, 1711–1845. Princeton, New Jersey, 1968.
  23. Harris W. Lebanon. A History 600–2011. N.Y., 2012.
  24. Heyberger B. Sécurité et insécurité: les Chrétiens de Syrie dans l’espace Méditerranéen (XVIIe–XVIIIe siècles) // Meropi Anastassiadou, Bernard Heyberger (édit.), Figures anonymes, fi gures d’elite: Pour une anatomie de l’Homo Ottomanicus. Istanbul, 1999.
  25. Heyberger B. Les Européens vus par les Libanais (XVIe–XIXe siecles) // Les Européens vus par lea Libanais à l’époque ottomane. Beirut, 2002.
  26. Joudah Ahmad Hasan. Revolt in Palestine in the Eighteenth Century. The Era of Shaykh Zahir al-‘Umar. Piscataway, 2013.
  27. Kassir S. Histoire de Beyrouth. P., 2008.
  28. Panzak D. Commerce et commerçants des ports de Liban Sud et de Palestine (1756– 1787) // Villes au Levant. Hommage à André Raymond. Revue du monde musulman et de la Méditerranée, n˚ 55–56, 1990.
  29. Philipp T. Acre. The Rise and Fall of a Palestinian City, 1730–1831. N.Y., 2001.
  30. Volney. Voyage en Syrie et en Egypte. 3e édition, 1799 // Œuvres. Tome troisième. P., 1998.

Copyright (c) 2018 Kobishchanov T.Y.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

This website uses cookies

You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.

About Cookies