added by archaeologs Historically, the countries bordering the eastern Mediterranean shores. The term is also associated with Venetian and other trading ventures as at Tyre and Sidon as a result of the Crusades. It was applied to the coastlands of Asia Minor and Syria, sometimes extending from Greece to Egypt. It was also used for Anatolia and as a synonym for the Middle or Near East. The term is from the French lever, "to rise" a reference to where the sun rises.