Civilisation in Lebanon predates recorded history. The Canaanites and Phoenicians were a maritime culture that did exceptionally well exploring and setting up colonies before Colonialism became an ism. In antiquity, City-states would set up colonies. Rather than inheriting... you set new stuff up from scratch. Under the Roman Empire (who gradually tolerated the spreading middle eastern Abrahamic religion), the area became one of the key centres of Christianity until the region was conquered by Arab Muslims (another of the Abrahamic religions). A monastic tradition was established in Mount Lebanon and the Maronites. The biggest group of Maronites outside of Lebanon live in Brazil. The region was ruled by the Ottoman Empire from 1516-1918 before becoming a French Mandate after World War I. The mandate system was supposed to be different from colonialism with a "sacred trust of civilisation" to develop the area for the native people rather than being exploitative.