The Levant is an approximate historical geographical term referring to a large area in the Eastern Mediterranean region of Western Asia. In its narrowest sense, it is equivalent to the historical region of Syria, which included present-day Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Palestine and most of Turkey south-east of the middle Euphrates (“Levant,” n.d., para. 1) 1.
The term entered English in the late 15th century from French. It derives from the Italian Levante, meaning “rising” (“Levant,” n.d., para. 2) 2. The word Levant is synonymous with orient (derived from Latin) and east (Old English or Proto-Germanic). In other words, these three words refers the direction where the sun rises.
Saracen, in the Middle Ages, any person—Arab, Turk, or other—who professed the religion of Islam. Earlier in the Roman world, there had been references to Saracens (Greek: Sarakenoi) by late classical authors in the first three centuries AD, the term being then applied to an Arab tribe living in the Sinai Peninsula. In the following centruies the use of the term by Christians was extended to cover Arab tribes in general; and, after the establishment of the caliphate, the Byzantines referred to all Muslim subjects of the caliph as Saracens. Through the Byzantines and the crusaders, the name spread into western Europe, where it was long in gneeral use and has survived until modern times (“Saracen,” n.d., para. 1) 2.