Lebanon is in the area that was ancient Phoenicia. Sidon was one of the Phoenician trade centers and it is thought that Tyre, one of the coastal cities where people are being killed in the current fighting, was started as a colony of Sidon. The Phoenicians were famous as traders as well as for inventing the alphabet, glass, and the expensive purple dye referred to as Tyrian purple, from Tyre. Colonists from Tyre settled the area in North Africa known as Carthage. Tyre has been under the control of many different peoples, including the Egyptians, Assyrians, and Persians. Tyre has also withstood assaults, including one from the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar. More successfully Alexander the Great wore down Tyre, but only after a 7-month siege.
Read more about Phoenicia.