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Temple of Bel in Palmyra

Palmyra was an ancient Arabic city in central Syria. In antiquity, it was an important city located in an oasis 215 km (134 mi) northeast of Damascus and 180 km (110 mi) southwest of the Euphrates at Deir ez-Zor. It had long been a vital caravan stop for travelers crossing the Syrian desert and was known as the Bride of the Desert. The earliest documented reference to the city by its Semitic name Tadmor, Tadmur or Tudmur (which means "the town that repels" in Amorite and "the indomitable town" in Aramaic) is recorded in Babylonian tablets found in Mari.


  • There had been a temple at Palmyra for 2000 years before the Romans ever saw it. Its form, a large stone-walled chamber with columns outside, is much closer to the sort of thing attributed to Solomon than to anything Roman. It is mentioned in the Bible as part of Solomon's Kingdom. In fact, it says he built it.
    • Terry Jones and Alan Ereira, Terry Jones' Barbarians, p. 183
  • Palmyra has its own fate between the mighty Roman and Parthian empires.

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