Palmyra Is One Of The Wonders Of The World. Is It At Risk? Art And War Are Enemies!
On 21 May 2015, Palmyra fell under the control of the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Today, ten things you should know!
Palmyra was an ancient Semitic city, placed in Homs Governorate, Syria.
During the Hellenistic period under the Seleucids, Palmyra became a prosperous settlement. Thus, by the late second century BC, the tower tombs in the Palmyrene Valley of Tombs began to be constructed as well as to the city temples, most outstandingly the temples of Baalshamin, Al-lāt and the Hellenistic temple.
In 64 BC, the Roman Republic annexed the Seleucid kingdom, and the Roman general Pompey established the province of Syria. However, Palmyra was left independent and traded with both, Rome and Parthia, but belonging to neither.
Thus, the first century saw Palmyra’s transformation into a leading trading center, with the Palmyrene merchants establishing colonies in many of the surrounding important routes.
They built the city first walled fortifications, and the Temple of Bel, which was finished and dedicated in 32 AD.
In 129, Palmyra was visited by Emperor Hadrian, who named it “Hadriane Palmyra” and granted it the status of a free city. Palmyra urban expansion was modeled on the Greek fashion, with many new projects, including the theatre, the colonnade and the temple of Nabu. The Roman authority in the city was reinforced in 167, when the garrison Ala I Thracum Herculiana was moved to the beautiful city.
By the third century, Palmyra became a prosperous metropolis, with a strong army capable of defeating the Sassanid Empire in 260 under the leadership of the Palmyrene king Odaenathus who was assassinated in 267.
He was succeeded by his minor sons, under the regency of queen Zenobia, who started invading the Roman eastern provinces in 270.
Palmyra became a minor city under the rule of the Byzantines, and remained a small village under the rule of the Ottomans until 1918.
In 1929 the French started evacuating the villagers into the newly built village of Tadmur. The place became abandoned and available for excavations.
Video: Palmyra, Syria.