Tl - wonder in these ancient ruins is, not that so much has fallen, but that anything
There were, according to Wood, four rows of columns, between which ran the three
Each column, consisting of three courses of stone admirably jointed, was fifty-seven
1 Vh including the base and capital, and most of the columns have corbels or brackets
projecting from them for supporting statues (see pages 427 and 435). This was evidently the
umental avenue of this Athens of the East, and the Palmyrenes here erected statues to
tl eir distinguished men, the inscriptions below giving the name of the individual. From one
f the inscriptions it is clear that the chronological era in use in Palmyra was that of the
Seleucidae, 312 b.c.
The colonnade is not built in a straight line, but curves slightly in the middle. This must
have riven it a peculiar effect when seen from a distance, or when observed by the crowds who
thronged its avenues in the palmy clays of the Queen of the East.
At the curve or bend in the middle stand four square piers or bases, supposed to have
been surmounted by colossal statues, or to have formed the foundations for a vaulted tetrapylon,
Standing as they do at the intersection of another colonnade running at right-angles with it.
On the south side are rows of columns, which may have been connected with a forum. To the
of Dur 'Adlah, in the main colonnade, is a column bearing on its top another smaller
column. Other smaller colonnades lead off in various directions to the numerous temples and
other buildings that occupy the space around the grand colonnade. This is supposed to have
formed a purely ornamental part of the town, the promenade or boulevard of this Palm City of
It seems difficult to realise, in this painful solitude, this voiceless ruin, where only a few
Arab peasants mope drearily about, eking out a scanty subsistence from their little gardens and
their flocks, that here once ebbed and flowed the surging tide of human activity, that these
streets were thronged with merchants, civilians, Roman soldiers, Persian carpet dealers, Indian
traders, and Greeks, Syrians, Bedawin Arabs, and Egyptians, who made this city the mart of
the East, the highway of the nations, and the centre of business life.
A fine Corinthian colunin, erected as a monument to Alilamos, in the year 450 (a.d. 138),
by the senate and people, stands alone a few hundred yards north of the Triumphal Arch
e page 434). The date and name are recorded in a long Greek inscription on the pedestal.
A similar column stands one-quarter of an hour south-west of the Temple of the Sun, near a
stream flowing from a sulphur fountain.
On the portico of one of the temples, of which there are three north of the colonnade, is a
-)rew inscription, showing that it may have been a synagogue, though there is no other
ication of that colony of Jews visited here by Benjamin of Tudela in the twelfth century,
n numbering four thousand, and supposed to have lived here from the time of Solomon.
>ou pass westward from the tetrapylon a wilderness of columns surrounds you. Here
lnge column, there a group of two or three, and farther on the traces of colonnades.
mg down again from the citadel, you see on the north of the city the ancient wall known