h'ect of the deepest interest. The attention of archaeologists is just beginning to be turned
this interesting part of Syria. The newly discovered site of Carchemish, the old Hittite
i-# adorn the Hamath inscriptions, the Palmyrene tower sepulchres, and this great tribe of
R 1 worshipping Nusairiyeh, all point to new revelations in the near future with regard to
th t old Hittite people who acted so prominent a part in the external history of Israel.
Near the north-western end of the colonnade are two mausoleums of great beauty in a
commanding site (see pages 431 and 435), and farther to the west a group of small temples,
in which the sculpture is of the most exquisite finish. In one of them was a portico of four
columns, and at each side were porches supported on five rows of columns, four in each row.
The cella is about one hundred feet long, with a semicircular recess at the far end. It is
nearly all razed to the ground, but the foundations can be traced. On a broken architrave is a
fragment of a Latin inscription, containing the names of Diocletian and the Caesars Constantius
and Maximinianus, proving that the building was erected between a.d. 292 and a.d. 305.
The ruins in this vicinity are in a remarkable state of preservation, the carvings and corners
beino- as sharply defined as when fresh from the sculptor's hand. The west side of many of
the columns, however, is corroded by the winds and storms. At Ba'albek the north side of
the capitals and entablature of the six columns are similarly worn away. To the north of the
colonnade are three temples and a church. One of these temples is beautifully preserved,
with a porch of six columns, all standing, of which four are in front. This building illustrates
the extent to which the debris of former buildings has accumulated in Palmyra. The pedestals
or brackets projecting from the columns of this porch are only twenty inches above the ground,
indicating that the bases of the columns are considerably below the surface. The columns
now look short and awkward, and the portal is too wide for its height. The entablature above
the porch and walls still remains, but the roof has fallen in. If the masses of rubbish could
be excavated, the old city level would no doubt be found far below the present surface of
HISTORICAL SKETCH OF PALMYRA.
" And Solomon built Baalath, and Tadmor in the wilderness, in the land."—i Kings ix. 18.
"And Solomon went to Hamath-zobah, and prevailed against it. And he built Tadmor in the wilderness, and all the store cities, which he
built in Hamath."—2 Chron. viii. 3, 4.
In the former of these passages this city is called Tamar, ">EJn, and in the latter "WJEI,
ladmor. The word Tamar in both Hebrew and Arabic means palm, or fruit, and Tadmor
means probably " City of Palms." The word Palmyra is simply the Latin translation of the
c • • . .
Semitic original. The present name, and the only one by which it is known to the Arabic-
speaking races, is Tudmur.
Palmyra is an example of both the changing and the changeless in the East. Its name
a mor remains. Its commercial importance is gone. The lines of national traffic have
shifted from the Euphrates Valley to the Suez Canal and the Straits of Gibraltar. This once-
ious city, the seat of ancient commerce, the highway of the nations, the outpost of King