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Ruins of Palmyra
The ruins of Palmyra in 2010
Palmyra is located in the center of Syria
Palmyra is located in the center of Syria
Shown within Syria
Alternate name Tadmor
Location Tadmur, Homs Governorate, Syria
Region Syrian Desert
Coordinates 34°33′05″N 38°16′05″E / 34.55139°N 38.26806°E / 34.55139; 38.26806Coordinates: 34°33′05″N 38°16′05″E / 34.55139°N 38.26806°E / 34.55139; 38.26806
Type Settlement
Part of Palmyrene Empire
Area 80 ha (200 acres)
Founded 3rd millennium BC
Abandoned 1932 (1932)
Periods Middle Bronze Age to Modern
Cultures Aramaic, Arabic, Greco-Roman
Site notes
Condition Ruined
Ownership Public
Management Syrian Ministry of Culture
Public access Inaccessible (in a war zone)
Official name Site of Palmyra
Type Cultural
Criteria i, ii, iv
Designated 1980 (1980) (4th Session)
Reference no. 23
Region Arab States
Endangered 2013 (2013)–present.[1]

Palmyra was an ancient Arabian city in central Syria. It is in an oasis 215 kilometres (134 miles) northeast of Damascus, and 180 km (110 mi) southwest of the Euphrates. It was an important city in ancient times. It had long been a place for travellers to stop when crossing the Syrian Desert. The city was founded some time during the 2nd millennium BC. It became abandoned around 1929. The site was made a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1980.

The Semitic name of the city is Tadmur (Arabic: تدمر‎). In Aramaic,[2] it means "a city that cannot be defeated".[3] The earliest written reference to the city by this name is on Babylonian tablets found in Mari. It is still known as Tadmur in Arabic.[4][5]

The people of Palmyra worshipped many gods and goddesses from Mesopotamia, Syria, Arabia and Greece.[6] They built a series of temples and large monuments containing funerary art, or art representing the dead. Palmyrans originally spoke Aramaic, but later began speaking Greek. The area was later made a part of the Roman Empire. Between the years 260 and 273, Odaenathus and his wife Zenobia used Palmyra as the capital of the Palmyrene Empire. This period of history is called the Crisis of the Third Century.

By the time of the Muslim conquests, several Arab tribes were living in Palmyra.[7]

The city lost its importance after the 16th century. It was fully abandoned by 1929, during the Ottoman Empire. There is a new town of the same name nearby to the south of the ruins.[8]

Notes[change | change source]

  1. Baghdadi 2015.
  2. Hillers & Cussini, Delbert & Eleonora (2005). A journey to Palmyra: collected essays to remember Delbert R. Hillers. Brill. pp. 195–196. ISBN 978-90-04-12418-9. 
  3. Palmyra (Syria) - Britannica Online Encyclopedia Retrieved 2008-11-16.
  4. "Tadmor: Syria". Geographical Names. Retrieved 2011-09-24. 
  5. "Tedmor: Syria (ancient site)". Geographical Names. Retrieved 2011-09-24. 
  6. Teixidor, Javier (1979). The pantheon of Palmyra. Brill Archive. p. 34, 59, 62. ISBN 978-90-04-05987-0. 
  7. Shahîd‏, Irfan. Byzantium and the Arabs in the Sixth Century, Volume 2, Part 2. p. 256. 
  8. "Tedmor: Syria (populated place)". Geographical Names. Retrieved 2011-09-24. 

Bibliography[change | change source]

  • Burns, Ross (1999). Monuments of Syria. London and New York: I.B. Tauris. pp. 162–175. 
  • Isaac, Benjamin (2000). The Limits of Empire - the Roman Army in the East (revised ed.). Oxford: Clarendon Press.