Coordinates: 34°33′05″N 38°16′05″E / 34.55139°N 38.26806°E / 34.55139; 38.26806
From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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 nameTadmor
LocationTadmur, Homs Governorate, Syria
RegionSyrian Desert
Coordinates34°33′05″N 38°16′05″E / 34.55139°N 38.26806°E / 34.55139; 38.26806
Part ofPalmyrene Empire
Area80 ha (200 acres)
Founded3rd millennium BC
Abandoned1932 (1932)
PeriodsMiddle Bronze Age to Modern
CulturesAramaic, Arabic, Greco-Roman
Site notes
ManagementSyrian Ministry of Culture
Public accessInaccessible (in a war zone)
Official nameSite of Palmyra
Criteriai, ii, iv
Designated1980 (1980) (4th Session)
Reference no.23
RegionArab States
Endangered2013 (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.

History[change | change source]

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. The city was important because of the "silk commerce" from Rome toward the China region in eastern Asia. Between the years 260 and 273, Odaenathus and his wife Zenobia used Palmyra as the capital of the Palmyrene Empire. This period of Roman history is called the Crisis of the Third Century.

By the time of the Muslim conquests, a few 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]

During the Syrian Civil War in 2015, the Islamic State (ISIS) destroyed large parts of the ancient city. It was recaptured by the Syrian Army in 2017.

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.

Other websites[change | change source]