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Palmyra Collection

History Archive - Palmyra Collection

An oasis in the Syrian desert, north-east of Damascus, Palmyra contains the monumental ruins of a great city that was one of the most important cultural centres of the ancient world. From the 1st to the 2nd century, the art and architecture of Palmyra, standing at the crossroads of several civilizations, married Graeco-Roman techniques with local traditions and Persian influences.

First mentioned in the archives of Mari in the 2nd millennium BC, Palmyra was an established caravan oasis when it came under Roman control in the mid-first century AD as part of the Roman province of Syria. It grew steadily in importance as a city on the trade route linking Persia, India and China with the Roman Empire, marking the crossroads of several civilisations in the ancient world.

A grand, colonnaded street of 1100 metres' length forms the monumental axis of the city, which together with secondary colonnaded cross streets links the major public monuments including the Temple of Ba'al, Diocletian's Camp, the Agora, Theatre, other temples and urban quarters. Architectural ornament including unique examples of funerary sculpture unites the forms of Greco-roman art with indigenous elements and Persian influences in a strongly original style. Outside the city's walls are remains of a Roman aqueduct and immense necropolises. Discovery of the ruined city by travellers in the 17th and 18th centuries resulted in its subsequent influence on architectural styles.

The city grew wealthy from trade caravans; the Palmyrenes became renowned as merchants who established colonies along the Silk Road and operated throughout the Roman Empire. Palmyra's wealth enabled the construction of monumental projects, such as the Great Colonnade, the Temple of Bel, and the distinctive tower tombs

Palmyrene Empire

The Palmyrene Empire was a short-lived splinter state of the Roman Empire resulting from the Crisis of the Third Century. Named after its capital and largest city, Palmyra, it encompassed the Roman provinces of Syria Palaestina, Arabia Petraea, and Egypt, as well as large parts of Asia Minor.

The Palmyrene Empire was ruled by Queen Zenobia, officially as regent for her son Vaballathus, who inherited the throne in 267 at age ten. In 270, Zenobia rapidly conquered most of the Roman east, attempting to maintain relations with Rome as a legitimate power. In 271 she claimed the imperial title for both herself and her son, fighting a short war with the Roman emperor Aurelian, who conquered Palmyra and captured the self-proclaimed Empress. A year later the Palmyrenes rebelled, which led Aurelian to destroy Palmyra.

Available Books

Book Title Date
Palmyra - From Damascus to Palmyra From Damascus to Palmyra 1908


Image Name
Bust from Palmyrene Tomb. From a Photograph
An Armenian Girl
Temple of the Sun, Palmyra, shewing Native Houses among the Columns. From a Photograph
Wusms on the Stones of Kasrel Her. From a Photograph
Underground Burial Vault, Palmyra. From a Photograph
A Druze Sheikh
Back Cover
Triumphal Arch, Palmyra
Peepshow on the Orontes. From a Photograph
Prayer in the Desert. From a Photograph
General View of the Acropolis, Baalbek
A Cobbler, Damascus
Sketch Map of Route from Damascus to Palmyra
A Cedar of Lebanon
Return of the Haj from Mecca to Damascus
Arab Encampment between Homs and Palmyra
Carving on Roof of Peristyle, Temple of Bacchus, Baalbek. From a Photograph
Riblah. From a Photograph
Solitary Column, Palmyra
Cafe on the Barada, Damascus
The First Landmark - Ancient Door-posts. From a Photograph
The Small Temple, Baalbek. Exterior
A Druze Bride
Interior of Private House, Damascus
Torso of the God of Wine, Palmyra. From a Photograph
Colonnade, Palmyra, with Druze Castle in the Distance
House of Ananias, Damascus
Moslem Cemetery in the Meidan, Damascus
Court of the House of Asad Pasha, Damascus
Egyptian Capital, Riblah. From a Photograph
The Small Temple, Baalbek
Bab Sherki, Damascus
Vine-pattern Carvings on Fallen Blocks, Palmyra. From a Photograph
Court of the Great Mosque, Damascus
Damascus from Salehiyeh
Site of the House of Naaman the Syrian, Damascus
Outdoor Restaurant
Seller of Water
The Well of Asra. From a Photograph
Arab Village inside the Court of the Temple of the Sun, Palmyra. From a Photograph
The Quarries, Palmyra. From a Photograph
Camels and Drivers outside Damascus
Kasr el Her. From a Photograph
The Temple of Jupiter, Baalbek, Another View
The Dervishiyeh Mosque, Damascus
Colonnade, Palmyra, with Turkish Castle in the Distance
The Lake of Homs, Scene of Zenobia's Last Battle. From a Photograph
Wall of Damascus, Twilight Effect
A Druze Woman
Mosque, Damascus
Druze Village in the Lebanon
Rocky Country behind Ma'alula. From a Photograph
Tomb of Saladin, Exterior
The Roman Milestone. From a Photograph
Great Mosque, Damascus
Entrance to Palmyra
Front Cover
General View of the Colonnade, Palmyra
Street Fountain, Damascus
Bedouin Tents. From a Photograph
Camel Driver
A Desert Road. From a Photograph
Tomb of Sitti Fatmeh, Daughter of Mohammed, Meidan, Damascus
Court of a Damascene House
Stone Door, Palmyra. From a Photograph
At Salehiyeh
Fallen Monolith, Palmyra
The Bika with the Shrine of Douris
In the Fruit Bazaar, Damascus
Title Page
Temple of the Sun, Palmyra
Maronite Girl of the Lebanon
A Damascene Interior
Tower of St. Paul, Damascus
Sheikh Milhem. From a Photograph
Tomb of Saladin. Interior
A Seller of Sweets, Damascus
The Temple of Bacchus, Baalbek, Interior
Bab Tuma, Damascus
Great Plantain in the Bazaar, Damascus
General View of the Cedars and Dehr el Kodib
Mortuary Towers, Palmyra
Mosque es Sinamiyeh, Damascus
Temple of the King's Mother, Palmyra
A Merchant, Grand Bazaar, Damascus
Temple of Venus, Baalbek
Beyrout, shewing Mount Sannin and the Lazaretto, Early Morning Light
At Beyrout
Guard House at Ain el Beda. From a Photograph
The Tekkiyeh, Damascus
Their Inhabitants. From a Photograph
The Pillar at El Kerasi. From a Photograph
Bridge over the Litany, Jisr el Kardeli
Group of Syrians
Mosque of the Holy Flag, Damascus
Mohammed Abdullah, Sheikh of Palmyra


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