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Archaeological finds date back to the Neolithic period, and the city was first documented in the early second millennium BC. Palmyra changed hands on a number of occasions between different empires before becoming a subject of the Roman Empire in the first century AD. The city grew wealthy from trade caravans; the Palmyrenes were renowned 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.

The Palmyrenes were a mix of Amorites , Arameans , and Arabs. The city's social structure was tribal, and its inhabitants spoke Palmyrene a dialect of Aramaic ; Greek was used for commercial and diplomatic purposes.

The culture of Palmyra was influenced by Greco-Roman culture and produced distinctive art and architecture that combined eastern and western traditions. The city's inhabitants worshiped local Semitic deities , Mesopotamian and Arab gods. The king was succeeded by regent Queen Zenobia , who rebelled against Rome and established the Palmyrene Empire. In , Roman emperor Aurelian destroyed the city, which was later restored by Diocletian at a reduced size.

The Palmyrenes converted to Christianity during the fourth century and to Islam in the centuries following the conquest by the Rashidun Caliphate , after which the Palmyrene and Greek languages were replaced by Arabic. Before AD , Palmyra enjoyed autonomy and was attached to the Roman province of Syria , having its political organization influenced by the Greek city-state model during the first two centuries AD.

The city became a Roman colonia during the third century, leading to the incorporation of Roman governing institutions, before becoming a monarchy in Following its destruction in , Palmyra became a minor center under the Byzantines and later empires. Its destruction by the Timurids in reduced it to a small village.

Under French Mandatory rule in , the inhabitants were moved into the new village of Tadmur , and the ancient site became available for excavations. ISIL sabotaged many artifacts and destroyed a number of buildings, considerably damaging the ancient site.

The name "Tadmor" is known from the early second millennium BC; [2] eighteenth century BC tablets from Mari written in cuneiform record the name as "Ta-ad-mi-ir", while Assyrian inscriptions of the eleventh century BC record it as Ta-ad-mar. Palmyra began as a small settlement near the Efqa spring on the southern bank of Wadi al-Qubur. Most of the city's monumental projects were built on the wadi's northern bank. Also north of the wadi was the Great Colonnade , Palmyra's 1.

The Temple of Nabu and the Roman theater were built on the colonnade's southern side. At its height during the reign of Zenobia, Palmyra had more than , residents. Until the late third century AD, Palmyrenes spoke a dialect of Aramaic and used the Palmyrene alphabet. Palmyra's society was a mixture of the different peoples inhabiting the city, [57] [58] which is seen in Aramaic, Arabic and Amorite clan names.

The scarce artifacts found in the city dating to the Bronze Age reveal that, culturally, Palmyra was most affiliated with western Syria. The culture of Persia influenced Palmyrene military tactics, dress and court ceremonies. Palmyra had a large agora. Although Palmyrene art was related to that of Greece , it had a distinctive style unique to the middle-Euphrates region.

Many surviving funerary busts reached Western museums during the 19th century. Like its art, Palmyra's architecture was influenced by the Greco-Roman style, while preserving local elements best seen in the Temple of Bel. West of the ancient walls, the Palmyrenes built a number of large-scale funerary monuments which now form the Valley of Tombs, [] a 1-kilometre-long 0. In response to the first destruction, on 21 October , Creative Commons started the New Palmyra project, an online repository of three-dimensional models representing the city's monuments; the models were generated from images gathered, and released into the public domain, by the Syrian internet advocate Bassel Khartabil between and Minor restorations have already begun; two Palmyrene funerary busts of a deceased man and a woman, damaged and defaced by ISIL, were taken from Palmyra, then to Beirut to be sent off to Rome.

Unfortunately these included important parts, such as the Temple of Bel, while the Arc of Triumph can be rebuilt. During the Hellenistic period under the Seleucids between and 64 BC , Palmyra became a prosperous settlement owing allegiance to the Seleucid king. Palmyrene trade reached its apex during the second century, [] aided by two factors; the first was a trade route built by Palmyrenes, [18] and protected by garrisons at major locations, including a garrison in Dura-Europos manned in AD.

In Palmyra was visited by Hadrian , who named it "Hadriane Palmyra" and made it a free city. In the s, Palmyra was assigned to the province of Phoenice , newly created by the Severan dynasty.

The rise of the Sasanian Empire in Persia considerably damaged Palmyrene trade. Odaenathus formed an army of Palmyrenes and Syrian peasants against Shapur. In Odaenathus launched a new campaign against Shapur, [] reclaiming the rest of Roman Mesopotamia most importantly, the cities of Nisibis and Carrhae , sacking the Jewish city of Nehardea , [note 20] [] [] and besieging the Persian capital Ctesiphon.

Odaenathus was succeeded by his son; the ten-year-old Vaballathus. Zenobia began her military career in the spring of , during the reign of Claudius Gothicus. The conquests were made behind a mask of subordination to Rome. The following year, Aurelian crossed the Bosphorus and advanced quickly through Anatolia. Aurelian spared the city and stationed a garrison of archers, led by Sandarion , as a peacekeeping force. Palmyra was reduced to a village and it largely disappeared from historical records of that period.

Palmyra was conquered by the Rashidun Caliphate after its capture by the Muslim general Khalid ibn al-Walid , who took the city on his way to Damascus; an day march by his army through the Syrian Desert from Mesopotamia.

Palmyra prospered as part of the Umayyad Caliphate, and its population grew. In a revolt, led by Majza'a ibn al-Kawthar and Umayyad pretender Abu Muhammad al-Sufyani , against the new Abbasid Caliphate swept across Syria; [] the tribes in Palmyra supported the rebels. Abbasid power dwindled during the 10th century, when the empire disintegrated and was divided among a number of vassals.

During the early 12th century Palmyra was ruled by Toghtekin , the Burid atabeg of Damascus, who appointed his nephew governor. Muhanna was forgiven and restored by an-Nasir in ; he remained loyal to the sultan until his death in , when he was succeeded by his son.

Syria became part of the Ottoman Empire in , [] and Palmyra was a center of an administrative district sanjak. As Palmyra gained importance to French efforts to pacify the Syrian Desert , a base was constructed in the village near the Temple of Bel in As a result of the Syrian Civil War , Palmyra experienced widespread looting and damage by combatants.

On 13 May , ISIL launched an attack on the modern town of Tadmur , sparking fears that the iconoclastic group would destroy the adjacent ancient site of Palmyra. Syrian government forces supported by Russian airstrikes recaptured Palmyra on 27 March after intense fighting against ISIL fighters. From the beginning of its history to the first century AD Palmyra was a petty sheikhdom , [] and by the first century BC a Palmyrene identity began to develop.

The Palmyrene council consisted of about six hundred members of the local elite such as the elders or heads of wealthy families or clans , [note 28] [] representing the city's four-quarters. With the elevation of Palmyra to a colonia around —, the city ceased being subject to Roman provincial governors and taxes. The monarchy continued most civic institutions, [] [] but the duumviri and the council were no longer attested after ; Odaenathus appointed a governor for the city.

The strategoi were appointed by the council with the approval of Rome. Citing the Palmyrenes' combat skills in large, sparsely populated areas, the Romans formed a Palmyrene auxilia to serve in the Imperial Roman army. Palmyra's gods were primarily part of the northwestern Semitic pantheon , with the addition of gods from the Mesopotamian and Arab pantheons. Second in importance after the supreme deity, [] were over sixty ancestral gods of the Palmyrene clans.

The deities worshiped in the countryside were depicted as camel or horse riders and bore Arab names. Although the Palmyrenes worshiped their deities as individuals, some were associated with other gods.

The priests of Palmyra were selected from the city's leading families, [] and are recognized in busts through their headdresses which have the shape of a polos adorned with laurel wreath or other tree made of bronze among other elements. The position of the Palmyrene deity as Aurelian's Sol Invictus is inferred from a passage by Zosimus reading: Aurelian embellished with votive gifts from Palmyra, setting up statues of Helios and Bel".

Malakbel, Yarhibol and Shamash , hence the identification of the Palmyrene Helios appearing in Zosimus' work with Malakbel. Palmyra's economy before and at the beginning of the Roman period was based on agriculture, pastoralism, trade, [18] and serving as a rest station for the caravans which sporadically crossed the desert. Smith II suggests most land in Palmyra was owned by the city, which collected grazing taxes. After Palmyra's destruction in , it became a market for villagers and nomads from the surrounding area.

Since Palmyra was not on the main trading route which followed the Euphrates , [18] the Palmyrenes secured the desert route passing their city. The caravan trade depended on patrons and merchants. Palmyra was visited by travelers such as Pietro Della Valle between and , Jean-Baptiste Tavernier in and many Swedish and German explorers.

Matthews as "one of the most important single items of evidence for the economic life of any part of the Roman Empire". Palmyra's first excavations were conducted in by Otto Puchstein and in by Theodor Wiegand. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the ancient city of Palmyra. For the modern city, also known as Tadmur, see Palmyra modern. For other uses, see Palmyra disambiguation. Palmyrene dialect and Palmyrene alphabet. Interior of the Tower of Elahbel , in Camp of Diocletian and Roman Theatre at Palmyra.

Bel's temple entrance arch remains after the destruction of the cella. Digital reconstruction of the Temple of Bel New Palmyra project. List of Palmyrene monarchs.

Palmyra offensive May , Palmyra offensive March , Palmyra offensive December , and Palmyra offensive Ancient Near East portal Syria portal. R is the common root for the words that designate palm dates in Arabic , Hebrew , Ge'ez and other Semitic languages.

The Phyles were united by their citizenship instead of origin. However, other dates have been suggested ranging from as early as Pompey 's era to as late as Vespasian 's reign. In addition to the fact that Palmyra and Petra traded in different articles, hence the annexation of Petra might have not had a real effect on Palmyra's trade.

Hairan I was proclaimed by his father as co-ruler and was assassinated during the same assassination incident that took the life of Odaenathus and it is unlikely that Odaenathus was simply a king while his son held the King of Kings title. Addison, Charles Greenstreet

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