Associations in the Greco-Roman World (AGRW)

An expanding collection of inscriptions, papyri, and other sources in translation (run by Philip A. Harland)

Building: Sanctuary of Baal Shamin (ca. 23 CE) Palmyra - Syria and Phoenicia


Palmyra (Syria and Phoenicia, Greater Syria and the East — Pleiades map), II-III CE
Christiane Dunant et al., Le sanctuaire de Baalshamîn à Palmyre, 5 vols. (Rome: Institut Suisse de Rome, 1969-1975) = Teixidor 1977, 100-142 = Teixidor 1979 18-25 = Nielsen 2014, 96-97 (with figure 64)  = ID# 23462


bibliography            

Relevant inscriptions on this site: Christiane Dunant, Le sanctuaire de Baalshamin à Palmyre: Vol. 3. Les inscriptions (Roma: Institut Suisse de Rome, 1971), 33-36 (nos. 21-22) (marzeah dedication; 59-68 CE); IPalmyra 143 (banquet of a group of workers; 257-258 CE), 150 (caravans of merchants honors Soadu; 132 CE).

Description: Located at the northern edge of the town, the sanctuary of Baal Shamim (Lord of the Heavens) was excavated from 1954-1956 by Swiss archeologists.  The earliest inscriptional evidence consists of dedicated columns in a courtyard (dating 23 CE and 52 CE).  Before 59-68 CE, a banqueting hall (B in the plan, measuring 10 m long) was dedicated by a marzeah-society (usually translated as thiasos in Greek) and another inscription lists the members’ names (Dunant 1971, nos. 21-22).  An altar was dedicated to Baal Shamin in 62 CE.  During the period from the 60s to 104 CE, the porticos were built in honor of Baal Shamin, who is also described as Durahlun.  The temple proper was built for Baal–Zeus in Greek–around 131 CE, with the Council and the People of the city acknowledging Male Agrippa as benefactor (see Teixidor 1979, 20-21 for text and translation).  This was a prostyle temple with four columns (and Corinthian capitals) across the front and a deep porch (see photo).  Merchant caravans and a banqueting guild were among the other associations that made use of the sanctuary (see IPalmyra 143 and 150).  The reconstructed remains of the temple proper (see photo below) were destroyed by members of the so-called Islamic State of the Levant (ISIL) in 2015.

Translation by: Harland



Plan of Palmyra showing the sanctuaries of Baal Shamin and Bel.

Plan of Palmyra showing the sanctuaries of Baal Shamin and Bel.

 

Hadrian era temple of Baal Shamin at Palmyra.Photo by Bernard Gagnon. Reproduced under a Creative Commons license.

Hadrian era temple of Baal Shamin at Palmyra.
Photo by Bernard Gagnon. Reproduced under a Creative Commons license.

 

Interior of Temple of Baal Shamin at Palmyra. Photo by Jerzy Strzelecki (Creative Commons).

Interior of Temple of Baal Shamin at Palmyra.
Photo by Jerzy Strzelecki (Creative Commons).

 

Item added: April 10, 2016
Item modified: April 28, 2016
ID number: 23462
Short link address:
http://www.philipharland.com/greco-roman-associations/?p=23462

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