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                                      TEMPLO DE JÚPITER HELIOPOLITANO (Baalbeck, Líbano)
Le Liban

Pinède aux abords de la Bekaa

Pinar camino de la Bekaa

 

 

Baalbeck

BAALBek

                     

Lebanon.Baal.Water.Cavern...                                                                                                 Detail of ancient stonework found on the grounds of Baalbeck

Augusto, cuyas cuatro décadas de gobierno - desde el año 27 a. De C. Hasta el 14 de nuestra era - fueron las más brillantes de toda la historia del imperio romano (de ahí el llamado "siglo de Augusto"), mandó erigir en Baalbeck un templo al  Sol, al que identificaron con  Júpiter, originando el culto  sincrético a Júpiter Heliopolitano.
A deidad tan grande no podía escatimársele  espacio: la planta medía 135 metros de largo por 113 de ancho, y el conjunto estaba sostenido por 58 columnas corintias de 22,9  metros de altura. El entablamento medía 4,3, mts de alto.

El templo de construyó al parecer sobre una colina artificial de tierra, con grandes megalitos para sostenerlo.

De estos, tres están en posición  en la parte oeste  y miden 19,5 mts. por 4,3 mts, pesando 750 toneladas. 



The Roman Temple at Baalbek, Lebanon

 

 

 

 http://www.rizzuti.org/SiriaLibano/Libano/Baalbeck2.en.htm

El templo de Júpiter, también de orden corintio, mide  69.2 m  por  35.7 m y está rodeado por un peristilo de  42  columnas, con  10 columna en el   vestíbulo.  

www.webportalis.com/ Thumbnails/images/Baalbec

 

Vale la pena comparar su dimensión con la de otras dos grandes construcciones realizadas en Roma: el arco de Tito mide 14 metros de altura, y el de Constantino, 11 metros. 

 

Las seis columnas monumentales del templo de Júpiter

 

El  templo del Sol de Baalbeck fue, con mucho, , el mayor edificio religioso de la Antigüedad consagrado a este dios (el Zeus de los griegos). 

Seis de sus colosales columnas aún están en pie.

                                             Baalbeck

 

       This Phoenician city, where a triad of deities was worshipped,  was known as Heliopolis during the Hellenistic period. 

Lebanon 1937. Air Post. Ruins in Baalbeck.

Lebanon 1937. Air Post. Ruins in Baalbeck. 

 

Lebanon 1965. Temple of the Sun in Baalbeck.

Lebanon 1965. Temple of the Sun in Baalbeck

temple de Bacchus

Templo de Baco

 

between the Litani and Asi rivers. The name, which means “City of Baal,” is derived from the early association of the town with the worship of Baal, a local sun deity whom the ancient Greeks identified with their sun god, Helios; the Greeks and Romans called the town Heliopolis, “City of the Sun.” 

Lebanon 1967. Air Post. Temple of the Sun in Baalbeck.

The great Temple of the Sun was about 49 by 88 m (about 160 by 290 ft) and contained 58 Corinthian columns, each 22.9 m (75 ft) high and 2.2 m (7.25 ft) in diameter. The entablature was 4.3 m (14 ft) in height. 

The temple appears to have been built on an artificial mound of earth, with great stones, or megaliths, employed to sustain this mass. 

Of these megaliths, three are in position at the western end, one of them measuring 19.5 m (64 ft) long by 4.3 m (14 ft) square. 

  • Lebanon 1967. Air Post. Temple of the Sun in Baalbeck.

 

 

It retained its religious function during Roman times, when the sanctuary of the Heliopolitan Jupiter attracted thousands of pilgrims. Baalbek, with its colossal structures, is one of the finest examples of Imperial Roman architecture at its apogee. 

The Temple of Jupiter, also of the Corinthian order, measured 69.2 m (227 ft) by 35.7 m (117 ft) and was surrounded by a peristyle of 42 plain columns, with 10 fluted columns in the vestibule. The entablature was very profusely and richly ornamented. 

The Temple of Bacchus, in front of the Temple of Jupiter, is better preserved. A smaller temple, the Temple of Venus, supported by six granite columns, adjoined the Temple of Jupiter. Traces also remain of a later Christian basilica. 

  • Lebanon 1956. Air Post. The Bacchus Temple in Baalbeck. 

Lebanon 1956. Air Post. The Bacchus Temple in Baalbeck.

Lebanon 1930. The Venus Temple in Baalbeck. Lebanon 1948. UNESCO-issue. Air Post. Bas-relief from the Apollo Temple in Baalbeck. Lebanon 1948. UNESCO-issue. Air Post. Bas-relief from the Minerva Temple in Baalbeck.
  • Lebanon 1930. The Venus Temple in Baalbeck. 
  • Lebanon 1948. UNESCO-issue. Air Post. Bas-relief from the Apollo Temple in Baalbeck.
  • Lebanon 1948. UNESCO-issue. Air Post. Bas-relief from the Minerva Temple in Baalbeck.  Lion de Baalbeck

Although the early history of Baalbek is almost entirely unknown, abundant evidence indicates that the city is ancient, portions of the masonry being attributed to Phoenician origin. The Roman emperor Augustus made the city a Roman colony; the Roman emperor Trajan consulted a celebrated oracle there. The city was sacked by the Arabs in AD 748, and pillaged by the Turkic chieftain Tamerlane in 1400. A severe earthquake in 1759 devastated what monuments still remained in the city. Present-day Baalbek, connected by rail with Beirut and with Damascus and Aleppo in Syria, is the chief town in eastern Lebanon. 

 

 

 

Sources and links:

Thermes de Baalbeck

Termas


Introduction  Ancients' Stone Technology Books Links

Introduction                                  

Baalbeck  era una ciudad situada en el este del Líbano,  a 85 km. al este de Beirut,  en el valle de la Bekaa, famosa sobre todo por las ruinas de sus templos  dedicados al Sol, de época romana, , excelentemente  preservadas .

Era una  próspera  ciudad fenicia  cuando los griegos lo ocuparon en 331 a.C.

 

Colonne effondrée ste tremblement de terre

. Lo denominaron   "Heliopolis", "Ciudad del sol . The acropolis encompasses the temple of Bachuss, Artemis  and Jupiter. At a short distance lie the ruins of an Umayyad mosque and vestiges of Arab ramparts can be seen in the town.

           Columnas del Gran Templo de  Júpiter,  Baalbek. Delante, las escaleras que llevan al templo de Baco, llamado "el Pequeño Templo"..

Image:Grundplan af Baalbeks ruiner, Nordisk familjebok.png

Plan of the temple complex

 

 

Se convirtió en Colonia romana bajo Augusto en 16 a.C. y la convirtieron en el símbolo de su poder en Asia. En su acrópolis, a lo largo de tres centurias, los romanos construyeron un monumental conjunto con sus tres templos, tres patios y una muralla encerrándolo todo , comprendiendo las piedras más gigantescas  jamás trabajadas por el hombre, de forma que muchos turistas creen que han sido movidas por extraterrestres.

.
Lion's head decoration

At the southern entrance of Baalbeck is a quarry where the stones used in the temples were cut. A huge block, considered the largest hewn stone in the world, still sits where it was cut almost 2,000 years ago. Called the "Stone of the Pregnant Woman", it is 21.5m x 4.8m x 4.2meters in size and weighs an estimated 1,000 tons.

Stone of the Pregnant Woman

 

PIEDRA DEL SUR

www.tracyanddale.50megs.com/baalbeck/render2.html

 

This Animation Will Explain Virtual Baalbeck--Click Here to Start the Tour!

 

Dicha mole petrea esta constituida con trozos de roca toscamente labrados de 20 metros de longitud y 1.000 toneladas de peso, si bien algunos autores hacen ascender al mismo hasta 2.000 toneladas; elevados (dichos bloques) hasta una altura de siete metros. El famoso estudio de Jacques Bergier aclara que para desplazar cada bloque habría sido necesario el esfuerzo conjunto de cuarenta mil hombres... Lo importante de mencionar es que estas piedras no podr�an ser elevadas ni con el mejor equipo moderno que poseemos. �C�mo fueron trasladadas? Existen leyendas que hablan del poder que ten�an los sacerdotes para elevar los bloques por medio del sonido, hecho que no estar�a tan descartado si pensamos en los muros de Jeric�...

 

The Temples In History

For centuries the temples of Baalbeck lay under meters of rubble, obscured by medieval fortifications. But even in ruin the site attracted the admiration of visitors and its historical importance was recognized.

 

El gran palacio -Baalbek- Libano. - The great court -Baalbek- Lebanon

Gran Patio, Santuario de Baalbek

 

The first survey and restoration work at Baalbeck was begun by the German Archaeological Mission in 1898. In 1922 French scholars undertook extensive research and restoration of the temples, work which was continued by the Lebanese Directorate General of Antiquities.

Baalbeck's temples were built on an ancient tell that goes back at least to the end of the third millennium B.C. Little is known about the site during this period, but there is evidence that in the course of the 1rst millennium B.C. an enclosed court was built on the ancient tell. An altar was set in the center of this court in the tradition of the biblical Semitic high places

.El templo de Baco -Baalbek- Libano. - The temple of Bacchus -Baalbek- Lebanon

 

                                    Templo de Baco desde el templo de Júpiter,  Baalbek

During the Hellenistic period (333-64 B.C.) the Greeks identified the god of Baalbeck with the sun god and the city was called Heliopolis or City of the Sun. At this time the ancient enclosed court was enlarged and a podium was erected on its western side to support a temple of classical form. Although the temple was never built, some huge construction from the Hellenistic project can still be seen. And it was over the ancient court that the Romans placed the present Great Court of the Temple of Jupiter.

 

Aerial view of the Acropolis

Las seis columnas del templo de Júpiter

The temple was begun in the last quarter of the 1rst century B.C., and was nearing completion in the final years of Nero's reign (37-68 A.D.). the Great Court Complex of the temple of Jupiter, with its porticoes, exedrae, altars and basins, was built in the 2nd century A.D. Construction of the so-called temple of Bacchus was also started about this time.

Ces 6 colonnes d'une vingtaine de mètres de haut et d'un diamètre de 2,2 mètres, sont les seuls restes du péristyle du Grand Temple qui en comptait 54. Ces colonnes, surmontées d'un entablement orné de têtes de lion et de taureaux joints par des guirlandes. Le temple mesurait 89 m de long sur 50 m de large.

The Propylaea and the Hexagonal Court of the Jupiter temple were added in the 3rd century under the Severan Dynasty (193-235 A.D.) and work was presumably completed in the mid-3rd century. The small circular structure known as the Temple of Venus, was probably finished at this time as well.

When Christianity was declared an official religion of the Roman Empire in 313 A.D., Byzantine Emperor Constantine officially closed the Baalbeck temples. At the end of the 4th century, the Emperor Theodosius tore down the altars of Jupiter's Great Court and built a basilica using the temple's stones and architectural elements. The remnants of the three apses of this basilica, originally oriented to the west, can still be seen in the upper part of the stairway of the Temple of Jupiter.

Le temple de Bacchus

 

Templo de Jupiter o de Helios -Baalbeck. - Jupiter or Helius Temple -Baalbeck

Templo de Baco, de frente

Le petit temple, long de 68 m sur 36 m de large avec un péristyle constitué de 42 colonnes hautes de 8 m et d'un pronaos ( sorte de vestibule ) agrémenté de 8 colonnes cannelées entourait la cella ( élément principal du temple ).

Le temple de Bacchus à l'intérieur

 

Interior del templo de Baco -Baalbek- Libano. - Inside Bacchus Temple -Baalbek- Lebanon

 

After the Arab conquest in 636 the temples were transformed into a fortress, or qal'a, a term still applied to the Acropolis today.

 

During the next centuries Baalbeck fell successively to the Omayyad, Abbasid, Toulounid, Fatimid and Ayyoubid dynasties. Sacked by the Mongols about 1260, Baalbeck later enjoyed a period of calm and prosperity under Mamluke rule.

The temple complex of Baalbeck is made up of the Jupiter Temple and the Bacchus Temple adjacent to it. A short distance away is the circular structure known as the Temple of Venus. Only part of the staircase remains of a fourth temple dedicated to Mercury, on Kheikh Abdallah hill.

Temple of Jupiter

The first view the visitor has of Baalbeck is the six Corinthian columns of the Great Temple (or "Jupiter Temple") thrusting 22 meters into the skyline. Built on a podium seven meters above the Court, these six columns and the entablature on top give an idea of the vast scale of the original structure.

 

The complex of the Great Temple has four sections: the monumental entrance or Propylaea, the Hexagonal Court, the Great Court and finally the Temple itself, where the six famous columns stand.

The Temple of Jupiter is one of the most impressive Temples in Baalbeck.
It measures 88x48 meters and stands on a podium 13 meters above the surrounding terrain and 7 meters above the courtyard. It is reached by a monumental stairway.

 

 

Originally surrounded by 54 external columns, most of these now lie in fragments on the ground. The six standing columns are joined by an entablature decorated with a frieze of bulls and lions' heads connected by garlands.

The Podium is built with some of the largest stone blocks ever hewn. On the west side of the podium is the "Trilithon", a celebrated group of three enormous stones weighing about 800 tons each.

 

 

Le temple de Bacchus, le pronaos ( sorte de vestibule ).

8 colonnes cannelées soutenaient un entablement orné de très beaux bas-reliefs relié à la cella ( élément principal du temple ) par de grandes dalles formant un plafond en berceau magnifiquement décoré.

On remarquera le reste d'une peinture sous ce portique

 

Baalbeck

Mystic Places


Introduction  Ancients' Stone Technology Books Links

Introduction

Baalbeck is a city in eastern Lebanon famous chiefly for its magnificent, excellently preserved Roman temple ruins. It was a flourishing Phoenician town when
the Greeks occupied it in 331 B.C. They renamed it "Heliopolis" (City of the Sun) .
It became a Roman colony under the Emperor Augustus in 16 B.C..On its acropolis, over the course of the next three centuries, the Romans constructed a monumental ensemble of three temples, three coutyards, and an enclosing wall built of some of the most gigantic stones ever crafted by man. Some tourists believe that the construction can only be attributed to extra-terrestial artwork .

At the southern entrance of Baalbeck is a quarry where the stones used in the temples were cut. A huge block, considered the largest hewn stone in the world, still sits where it was cut almost 2,000 years ago. Called the "Stone of the Pregnant Woman", it is 21.5m x 4.8m x 4.2meters in size and weighs an estimated 1,000 tons.

Stone of the Pregnant Woman

The Temples In History

For centuries the temples of Baalbeck lay under meters of rubble, obscured by medieval fortifications. But even in ruin the site attracted the admiration of visitors and its historical importance was recognized.

The first survey and restoration work at Baalbeck was begun by the German Archaeological Mission in 1898. In 1922 French scholars undertook extensive research and restoration of the temples, work which was continued by the Lebanese Directorate General of Antiquities.

Baalbeck's temples were built on an ancient tell that goes back at least to the end of the third millennium B.C. Little is known about the site during this period, but there is evidence that in the course of the 1rst millennium B.C. an enclosed court was built on the ancient tell. An altar was set in the center of this court in the tradition of the biblical Semitic high places.

During the Hellenistic period (333-64 B.C.) the Greeks identified the god of Baalbeck with the sun god and the city was called Heliopolis or City of the Sun. At this time the ancient enclosed court was enlarged and a podium was erected on its western side to support a temple of classical form. Although the temple was never built, some huge construction from the Hellenistic project can still be seen. And it was over the ancient court that the Romans placed the present Great Court of the Temple of Jupiter.

 

Aerial view of the Acropolis

The temple was begun in the last quarter of the 1rst century B.C., and was nearing completion in the final years of Nero's reign (37-68 A.D.). the Great Court Complex of the temple of Jupiter, with its porticoes, exedrae, altars and basins, was built in the 2nd century A.D. Construction of the so-called temple of Bacchus was also started about this time.

The Propylaea and the Hexagonal Court of the Jupiter temple were added in the 3rd century under the Severan Dynasty (193-235 A.D.) and work was presumably completed in the mid-3rd century. The small circular structure known as the Temple of Venus, was probably finished at this time as well.

When Christianity was declared an official religion of the Roman Empire in 313 A.D., Byzantine Emperor Constantine officially closed the Baalbeck temples. At the end of the 4th century, the Emperor Theodosius tore down the altars of Jupiter's Great Court and built a basilica using the temple's stones and architectural elements. The remnants of the three apses of this basilica, originally oriented to the west, can still be seen in the upper part of the stairway of the Temple of Jupiter.

After the Arab conquest in 636 the temples were transformed into a fortress, or qal'a, a term still applied to the Acropolis today.

During the next centuries Baalbeck fell successively to the Omayyad, Abbasid, Toulounid, Fatimid and Ayyoubid dynasties. Sacked by the Mongols about 1260, Baalbeck later enjoyed a period of calm and prosperity under Mamluke rule.

The temple complex of Baalbeck is made up of the Jupiter Temple and the Bacchus Temple adjacent to it. A short distance away is the circular structure known as the Temple of Venus. Only part of the staircase remains of a fourth temple dedicated to Mercury, on Kheikh Abdallah hill.

Temple of Jupiter

The first view the visitor has of Baalbeck is the six Corinthian columns of the Great Temple (or "Jupiter Temple") thrusting 22 meters into the skyline. Built on a podium seven meters above the Court, these six columns and the entablature on top give an idea of the vast scale of the original structure.

The complex of the Great Temple has four sections: the monumental entrance or Propylaea, the Hexagonal Court, the Great Court and finally the Temple itself, where the six famous columns stand.

The Temple of Jupiter is one of the most impressive Temples in Baalbeck.
It measures 88x48 meters and stands on a podium 13 meters above the surrounding terrain and 7 meters above the courtyard. It is reached by a monumental stairway.

Originally surrounded by 54 external columns, most of these now lie in fragments on the ground. The six standing columns are joined by an entablature decorated with a frieze of bulls and lions' heads connected by garlands.

The Podium is built with some of the largest stone blocks ever hewn. On the west side of the podium is the "Trilithon", a celebrated group of three enormous stones weighing about 800 tons each.

 Los templos erigidos en Baalbeck sobrepasan todas las medidas. ¿Cómo se explica tanta desmesura, a tanta distancia de la capital imperial?.

Se supone que la erección del colosal templo de Júpiter en Baalbeck estuvo relacionada con la demostración de poder que Roma necesitaba hacer a sus lejanas colonias orientales. 

 Los gobernantes romanos difundieron  en los países conquistados el culto a sus  dioses oficiales como símbolo del Estado, intentando aglutinar en torno a su culto a todos los individuos por encima de su origen étnico o social. 

En definitiva,  los fieles demostraran a través del culto al Emperador divinizado y  a Júpiter, más que a otros dioses romanos, su lealtad a Roma, al poder establecido. Así, es posible suponer que cuanto más grandes fueran los templos, mayor sería el temor y el respeto que inspiraría el poder imperial que esos edificios representaban.

Pero aquellos cultos paganos habrían de extinguirse con el paulatino avance del cristianismo. Los emperadores Constantino y Teodosio el Grande construyeron allí grandes iglesias. Fue el fin irrevocable del reino de Baal, Astarté, Júpiter, Venus, Baco y otras grandes deidades de los antiguos cultos orientales.

 

 

Lo que quedó de todo aquello, pasados muchos se convirtió  en uno de los más ricos yacimientos arqueológicos de Medio Oriente. 

Declarado  Patrimonio de la Humanidad por la Unesco, se constituyó paralelamente en poderoso imán turístico, que atrajo multitudes  de turistas a ese bello rincón del Líbano. 

Hasta 1974, medio millón de personas se acercaban anualmente a las piedras de la antigua Baalbeck para extasiarse ante la contemplación de tanta maravilla. Los viejos dioses parecían conservar, aún, su poder de convocatoria. Festivales de teatro y música aprovechaban, todos los veranos, la impar escenografía de las columnas del templo de Júpiter para montar grandes espectáculos. Durante  varias décadas, el Festival Internacional de Baalbeck tuvo fama de saber congregar a los mejores artistas del mundo.

Pero en 1975, en la antigua morada de los dioses volvió a sonar el estruendo apocalíptico. No eran los truenos de Júpiter ni el temblor  de nuevos terremotos. Eran los  disparos  de una guerra civil que terminaría desangrando, por largos años, el Líbano.

Baalbeck, en mitad de  una ruta estratégica, que une norte y sur,  fue de nuevo el escenario de un infierno. Convertida en bastión de la fracción proiraní Hezbollah, la vieja ciudad padeció cruentos bombardeos que afectaron la estructura de sus viejos monumentos.

Con sus columnas horadadas por las balas -y hasta burdamente pintarrajeadas con graffiti-, los templos quedaron prácticamente abandonados.

La zona respira  actualmente un momento de paz. Pero nadie garantiza nada en esas regiones.

En la cercana y  ya semirreconstruida  Beirut, todavía se recuerda que el programa del Festival Internacional de Baalbeck 1975, que debió suspenderse por la guerra, incluía una famosa obra de Richard Wagner: la tetralogía El Ocaso de los Dioses.

The Principal Rivers of the Lebanon.

Besides the already described Amanah and Pharpar, the following large rivers have their sources in the Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon.

I. Al Azy,

That is, the bold or the rebellious, is a large river which flows northward from Lebanon, and its name is, as I am told, partly derived from this circumstance, since all the other streams have a southern course, and partly because it is a wild and rapid water course, which tears away all the bridges which people attempt to throw over it. In ancient times it was called Orontes, but is not mentioned either in Talmud or the Scriptures. It issues out of a large meadow called Djord Dudunie, 12 English miles north of Baal-bek, takes a northerly course, by the town of Chamath (Epiphania), Phamia, and Antiochia, (Antakia), and falls south of the last into the Mediterranean.

II. Wady Chasmeia,

That is, the dividing or separating stream. This river, the ancient Leontes,* takes its rise south of the city of Baal-bek, flows southwesterly to the lower plain, Bakaatachtani, in the district of the ancient Beth-Rechob, and falls into the Mediterranean to the north of Tyre.

* In some ancient Arabic works, I found a river Nahr Aloud as existing between Zor and Seide (Zidon), This would place in this position the Eleitherus, which is, however, not found between Tyre and Zidon, as I shall explain hereafter. But it appears to me that this is an error of the transcribers, and that it should be Leond, or the Leontes, the same as the Wady Chasmeia in question, as this is also known in the Arabic books as Nahr Leond.

III. Nahr Abraim,

Formerly Adonis, flows northward of the district Kisruan, and south of Biblos, and falls there into the Mediterranean.

IV. The Aleud,

Also called Nahr al Kubbir, i.e. the Strong or Grand River, formerly Eleutherus, flows north of Arka (which will be more particularly described hereafter). The valley of the river forms the most northern boundary of the Lebanon, and extends from Hams (Epiphania) to the Mediterranean.

V. The Kelb (Dog River),

Flows north of Beirut, and takes its name, according to some, from the circumstance that the Avites formerly dwelt in this district, and had, as their god, the idol Nibchaz, who is said to have been figured as a dog, according to the authority of Talmud Sanhedrim, fol. 63a. (See also 2 Kings 17:31.) It had anciently the name of Licius (Lykos).

VI. The Tamur, or Al Kadi,

Flows at a distance of about 12 English miles west of the city Dir al Kamr, situated between Beirut and Zidon. In winter it increases to such a size that it becomes a rapid stream, and overflows its banks to a great extent; so that travellers are often detained on its shores six or eight days, till the water returns to its former channel.

VII. The Zabirani,

Is the last of these streams, and flows 5 English miles south of Zidon.

The Principal Places and Districts of Lebanon.

It would lead me too far to give a minute description of all the places in Lebanon and the country round about it. I will, therefore, only note those which are mentioned in the Scriptures, Talmud and other authoritative works.

Between the Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon, there is a large valley, in Arabic, Al Bakaa, or "The Valley," anciently Coelesyria, or the Chul of Gen. 10:23; it extends northward up to the neighbourhood of Chams (Epiphania), and southward to the vicinity of Tyre, near which latter place it is called Bakaa-Tachtani, i.e. the lower valley.

This great valley of the Lebanon is the בקעת הלבנון "the Valley of Lebanon" of Joshua 11:17, and the לבא חמת "the entrance of Hamath" of Num. 13:21. In speaking of the battle which Joshua fought with the Canaanites at the Lake of Merom, it is said (Josh. 11:3) "that Jabin sent to the Canaanite on the east and the west, and to the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Jebusites in the mountain, and to the Hivite under Hermon in the land of Mizpeh." Now, according to my view, is here meant the eastern valley of the Djebl Heish, mentioned above, and now called Heish Shakara; where is found, at this day, 10 English miles north of Kanitra, the village of Tel Djube, Hebrew Goba, which is similar in signification to Mizpeh, both meaning a high place whence an object can be seen at a distance. (Gobi--Gibah is transformed into the Arabic Djube by changing the Hebrew Gimel into the Arabic Jim.) The most southern height of the Djebl Heish is called Tel Farash, that is, Joshua's Mount, because the Arabs call Joshua Farash, probably from the circumstance that he may have pursued the Canaanitish kings to this point. It is also said in the chapter cited, in verse 8, that the Israelites pursued their enemies (westward) as far as Zidon, and (eastward) to the valley of Mizpeh; it is farther said, in verse 17, that Joshua conquered the country from the Bald Mountain (Halak), which is in Seir, to Baalgad in the valley of the Lebanon, under Mount Hermon, which should induce us to assume that Baal-gad is identical with the present Banias, of which we have already spoken. This district of Baal-gad was particularly noted for the criminal idolatry which was at all times practised there. It was there that the idol Baal-gad, already existing in the time of Joshua, was worshipped as late as the days of Isaiah (chap. 5:11 ), "Who set a table for the Gad" (English version, "for that troup," which, however, hardly means anything; whereas, it is highly significant when taken as the name of a heathen divinity). It was there, at Dan or Laish, afterwards called Paneas, or Caesarea Philippi, where the children of Dan set up the image of Micah (Judges 18:31), and where, at a later period, Jeroboam set up one of the golden calves (1 Kings 12:28) to mislead Israel to sin. It was there where the image of the cock-idol was worshipped by the Cutheans in the town of Tarnegola, consecrated to the god Nergal (2 Kings 17:30; see also Targum Jonathan; Num. 34; likewise Talmud Yerushalmi, Demai, chap. 2.); and there it was at last, where in later times, the Grecian idol Pan was worshipped, whence then the name of the town of Paneas, near which is the cave of Banias, in which there are stones bearing inscriptions having reference to the worship of Pan. The more recent name of the time of the crusaders of Belias for Banias, is founded upon the original appellation of the same Baal-gad (Joshua 11:17).*

* This vicinity is also probably the site of Baal-Hamon, mentioned in the Song of Solomon 8:11, where it is not unlikely that the Egyptian idol Amon (see Jer. 46:23), was worshipped by Pharaoh's daughter, the wife of the Israelitish King. This idol, the Jupiter Ammon of the Greeks, was worshipped in the city Diospolis, i.e. Jupiter's town, which the Targumin suppose to be Alexandria, but which others allege to be Thebes, in Upper Egypt, where are still found the most remarkable and extensive ruins of idol temples. It is, therefore, probable that the idolatrous queen transplanted the name of Anion, changed into the Hebrew Hamon, from Egypt to the country around Lebanon, and hence, then, Baal-Hamon, the God Amon. Perhaps Baal may also refer to the idol Baal or Belus.

In this large plain, between the Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon, there also stood formerly the celebrated city Heliopolis, consecrated by the Greeks to the worship of the sun (from Helis, the sun, Polis, town), which is now known as Baal-bek† (from Baal, Belus, and Bikah, valley). This town is still famous for its remarkable ruins, which are undisputably the most gigantic in all Palestine, and are well calculated to influence every beholder with astonishment. In the remains of the ancient Temple of the Sun can be seen stones which are 60 feet in length, 12 in thickness, and 12 in height; and the simple view of these blocks causes a species of awe; as no one can. imagine how human hands were enabled to erect so wonderful a structure. This colossal building,‡ erected by Solomon, it being undoubtedly the בעלת Baalath mentioned in the first book of Kings (9:18), was destroyed in the year 5162 (1402), by the conqueror Tamerlane;* and that which resisted his destructive inroad was overthrown 356 years later, through the terrific earthquake in the year 5518 (1758), which caused such great devastation in the plain of Lebanon and the country of Galilee.

† The passage in Tractate Maaseroth, chap. v. § 8, שום בעל בכי translated usually (strong) "garlick, which excites tears," appears to me to be only "the garlik of Baal-bek," the chi being substituted for the k.

‡ According to Josephus (Antiq. viii. book viii., chap. 2), was the Baalath erected by Solomon in the vicinity of Gezer of Joshua 10:33, not far from Jaffa on the Mediterranean, in the country of Ephraim. According to this assumption, it would appear that this town had the origin and derived its name from the same circumstances as that in the tribe of Dan. (See Joshua 19:44.) But Rabbi Benjamin of Tudela thinks that the temple of Baal-bek was originally the house built by Solomon for Pharaoh's daughter in Lebanon. (1 Kings 7:8.)

* Of which more in the historical part, which see.

Through a close inquiry, I have succeeded in ascertaining that Mount Lebanon is at present divided into 16 districts, of which, however, I mean to enumerate those only which are mentioned in the Talmudic writings, and which are situated south of the town of Tripoli (Trablus), in the direction of Mount Hor, the northern extremity of Palestine (Num 34:7); but I intend to devote, in the sequel, a chapter to the countries which form the northern boundary line of the land of Israel.

Tripoli,

Or Trablus† al Sham (Tarpelites of Ezra 4:9), is the Sin of Gen. 10:17, wherefore Saadiah translates it with Trablision. Even at the present time there is, north of this city, a village called Al Sini; it is also called, in the Answers of Maharitz, Sinim (chap 34). Trablus is distant from the sea about 1½ miles, and the river Abulalia passes through it. Of our fellow-Israelites there reside at present only twelve families, although their Synagogue is a large, strong, and massive building, which would indicate that formerly there must have been here a much larger congregation. At the time of Rabbi Benjamin of Tudela, the celebrated traveller, this city was visited by a terrible earthquake, which threw down the walls of the town and many houses, and buried many inhabitants alive under the ruins of their dwellings. But in other places, also, the convulsion of nature was so great, that, as this traveller reports, more than 20,000 human beings lost their lives in Palestine through this calamity. The same occurrence is noticed by Rabbi Joseph Hackohen (fol. 22b), that in the year 4930 (1170) there happened a terrific earthquake in the East, through which the city of Tripoli was overthrown, burying its inhabitants, and that Antiochia also was nearly totally destroyed by the same calamity.

† In Talmud Yerushalmi Sabb. Chap. 1., is mentioned that Rabbi Simeon taught in Atrubulis, by which, probably, the present Trablus is meant.

Southeast of Trablus is the district Al Danie, where the above-described cedars of Lebanon are found. West of the highest peak of the Lebanon, Makmal, is the district Art Akluk, which is probably the writings. (See Negaim, in the קלקאי Kalkai often mentioned in the Talmudical writings. (See Negaim, in the beginning of chap. x.; also in Targum Jonathan, to Numb. 34:8.)

Southwest of this is the land of the Gibbim (Gebal, Joshua 13:5; 1 Kings 5:32; Ezek. 17:9), called by the Greeks Biblos, now called Djebel. East of this district, on the above-mentioned river Abraim, is the town of Aphica, which I take to be the Aphek of Joshua 13:4.

Between Tripoli and Biblos, on the shore of the sea, is the town of Botrus, of which Phoenician city Josephus speaks in his Antiq., book viii., chap. 7.

In the district of Al Shahar is found the village And (probably the village Aimi mentioned in Talmud Yerushalmi Nedarim, chap. iv., and ibid. end of Yoma).

East of the town Mar Hana, in the district of Al Shuf, belonging to the territory of Beirut, is the spring of Achab, in Arabic En Achab (see Parah, chap. viii. § 11), which falls into the river Abraim. In the same district is found the village Biyuth-athir, doubtlessly a corruption for Biyutar, a city referred to in Challah, chap. iv. § 10, as Bittar,* and not to be mistaken for the ancient Bethar, near Jerusalem, not far from Malcha, or the celebrated Bethar not far from Kaplar Saba (Gittin, fol. 57a).

* In Talmud Yerushalmi, and in some other old books, I find the passage in Challah to state ביותר Beyutar, not Bittar, as we read in our books.

In the district of Al Djurd is the town of Batchun; it is not to be mistaken, as no doubt some have done, for the Betach belonging to the cities of Hadarezer (2 Sam. 8:8).

Two and a half English miles south of Baal-bek is the village Rabcha, perhaps the Richpa mentioned in Maaseroth v. § 8, as the Arabs so often transpose the letters; hence Ripcha, then Rabcha.

Twenty-five miles southeast of Baal-bek is the village Sachala, where the inhabitants point out a monument, which they allege to mark the grave of Noah. That, however, but little faith can be placed in such like popular legends, will appear from the fact that also in the land of Armenia, in the vicinity of Mount Dshudi (the Ararat of Gen. 8:4), on which the ark rested at the flood, they also point out an alleged grave of Noah. But other similar examples can be cited to prove the credulity of the people in giving currency to unauthenticated legends. So the grave of Moses is shown south of the town of Hams, near the sea and the village, where it is, is called Keber Mosheh, Moses' Grave, when it is well known that the sepulchre of this holy man is east of the Jordan (Deut. 34:6). The grave of Job is pointed out at Constantinople, also east of the Jordan (see Caphtor Vapherach, fol. 70 b), again in Armenia, and finally in India, not far from the Persian boundary line, consequently in four different places.*

* There is a hint in Targum Echa (Lamentations) to chap. 4:21, that Job should have lived in Armenia, as עוץ the land of Uz, where Job dwelt, is given with Armenia.

The northern part of Lebanon is almost a complete desert and uninhabited, and only in its southern part are there any settlements, of which, however, agreeably to my plan, I shall mention the following only.

South of Djebl Sheich, which is identical with Hermon or the Snow Mountain, is the district Al Chaspeya, in which is found the city of the same name, mentioned in Talmud Yerushalmi,—Demai, chapter ii. South of this place, is the river Chaspeya, called by the Arabs Koroni, which is the source of the Jordan, and flows to the south of the district of Dan, and unites there with the river Dan and the Jordan. West of this river, that is to say, 12½ English miles north of the sea of Merom, is the village Abel (Beth Maacha 2 Sam. 20:14). Near this are the villages Abel al Kamach, and Abel al Krum,† which latter is not to be mistaken for Abel Keramim of Judges 11:33, which is the land of Gilead. South of the first Abel, and north of Abel al Kamach, is the village Zeredah, where the grave of Jose of Zeredah is found. This village also has the name of Chamas. Not far from this is the village of Barthotha, in which is the grave of Eliezer of Barthotha. (Aboth i.) Perhaps this is the town of Beruthi mentioned by Josephus, which I have noticed above.

† The Jewish inhabitants of the town of Chaspeya carry their dead across the stream to Abel al Krum, because they have a tradition that the river Chaspeya formed the boundary line of Palestine, and they wish to inter the dead in the Holy Land. But this boundary line was only so after the return from Babylon, as I have shown at the proper place above.

 

The inhabitants of Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon are mostly Druses; they are called Philistines by the Jews, who perhaps do this in consonance with some tradition that the present mountaineers are thus descended. These Druses are under the government of the Amir Abshir, who resides at Dir al Kamar, a town about 20 English miles northeast of Tyre. The religion of these people consists of a mixture of Christian and Mahomedan doctrines, and they are much given to immorality and general looseness of conduct. Their chief occupation consists in the production of silk and cotton fabrics; and they are also engaged in agriculture, and their wine especially is very good, and considerable quantities of cotton wool are likewise produced by them.

The Lebanon is also inhabited by a Christian sect, called Maronites, who have a convent in the town of Kanabin, in the district of Al Donie, where their patriarch, or the chief of their religion, resides. The Maronites are, however, often persecuted by the Druses, who far exceed them in numbers, and are occasionally murderously assailed by them. Only a few years back, in the year 5603 (1843) and in 5605 (1845), wars of this nature took place, in which a large number of Christians lost their lives. These Maronites, as well as the small Mahomedan population found in the mountains, are, with the Druses, under the government of the above-mentioned Amir.

In only three places of Mount Lebanon are Jewish inhabitants found: in Tripoli, as already stated, twelve families, in Dir Al Kamar eighty families, the heads of whom are mostly merchants, and in Chaspeya near thirty families. The Jews are greatly beloved by the Druses, and they are active agriculturists, like the other inhabitants of the mountains, and noted for their courage and bravery. Even the girls engaged in tending the flocks go armed with pistols and javelin, and boldly defend themselves against wild beasts and robbers. About twenty-four years ago, a Jewish girl of Chaspeya was tending her flock in the field, when a Turk threatened to do her violence, as she was alone, and no one near to come to her aid. But she drew forth her pistol and ordered him on pain of death to desist from his attempt; and as he would not listen to her, she levelled her weapon and shot him dead on the spot. She was cited to appear before the judges; and she was not only acquitted of all blame, but much praise was publicly awarded to her for her intrepidity and courageous behaviour.

In the year 5591 (1831), when the mountaineers of the district of Sanur (which see), who occupied the fort of the same name, rebelled against the then Pacha of Akko (St. Jean D'Acre), Abdalla, and had caused a great slaughter among his troops, he requested of the Amir to aid him with some of his bravest men to subdue the rebels. The Amir assented, and sent him about one hundred Jews from Dir al Kamar and Chaspeya, who, greatly to their renown, reduced the stronghold of Sanur, which the Pacha thereupon ordered to be levelled to the ground, and it has remained in this state ever since.

The Amir is subject to the Sultan of Constantinople, to whom he pays the legal tribute, that is, when it suits him, for he is nearly independent in his mountain fastnesses amidst the towering Alps, and he need not fear the armies which his nominal sovereign might be induced to send against him. In the year 5594 (1834), when the so-called peasant war raged in the Holy Land, and the Fallahin laid waste the city of Zafed, the Amir came with his army and delivered the Jews from the power of their enemies; for at that time the Druses Were on friendly terms with Ibrahim Pacha. Nevertheless, four years later, when the mountaineers were at war with their former ally, Ibrahim, they suddenly surprised Zafed, and plundered the Jews residing there. In the progress of the war, however, they were overcome by the Egyptian Pacha, notwithstanding the strength of their position, after a prolonged struggle. This occurred in 5598 (1838); and this defeat has greatly reduced their power. (Fuller particulars of these events will be found in the historical part of this work.)

[edit] Heliopolis, the City of the Sun

The layout of the temple complex of Baalbeck
The layout of the temple complex of Baalbeck
Temple of Jupiter
Temple of Jupiter

The city retained its religious function during Roman times, when the sanctuary of the Heliopolitan Jupiter-Baal was a pilgrimage site. Trajan's biographer records that the Emperor consulted the oracle there. Trajan inquired of the Heliopolitan Jupiter whether he would return alive from his wars against the Parthians. In reply, the god presented him with a vine shoot cut into pieces. Theodosius Macrobius, a Latin grammarian of the 5th century AD, mentioned Zeus Heliopolitanus and the temple, a place of oracular divination. Starting in the last quarter of the 1st century BC and over a period of two centuries, the Romans had built a temple complex in Baalbeck consisting of three temples: Jupiter, Bacchus and Venus. On a nearby hill, they built a fourth temple dedicated to Mercury.

The city, then known as Heliopolis (there was another Heliopolis in Egypt), was made a colonia by the Roman Empire in 15 BC and a legion was stationed there. Work on the religious complex there lasted over a century and a half and was never completed. The dedication of the present temple ruins, the largest religious building in the entire Roman empire, dates from the reign of Septimus Severus, whose coins first show the two temples. The great courts of approach were not finished before the reigns of Caracalla and Philip. In commemoration, no doubt, of the dedication of the new sanctuaries, Severus conferred the rights of the ius Italicum on the city. Today, only six Corinthian columns remain standing. Eight more were disassembled and shipped to Constantinople under Justinian's orders, for his basilica of Hagia Sophia.

The greatest of the three temples was sacred to Jupiter Baal, ("Heliopolitan Zeus"), identified here with the sun, and - constructed between the first century BC and 62 AD - was the largest temple in the empire. With it were associated a temple to Venus and a lesser temple in honor of Bacchus (though it was traditionally referred to as the "Temple of the Sun" by Neoclassical visitors, who saw it as the best-preserved Roman temple in the world - it is surrounded by forty-two columns nearly 20 meters in height). Thus three Eastern deities were worshipped in Roman guise: thundering Jove, the god of storms, stood in for Baal-Hadad, Venus for ‘Ashtart (known in English as Astarte) and Bacchus for Anatolian Dionysus.

The Roman construction was built on top of earlier ruins and involved the creation of an immense raised plaza onto which the actual buildings were placed. The sloping terrain necessitated the creation of retaining walls on the north, south and west sides of the plaza. These walls are built of monoliths at their lowest level each weighing approximately 400 tons. The western, tallest retaining wall has a second course of monoliths containg the famous "trilithon"; a row of three stones each weighing in excess of 1000 tons. A fourth, still larger stone called "the stone of the south" (Hajar el Gouble) or "the stone of the pregnant woman" (Hajar el Hibla) lays unused in a nearby quarry. Had it been freed from the quarry, it would have been the largest stone ever moved, larger than the famous unfinished obelisk in Aswan. Another of the Roman ruins, the Great Court, has six 20 m-tall stone columns surviving, out of an original 128.

Jupiter-Baal was represented locally (on coinage) as a beardless god in long scaly drapery, holding a whip in his right hand and thunderbolts and ears of wheat in his left. Two bulls supported him. In this guise he passed into European worship in the 3rd century and 4th century AD. The icon of Helipolitan Zeus (in A.B. Cook, Zeus, i:570-576) bore busts of the seven planetary powers on the front of the pillarlike term in which he was encased. A bronze statuette of this Heliopolitan Zeus was discovered at Tortosa, Spain; another was found at Byblos in Phoenicia. A comparable iconic image is the Lady of Ephesus (see illustration) (Robert Graves, The Greek Myths I.4).

Details in Temple of Jupiter
Details in Temple of Jupiter

Other Emperors enriched the sanctuary of Heliopolitan Jupiter each in turn. Nero (54-68 AD) built the tower-altar opposite the Temple of Jupiter, Trajan added the forecourt to the Temple of Jupiter, with porticos of pink granite brought from Aswan in Egypt. Antoninus Pius built the Temple of Bacchus, the best preserved of the sanctuary's structures, for it was protected by the very rubble of the site's ruins. It is enriched with refined reliefs and sculpture. Septimus Severus added a pentagonal Temple of Venus, who as Aphrodite had enjoyed an early Syrian role with her consort Adonis ("Lord", the Aramaic translation of "Baal."). Christian writers competed with one another to execrate her worship. Eusebius of Caesarea, down the coast, averred that 'men and women vie with one another to honour their shameless goddess; husbands and fathers let their wives and daughters publicly prostitute themselves to please Astarte'. Emperor Philip the Arab (244-249) was the last to add a monument at Heliopolis— the hexagonal forecourt. When he was finished Heliopolis and Praeneste in Italy were the two largest sanctuaries in the Western world.

The extreme licence of the Heliopolitan worship of Aphrodite was often commented upon by early Christian writers, and Constantine, making an effort to curb the Venus cult, built a basilica. Theodosius I erected another, with a western apse, occupying the main court of the Jupiter temple, as was Christian practice everywhere. The vast stone blocks of its walls were taken from the temple itself. Today nothing of the Theodosian basilica remains.

[edit] Early Islamic period

In 637 A.D Muslim army under Abu Ubaida ibn al-Jarrah captured Baalbek after defeating the Byzantine army at Battle of Yarmouk, it was still an opulent city and yielded rich booty. It became a bone of contention between the various Syrian dynasties and the caliphs first of Damascus, then of Egypt. The place was fortified and took on the name al-Qala‘ ("fortress"; see Alcala) but in 748 was sacked again with great slaughter. The Byzantine emperor John Tzimisces sacked the city in 975. In 1090 it passed to the Seljuks and in 1134 to Zengi; but after 1145 it remained attached to Damascus and was captured by Saladin in 1175. The Crusaders raided its valley more than once, but never took the city. Three times shaken by earthquakes in the 12th century, it was dismantled by 1260. But it revived, and most of its fine mosque and fortress architecture, still extant, belongs to the reign of Sultan Qalawun (1282) and the succeeding century, during which Abulfeda describes it as a very strong place. In 1400 Timur pillaged it.

[edit] Ottoman period

In 1517 it passed, with the rest of Syria, to the Ottoman Empire. But Ottoman jurisdiction was merely nominal in the Lebanon. Baalbeck, badly shaken in an earthquake in 1759 was really in the hands of the Metawali (see Lebanon), who retained it against other Lebanese tribes. The colossal and picturesque ruins attracted particularly intrepid Westerners since the 18th century. The English visitor, Robert Wood, with Dawson was not simply a tourist: his carefully measured drawings were engraved for The Ruins of Baalbeck (1757), which provided some excellent new detail in the Corinthian order that British and European Neoclassical architects added to their vocabulary. Robert Adam, for example, based a bed[1] and one of the ceilings at Osterley House on the ceiling of the Temple of Bacchus, and the portico of St George's, Bloomsbury is based on that temple's portico[2].

Even after Jezzar Pasha, the rebel governor of Acre province, broke the power of the Metawali in the last half of the 18th century, Baalbeck was no destination for the traveller unaccompanied by an armed guard. The anarchy that succeeded his death in 1804 was ended only by the Egyptian occupation (1832). With the treaty of London (1840) Baalbeck became really Ottoman, the Encyclopaedia Britannica (1911) reported, and since about 1864 had attracted great numbers of tourists. In November 1898, the German Emperor Wilhelm II on his way to Jerusalem, and passing by Baalbeck was equally struck by the magnificence of the ruins projecting from the rubble, and the dreary condition. Within a month, the German archaeological team he dispatched was at work on the site. The campaign produced meticulously presented and illustrated series of volumes.

[edit] World Heritage Site

"Baalbeck, with its colossal structures, is one of the finest examples of Imperial Roman architecture at its apogee", UNESCO reported in making Baalbek a World Heritage Site in 1984. When the Committee inscribed the site, it expressed the wish that the protected area include the entire town within the Arab walls, as well as the south-western extramural quarter between Bastan-al-Khan, the Roman site and the Mameluk mosque of Ras-al-Ain. Lebanon's representative gave assurances that the Committee's wish would be honored.

[edit] Israel-Lebanon conflict

Baalbeck, which has a Shiite majority, is considered for years as Hezbollah's "strategic headquarter" and some of the organization's commanders live in it. It is housing also a hospital which serves the Hezbollah and an Islamic college. According to the Hezbollah, the team that kidnapped the two Israeli soldiers on July 13th, 2006, and brought Israel to declare war, trained in Baalbeck region. [citation needed]

On August 2, 2006, Israeli helicopter-borne soldiers supported by bombs from aircraft entered the Hikmeh Hospital in Baalbeck to capture senior members of Hezbollah who they believed to be in the building. The result of fighting between the fighters and Israeli forces was minor damage to the hospital. Several gunmen were killed and weapons and ammunition were seized from inside the hospital building. No patients were hospitalized at the time.[2][3] It has been reported that during the conflict, vibrations caused by bombs damaged the ruins; UNESCO was to help coordinate restoration efforts.[4]

[edit] Gallery

Templo de Baco, reconstrucción