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Of all the archaelogical sites that I have visited so far, Palmyra is the most impressive. The wealthy city of the ancient world, which laid abandoned and hidden under the desert for centuries is now a UNESCO-listed site.
Originally known by the Semitic name of Tadmor – which is now the name of the neighbouring modern town – Palmyra was once a commercial hub along a busy trade route. References to Palmyra appear in the Bible as well as in other historical writings, some dating as far back as the second millennium BC. However, it was from the first century BC that caravans stopped there along the old Silk Road, contributing to its wealth. Because of that,the city was conquered by the Assyrians, the Persians and then the Seleucids. It was under Rome however that Palmyra experienced its peak. As the Roman Empire expanded in the first and second centuries BC, Palmyra became one of its provinces. The relationship between the city and Rome developed over time, with Palmyra managing to retain a high level of independence.
The city’s most infamous figure was Queen Zenobia. Following the assassination of her husband, King Odainat, Zenobia claimed control of the region on behalf of the couple’s young son, Vabalathus. After a mighty attempt to claim independence from Rome, in 272 AD, Zenobia’s rule ended when she was taken to Rome. Not long after this, Palmyra’s fortunes began to decline, especially after its people were massacred for rising up against Rome, resulting in the destruction of much of the city.
Successive emperors, such as Diocletian and Justinian, fortified its remains, turning Palmyra into a military outpost. Consecutive of the fall of the Roman Empire Palmyra was taken over by Muslim forces, but it never regained its original glory.
Most of the extensive ruins of Palmyra today date back to its time under Roman rule, particularly the second and third centuries.

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Additional Photos by Adina Buliga (spigola) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 32 W: 0 N: 47] (473)
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