Daily Life in Ancient Rome - Jerome Carcopino


While the Romans may have done a bit of remodeling, I don't think they built the temple at Baalbek.

Some interesting items about Baalbek from an as yet unpublished MS of mine:

Here is the version of the event from Pseudo-Zachariah which, as you will see, has been edited:

The version from Michael the Syrian:

And a second entry on the topic from Michael the Syrian:

Obviously, a lot of copying was going on. Question is, what was the original text and when was it written?

Aside from the fascinating idea that Baalbek was thought by the peoples of that time to be the Temple of Solomon – or at least A temple built by Solomon - the reference to the three large stones is interesting. As it happens, the Western retaining wall has a course of monoliths containing the famous trilithon: a row of three stones, each over 19 meters long, 4.3 meters high, and 3.6 meters across. They weigh about 800 tons each. About a mile from the site there are two unused stones in a quarry weighing 1000 and 1200 tons respectively.

But most of all, notice the description of the means by which the temple was destroyed: “fire from heaven” and “lightning from heaven”. That was either the most gargantuan lightning bolt in history or it was actually an overhead comet explosion. The fact that the author says “fire/lightning from heaven” as opposed to ordinary lightning from a cloud, suggests that it was something quite out of the ordinary and this was the best way it could be described. Of course, something may have been lost in the translation.

[1] F. J. Hamilton, E.W. Brooks, trans. Eds., The Syriac chronicle known as that of Zachariah of Mitylene, Methuen, 1899, facsimile copy, Bibliolife Books. P. 204.

The Zuqnin Chronicle is a medieval chronicle written in Classical Syriac language, encompassing the events from Creation to c. 775 CE. It was most probably produced in the Zuqnin Monastery near Amida (the modern Turkish city of Diyarbakır) on the upper Tigris. The work is preserved in a single handwritten manuscript (Cod. Vat. 162), now in the Vatican (shelf mark Vatican Syriac 162). The fourth part of the chronicle provides a detailed account of life of Christian communities in the Middle East, including regions of Syria, Mesopotamia, Palestine and Egypt, during and after the Muslim conquest.

I agree. The Baalbek temple was not built by the Romans. My reference to the temple as Roman, sprang to the fact, that 1) It is widely known as The roman temple of Baalbek, 2) Since we don't surely know who build the temple, I can only go for the general idea when I refer to the temple. Baalbek, the sheer size and magnitude of Baalbek struck me when I looked at the building during my study. Of course, the official narrative is dismissive of the idea that Baalbek was pre-Roman, or even much older and my scanty knowledge of Roman architecture did not furnish me to argue on the matter with my lecturers, not if I wanted to graduate.

However, it is obvious that much much more do discover about Baalbek.

Brian Foerster



Done some good work on the investigation of the Baalbek mystery in regards to the possible megalithic origin of the building.

I myself have not researched Baalbek, although I wish to, if I live long enough to pursue all the projects I want to accomplish. :-D
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