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ruins afford some remains of luxury and opu lence, yet in these respects they are much inferior to Palmyra; and this deserves to be explained. Palmyra was undoubtedly very ancient. "The two springs of fresh water it possesses (says Volney) were, above all, a powerful inducement in a desert every where else so parched and barren. These, doubtless, were the two principal motives which drew the attention of Solomon, and induced that commer

the limits of Judea." "He built strong walls there (says the historian Josephus), to secure himself in the possession, and named it Tadmor, which signifies the Place of Palin-trees." Hence it has been inferred that Solomon was its first founder; but we should, from this passage, be rather led to conclude that it was already a place of known importance. The palm-trees he found there are not the trees of uninhabited countries. Prior to the days of Moses, the journeys of Abraham and Jacob from Mesopotamia into Syria, sufficiently prove a communication between these countries, which must soon have made Palmyra flourish. The cinnamon and pearls mentioned in the time of the Hebrew legislator, demon

PALMYRA, or Tadmor, is a noble city of | ancient Syria, now in ruins, the origin of whose name is uncertain. Neither is it well known by whom this city was built; for though, from the identity of the names, it is thought by many to have been the Tudmor in the wilderness || built by Solomon, this point, however, is much controverted by many learned men. The world have been long and justly astonished to find in the desert of Syria, at a distance from the sca, with a very precarious and scanty sup-cial prince to carry his arms so remote from ply of water only, and without a particular connection with any great monarchy, ruins of a city more extensive and spicadid than Rome itself, the deposit of all the arts which Greece in its most flourishing periods could afford. The problem is an intricate one; yet when we divest it of many of its difficulties, we shall bring this stupendous prodigy to no very uncommon magnitude. The coast of Syria was in very early ages rich and populous; and either from the conveniency of procuring water, or from the vicinity of India and Egypt, the population, instead of increasing on the mountains, extended to Judea, and from thence through its plains only to the internal parts. The ruins of this numerous people, and of their habitations, remain; but as their edifi-strate a trade with India and the Persian Gulph, ces were not uncommonly splendid, or, as the which must have been carried on by the causes of their destruction were powerful, Euphrates and Palmyra. At this distance of they have not attracted much attention. Yet time, when the greater part of monuments of the ruins of more than thirty towns are dis- these early ages have perished, we are liable to coverable to the south east of the Red Sea, form very false opinions concerning the state and from thence towards Tadmor or Palmyra. of these countries in those remote times, aud This splendid city was not, therefore, insulated || are the more easily deceived, as we admit as in a mass of sand; it was probably a link of a historical facts antecedent events of an entirecontinued chain of population, or perhaps itsly different character. If we observe, howtermination. The situations of towns in theever, that men in all ages are united by the sandy desart must necessarily be determined by loral advantages. Tadmor is situated where two hills converge, and beyond the point where they approach. These hills afforded water, that necessary aid to animal life, and the aqueducts through which it was brought from them were discovered and described by Mr. Wood. Though the other towns now in

same interests and the same desires, we cannot help concluding, that a commercial intercourse must early have taken place between one nation and another, and that this intercourse must have been nearly the same with that of more modern times. Without, therefore, going higher than the reign of Solomon, the invasion of Tadmor by that prince is

sufficient alone to throw a great light on the history of this city. The king of Jerusalem would never have carried his attention to so distant and detached a spot without some powerful motive of interest; and this interest could be no other than that of an extensive commerce, of which this place was already the emporium. This commerce extended itself to India, and the Persian Gulph was the principal point of union."


Palmyra; but the genius of the Egyptians, perhaps the laws of Egypt, prevented it.

There is, however, no authentic history of Palmyra till after the captivity of the Roman Emperor Valerian by the Persians. It is first mentioned by the Roman historians, as a place which Mark Antony attempted to plunder, upon pretence that it had not observed a just neutrality between the Romans and Parthians. Pliny takes notice of it as being situated in a rich soil, among pleasant streams, and totally separated from the rest of the world by a vast sandy desart, which had preserved its independence between Parthia and Rome. There is still a considerable spot of good soil next the town and on the hills; and even in the wilderness there were palms and fig-trees, some of

After the captivity of Valerian, it became an opulent city, to which its situation in the vicinity of the Roman and Parthian empires greatly contributed; as the caravans,

quented the place, and thus rendered it a considerable seat of merchandize. It enjoyed an independency till the time of Trajan; who, having made himself master of almost all the Parthian empire, reduced Palmyra likewise, and it was afterwards accounted part of the

From the nature of the commodities, from the requisite assistance of the Tyrians, and other forcible arguments, M. Volney shows that the Persian Gulph was the centre of the most ancient commerce of the eastern world; and that it was with a view of obtaining a shorter route, by means of the Euphrates, that Solomon turned his attention to Tadmor, dis-which remained till the latter end of the seventant but three days journey from it. We teenth century, though not one is now to be may even reasonably conjecture, when we re- found. flect on the revolutions of the following ages, that this commerce became a principal cause of those various wars in Lower Asia, for which the barren chronicles of those early times assign no motives. If, after the reign of Solo-in going to or returning from the East, fremon, the Assyrians of Nineveh turned their ambitious views towards Chaldea, and the lower part of the Euphrates, it was with the intention to approach that great source of opulence the Persian Gulph. If Babylon, from being the vassal of Nineveh, in a short time became her rival, and the seat of a new empire, it was because her situation rendered her the emporium of this lucrative trade; in short, if the kings of this great city waged perpetual wars with Jerusalem and Tyre, their object was not only to despoil these cities of their riches, but to prevent their invading their trade by the way of the Red Sea. An historian who has informed us that Nabucho-companied with considerable presents; but by donosor, before he laid siege to Jerusalem, took possession of Tadmor, clearly indicates that the latter city acted in concert with the two neighbouring capitals. Their gradual decline became, under the Persian empire and the successors of Alexauder, the efficient cause of the sudden greatness of Palmyra in the time of the Parthians and Romans; she then enjoyed a long peace for many centuries, which allowed her inhabitants to erect those monuments of opulence whose ruins we still admire. If the former observations showed the connection of this remote spot with a more populous country, these remarks explain the cause of the renovation, and of the magnificence of this city. These remarks are at least probable, and are, in our opinion, very convincing. Cairo, in another, probably a subordinate route, never attained the splendor of No. XXXVII. Vol. V.

Roman dominions. But when the defeat and captivity of Valerian had so much weakened the empire that the Persians seemed to be in a fair way of becoming masters of all the eastern provinces, the Palmyrenians began to entertain thoughts of recovering their liberty. Odenathus, prince of Palmyra, sent a very respectable letter to Sapor on his return, ac

that haughty conqueror his letter and embassy were treated with the most provoking contempt. The presents were thrown into the Euphrates; and to his letter Sapor replied,→ That his insolence in presuming to write to his lord was inexcusable; but if he could atone for it in any way, it would be by presenting himself before the throne bound hand and foot, in token of a consciousness of his crime, and the punishment he deserved. With this injurions treatment Odenathus was so provoked, that he swore either to bring down the pride of the haughty conqueror, or die in the attempt. Accordingly, having assembled what forces he could, he fell upon the Persians, destroyed a number of them, took a great part of their baggage, and some of the king's concubines. Of the war of Odenathus with the Persians, however, we know very little; only X

that though the latter were often vauquished, || salutary edicts, recalled the fugitives, and and the independency of Palmyra established || granted a general pardon to all who, from for the present, yet Valerian was never released from his captivity, though Odenathus earnestly wished to have the honour of rescuing him from his enemies.

necessity rather than choice, had been engaged in the service of the Palmyrenian queen. The unexpected mildness of such a conduct reconciled the minds of the Syrians, and, as far as the gates of Emesa, the wishes of the people secunded the terror of his arms.

Odenathus enjoyed his sovereignty but a very short time, being murdered by bis nephew, who was soon after put to death by Zenobia would have ill deserved her reputaZenobia, the wife of Odenathus. This lady is tion, had she indolently permitted the emperor said to have beeu possessed of very extra- of the West to approach within a hundred ordinary endowments both of body and mind, miles of her capital. The fate of the East was being, according to Mr Gibbon, almost the decided in two great battles; so similar in only Asiatic woman who is recorded to have || almost every circumstance, that we can scarceovercome the obstacles arising from the con- ly distinguish them from each other, except fined situation of the fair sex in that part of by observing that the first was fought near the world. Immediately on taking vengeance Autioch, and the second near Emesa. In both for the murder of her husband, she assumed the Queen of Palmyra animated the armies by the government, and soon strengthened herself her presence, and devolved the execution of so much, that she resolved to submit neither her orders on Zabdas, who had ready signato the Roman nor Persian power. The neigh- lized his military talents by the conquest of byuring states of Arabia, Armenia, and Persia, || Egypt. The numerous forces of Zenobia condreaded her enmity, and solicited her alliauce. sisted for the most part of light archers, and of To the dominions of Odenathus, which ex- heavy cavalry clothed in complete steel. The tended from the Euphrates to the frontiers of Moorish and Illyrian horse of Aurelian were Bithynia, his widow added the inheritance of || unable to sustain the ponderous charge of their her ancestors, the populous and fertile king-antagonists. They fled in real or affected disdom of Egypt. The Emperor Claudius acknowledged her merit, aud was content, that, while he pursued the Gothic war, she should assert the dignity of the empire in the East. The conduct, however, of Zenobia, was attended with some ambiguity; nor is it unlikely that she had conceived the design of erecting an independent and hostile monarchy. She blended with the popular manners of Roman princes the stately pomp of the courts of Asia, and exacted from her subjects the same adoration that was paid to the successors of Cyrus. She bestowed on her three sons a Latin edu- || cation, and often showed them to the troops || adorned with the imperial purple. For herself she reserved the diadem, with the splendid but doubtful title of Queen of the East.

When Aurelian passed over into Asia, against an adversary whose sex alone could render her an object of contempt, his presence restored obedience to the province of Bithynia, already shaken by the arms and intrigues of Zenobia Advancing at the head of his legions, he accepted the submission of Ancyra; and was admitted into Tyana, after an obstinate siege, by the help of a perfidious citizen. The generous, though fierce temper of Aurelian, abandoned the traitor to the rage of the soldiers a superstitious reverence induced him to treat with lenit, the countrymen of Apollonius the philosopher. Antioch was deserted - on his approach; till the Emperor, by his

order, engaged the Palmyrenians in a laborious pursuit, harassed them by a desultory combat, and at length discomfited this impenetrable but unwieldy body of cavalry. The light infantry, in the mean time, when they had exhausted their quivers, remaining without protection against a closer onset, exposed their naked sides to the swords of the legions. Aurelian had chosen these veteran troops who were usually stationed on the Upper Danube, and whose valour had been severely tried in the Allemannic war. After the defeat of Emesa, Zenobia found it impossible to collect a third army. As far as the frontier of Egypt, the nations subject to her empire had joined the standard of the conqueror; who detached Probus, the bravest of his generals, to possess himself of the Egyptian provinces. Palmyra was the last resource of the widow of Odenathus. She retired within the walls of her capital; made every preparation for a vigorous resistance; and declared with the intrepidity of a heroine, that the last moment of her reign and of her life should be the same.

In his march over the sandy desart, between Emesa and Palmyra, the Emperor Aurelian was perpetually harassed by the Arabs; nor could he always defend his army, and especially his baggage, from those flying troops of active and daring robbers, who watched the moment of surprise, and directed the slow pursuit of the legions. The siege of Palmyra was an object

far more difficult and important; and the Emperor, who with incessant vigour pressed the attacks in person, was himself wounded with a dart. "The Roman people (says Aurelian, in an original letter), speak with contempt of the war which I am waging against a woman. They are ignorant both of the character and of the power of Zenobia. It is impossible to enumerate her warlike preparations, of stones, of arrows, and of every species of missile weapons. Every part of the walls is provided with two or three balista, and artificial fires are thrown from her military engines. The fear of punishment has armed her with a desperate courage. Yet I trust still in the protecting deities of Rome, who have hitherto been favourable to all my undertakings." Doubtful, however, of the protection of the gods, and of the event of the siege, Aurelian judged it more prudent to offer terms of an advantageous capitulation: to the queen, a splendid retreat; to the citizens, their ancient privileges. His proposals were obstinately rejected, and the refusal was accompanied with insult.


provinces that had renounced their allegiance since the captivity of Valerian.

When the Syrian queen was brought into the presence of Aurelian, he sternly asked her, How she had presumed to rise in arms agaiust the emperors of Rome? The answer of Zeno|| bia was a prudent mixture of respect and firmness:" Because I disdained to consider as Roman emperors an Auranolus or a Gallienus. You alone I acknowledge as my conqueror and my sovereign." But as female fortitude is commonly artificial, so it is seldom steady or consistent. The courage of Zenobia deserted her in the hour of trial; she trembled at the angry clamours of the soldiers, who called aloud for her immediate execution; forgot the generous despair of Cleopatra, which she had proposed as her model; and ignominiously purchased her life by the sacrifice of her fame and her friends. It was to their councils, which governed the weakness of ber sex, that she imputed the guilt of her obstinate resistance; it was on their heads that she directed the vengeance of the cruel Aurelian. The fame of Longinus, who was included among the numerous and perhaps innocent victims of her fear, will survive that of the queen who betrayed, or the tyrant who condemned him. Genius and learning were incapable of moving a fierce unlettered soldier, but they had served to elevate and harmonise the soul of Longinus. Without uttering a complaint, he calmly followed the executioner, pitying his unhappy mistress, and bestowing comfort on his afflicted friends.

Returning from the conquest of the East, Aurelian had already crossed the straits which divided Europe from Asia, when he was provoked by the intelligence that the Palmyrenians had massacred the governor and garrison which he had left among them, and again erected the standard of revolt. Without a moment's deliberation, he once more turned his face towards Syria. Antioch was alarmed by his rapid approach, and the helpless city of Palmyra felt the irresistible weight of his resentment. We have a letter of Aurelian him

The firmness of Zenobia was supported by the hope that in a very short time famine would compel the Roman army to repass the desart; and by the reasonable expectation that the kings of the East, and particularly the Persian monarch, would arm in the defence of their most natural ally. But fortune, and the perseverance of Aurelian, overcame every ob. stacle. The death of Sapor, which happened about this time, distracted the councils of Persia; and the inconsiderable succours that attempted to relieve Palmyra were easily intercepted either by the arms or the liberality of the Emperor. From every part of Syria a regular succession of convoys safely arrived in the camp, which was increased by the return of Probus with his victorious troops from the conquest of Egypt. It was then that Zenobia resolved to fly. She mounted the fleetest of her dromedaries; and had already reached the banks of the Euphrates, about sixty miles from Palmyra, when she was overtaken by the pursuit of Aurelian's light horse, seized, and self, in which he acknowledges, that old men, brought back a captive to the feet of the Em-woinen, children, and peasants, had been inperor. Her capital soon after surrendered, and was treated with unexpected lenity. The arms, horses, and camels, with an immense treasure of gold, silver, silk, and precious stones, were all delivered to the conqueror; who, leaving only a garrison of six hundred archers, returned to Emesa, and employed some time in the distribution of rewards and punishments at the end of so memorable a war, which restored to the obedience of Rome those

volved in the dreadful execution, which should have been confined to armed rebellion: and although his principal concern seems directed to the re-establishment of a temple of the sun, he discovers some pity for the remnant of the Palmyrenians, to whom he grants the permission of rebuilding and inhabiting their city. But it is easier to destroy than to restore. The seat of commerce, of arts, and of Zenobia, gradually sunk into an obscure town, ♫

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trifling fortress, and at length a miserable village.

Mr. Wood is of opinion, that the face of the country which surrounds Palmyra was always ⠀⠀ the same; but though Palmyra was always said to be situated in a wilderness, it does not follow that the wilderness was always of the same extent: it is perhaps more probable, that when Palmyra was first settled, the rich soil mentioned by Pliny extended much farther; for whatever were the reasons for making a settlement there, Palmyra can scarcely be supposed to have invited a greater number of people than it could feed. The palms and fig-trees that were formerly found on the bills, and in the borders of the desart, that are now totally barren, confirm this opinion. Mr. Wood observes, that while he was there a whirlwind happened, which took up such quantities of sand as quite darkened the sky; this sand therefore might by degrees encroach upon the fertile environs of Palmyra, and reduce the number of inhabitants as it reduced their sustenance, till a few wretched families were only left, who found it difficult to furnish food for Mr. Wood and his company, though they did not continue longer than a fortnight among them. It will also appear from history, that what is supposed to have happened here has happened at other places, where such an event was much less probable. On the sea coast in the neighbourhood of St. Pol de Leon, in Lower Bretagne, there is a considerable tract of land which before the year 1666 was inhabited, but which was rendered uninhabitable by a sand, which encroaching every year, covered it to the depth of above twenty feet. In the year 1719 it had advanced more than six leagues, and within one league of St. Pol; so that it was then thought probable that the town would of necessity be abandoned. This sand is raised by the East and North-East wind, which drives it in clouds with great swiftness, and in a prodigious quantity. It was also attested by the Captain of a ship, and all on board, that in the year 1719 there fell in the Atlantic Ocean, at fifteen degrees of North latitude, and at the distance of more than eight leagues from any land, a shower of sand, some of which they produced, and deposited in the academy at Paris.

The company with whom Mr. Wood, the publisher of the Ruins of Palmyra, travelled, arrived at length at the end of the plain, where a ridge of barren hills, by which it was divided on the right and left, seemed to meet; between them there was a vale, through which an aqueduct forme: ly conveyed water to Palmyra. On each side of this vale they remark

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ed several sepulchres of the ancient Palmyrenes, which they had scarce passed when the hills opening on a sudden, they discovered such piles of ruin as they had never seen. They were all of white marble; and beyond them, towards the Euphrates, was a wide level, stretching farther than the eye could reach, totally desolate, without variety, and without bounds. After having gazed some time upon this prospect, which rather exceeded than fell short of their expectations, they were conducted to one of the huts of the Arabs, of which there are about thirty in the court of the great temple. The inhabitants of both sexes were well shaped, and the women, though very swarthy, had good features. They were veiled, but did not so scrupulously conceal their faces as the eastern women generally do. They paint the ends of their fingers red, their lips blue, and their eye-brows and eye-lashes black. They had large rings of gold or brass in their ears and nostrils, and appeared to be healthy and robust. The walls of the city are flanked by square towers, into which some ancientfuneral monuments have been converted; but the walls are in most places level with the ground, aud sometimes not to be traced. It is, however, probable, by their general direc tion, that they included the great temple, and are three miles in circumference. The Arabs showed a tract which was near ten miles in circumference, the soil of which was raised a little above the level of the desart: this, they said, was the extent of the old city; and that by digging in any part of it, ruins were discovered.

Many inscriptions have been found at Palmyra, which have occupied much of the attention of the learned; and if any thing certain could be derived from them, there is no doubt but they would tend very considerably to the elucidation of ancient history.

Palmyra was visited by Mr. Bruce before his journey into Abyssinia; but, on account of the many publications concerning these celebrated ruins, he has declined saying much concerning them. He informs us, that before he came in sight of the rains, he ascended a hill of white gritty stone, in a very narrow winding road, such as is called a pass; but on getting up to the top his eyes were struck with the most stupendous sight which, he believes, ever mortal saw. The whole plain below, which is very extensive, was so covered with magnificent buildings, that they seemed to touch one another. All of them are finely proportioned, agreeably shaped, and composed of white stones, which at that distance appeared like marble. In taking a draught of these ruins,

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