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American Tract Society Bible Dictionary

Tadmor or Tamar

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A palm-tree, 1 Kings 9:18 , a city founded by Solomon in the desert of Syria, on the borders of Arabia Dessert, towards the Euphrates, 2 Chronicles 8:4 . It was remote from human habitations, on an oasis in the midst of a dreary wilderness; and it is probable that Solomon built it to facilitate his commerce with the East, as it afforded a supply of water, a thing of the utmost importance in an Arabian desert. It was about one hundred and twenty miles northeast of Damascus, more than half the distance to the Euphrates. The original name was preserved till the time of Alexander, who extended his conquests to this city, which then exchanged its name Tadmor for that of Palmyra, both signifying that it was a "city of palms." It submitted to the Romans about the year 130, and continued in alliance with them during a period of one hundred and fifty years. In the third century the famous queen Zenobia reigned here over all the adjacent provinces, till conquered and carried captive to Rome by Aurelian. When the Saracens triumphed in the East, they acquired possession of this city, and restored its ancient name. It is still called Thadmor. Of the time of its ruin there is no authentic record; but it is thought, with some probability, that its destruction occurred during the period in which it was occupied by the Saracens.

Of its appearance in modern times Messrs. Wood and Dawkins, who visited it in 1751, thus speak: "It is scarcely possible to imagine anything more striking than this view. So great a number of Corinthian pillars, mixed with so little wall or solid building, afforded a most romantic variety of prospect." Volney observes, "In the space covered by these ruins, we sometimes find a palace, of which nothing remains but the court and walls; sometimes a temple, whose peristyle is half thrown down; and now a portico, a gallery, a triumphal arch. If from this striking scene we cast our eyes upon the ground, another almost as varied presents itself. On which side soever we look, the earth is strowed with vast stones half buried, with broken entablatures, mutilated friezes, disfigured reliefs, effaced sculptures, violated tombs, and altars defiled by the dust." Most of the edifices the ruins of which are above described, date from the first three centuries of the Christian era; while shapeless mounds of rubbish, covered with soil and herbage, contain the only memorials of the Tadmor of Solomon. The city was situated under and east of a ridge of barren hills, and its other sides were separated only by a wall from the open desert. It was originally about ten miles in circumference; but such have been the destructions effected by time, that the boundaries are with difficulty traced and determined.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of the topics are from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary published in 1859.

Bibliography Information
Rand, W. W. Entry for 'Tadmor or Tamar'. American Tract Society Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/ats/t/tadmor-or-tamar.html. 1859.

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