Astrology and Judaism in Late Antiquity
There was more to Hellenistic astrology than the "wheels within wheels" of horoscopy. There was also an astral religion. By this term we do not necessarily mean anything as formal as the Christian religion, with theologies and liturgies, although astral theologies and liturgies did exist. Rather, we mean that when people looked into the sky, they thought they saw living creatures, who looked back at them, who planned their lives, and who communicated with them. The "laws" of astrology were the habits of the gods from this point of view. Astral religion was based on the sort of awe we see in Ptolemy's epigram or the opening passage of Julian's Hymn to Helios.
. . . from my childhood an extraordinary longing for the rays "of the god penetrated deep into my soul; and from my earliest "years my mind was so completely swayed by the light that "illumines the heavens that not only did I desire to gaze "intently at the sun, but whenever I walked abroad in the night "season, when the firmament was clear and cloudless, I abandoned "all else without exception and gave myself up to the beauties of "the heavens; nor did I understand what anyone might say to me, "nor heed what I was doing myself. I was considered to be "over-curious about these matters and to pay too much attention "to them, and people went so far as to regard me as an "astrologer."/1/This belief in a living sky, a sort of empire of the heavens, was part of the "common coin" of thought in the Hellenistic world, found in the civic cults of the Fertile Crescent, in mystery religions such as Mithraism,/2/ in magical texts,/3/ and in philosophies as diverse as Hermetism,/4/ Stoicism, Gnosticism,/5/ and Middle and Neo Platonism./6/ It was shared, with qualifications, by Jews and Christians as well, and, indeed, remained an important part of the medieval world-view, among Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike./7/
Since it is not practical to discuss astral religion in all regions of the Greco-Roman world,/8/ we will concentrate on the geographical region of Syria. We will concern ourselves specifically with the civic cults, since they represent the beliefs of the public. The views of the philosophers, the devotees of the mystery religions, the magicians and the patrons of the synagogue mosaics were probably derived from the public cultus of the planets and the heavens, not vice versa.
Our evidence is of several sorts. Little survives of whatever pagan Syrians may have written about their religion. Lucian's On the Syrian Goddess is the major exception, but it says little about astral religion. Christian writers, especially those in northern Syria, do refer to pagan religion frequently, although they are usually polemical and rarely give many details about the actual cultus. Islamic writers, too, preserve interesting accounts which pertain to our period. Elsewhere we must rely on archaeological evidence, especially art. The composite result is a picture of Syrian polytheism which involves astral religion and which uses astrological symbolism to emphasize the power and majesty of the gods.
Geographical Syria is the region south of the Taurus mountains, and north of Egypt. It is bounded on the west by the Mediterranean Sea, while the Syrian Desert separates Syria from Mesopotamia, almost like a second ocean. At the northeast, it merges into Mesopotamia to form the Fertile Crescent./9/ Its southern part, Palestine, included Judaea and Galilee (the sites of the synagogue mosaics) among its regions. A series of mountain ranges parallels the coast, effectively separating it from the interior. This, in turn, is further divided by the Rift Valley, also running north- south. The Rift is deepest in Palestine, where it contains the Jordan River, the Sea of Galilee, and the Dead Sea./10/
But while the coastal mountains and the Rift Valley divided coastal and central Syria, they allowed north-south travel without too much trouble. Indeed, the major land routes between Egypt, on one hand, and Anatolia and Mesopotamia, on the other, pass through Syria. Likewise, the Rift Valley and the coastal mountains can be crossed in places, connecting the Mediterranean ports with the caravan cities of the interior. This has been both a blessing and a curse, depending on whether the roads were used by invading armies or travelling businessmen./11/
Syria was subject to Mesopotamian influences from long before our period. Akkadian cuneiform was the diplomatic language of Bronze Age Syria, even within the Egyptian Empire. Mesopotamian divination was well known, including the sorts of omens that were collected into Enuma Anu Enlil. The connection became even closer during the Iron Age, when Syria was incorporated into the Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian empires. Indeed, Aramaic, the chief language of Iron Age Syria, eventually replaced Akkadian as the vernacular of Mesopotamia. Even during the following Hellenistic period, the Aramaic language continued to unite Persian-controlled Mesopotamia and Roman Syria./12/
After Alexander's conquests, Syria became a major center of Hellenism as well. Under the Romans, it was one of the richest and the most important parts of the empire. The cities of Syria produced many important Greek intellectuals and artists. Its temples, which are among the most famous examples of Classical architecture, are often decorated with astrological art. Arabs were also influential in Syria during the Hellenistic period, especially outside the major cities./13/
Clear examples of astral religion and astrological symbolism may be seen in the temples of hellenized Syria. We will give particular attention to Harran and Edessa in the north, to Palmyra in the Syrian Desert, to Heliopolis in the Beqaa Valley of modern Lebanon and to Khirbet Tannur in the Nabataean kingdom on the southern and eastern fringes of Palestine. They will allow us to put the synagogue zodiac mosaics into their Syrian context.
Syrian astral religion was connected with two other religious trends. One was the increasing importance of the sun-god, which may be connected with the increasing importance of the Arabs./14/ Already in the first century CE, Vespasian's soldiers at the Battle of Cremona saluted the rising sun "after the Syrian custom."/15/ By the third century CE the emperor Aurelian had made the Syrian sun-god, as Sol Invictus, the official protector of the Roman Empire./16/ Even Constantine promoted Sol Invictus early in his career. His nephew Julian, the last pagan emperor, was a Mithraist, who wrote a famous hymn to the sun./17/
The other trend was a certain tendency towards what we may call "monotheism," for want of a better word./18/ In the Bronze Age, Syrian pantheons had been communities of equals, like the pantheons of Mesopotamia and of Classical Greece. They resembled the ruling class of a city-state. But by the Hellenistic period, the pantheons had come to resemble the rulers of the Persian Empire. The chief god was no longer the first among equals; rather, he was seen as all-powerful, with the other gods viewed as servants merely carrying out his orders, much like the civil servants of a Great King or a Caesar. An astral version of this picture identified the chief god with the sky and his subordinates with the planets./19/ Throughout much of hellenized Syria the chief god was Baal Shamin, the Lord of Heaven, sometimes identified with, sometimes separate from, Hadad, the rain- god./20/ Both were identified with Zeus by Greek-speakers. Astrological art was used to represent this conception./21/
There was a comparable development in some varieties of Judaism, which, after all, was also a Syrian religion. YHWH is called "the God of Heaven" seventeen times in Daniel, Ezra and Nehemiah./22/ The epithet and the conception are both similar to the title "Baal Shamin." Extra-biblical sources also show the same conception. For example, the Jewish colony at Achaemenian Elephantine called its god, Yahu, mr' smy', "Lord of Heaven" in Aramaic./23/
The period also saw a great expansion of angelology. The "Sons of God" are present, but not prominent, in the Hebrew Bible. In later writings, however, they are extremely numerous, powerful, and important. They do the actual work of running the universe for YHWH./24/ To polytheists such as Celsus there might seem to be little or no difference between YHWH and His angels, and Baal Shamin and his divine subordinates./25/
Another development which is relevant, if not directly related, was the rise of Christianity during the period. Christianity was another of the religions of Syria; the very name "Christian" was coined in Antioch, the capitol of Syria. The Christian church was small and persecuted during the first three centuries CE, but became strong and persecuted the pagans from the fourth century onward. Constantine granted toleration to the Christians in 323 CE; seventy years later, the Christian emperor Theodosius outlawed pagan worship. In practice, however, Christianity replaced paganism very slowly during the following centuries. Worshippers of the old gods, including the planets, were found throughout the Byzantine Near East into the seventh century and later./26/ We shall give particular attention to the period after the triumph of Christianity, because this is also the period of the synagogue zodiacs, and a formative one in the history of Judaism in general.
Edessa And HarranEdessa and Harran were in the region where Anatolia, geographical Syria and northern Mesopotamia merge./27/ The region combined Mesopotamian and West Semitic cultures in many ways, and particularly in religion. Edessa is an inhabited city today, while Harran has been abandoned since the thirteenth century CE. Edessa has never been excavated, while Harran was excavated during the 1950s./28/ An extensive literature in Syriac and Arabic provides most of our evidence.
Harran had a distinguished history long before the Hellenistic era./29/ The date of the first settlement is unknown. A probe 10 meters deep in the eastern slope of the tell failed to reach virgin soil./30/ The lowest stratum reached dated to the Early Dynastic II-III periods, in the third millenium BCE. The oldest potsherd found on the site was Samarra ware, dating ca. 6000 BCE./31/
The first written reference to the city and its famous shrine of the Moon was in a letter from Zimri-Lim, the king of Mari, ca. 1850 BCE./32/ The Bible tells us that Abraham lived in Harran before moving on to the land of promise./33/ He buried his father Terah in Harran, according to Genesis. His brother's family stayed in Harran when Abraham moved on to Canaan, and both Isaac and Jacob returned to Harran to find wives among their relatives./34/
Harran also played an important role in the Neo-Assyrian Empire. It had a special tax exemption and its governor was ex officio the senior commander of the Assyrian army./35/ Sin's temple, E-HUL-HUL, was restored by both Shalmaneser and Assurbanipal, and both Esarhaddon and Assurbanipal went to Harran for coronation at the hands of Sin of Harran. Indeed, when the Assyrian Empire finally collapsed, Harran was the last city to be held by the army and the king./36/ Nabonidus, the last Neo-Babylonian king, was a native of Harran and his zeal for Sin of Harran played a significant role in his downfall./37/ Much of what is known of his reign comes from four stelae he and his mother erected in Harran./38/
Harran was rather less important in Achaemenian and Hellenistic times. Alexander did found a colony of veterans there,/39/ and, under the name of Carrhae, it was the scene of Crassus' famous defeat at the hands of the Parthians./40/ Septimius Severus and Caracalla also settled veterans at Carrhae, and in 217 CE the emperor Caracalla was assassinated after visiting a moon-temple there./41/ Coins minted in Harran during the Hellenistic and Roman empires show the continuation of the cult of Sin./42/
With the advent of official Christianity and the outlawing of polytheism, Harran became famous as a pagan stronghold. In fact, it had a notable pagan community well into the Muslim period. The city was finally destroyed by the Mongols in the thirteenth century./43/
Edessa's history is somewhat different. It is a much younger city, founded in 302 BCE by Seleucus Nikator, as one of ten colonies in the region./44/ When the Seleucid kingdom collapsed in the second and first centuries BCE, it became the capital of a small successor kingdom, Osrhoene,/45/ under a dynasty of Nabataean origin./46/ Harran was also part of Osrhoene./47/ The whole region was the scene of much conflict between the competing Roman and Persian Empires, and in the early second century, the kingdom was formally annexed by Rome, perhaps in conjunction with Trajan's planned conquest of Mesopotamia./48/ Osrhoene also was an important trade center, particularly during the days of the Sasanian Persians,/49/ because of its geographical position where Anatolia, Syria and Mesopotamia met./50/
Despite the Greek colonies, the city and the region remained largely Aramaic-speaking. This did not keep Osrhoene from sharing the same intellectual culture as the rest of the hellenized Near East, however. Edessa even became an academic center, and its dialect of Aramaic, called Syriac, became a major literary vehicle for Near Eastern intellectuals. The Persian school of the fifth and sixth centuries CE was particularly well-known./51/ Edessa produced at least one important thinker, Bardaisan, who attempted to reconcile Christianity, astrology, and Platonic philosophy at the end of the second, and the beginning of the third, centuries CE./52/ Harran also had an astral theology.
The polytheistic religion of Osrhoene was a mixture of Greek, Syrian, and Mesopotamian influences, including astral religion. Bel-Marduk and Nebo were the chief gods of Edessa. In Drijvers' words, Bel was:
The kosmokrator, lord of the planets and stars, who guided the world and gave it fertility. He symbolized order in the cosmos and society, because he gave and guaranteed the laws. In his cult astrological practice kept an organic place, because astrology made known the divine creator of order . . . ./53/Nebo mediated between humanity and his father, and was also the divine patron of Edessa's academics./54/ Melito of Sardis, writing in the third century CE, identified him with Orpheus, the subject of a well-known mosaic at Edessa, while others linked him with Hermes Trismegistos and Hermetic philosophy./55/
Atargatis, the famed Syrian Goddess, the equivalent of Aphrodite, was also worshipped in Osrhoene. Her most famous shrine, at Hierapolis or Mabbog, was not far away./56/ Pools filled with sacred fish were, and still are, to be found in both Edessa and Hierapolis. Her Edessan temple probably stood somewhere near the pool./57/
A temple to the sun stood somewhere near the Beth Shemesh Gate; the name means temple of the sun. Likewise stars and crescent moons were often on Edessa's coins. Julian, in his Hymn to Helios, 150 D, says that the Edessans had worshipped the sun "from time immemorial." He associates the sun-cult of Edessa with Azizos and Monimos, whom he says are Hermes and Ares./58/ Monimos and Azizos were Arab gods. Their names mean "the gracious" and "the strong," respectively. While they were worshipped widely, Monimos usually was not a planet-god. Azizos, by contrast, represented the war-like aspects of the planet Venus. More often, however, these aspects were personified as a goddess, al-Uzza, one of the major deities of pre-Islamic Arabia. Her name means the same thing as Azizos, but in the feminine gender./59/ The best known shrine of the moon was at Harran, of course./60/
Edessa took a different road from Harran early in the Christian Era. By the year 200 CE, Edessa had a prominent Christian community, which included important people such as Bardaisan. A century later, Edessa had become officially Christian./61/
The traditional story is found in The Teaching of Addai, usually dated ca. 400 CE. The story tells how king Abgar corresponded with Jesus. After Jesus' ascension, Addai (the Thaddeus of Matthew 10:3 and Mark 3:18), one of Jesus' disciples, was sent to preach the Gospel to Abgar and the Edessans./62/ For our purposes the most interesting section is a sermon which describes Edessa's religion while denouncing it:
I see that this city is filled with paganism which is "contrary "to God. Who is this [man-]made idol Nebo which you worship, and "Bel which you honor? Behold there are those among you who "worship Bath Nical, like the inhabitants of Haran [sic], your "neighbors, and Taratha, like the inhabitants of Mabbog, and the "Eagle, like the Arabs, and the sun and the moon, like the rest "of the inhabitants of Haran who are like you. Do not be led "captive by dazzling lights or the brilliance because everyone "who worships created things is cursed before God./63/Some explanations are necessary. Bel is probably Marduk, the chief god of Babylon, although Sin was called "Bel Harran," Lord of Harran. Taratha is Atargatis. Bath Nical means "daughter of Nikkal." Nikkal, in turn, is NIN.GAL, the wife of Sin. Her daughter may have been Atargatis again. The Eagle may be the constellation Lyra, as among the Arabs, or the sun, as at Hatra, or it may symbolize the sky-god./64/
According to the Doctrine, Abgar and Addai forced no one to become Christian, and even the priest of Bel and Nebo admired the priests ordained by Addai./65/ Addai told his new Christians to avoid pagan people and pagan practices, such as magic, divination in general and astrology in particular. ". . . beware of the pagans who worship the sun and the moon, Bel and Nebo, and the rest of those they call gods . . . ."/66/
One should note that Edessa's cult is explicitly said to be like its neighbors', particularly Mabbog and Harran. The Teachings of Addai also lets slip the information that not all of Edessa's citizens became Christians. Other sources confirm this. When Egeria visited Edessa in the late fourth century or early fifth century/67/ she found the temple of Atargatis open for business. Bishop Rabbula demolished several temples in the fifth century./68/ By his day, of course, such vandalism had the support of the Imperial government. In the fifth century, Jacob of Sarug, a neighboring city, in his The Downfall of the Idols, described the local paganism in much the same terms as Addai: " Nebo, Bil, et beaucoup d'autres dieux."/69/ Even when the Muslims conquered the area in 639 CE, there were a few polytheists left in Edessa; the people of Harran asked their advice before surrendering./70/
Nonetheless, it is clear that Edessa became a largely Christian city early, while Harran remained the local pagan stronghold. Much of Edessa's "paganism" was probably ethnophronia or "pagan-mindedness."/71/ In other words, many Edessans went to church, but also practiced magic, divination, and astrology. Ephrem Syrus denounced astrology in the context of heresy, along with Marcionites, Manichees and followers of Bardaisan./72/ Some of the alleged "paganism" was also the observation of traditional pre-Christian festivals. One example is the New Year's Festival, probably originally the local version of the Babylonian _Akitu_./73/
If the traditional cults had been stronger at Edessa, Julian would not have snubbed the Edessans when he passed through the region on his invasion of Persia. Instead, he stopped to worship in Harran./74/ The genuine pagans of Edessa were not strong enough to keep Rabbula from destroying their temples. By contrast, the pagans of Heliopolis threw him down a staircase when, earlier in his career, he tried to vandalize the idols there./75/ The people of Harran still had a pagan temple as late as the eleventh century./76/
As we have stressed, Harran was a notorious stronghold of polytheism all through the Byzantine period and into the Islamic period. Indeed, the most detailed accounts of Greco- Syrian astral religion come from Islamic period Harran. And unlike Edessa, Harran partially excavated in the 1950s. Almost nothing remains to be seen of the pre-Islamic period, save architectural fragments re-used. The most prominent remains now visible are the Ummayad mosque (where three stelae of Nabonidus were doorsteps), the Christian basilica, and the citadel. From Islamic period sources, we know that these were believed to be built atop ancient temples./77/ The citadel appears to have been built and re-built four times. The original structure is largely covered by later additions, but may be the moon temple of the early Islamic period./78/
Harran had no bishop until one was appointed by the emperor Constantius in 361 CE./79/ He cannot have had much success, for Julian still found the people of Harran congenial a few years later. Theodoret of Cyrrhus, writing ca. 450 CE,/80/ says Harran was full of pagans in the reign of Valens./81/ When Egeria visited the city, she reported that "except for a few clergy and holy monks who live there, I found no Christians, for they are all pagans."/82/ In the Acts of the Council of Chalcedon, 449 CE, the bishop of Harran, Daniel was listed as "bishop of a pagan city."/83/ Daniel himself was a scapegrace who owed his office solely to his important uncle, bishop Huna of Edessa./84/
Procopius of Caesarea, writing in the sixth century CE, says that Harran was still a pagan city in his day. This led to one unexpected circumstance. In 549 CE, the Persian king Khusrau I invaded Syria, and extorted ransom from many cities. But he refused to take a ransom from Harran, not out of friendliness, but because he did not wish to touch the money of polytheists./85/
Harranian paganism outlasted Christian rule in Syria. In fact, the most detailed accounts of their cultus and philosophy are by writers of the Islamic period./86/ The "Sabians," as they called themselves to gain toleration,/87/ played an important role in the development of Arabic science and philosophy and were very interesting to Muslim scholars. Al-Nadim, the tenth century bibliographer, gives the most information, including a complete cultic calendar, listing many sacrifices to the seven planets./8 8/ Other authors describe temples that once existed, with a different shape for each of the planet- gods,/89/ and magical rituals to gain this or that god's help with some enterprise./90/
Even if we discount much as exaggeration, the accounts make it clear that astrology and astral religion was an important part of the native religion of Harran. Moreover, very similar magical rituals are found in the _Nabataean Agriculture_ of the ninth century CE agronomist, Ibn Wahsiyya. If this work is based on Mesopotamian sources of the fifth and sixth centuries CE, as now seems likely, Sabian religion may represent astral religion throughout Sasanian Mesopotamia as well as Byzantine Syria./91/
PalmyraFrom northern Syria we now move to Palmyra. Palmyra is a large oasis in the Syrian Desert, roughly halfway between the Mediterranean coast and the Euphrates, and about 120 miles northeast of Damascus./92/ This position made it an ideal shortcut between the Euphrates and the Mediterranean when times were peaceful./93/ Thus it is appropriate that the oldest known reference to Palmyra is to a merchant, "Puzur-Ishtar the Tadmorean" in the Old Assyrian tablets from K ltepe, ca. 2000 BCE./94/ (Tadmor is still Palmyra's Arabic name; the Greek name, "Palmyra," is probably derived from the Semitic name, which means "date palm.")/95/ Texts from Mari, contemporary with Hammurabi, also speak of merchants from Tadmor./96/ When law and order did not reign, however, both trade and oasis were vulnerable to attackers from the desert, as we see in an inscription of Tiglath-Pileser I (1115-1100 BCE), who fought the Ahlammu Aramaean nomads at Tadmur sha Amurru, "Tadmor of the western country."/97/
Palmyra may also be the "Tadmor in the wilderness" built by Solomon, according to I Kings 9:18 and II Chronicles 8:4./98/ Although there is no general agreement among scholars, the passage in question is about central Syria, and control of the oasis would fit with Solomon's general policy of controlling trade in Syria./99/
Palmyra presumably shared in the same social and political developments as the rest of the Fertile Crescent. It is likely that Palmyra was subject in turn to the Assyrian, Neo-Babylonian and Achaemenian empires. Presumably the Palmyrenes went through the same cultural changes as their neighbors. West Semitic languages have always predominated, and Aramaic was the vernacular during the Roman period./100/ It would not be surprising if a Mesopotamian colony were planted there by the Neo-Assyrian or the Neo-Babylonian dynasties in accord of their general policy of mixing ethnic groups. It would certainly be a neat explanation of how Bel-Marduk became Palmyra's patron deity. Likewise, no one would be surprised if a copy of a Mesopotamian divination text were to be found at Palmyra. They have been found at enough other places in greater Syria. But all this is speculation. No one has found any evidence of Neo-Babylonian or Neo-Assyrian occupation, perhaps because no one has looked. While Western scholars have studied the site of Palmyra since the early eighteenth century, almost all of the research has been concentrated on the spectacular remains of the Roman period.
The first reference to Palmyra in Classical literature is in Appian's Civil War, 5.9. The passage tells how Marc Antony sent troops to plunder the city, without success. Pliny the Elder mentions Palmyra briefly in the geographical section of Natural History:
Palmyra is a city famous for its situation, for the richness "of its soil, and for its agreeable springs; its fields are "surrounded on every side by a vast circuit of sand, and it is "as it were isolated by Nature from the world, having a destiny "of its own between the two mighty empires of Rome and Parthia, "and at the first moment of a quarrel between them always "attracting the attention of both sides. It is 337 miles distant "from Parthian Seleucia, generally known as Seleucia on the "Tigris, 203 miles from the nearest part of the Syrian coast, "and 27 miles less from Damascus."/101/Despite Pliny's statement, Palmyra was firmly in the Roman orbit by his day. During the period of the "Soldier Emperors," in the later third century CE, Palmyra, led by Odenathus and Zenobia, even tried to take over the eastern part of the empire./102/ The attempt was crushed, and the city destroyed, by Aurelian. The city never recovered; trade routes were already shifting north, to the region of Edessa. In later times both Diocletian and Justinian used the oasis as a frontier outpost against the Sasanian Persians, but it had no other importance.
No Greek or Roman writer ever wrote the history of Palmyra. The survey of its history just given is the result of a great number of incidental references in works on other topics. Pliny's paragraph is one of the longest of them. This points up the difference in researching Edessa and researching Palmyra. Edessa left a sizeable Christian literature, which often discusses the traditional cults of its region. But, in the words of Robert Wood, who published the first scholarly book on Palmyra and Baalbek:
It seems very remarkable that Palmyra and Balbeck [sic], perhaps the two most surprising remains of ancient magnificence which now are left, should be so neglected in history, that, except what we can learn from the inscriptions, all our information about them would scarce amount to more than probable conjecture./103/Archaeology is not much more helpful. Little remains of the pre-Roman period. A few flint tools and potsherds remain from the Neolithic and Bronze ages. The temple of Bel is on the site of the ancient tell, making it nearly inaccessible to archaeologists./104/ Judging by the material remains, Palmyra first became an important commercial center in the mid-first century BCE./105/ Fragments of an earlier temple of the late Hellenistic period were found in a probe trench in the present Bel temple. Most of the major building activity took place during the first and second centuries CE.
The most important building was the Temple of Bel. It is one of the largest and most elaborate temples of the Roman empire, so much so that it may have been a gift from the emperor Tiberius. Its sculptures provide some of the most interesting evidence of astral religion at Palmyra. The temple is a combination of classical and Near Eastern elements. Externally, it appears to be quite classical, with its Corinthian columns and its rectangular ground plan. One unexpected feature is the elaborately decorated portal in the midst of the columns on the western long side (figure 21). Both Greek and Roman temples usually have the entrance in one of the short sides, inside the columns. Internally, the temple is quite unclassical. Inside, one finds a rectangular naos, with a small room, or thalamos at each end. Three staircases led to the roof, where there may have been an observatory.
Bel-Marduk, the chief god of Babylon, was also the chief god of Palmyra./106/ In Greek inscriptions he was called Zeus./107/ Probably he was originally Bol, the local pronunciation of Baal. "Bol" and "Bel" were used interchangeably in theophoric names, for example./108/ At what time the local theos patroos (ancestral deity) was identified with the Babylonian king of the gods is unknown, but the Neo-Babylonian period is a reasonable assumption.
Whatever and whenever the circumstances of the identification, it was thorough./109/ An inscription on the temple of Bel tells us that it was dedicated on 6 Nisan 32 CE. This is called "the good day" in Palmyrene inscriptions/110/ and is the date on which Enuma Elish was read during the Babylonian Akitu festival./111/ The Akitu festival throughout Mesopotamia re-enacted the victory of cosmic order over primeval chaos and Babylon's version portrayed Marduk as victor over the monster Tiamat. One of the reliefs on the Bel temple of Palmyra shows a snake- footed monster fighting two deities while other gods watch (figure 22)./112/ This is probably a local version of Bel's combat with Tiamat, celebrated on the day the temple was dedicated./113/
In Palmyra as in Babylonia and in Osrhoene, Bel also maintained the status quo in the universe by means of astrology. "Bel is the supporter of law and order par excellence and guides everything that happens."/114/ His divine subordinates were the planets. This is clearly portrayed in the relief (figures 23, 24) within the norththalamos the temple, where the cult statue probably stood./115/ The ceiling is a square monolith. In the corners are four eagles, the birds of Zeus and of the Syrian sky god. They uphold a zodiac ring. The zodiac animals are the usual ones in Greek astrology./116/ Scorpio's claws hold the scale as a reminder that Libra was also called the Claws of the Scorpion. Within the zodiac is a dome carved into the monolith. The dome is divided into seven hexagons, one at the center surrounded by six others. In each hexagon is a human bust, identified by its attribute as one of the Greek planet gods./117/ Aphrodite is veiled, as everywhere in Syria. The Moon is not male, as usual in Palmyra, but female, implying the sculptors came from elsewhere, perhaps Hierapolis./118/ Bel as Jupiter stands in the central hexagon, surrounded by his subordinates, the divine planets./119/ The message of the sculpture is clear: "Les bas-reliefs qui ornent la loge de son idole le represent comme un maitre des plan zodiaque, et par la du destin qui conduit le monde."/120/ Bel is the supreme ruler of the universe and all other deities are his subordinates. The laws of nature, such as astrology, are his laws.
The lintel of the thalamos is also sculpted with a comparable relief (figure 25). On it is an enormous eagle, wings outspread, holding a snake in its claws. The left side is largely destroyed, but beneath the right wing are stars, and a human figure with a halo of rays, probably the sun- god. Seven of the stars are noticeably more elaborate than the others, and one is placed on top of a disk. These are probably the seven planets, the disk-star being the sun. The eagle represents the god of the sky, Bel, and the snake is the sun's annual path through the sky, the ecliptic./121/ Presumably something similar stood under the left wing, with the moon god in the place of the sun. Once again, Bel, the lord of Palmyra, is shown as lord of the universe, sheltering the stars under his wings./122/ A simpler version of this last motif is very common in Palmyrene art. This is the triad of Bel, three human figures, showing Bel flanked by Yarhibol and Aglibol, sun and moon gods, respectively. Statues of all three gods may have stood in the north thalamos./123/
Baal Shamin, the West Semitic sky god, was also worshipped at Palmyra, although his temple was smaller and less important than Bel's. Like Bel, he was called Zeus in bilingual inscriptions./124/ Functionally, both were sky gods. Elsewhere in Syria Baal Shamin was a god of agriculture because he provided the winter rains. In Palmyra, irrigation provided water for most purposes, but rain for pasturage was still important to the Arab herding population./125/ Thus, perhaps they were seen as the same god, worshipped under different names by different ethnic groups./126/ Baal Shamin was also portrayed in a triad similar to Bel's (sun-sky-moon) (figure 26). But in his triad Aglibol was the sun and Malakbel was the moon./127/ The message was the same, even though the gods involved did not have the same names: the god of the sky ruled the universe with the sun and moon as his chief helpers./128/
The reliefs at the temple of Bel and of the two triads are the major pieces of evidence of an astral aspect to Palmyra's religion, but not the only ones. Tesserae were clay tokens admitting their bearers to cultic banquets (figures 27, 28). Those for cosmic deities such as Bel often have stars or a sphere for the world on them./129/
Another example is a graffito (figure 29), dated 149 CE, from Khirbet Ab Dhr, in the northwest part of the oasis. It shows a human figure seated in front of a pedimented temple. The pediment has an eagle with wings out-spread, usually a symbol of a sky god,/130/ in each corner. Between them is a head with rays, probably a sun god. The seated figure holds, in his right hand, a ball with a cross on it./131/ The ball is probably the spherical cosmos of Hellenistic astronomy, with the equator and the ecliptic forming the cross, as at, e.g., Dura-Europus./132/ The figure is almost certainly a sky god, either Bel or Baal Shamin. Again, the sky god, under whatever name, holds the whole world in his hand. The fact that this is a piece of popular art, from the rural areas of the oasis, not one of the urban temples, is evidence that astral religion was a popular belief, not restricted to an educated priesthood.
A fragment of a second zodiac relief was found re-used in a building from Diocletian's reign (figures 30, 31)./133/ Originally it was probably the ceiling of a tomb tower, dating to perhaps 100 CE. Only about one quarter of the original circle survives. In the center is a feline figure, perhaps Dionysus' panther. Of the zodiacal signs, Gemini and Taurus are complete, while only the last half of Aries and the first half of Cancer are extant. The planets are shown as symbols in the signs. A crescent moon stands over the Bull's back, while a small star (Venus?) is over its head. Larger stars are behind Aries and in front of Cancer. The positions of the planets are such that the relief may be an actual horoscope, like Antiochus' tomb at Nimrud Dagh./134/
BaalbekFrom Palmyra, midway between Rome and Parthia, deep in the desert, we move to Heliopolis, the modern Baalbek. Baalbek is in the center of the Beqaa valley,/135/ one of the leading agricultural regions of geographical Syria. A part of the Rift Valley, between the Lebanon and Antilebanon mountain ranges, and close to the Mediterranean, it is the Biblical Aram-Zobah (Psalm 60:1; II Samuel 10:6-8) and the classical Coelesyria/136/ Both the Litani and the Orontes, two of Syria's most important rivers, have their sources near Baalbek./137/ It was a stopping point on a major north-south route between Damascus and Hama,/138/ but Baalbek was most famous and important for the temple of Jupiter Heliopolitanus. This was one of the most important shrines of one of the most important gods in Syria. The temple itself is one of the largest of Classical Antiquity. As we shall see, Jupiter Heliopolitanus was portrayed as a cosmocrator in the same way as Bel of Palmyra and as the gods of Edessa and Harran.
Almost nothing is known of Baalbek's history before the Roman period. A German expedition studied the site of the temple 1900-1904, and found that the Roman period temple does stand on top of a tell. The Germans were largely interested in restoring the Roman remains, but they did find potsherds from the Early Bronze and Middle Bronze periods./139/ Likewise, there have been a variety of unsuccessful attempts to identify Baalbek with sites mentioned in Ancient Near Eastern writings. For example, it may, or may not, be the Tunip of the Amarna Tablets, or the Biq`at Aven of Amos 1: 5./140/ The modern name "Baalbek" is probably also the original name./141/ Its exact etymology is uncertain, but the first syllable, "Baal," means "Lord," and probably refers to the local god later identified with Zeus and Jupiter./142/ The Greek name of the city, Heliopolis, is first mentioned in accounts of Pompey's conquest of Syria, although it was probably bestowed earlier. The region had been quite important to the rival Seleucid and Ptolemaic empires./143/ Heliopolis means "City of the Sun," but exactly why the name was given is quite unknown. There is no evidence that Syrians identified the chief god of Baalbek with the sun, and inscriptions usually call him Zeus, not Helios. Perhaps the usual iconography of the god, with a whip raised, reminded Greek settlers of Helios,/144/ who was often shown as a charioteer./145/
Pompey added Heliopolis to the Roman empire, along with the rest of Syria, in 63 BCE. It was probably during the time of Augustus that Heliopolis became one the first Roman colonies in Syria, as _Iulia Augusta Felix_./146/ From that time the god was identified with Jupiter as well as with Zeus, and his priests were all Roman citizens, many of them legionary veterans./147/ The region was already quite hellenized, with the result that all the dedications to the Heliopolitan gods are in Greek or Latin./148/
The temple complex was built over a long period of time, probably with Imperial funds. The podium of the main temple was begun before Pompey, and some ornamental carvings were left unfinished centuries later when Constantine stopped the work./149/ Construction was busiest under Antoninus Pius, which may explain why John Malalas credits the whole complex to him. It was still largely finished under Caracalla./150/
Constantine not only stopped construction, but he also forbade cultic prostitution in honor of Venus Heliopolitanus, Jupiter's partner./151/ Theodosius closed the temples to worshippers throughout the empire, and also built a sizeable church (dedicated to the Virgin) at Heliopolis in the main courtyard of the temple complex. Nevertheless, Heliopolis remained a stronghold of polytheism under the Christian emperors, much like Harran. Rabbula of tried to vandalize the cult statues at Heliopolis early in his career as a fanatic, but was beaten and thrown down the main staircase for his trouble./152/ As late as 579 CE John of Ephesus says that Christians were few and poor in Heliopolis, while the local pagan aristocrats felt secure enough to mock Christianity openly. Anti-Christian rioting in that year brought about a purge of upper class pagans throughout the empire, beginning at Heliopolis./153/ There are no references to these pagans when the Arab conquerors arrived sixty years later./154/
Many pilgrims visited Heliopolis, perhaps because it was famous for oracles. The emperor Trajan saw fit to consult Jupiter Heliopolitanus at the beginning of his Parthian campaign./155/ The cult of the Heliopolitan gods was carried throughout the empire by Syrian soldiers and businessmen. Dedications to Jupiter, Venus and Mercury of Heliopolis have been found from Britain to Palmyra./156/ They were particularly popular throughout geographical Syria./157/ It is interesting to discover that the gods of Heliopolis were worshipped in many of the pagan cities in Judaic Palestine./158/ One of the best known examples is a votive foot from Mt. Carmel, dedicated to # g# # f , Dii Heliopolitanei Karmeli./159/ This is probably the same deity whom Elijah fought in I Kg 18, and whom Vespasian consulted when considering becoming emperor. The god of Carmel was worshipped also in Akko/Ptolemais, near Mt. Carmel, and the foot itself was dedicated by someone from Caesarea./160/ It is curious that when Tacitus discusses Vespasian and the god of Carmel, he emphasizes that the god was worshipped without a temple or cultic images. Perhaps Tacitus thought the god of Carmel was the God of the Jews./161/
Three gods were worshipped at Baalbek/Heliopolis, called Jupiter, Venus, and Mercury, or Zeus, Aphrodite and Hermes. It is almost certain that they were the major Syrian gods, Hadad or Baal, Atargatis, and a young god similar to Adonis, whose native name is unknown./162/ No inscriptions label them with their native names, although Macrobius does say that "the god whom they revere as highest and greatest they have given the name of Adad . . . ." He also says Atargatis was Adad's partner./163/ The first two had dominated Syrian religion for millennia, making the equation quite likely./164/ Mercury's Semitic equivalent has not been identified with certainty, but such family groups of father, mother and son were common throughout geographical Syria./165/ Jupiter was much the most important of the Heliopolitan triad./166/ Throughout Syria, in every historical period, Baal-Hadad was the god of fresh water, especially of the winter storms, but also of fresh water springs. By extension, he was the patron of agriculture, which was impossible without fresh water, and ruler of the sky, whence the rains came./167/ In the Hellenistic period Hadad filled many of the same roles as Baal Shamin and Bel did at Palmyra and in northern Syria. Greeks and Romans correctly saw all of them as equivalents of their own Zeus and Jupiter./168/ Also, like all his counterparts, Jupiter Heliopolitanus was cosmocrator, or ruler of the entire universe, including the other gods./169/ A Latin inscription from Beirut calls him: "Regi deo[r(um)] I(ovi) O(ptimo) M(aximo) H(eliopolitano) . . . . ," "to the king of the gods, Jupiter the Best and Greatest, of Heliopolis."/170/ Another, from Heliopolis itself, says: "I(ovi) O(ptimo) M(aximo) H(eliopolitano) Regulo," "Jupiter the Best and Greatest of Heliopolis, ruler." Regulohere is derived from the verb rego, to rule./171/ Astrological art was especially used to emphasize his role as cosmic emperor.
There are no astrological reliefs to be seen in the temples of Heliopolis. Instead there is a large number of dedicatory reliefs and votive statuettes. These are found throughout the Roman Empire, particularly in Syria, but as widely scattered as Palmyra and Britain. Much the most common is what Hajjar calls the "Oriental" type./172/ This resembles an atlantid, a man-shaped column, more than it does an ordinary Greek statue. It is tempting to assume that these votive statuettes copy the cult statue, the balanion,/173/ in the main temple, but there is no certain proof of this./174/ The god is portrayed standing at attention, right hand raised and holding a whip, left hand at the waist, holding a thunderbolt or a sheaf of grain. Often a bushel basket is on his head as he stands on a socle./175/ The socle often has an image of Tyche on it./176/ He usually wears a gown with a variety of astral symbols on it. Sometimes these are merely disks or rosettes, but often they are busts of Helios and Selene or of all seven planet-gods, identified by their usual attributes (figures 32, 33)./177/ In two examples, twelve busts for the twelve signs of the zodiac occur (figs 34, 35)./178/ In another example, a statue of Jupiter Heliopolitanus from Sohne, near Palmyra, has the Bel triad on its chest (figure 36)./179/ Many examples have an eagle with wings outspread on the back./180/ The image of the god wearing the planets means the same thing as the cupola relief and the eagle relief at Bel's temple in Palmyra: the chief god, the god of the sky, is supreme over the universe and the other gods, ruling the world by means of the planets and astrology./181/ The image of Tyche on a socle says the same thing. Tyche here is a personification of heimarmene, the power of the planets to compel. And, as elsewhere, the eagle was used to symbolize the sky-god, spread out over the earth./182/ The fact that this iconography is found on dedications and ex votos implies that the ideas that it symbolized were common, well-known to worshippers.
Khirbet TannurOur last example of astral religion comes from Khirbet Tannur, a Nabataean site. The Nabataeans were an Arab people who became important in the southern and western parts of geographical Syria in the centuries after Alexander. The most important part of the Nabataean realm was the region south of the Wadi el-Hesa, the biblical land of Edom. Their capital was in this region, at Petra,/183/ although the kingdom, at its height, stretched from Eilath, on the Red Sea, to Auranitis, northwest of the Sea of Galilee./184/ The Nabataeans were best known to Greek and Roman writers as merchants, although modern scholars are equally impressed by their skill at desert agriculture./185/ In particular, the Nabataeans controlled the caravans which brought south Arabian spices and Far Eastern goods from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean./186/ (Given these connections with Mesopotamia and Alexandria, it would be surprising if the Nabataeans did not know about astrology!) The Nabataean caravan traffic was at its height before the Roman conquest of the eastern Mediterranean and declined sharply in the first century CE, for a variety of reasons: competition with sea transport to Alexandria, with river transport to Palmyra, and political instability in Judaea were perhaps the most important. Finally, early in the second century CE, the Nabataean realm was made into the Roman province of Arabia./187/ Nabataean Arabia remained, however, a prosperous agricultural region until the Ummayad period.
Neighboring countries, Nabataea and Judaea had close commercial and cultural relations. Nabataean caravans sold their goods at Gaza, in the southeastern part of the Judaean kingdom. Herod the Great married his son, Antipas, to the daughter of the Nabataean king, Aretas IV./188/ One of Herod's goals in building his artificial harbor at Caesarea Maritima was probably to replace Gaza as the Mediterranean end of the Nabataean caravan trade. The region of Auranitis passed back and forth between the Nabataean and Herodian dynasties until both finally were abolished by the Romans. The largest of all Nabataean shrines, the temple of Baal Shamin at Sia, was probably built by Herod the Great, king of the Jews. It certainly contained a statue in his honor./189/ Later on, six of the thirty-five documents found in the so-called "Cave of Horrors," near En-Gedi, were in Nabataean. They belonged to a second century Jewish woman, Babatha, and illustrate commercial relations between Jews and Nabataeans at the grass-roots level./190/ Cultural contacts are illustrated by the fact that both peoples used versions of the Babylonian calendar, as well as the use of the zodiac in religious art./191/
Nabataean religion was much like that in the rest of Syria. The most important deities were those who controlled agricultural prosperity./192/ Astrology and astrological symbolism were used to discover the gods' wills and to praise their power. Many Nabataean temples and holy places are known, but astral religion is most easily seen at Khirbet Tannur.
Khirbet Tannur is much less well-known than the other sites we have discussed. It is a small temple atop Jebel Tannur (Mt. Oven), a solitary mountain, formed by the junction of the Wadi el-Hesa (the biblical brook Zered) and the Wadi el- Aban./193/
In antiquity a major trade-route, the King's Highway, came within a mile of the site, and the temple would have been clearly visible to travellers. Although no branch road connects Jebel Tannur and the highway, a path to the top was carved into the mountain./194/ Just who used the temple is something of a mystery, since there was no village nearby. Triclinia are part of the complex, showing that worshippers did eat cultic meals there. Once destroyed, the site was never rebuilt./195/
Khirbet Tannur's ancient name is unknown; the current one probably comes from Jebel Tannur. No ancient writer mentions the site. All we know of it comes exclusively from the physical remains. It was excavated in 1937 by Nelson Glueck for the American School of Oriental Research. He found almost no stratigraphy on the site. His research consisted largely of photographing and measuring the visible remains.
He found a series of enclosed courtyards, 11.5 X 12.5 meters overall (figure 317). At the center was a square altar, the shrine proper. The main entrance to the complex was at the eastern end. There were three major phases of construction at Khirbet Tannur, each with elaborate decorations. In each phase the new construction merely encased the previous work, meaning that Glueck essentially found three shrines within each, like three cardboard boxes nestled inside one another (see plan A)./196/ Overall, it resembles many temples throughout Syria, but particularly the two older temples at Sia./197/
Dating the phases is not easy. Only one dated inscription survives, saying that the shrine was built during the second year of the reign of Aretas IV, or 7 BCE. To which phase it belongs is unclear, unfortunately. Glueck believed that the temple was founded ca. 25 BCE and was destroyed ca. 125 CE. More recently, scholars would lower the terminus ad quem and date the first two phases and most of the sculptures to Aretas' time./198/ A moderate number of sculptures provide the evidence of astral religion at Khirbet Tannur. A large bust of Atargatis, with leaves and fruits growing from her face and hair, and a frieze of busts of the planet-gods probably decorated the facade (figure 38, nos. 33, 34). (Few of the sculptures were found in situ.) An eagle with out stretched wings stood over the goddess' head, perhaps symbolizing the sky-god, as elsewhere (figure 39)./199/ Of the seven planets, only Mars was missing, and that may be due to the accidents of preservation (figures 40-42)./200/ A full length relief of a male figure holding a thunderbolt and flanked by bulls, and thus resembling Zeus-Haddad, may have been the cult statue (figure 43)./201/ Glueck believes that this statue and the bust of Atargatis imply that the temple was dedicated to Zeus-Haddad and Atargatis, although no inscriptions say so./202/ In fact, the only dedication found is to the Edomite god, Qos. But "comme la plupart des divinit s suprmes, il tait assimil au grande dieu syrien de la foudre, aussi appele Be`el-shemn . . . ."/203/ Whatever they were called, the gods who lived at Khirbet Tannur filled the same roles as Zeus-Hadad and Atargatis-Aphrodite and visitors would have equated them./204/
But the most interesting astral sculpture is a zodiac wheel held aloft by Victory (figure 44)./205/ In the center of the zodiac is a goddess. The mural crown she wears identifies her with Tyche or Fortune. Tyche was a major deity throughout the Hellenistic period. She was sometimes a protective goddess, and most cities had their own "Fortune."/206/ Often she was also the power of the planets personified. But the "Fortune of Khirbet Tannur" also has a crescent above her right shoulder, identifying her with the moon goddess, Selene. Over her left is an unknown symbol resembling a distaff. Glueck believes the goddess is also Atargatis, who was indeed identified with Tyche elsewhere in the hellenized Near East./207/
The Zodiac circle itself is somewhat unusual. Instead of the signs proceeding in an unbroken ring from Aries to Pisces, the Khirbet Tannur zodiac divides the signs into two halves. The signs Aries through Virgo run counter clockwise from the top of the circle, while the signs Libra through Pisces run counterclockwise from the top./208/ In effect, both equinoctes are placed at the top of the ring. Perhaps this is best explained by postulating that the Nabataean calendar, like the Jewish one, had two New Years, one civil, at the spring equinox, the other religious, at the autumnal equinox./209/ The signs follow the usual Hellenistic, iconography save for Aries (an Athena figure), Sagittarius (a young man with an arrow rather than a centaur) and Capricorn (a young woman instead of a goat-fish)./210/
The sculpture praises the power and glory of Atargatis by identifying her with the personified power of astrology. Likewise, the facade of planet-gods praises Qos and Atargatis in the same way that the circle of planet-gods praises Bel in Palmyra. They rule the world and grant their worshippers requests by means of the rules of astrology./211/
There is other, more general, evidence of astral religion among the Nabataeans, as well. Strabo/212/ tells us that the sun received daily offerings of incense at Petra, and a defaced bust of Helios may be seen at Qasr Rabbah, north of Khirbet Tannur./213/ Avraham Negev's excavations at Mampsis found seal impressions with signs of the zodiac as well as the month (figures 45, 46). The seals themselves are the official seals of Petra, Characmoba and Rabbathmoba. One copied from a coin dates them to ca. 130 CE. The signs (Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Aquarius, and perhaps Capricorn) all belong to the winter. Negev thinks this confirms Glueck's theory that the Nabataeans had two New Years./214/
In this chapter we have looked at three sites, Harran, Palmyra, and Khirbet Tannur, as examples of astral religion. The examples could easily be multiplied. Apamea also had a cult of Bel, called "Fortunae rector," the ruler of Fortune, in one inscription. The art of Dura-Europus, on the Euphrates, has its share of astrological symbolism. Parallels to both Khirbet Tannur and Palmyra are to be found in Auranitis, particularly at Sia and Soueida./215/ But our point has been made, that the planet-gods of astrology were worshipped throughout geographical Syria, and that astrological symbolism was used to emphasize the power and glory of the chief deity of a pantheon. In the next chapter we will look at astrology and astrological symbolism among the Jews.
Chapter Two | Contents | Chapter Four
Notes to Chapter Three/1/ Julian the Apostate, _Hymn to Helios_, in Wilmer Cave Wright, _The Works of Julian the Apostate_, I (3 Vols., London: William Heinemann; New York: The Macmillan Co., 1913), pp. 353-54.
/2/ Up-to-date and very thorough discussions of astrology in Mithraism may be found in Roger Beck, _Planetary Gods and Planetary Orders in the Mysteries of Mithras_ (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1988) and David Ulansey, _The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries_; _Cosmology and Salvation in the Ancient World_ (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989).
/3/ See H. G. Gundel, _Weltbild und Astrologie in den griechischen Zauberpapyri_ (Munich: C. H. Beck, 1968).
/4/ See Andr Marie Jean Festugiere d'Hermes Trismegiste_ [_Hermes_], 4 Vols. (Paris: Lecoffre, 1949-54), especially volume I.
/5/ See Hans Jonas, _The Gnostic Religion_ (Boston: Beacon Press, 1958) and Kurt Rudolph, _Gnosis_: _The Nature and History of Gnosticism_, trans. and ed. by Robert McLachlan Wilson (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1984).
/6/ See John Dillon, _The Middle Platonists_: _80 BC TO AD 220_ (Ithaca, NY: Cornell Unversity Press, 1977) and R. T. Wallis, _Neoplatonism_ (London: Duckworth, 1972).
/7/ A late example may be found in Reginald Scot's _Discoverie of Witchcraft_ (London: 1584; repr. London: Centaur Press, 1964), p. 26: ". . . We should not fail to have raine, haile, and tempests, as we now have: according to the appoinment and will of God, and according of the elements, and the course of the planets, wherein God hath set a perfect and perpetual order."
/8/ See H. G. Gundel, "Zodiakos," Section 13, `Bildliche Darstellungen der Zodiakos in der Antike,' _Pauly-Wissowas Realenzyklopdie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft_, X.A, cols. 597-705, and H. G. Gundel, "Imagines Zodiaci: zu neueren Funden und Forschungen," B. M. de Boer and T. A. Ettridge, eds., _Hommages Martin J. Vermaseren_ (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1978), pp. 438-54 for detailed lists and descriptions of all known images of the zodiac. Nearly 200 examples are known.
/9/ Strabo, _The Geography of Strabo_, 16.1.1-2, 16.2.1-2, trans. Horace Leonard Jones, VII (Loeb Classical Library; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; London: William Heinemann, 1930), pp. 192-97; Marcel Simon, _Verus Israel_; _A Study of the Relations Between Christians and Jews in the Roman Empire (135-435)_, trans. H. McKeating (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986), pp. 202-03.
/10/ A. H. M. Jones, _Cities of the Eastern Roman Provinces_ [_Cities_] (2nd ed., revised by Michael Avi-Yonah, et al.; Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971), pp. 226-27.
/11/ Ibid., p. 227.
/12/ H. J. W. Drijvers, _Cults and Beliefs at Edessa_ [_Cults_] (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1980), pp. 3-4; Edwin Yamauchi, "Aramaic," in E. M. Blaiklock and R. K. Harrison, eds., _The New International Dictionary of the Bible_ (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1983), pp. 38-41.
/13/ H. J. W. Drijvers, "The Cult of Azizos and Monimos at Edessa," in _Ex Orbe Religionum_ (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1972), pp. 357-58.
/14/ Ren Dussaud, _Les Religions des Hittites et des Hourites, des Ph niciens, et des Syriens_ [_Religions_] (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1949), p. 367; Henri Seyrig, "Le culte du Soleil en Syrie," ["Soleil"] _Syria_ 48 (1971): pp. 337-349; Javier Teixidor, _The Pagan God_; _Popular Religion in the Greco-Roman Near East_ [_Pagan God_] (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1977), p. 49.
/15/ Cornelius Tacitus, _Histories_, 3.24, trans. Clifford H. Moore, in Cornelius Tacitus, _Tacitus_, 4 Vols., trans. Clifford H. Moore and John Jackson (Loeb Classical Library; London: William Heinemann; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1925), I, pp. 368-71.
/16/ Gaston H. Halsberghe, _The Cult of Sol Invictus_ [_Sol_] (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1972), pp. 107, 111-16, passim, p. 137; H. J. W. Drijvers, "Die Dea Syria und andere syrische Gottheiten im Imperium Romanum," ["Die Dea Syria"] in M. J. Vermaseren, ed., _Die orientalische Religionen im Rmerreich_ (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1981), p. 243.
/17/ Halsberghe, _Sol_, pp. 167-68.
/18/ Franz Cumont, _Les Religions orientales dans le paganisme romain_ [_Religions_] (4th ed.; Paris: Librairie orientaliste Paul Guethner, 1929), pp. 119, 122; J. B. Segal, "The Sabian Mysteries," ["Mysteries"] in Edward Bacon, ed., _Vanished Civilizations_ (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1963), p. 213; J. B. Segal, _Edessa, `the Blessed City'_ [_Edessa_] (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1970), p. 60; Teixidor, _Pagan God_, pp. 12-13, 27-29.
/19/ Cumont, _Religions_, pp. 118-20, 269 and 269 n. 109; H. Gese, "Die Religion Altsyriens," ["Religion"] in H. Gese, M. Hpfner and K. Rudolph, _Die Religion Altsyriens, Altarabiens und der Mander_ (Stuttgart: Verlag W. Kohlhammer, 1977), pp. 183-84; Segal, _Edessa_, p. 60; D. Sourdel, _Les cultes du Hauran l' poque romaine_ [_Hauran_] (Paris: Paul Geuthner, 1952), pp. 19-20; Teixidor, _Pagan_, pp. 15, 27, 124-26.
/20/ Jonas C. Greenfield, "Aspects of Aramean Religion," in Patrick D. Miller, Jr., Paul D. Hanson, and S. Dean McBride, eds., _Ancient Israelite Religion_; _Essays in Honor of Frank Moore Cross_ (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1987), p. 69.
/21/ Segal, _Edessa_, p. 60; Sourdel, _Hauran_, 1952, p. 19; Teixidor, _Pagan_, pp. 15, 27-29, 124-26.
/22/ The phrase is used twenty-two times in the entire Bible. See Edwin M. Yamauchi, "Ezra, Nehemiah," in F. E. Gaebelein, ed., _The Expositor's Bible Commentary_ (Grand Rapids, MI: 1988), IV, p. 602.
/23/ Harald Ingholt, "Parthian Sculpture from Hatra, Orient and Hellas in Art and Religion," ["Sculpture"] _Memoirs of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences_ 12 (1954): p. 27.
/24/ Teixidor, _Pagan_, pp. 15, 27, 124-26. There is also a mythology about them. The myth of the Fall of the Angels, found in, e.g., the Enoch literature, may be derived from the Fall of Prometheus in Greek mythology. The key link is that in each case the Fall was the result of giving technology to humanity. I owe this observation to Michael Morgan, translator of the _Sepher ha-Razim_.
/25/ Origen, _Contra Celsum_, 1.24, trans. with intro. and notes Henry Chadwick (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1965, 1980), pp. 23-34; Teixidor, _Pagan_, 1977, p. 125.
/26/ Segal, _Edessa_, pp. 104, 107-08; See also Walter Kaegi, "The Fifth Century Twilight of Byzantine Paganism," _Classica et Medievalia_ 27 (1966): pp. 243-75 and R. Frank Trombley, _The Survival of Paganism in the Byzantine Empire During the Pre-Iconoclastic Period (540-727)_ [_Survival_] (Los Angeles: Ph.D. Diss., University of California, Los Angeles, 1981) for full accounts.
/27/ Drijvers, _Cults_, pp. 9-10.
/28/ See Kay Prag, "The 1959 Deep Sounding at Harran in Turkey," ["Sounding"] _Levant_ 2 (1970): p. 63 for a short account of the excavations.
/29/ For a survey and correlation of Harran's archaeology and written history, see Ibid., pp. 70-78.
/30/ See Ibid., pp. 66-67, figures 1 and 2, for drawings of the west section of the probe.
/31/ Ibid., pp. 65, 70-71, 76, 82, figure 7.1.
/32/ Hildegard Lewy, "Points of Comparison Between Zoroastrianism and the Moon-Cult of Harrn," ["Points"] in W. B. Henning and E. Yarshater, eds., _A Locust's Leg_; _Studies in Honour of S. H. Taqizadeh_ (London: Percy Lund, Humphries and Co., 1962), pp. 138-40; S. Lloyd and W. Brice, "Harran," _Anatolian Studies_ 1 (1951): p. 87; Segal, "Mysteries," p. 202; J rgen Tubach, _Im Schatten des Sonnengottes_; _Der Sonnenkult in Edesse, Harran, und Hatra am Vorabend der christlichen Mission_ [_Sonnengottes_] (Leipzig and Wiesbaden: O. Harrassowitz, 1986), p. 129.
/33/ Cyrus Gordon believes that "Ur of the Chaldees," Abraham's home town, is not the Sumerian Ur in southern Mesopotamia, but a city with the same name in the Harran region. See Cyrus H. Gordon, "Where Is Abraham's Ur?" ["Ur"] _BAR_ 3 (1977): pp. 20-21, and 52; Cyrus H. Gordon, "Abraham and the Merchants of Urfa," _JNES_ 17 (1958): pp. 28-31.
/34/ Genesis 11: 31-32; 12: 4-5; 24: 1-67; 29: 1-35.
/35/ Prag, "Sounding," pp. 73-74; Lloyd and Brice, "Harran," pp. 87-88; Segal, _Edessa_, p. 4.
/36/ Prag, "Sounding," 74, 77; H. Lewy, "Points," p. 140; Segal, _Edessa_, pp. 4-5, 140-41; Tubach, _Sonnengottes_, pp. 129-30.
/37/ H. Lewy, "Points," p. 140; Segal, "Mysteries," pp. 202- 03, 211; Tubach, _Sonnengottes_, p. 130.
/38/ C. J. Gadd, "The Harran Inscriptions of Nabonidus," _Anatolian Studies_ 8 (1958): pp. 35-92, and Pls. I-XVI.
/39/ Diodorus Siculus, _Histories_, 10 Vols., 19.91.1, trans. C. H. Oldfather, Vol. IX (Loeb Classical Library; London: William Heinemann; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1946), pp. 78-79; Cassius Dio _Roman History_, 37.5.5, trans. Earnest Cary, 9 Vols. (Loeb Classical Library; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1914-27), pp. 106-09; Tubach, _Sonnengottes_, p. 132.
/40/ Cassius Dio, __Roman History__, 40.16-27, trans. Earnest Cary, 9 Vols. (Loeb Classical Library; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1914-27) Vol. III, pp. 428-29; Plutarch, "Crassus," 24-31, in _Parallel Lives_, 10 Vols., trans. Bernadotte Perrin, III (Loeb Classical Library; London: William Heinemann; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1967), pp. 386-417; Tubach, _Sonnengottes_, p. 133.
/41/ Lloyd and Brice, 89; Cassius Dio, _Roman History_, 79.5.4, trans. Earnest Cary, 9 Vols. (Loeb Classical Library; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1914-27) Vol. IX, pp. 346-47; Tubach, _Sonnengottes_, pp. 135-36; Jones, _Cities_, p. 220.
/42/ Tubach, _Sonnengottes_, pp. 134-5.
/43/ D. S. Rice, "Medieval Harran; Studies on its Topography and Monuments, I," ["Medieval Harran"] _Anatolian Studies_ 2 (1952): pp. 36-37, 45; Segal, _Edessa_, p. 104; Tubach, _Sonnengottes_, pp. 136-37.
/44/ H. J. W. Drijvers, _The Religion of Edessa_ [_Edessa_] (Leyden: E. J. Brill, 1976), pp. 7, 9. Segal thinks the site too strategic to have been unused before, perhaps under a different name. See Segal, _Edessa_, pp. 3-5; Drijvers, _Edessa_, pp. 9-10; Jones, _Cities_, pp. 215-16. Cyrus Gordon thinks that Edessa, called Orhai in Syriac and Urfa in modern times, may be Abraham's "Ur of the Chaldees." See Gordon, "Ur," p. 20.
/45/ The name may be derived from Orhai, the Aramaic name for Edessa. Segal, _Edessa_, p. 5; Jones, _Cities_, pp. 216, 220.
/46/ Drijvers, _Edessa_, p. 10; Drijvers, "Azizos, p. 359; Jones, _Cities_, pp. 220-21.
/47/ Segal, _Edessa_, pp. 9-10, 24, 59.
/48/ Segal, _Edessa_, pp. 14-15; Drijvers, _Edessa_, pp. 9- 16; Jones, _Cities_, pp. 220-23.
/49/ Nina Garsoian, "Byzantium and the Sasanians," in E. Yarshater, ed., _The Cambridge History of Iran_, III.1, _The Seleucid, Parthian and Sasanian Periods_ (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983), p. 571; Christopher Brunner, "Geographical and Administrative Divisions: Settlements and Economy," in E. Yarshater, ed., _The Cambridge History of Iran_, III.1, _The Seleucid, Parthian and Sasanian Periods_ (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983), pp. 761-62.
/50/ Segal _Edessa_, pp. 10-15, passim, pp. 24-30, passim.
/51/ Drijvers, _Edessa_, pp. 7-8; H. J. W. Drijvers, "The Persistence of Pagan Cults and Practices in Christian Syria," ["Persistence"] in Nina G. Garsoian, Thomas F. Mathews, and Robert W. Thompson, eds., _East of Byzantium_: _Syria and Armenia in the Formative Period_ (Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks, 1982), p. 37; Segal, _Edessa_, p. 16; Jones, _Cities_, pp. 222-23.
/52/ For information on Bardaisan, see H. J. W. Drijvers, _Bardaisan of Edessa_ (Assen: Van Gorcum, 1966), and H. J. W. Drijvers, _The Book of the Laws of Countries_: _Dialogue on Fate of Bardaisan of Edessa_ (Assen: Van Gorcum, 1965).
/53/ Drijvers, "Persistence," p. 37. See also Drijvers, _Edessa_, p. 61.
/54/ Drijvers, _Edessa_, pp. 63-64. The whole of the chapter "Nebo and Bel," pp. 40-75 should be read.
/55/ "Melitonis philosophi oratio ad Antonium Caesarem," in Car. Th. eques de Otto, ed., _Hermiae Philosophi Irrisio Gentilium Philosophorum. Apologetarum Quadrati Aristidis, Aristonis, Miltiades, Melitonis, Apollonaris Reliquiae_ (Ienae: In Libraria Maukii (Hermann Dufft), 1872), pp. 504- 05, Syriac text and p. 426, Latin translation; Drijvers, "Persistence," p. 37; Segal, _Edessa_, pp. 51-52. The mosaic dates to the reign of Alexander Severus.
/56/ For more on Atargatis and Mabbog, see Lucian, _The Syrian Goddess (de Dea Syria) attributed to Lucian_, ed. and trans. H. W. Attridge and R. A. Oden (Missoula, MT: Society for Biblical Literature, 1976)
/57/ Drijvers, "Persistence," p. 37; Segal, _Edessa_, pp. 53-54; Drijvers, _Edessa_, pp. 79-80; See Lucian, _De Dea Syria_, for an account of the great shrine of Atargatis at Hierapolis.
/58/ Many editors have emended the text from Edessa to Emesa, modern Homs or Hama. It is true that Emesa was a famous center of sun worship, but without any manuscript evidence, there seems no reason to deny a cult of the sun to the Edessans. See Drijvers, _Edessa_, pp. 146-49; Drijvers, "Azizos," pp. 355-57.
/59/ Maria Hfner, "Ares," in H. W. Haussig, ed., _Wrterbuch der Mythologie_ (Stuttgart: Ernst Klett, 1961- 62), pp. 425-26, and Maria Hfner, "Azizos, "in H. W. Haussig, ed., _Wrterbuch der Mythologie_ (Stuttgart: Ernst Klett, 1961-62), pp. 428-29.
/60/ Segal, _Edessa_, p. 50.
/61/ Segal, _Edessa_, p. 62; Edwin M. Yamauchi, _Pre- Christian Gnosticism_; _A Survey of the Proposed Evidences_ (2d ed.; Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1983), pp. 84- 87.
/61/ Addai, _The Teaching of Addai_ [_Addai_], trans. by George Howard (Chico, CA: Scholars Press, 1981), pp. vii, 3- 11. The Abgar of the story is Abgar V, who reigned 4 BCE-7 CE, and 13-50 CE.
/63/ Ibid., pp. 48-49.
/64/ Drijvers, "Persistence," p. 38; Ingholt, "Sculpture," p. 10.
/65/ _Addai_, pp. 68-71, 96-99, 100-101.
/66/ Ibid., pp. 70-71, 86-89.
/67/ Egeria's exact dates are quite controversial. See Egeria, _Egeria_: _Diary of a Pilgrimage_ [_Pilgrimage_], trans. by George Gingras (New York and Paramus, NJ: Newman Press, 1970), pp. 12-15, for a thorough discussion.
/68/ Drijvers, "Persistence," pp. 37-38, 42; Egeria, _Pilgrimage_, 19.7 = Gingras, pp. 77-81.
/69/ Jacob of Sarug, "Discourse de Jacques de Saroug sur la chute des idoles," ed. and trans. by M. l'Abb Martin, _Zeitschrift der deutschen morgenlndischen Gesellschaft_ 29 (1905): lines 51-2, p. 110, French translation, 131; Segal, _Edessa_, pp. 170-71.
/70/ Segal, _Edessa_, pp. 82, 108, 115; J. B. Segal, "Pagan Syriac Monuments in the Vilayet of Urfa," ["Urfa"] _Anatolian Studies_ 3 (1953): p. 110.
/71/ See Trombley, _Survival_, passim, on the subject of byzantine _ethnophronia_.
/72/ Ephrem Syrus, _Hymni Contra Haereses_, nos. 4-10, ed. Edmund Beck (Louvain: Imprimerie orientaliste L. Durbecq, 1957), pp. 14-47.
/73/ Segal, _Edessa_, pp. 179-80; Drijvers, "Persistence," pp. 39-40; Drijvers, _Edessa_, pp. 43 and 43 n. 10. _The Acts of Sharbel_, a document related to _The Doctrine of Addai_, gives an account of the pre-Christian New Year's festival; see William Cureton, _Ancient Syriac Documents Relative to the Establishment of Christianity in Edessa_ (London, 1864; repr. Amsterdam, 1967), pp. 41-72.
/74/ Ammianus Marcellinus, _Res Gestae_ [_Histories_], 23.3.1-2, 3 Vols., trans. John C. Rolfe, II (Loeb Classical Library, rev. ed.; London: William Heinemann; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1950-52), pp. 318-21; Segal, "Urfa," p. 108; Tubach, _Sonnengottes_, pp. 137-40; Theodoret of Cyrrhus, _Kirchengeschichte_, 4.21, trans., intro. and notes by Dr. Andreas Seider (Munich: Verlag Josef Kstel & Friederich Pustet KG, 1926), pp. 234-37. We may safely ignore, as a baseless slander, Theodoret's claim that Julian performed a human sacrifice at Harran.
/75/ Friedrich Ragette, _Baalbek_, with an introduction by Sir Mortimer Wheeler (Park Ridge, NJ: Noyes Press, 1980), p. 68.
/76/ Segal, _Edessa_, p. 108; Lloyd and Brice, "Harran," p. 90.
/77/ Lloyd and Brice, pp. 78-79, 91; al-Dimashqi, 7.8, in Daniel Chwolson, _Die Ssabier und der Ssabismus_ [_Ssabier_] (St. Petersburg, 1856; Amsterdam: Oriental Press, 1965), pp. 412-13; Muhammed ibn Ishaq al-Nadim, _The Fihrist_, 2 Vols., ed. and trans. by Bayard Dodge (New York and London: Columbia University Press, 1970), p. 763.
/78/ Lloyd and Brice, "Harran," pp. 79, 99, 104; Rice, "Medieval Harran," pp. 42-44.
/79/ Tubach, _Sonnengottes_, p. 136; Franz Heinrich Weissbach, " # # ," _Pauly-Wissowas Realenzyklopdie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft_, X.2 (Stuttgart: Alfred Druckenm ller, 1919), col. 2016; R. Janin, "Carrhae," _Dictionnaire d'histoire g ographie eccl siastique_, XI (Paris: Letouzey and An 1949), pp. 1123-24. Janin lists all of Harran's bishops.
/80/ Andreas Seider, "Introduction," in Theodoret of Cyrrhus, _Kirchengeschichte_ [_History_], ed. Andreas Seider (Munich: Josef Kstel and Friedrich Pestel KG, 1926), pp. xx-xxi.
/81/ Theodoret, _History_, 3.26, 4.19 = Seider, pp. 200, 231.
/82/ Egeria, _Pilgrimage_, 20 = Gingras, pp. 82-83.
/83/ Weissbach, " # # ," col. 2017; R. Janin, "Carrhae," Col. 1123; Chwolson, _Ssabier_, I, p. 438.
/84/ Segal, _Edessa_, pp. 104-105.
/85/ Procopius, _Persian War_, 2.13.7, in Procopius, _Complete Works_, 7 Vols., trans. H. B. Dewing, I (Loeb Classical Library; London: William Heinemann; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1979), pp. 374-75; J. B. Segal, "Urfa," p. 108; Segal, "Mysteries," p. 202.
/86/ The best survey of medieval Harran's history is D. S. Rice, "Medieval Harran."
/87/ Koran, surahs 2.59, 5.73, 22.17, trans. N. J. Dawood (Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin Books, 1974), pp. 338, 395, 402, mentions an otherwise unknown sect, the Sabians, as a People of the Book. By claiming to be the koranic Sabians, the Harranian polytheists became honorary monotheists, as it were. See al-Nadim, _The Fihrist_, 9.1, = Dodge, pp. 751-53.
/88/ Al-Nadim, _The Fihrist_, 9.1 = Dodge, pp. 745-73; the cultic calendar is on pp. 755-65. Tubach, _Sonnengottes_, pp. 145-46 discusses al-Nadim and his sources.
/89/ Dodge, "Sabians," pp. 66-68; al-Dimashqi, in Chwolson, _Ssabier_, II, pp. 381-82; al-Masudi, in Chwolson, _Ssabier_, II, p. 367.
/90/ Tubach, _Sonnengottes_, pp. 148-49; Helmut Ritter and Martin Plessner, "Introduction," in _"Picatrix" Das Ziel des Weisen von Pseudo-Mar_, trans. with intro. Helmut Ritter and Martin Plessner (London: Warburg Institute, University of London, 1962), p. lxx. This last gives a German translation of the whole of _Picatrix_, while _Das Ziel des Weisen_, ed. H. Ritter (Berlin: B. G. Teubner, 1933; repr. London: Warburg Institute, University of London, 1962), contains the Arabic text. See also J. Hjrpe, "Un texte concernant les `psuedo-sabeens de Harran'," _Proceedings of the XIIth International Congress of The International Associations of the History of Religions SHR_ 312 (1975): pp. 68-70, for similar prayers transmitted by al-Gawzi.
/91/ Tubach, _Sonnengottes_, pp. 151-53; See also Michael G. Morony, _Iraq After the Muslim Conquest_ (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1984), pp. 384-400.
/92/ H. J. W. Drijvers, __The Religion of Palmyra__ [_Palmyra_] (Leyden: E. J. Brill, 1976), p. 1; S. Cohen, "Tadmor," _International Dictionary of the Bible_, IV (New York, Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1962), pp. 509-10; Teixidor, _Pagan_, p. 100.
/93/ Bertold Spuler, "Palmyra," _Pauly-Wissowas Realenzyklopdie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft_, XVIII.3 (Stuttgart: J. B. Metzlersche, 1949), Cols. 262-77; Editors, "Tadmor," in Cecil Roth and Geoffrey Wigoder, editors-in-chief, _Encyclopedia Judaica_ XV (Jerusalem: Keter, 1971), cols. 696-99.
/94/ Jean Starcky, _Palmyre_ (Paris: Librairie A. Maissoneuve, 1952), p. 27.
/95/ Starcky, _Palmyre_, pp. 27, 30; Watzinger, "Palmyra," cols. 262-77; Cohen, "Tadmor," IV, pp. 509-10.
/96/ Starcky, _Palmyre_, pp. 27-28.
/97/ James Pritchard, _Ancient Near Eastern Texts_ (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1956), p. 275; A. T. Olmstead, _History of Assyria_ (New York and London: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1923), p. 65.
/98/ The _kethib_ of the Hebrew text of I Kings 9: 18 is , _thmr_, but the Massoretic note, the _qere_, says it should be , _thdmr_, i.e., Tadmor. The Septuagint omits the I Kings passage altogether. Flavius Josephus, _Antiquities of the Jews_, 8.153-54, in Flavius Josephus, _Complete Works_, 9 vols., trans. by H. St. John Thackeray et al., V (Loeb Classical Library, Cambridge: Harvard University Press; London: William Heinemann, 1926-63), pp. 652-55, also identifies Tadmor and Palmyra; Starcky, _Palmyre_, 28-30.
/99/ Cohen, "Tadmor," IV, pp. 509-10; Watzinger, "Palmyra," cols. 262-77.
/100/ Starcky, _Palmyre_, pp. 22-23, 26.
/101/ Gaius Secundus Plinius, _Natural History_, 5.21.88, 10 Vols., trans. by H. Rackham, Vol. II (Loeb Classical Library, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; London: William Heinemann, 1949), pp. 287, 289.
/102/ Kazimierz Michalowsky, _Palmyra_, photographs by Andrzej Dziewanowsky (New York, Washington, and London: Praeger, 1970), p. 7; Robert Wood, _The Ruins of Palmyra and Balbec_ [_Palmyra_] (London: Pickering, 1827), pp. 12-13.
/103/ Wood, _Palmyra_, pp. 12-13.
/104/ Malcolm A. R. Colledge, _The Art of Palmyra_ [_Palmyra_] (London: Thames & Hudson; Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1976), p. 11; Henri Seyrig, Robert Amy, and Ernst Will, _Le temple de Bl Palmyre_ [_Bl_] I (Paris: Paul Geuthner, 1968-1976), p. 157.
/105/ Jones, _Cities_, pp. 218-19.
/106/ Drijvers, _Edessa_, pp. 3, 9-10; Gese, _Religion_, p. 226; Seyrig, Amy, and Will, _Bl_, p. 227.
/107/ Dussaud, _Religions_, pp. 404; Seyrig, Amy and Will, _B l_, I, p. 229; Teixidor, _Pagan_, p. 115.
/108/ H. J. W. Drijvers, "After Life and Funerary Symbolism in Palmyrene Religion," ["After"] in U. Bianchi and M. J. Vermaseren, eds., _La soteriologia dei culti orientali nell' impero romano_ (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1982), p. 713; H. J. W. Drijvers, "Die Dea Syria," p. 252; Dussaud, _Religions_, p. 404; Gese, _Religion_, p. 226; Seyrig, Amy and Will, _B l_, pp. 227-28; Teixidor, _Pagan_, p. 113.
/109/ Drijvers, "After," pp. 713-14; Seyrig, Amy, and Will, _B l_, p. 228.
/110/ Drijvers, "After," p. 725.
/111/ Drijvers, "After," p. 717; Drijvers, _Palmyra_, p. 9; Dussaud, _Religions_, p. 404; Seyrig, Amy and Will, _B l_, pp. 149, 242, 243, n. 152.
/112/ Drijvers, "After," pp. 716-17; Dussaud, _Religions_, p. 408; Seyrig, Amy and Will, _B l_, I, p. 95; Teixidor, _Pagan_, p. 136.
/113/ R. du Mesnil du Buisson, "Le bas relief du combat de Bl contre Tiamat dans le temple de Bl Palmyre," _Annales arch ologique arabes de Syrie_ 26 (1976): pp. 83-111.
/114/ Drijvers, "After," pp. 717-18; Drijvers, "Die Dea Syria," pp. 251-52.
/115/ Drijvers, "After," p. 717; Drijvers, _Palmyra_, p. 9; Watzinger, "Palmyra," cols. 262-77; Gundel, "Zodiakos," col. 627.
/116/ Colledge, _Palmyra_, p. 131.
/117/ Ibid., p. 38.
/118 / Ibid., p. 238.
/119/ Drijvers, "After," p. 717; Drijvers, _Palmyra_, p. 9; Seyrig, Amy and Will, _B l_, I, pp. 45, 83.
/120/ Seyrig, Amy and Will, _B l_, I, p. 229.
/121/ For a discussion of the snake as a symbol of the ecliptic, see Beck, _Planetary Gods _, pp. 53-56, and the sources listed there.
/122/ Drijvers, "After," p. 717; Drijvers, "Die Dea Syria," p. 254; Drijvers, _Palmyra_, p. 9; Seyrig, Amy and Will, _B l_, I. p. 83.
/123/ Drijvers, "After," p. 717; Drijvers, "Die Dea Syria," p. 252; Drijvers, _Palmyra_, pp. 12-13; Seyrig, Amy and Will, _B l_, I, pp. 229-30.
/124/ Colledge, _Palmyra_, pp. 24-25; Drijvers, _Palmyra_, pp. 3, 13-14; Dussaud, _Religions_, pp. 404-05.
/125/ Drijvers, "Die Dea Syria," p. 252; Dussaud, _Religions_, pp. 404-05; Seyrig, Amy and Will, _B l_, I, p. 232.
/126/ Henri Seyrig, "Bl de Palmyre," _Syria_ 48 (1971): p. 96; Teixidor, _Pagan_, pp. 135, 137.
/127/ Drijvers, _Palmyra_, p. 16; Gese, _Religion_, p. 227; Seyrig, Amy and Will, _B l_, I, p. 232.
/128/ Drijvers, _Palmyra_, pp. 16, 89; Seyrig, "Bl," pp. 97, 99-100.
/129/ Colledge, _Palmyra_, pp. 29-30, 213 and Pl. 54, d-f, i, v.
/130/ Ibid., p. 158.
/131/ Ibid., pp. 49-50 and fig. 30.
/132/ Colledge, _Palmyra_, p. 213. For the symbolism of the cosmic globe, see Pascal Arnaud, "L'Image du globe dans le monde romain: science, iconographie, symbolique," _M langes d'arch ologie et d'histoire_ 96 (1984): pp. 53-116; Franz Boll, _Sphaera_; _Neue griechische Texte und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der Sternbilder_ (Leipzig: Teubner, 1903; repr., Hildesheim: Georg Olms, 1967); O. Brendel, _Symbolism of the Sphere_: _A Contribution to the History of Earlier Greek Philosophy_. Translated by Maria W. Brendel. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1977; and Georg Friedrich Thiele, _Antike Himmelsbilder, mit Forschungen zu Hipparchos, Aratos, und seinen Fortsetzern und Beitrgen zur Kunstgeschichte des Sternhimmels_ (Berlin: Weidemannsche Buchhandlung, 1898).
/133/ Gundel, "Zodiakos," cols. 627-28.
/134/ K. Michalowsky, _Palmyra_; _Fouilles polonaises 1960_, II (Warsaw: Panstwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe; Paris: Mouton and Co., La Haye, 1962), pp. 115-17; Colledge, _Palmyra_, pp. 82, 131, 279, n. 275.
/135/ Gese, _Religion_, p. 221.
/136/ Strabo, _Geography_, 16.2.2, 16, 21 = Jones, VII, pp. 238, 258-61, 269-67; Youssef Hajjar, _La triade d'H liopolis-Baalbek_; _Son culte et sa diffusion traverse les textes litteraires et les documents iconographiques et pigraphiques_ [_H liopolis_], 2 Vols. (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1977), p. 512. Different writers included different regions within "Coelesyria," but Baalbek and the Beqaa were always in the heart of it, however defined. See Robert Wayne Smith, _The Antipatrids and their Eastern Neighbors_ [_Antipatrids_] (Oxford, OH: Thesis, Miami University, 1988), p. 43 and the sources cited there for a discussion.
/137/ Ragette, _Baalbek_, p. 13; E. Honigmann, "Heliupolis," [sic], _Pauly-Wissowas Realenzyklopdie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft_, Supplementband IV (Stuttgart: Metzler, 1924), cols. 715-28.
/138/ Ragette, _Baalbek_, p. 15.
/139/ Ragette, _Baalbek_, pp. 16, 98-99; Hajjar, _H liopolis_, p. 178.
/140/ J. A. Knudtzon, _Die El-Amarna-Tafeln_, 2 Vols., mit Einleitung und Register bearbeitet von Otto Weber und Erich Ebeling (Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs, 1915; repr. Aalen: Otto Zeller Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1964), I, 343-47, letter no. 59; II, pp. 1123-28; Honigmann, "Heliupolis," col. 715. See Yousseff Hajjar, _La triade d'H liopolis-Baalbek_; _Iconographie, th ologie, culte, et sanctuaires_ [_Triade_] (Montr al: Universit de Montr al, 1985), p. 187, n. 3 for a variety of other proposals.
/141/ Eusebius of Caesarea, _Theophany_, 2.14, in Hajjar, _Triade_, p. 430, no. 329C; Hajjar, _Heliopolis_, p. 187.
/142/ Ragette, _Baalbek_, p. 16; Hajjar, _Heliopolis_, p. 219.
/143/ Dussaud, _Religions_, p. 396; Josephus, _Antiquities_, 14.40 = Thackeray, VII, pp. 468-69; Strabo, _Geography_, 16.753 = Jones, VII, pp. 252-56.
/144/ Gese, _Religion_, p. 221.
/145/ Macrobius, _Saturnalia_, 1.23.10-12, trans., with an intro. and notes, by Percival Vaughn Davies (New York and London: Columbia University Press, 1969), p. 151; A. Haldar, "Balbek," _Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible_ (New York and Nasheville: Abingdon Press, 1962), p. 330; Ragette, _Baalbek_, p. 28.
/146/ Hajjar, _Triade_, pp. 529-30; Honigmann, "Heliupolis," p. 716; Arduino Kleinhaus, "Baalbek," _Enciclopedia Cattolica_, III (Rome, 1949), p. 616.
/147/ Hajjar, _Triade_, p. 530.
/148/ The only exception is a tessera from Palmyra, which shows a typical image of Jupiter Heliopolitanus along with two names in Palmyrene. See Hajjar, _Triade_, p. 207, no. 183, and his "Index pigraphique et litteraire" in general.
/149/ Hajjar, _H liopolis_, pp. 326-27; Hajjar, _Triade_, pp. 528-30; Ragette, _Baalbek_, p. 39.
/150/ Haldar, "Balbek," p. 330; Honigmann, "Heliupolis," col. 717.
/151/ Cassiodorus, _Historia ecclesia tripartita_, 1.9.6; 6.12.5; Eusebius of Caesarea, _Praeparatio evangelica_, 4.16.22; Eusebius of Caesarea, _Vita Constantini_, 3.8, all excerpted in Hajjar, _Triade_, pp. 425-30.
/152/ Ragette, _Baalbek_, pp. 68-69.
/153/ John of Ephesus, _Historiae Ecclesiasticae_, pars tertia, 3.27-28, 3.33-34, interpretatus E. W. Brooks, Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium, Scriptores Syri, Series Tertia--Tomus 3 (Lovanii: ex Officina Orientali et Scientifica, 1936; Textus Parisiis: E Typographico Reipublicae, 1936), textus, pp. 155-58, 165-67, versio, pp. 114-18, 122-24.
/154/ Haldar, "Balbek," p. 330.
/155/ Dussaud, _Religions_, p. 399; Hajjar, _Triade_, p. 521; Macrobius, _Saturnalia_, 1.23.14-16 = Davies, pp. 151- 52.
/156/ Youseff Hajjar, "Jupiter-Heliopolitanus," ["Heliopolitanus"] in M. J. Vermaseren, ed., _Die orientalische Religionen im Rmerreich_ (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1981), p. 232; Hajjar, _Triade_, pp. 540, 556-57.
/157/ Hajjar, "Heliopolitanus," pp. 232-33; Hajjar, _H liopolis_, p. 179; Hajjar, _Triade_, pp. 523, 525.
/158/ Hajjar, _H liopolis_, pp. 165, 354; Hajjar, "Heliopolitanus," p. 225; Hajjar, _Triade_, pp. 516, 540-41, 544.
/159/ Hajjar, _Triade_, no. 227, gives a photo and transcription of the foot. See Hajjar, _Triade_, p. 541 and Michael Avi-Yonah, "Mount Carmel and the God of Baalbek," _IEJ_ 2 (1952): pp. 118-24.
/160/ Hajjar, _Heliopolis_, pp. 191, 354; Teixidor, _Pagan_, p. 57.
/161/ Cornelius Tacitus, _Histories_ 2.78, in Cornelius Tacitus, _Complete Works of Tacitus_, trans. Alfred John Church and William Jackson Broadribb, ed. Moses Hadas (The Modern Library; New York: Random House, 1942), pp. 522-23.
/162/ Dussaud, _Religions_, pp. 397, 399; Hajjar, _H liopolis_, p. 178; Hajjar, _Triade_, pp. 512, 517; S. Ronzevalle, _Jupiter Heliopolitaine_ (Beirut: Imprimerie catholique, 1937), p. 23; Henri Seyrig, "Soleil," p. 369.
/163/ Macrobius, _Saturnalia_, 1.23.17-18 = Davies, p. 152.
/164/ Hajjar, _H liopolis_, p. 195.
/165/ Seyrig, "Bl," pp. 99-100; Teixidor, _Pagan_, pp. 35, 49.
/166/ Hajjar, _H liopolis_, p. 183.
/167/ Hajjar, _H liopolis_, pp. 192-93, 205, 217-19; Teixidor, _Pagan_, pp. 54, 57.
/168/ Hajjar, _H liopolis_, pp. 177, 183; Hajjar, "Heliopolitanus," p. 213; Hajjar, _Triade_, "Index e'pigraphique et litteraire," pp. 579-80; Haldar, "Baalbek," p. 330.
/169/ Hajjar, _H liopolis_, pp. 221-23.
/170/ Hajjar, _Triade_, no. 197, pp. 224-25 & Pl. LXXII.
/171/ Ibid., no. 26, p. 45.
/172/ Hajjar, _H liopolis_, p. 21; Hajjar, _Triade_, p. 500.
/173/ "Balanion" probably comes from Baal in the same way that "palladion" come from Pallas. Dussaud, _Religions_, p. 396.
/174/ Ibid., p. 397.
/175/ Dussaud, _Religions_, p. 397; Hajjar, "Heliopolitanus," pp. 216-17; Hajjar, _Triade_, pp. 500, 502-04.
/176/ Hajjar, _H liopolis_, pp. 36, 224; Hajjar, _Triade_, p. 501; See Hajjar, _Triade_, nos. 232, 290, 360 for Tyche.
/177/ Gese, _Religion_, p. 221; Hajjar, _H liopolis_, pp. 90-91, 98-100, 223-24; Seyrig, "Bl," p. 114; Seyrig, "Sol," p. 346; Hajjar, _Triade_, p. 504, "Index monumentale," section 12, A and E, pp. 588-89, 593-94, for the numbers of Jupiter Heliopolitanus images with one or more planet-gods.
/178/ Franz Cumont, "Jupiter H liopolitaine et les divinit s des planetes," _Syria_ 2 (1921): p. 42; Dussaud, _Religions_, p. 397; Hajjar, _H liopolis_, p. 223; Hajjar, _Triade_, no. 233, p. 284 and no. 321, p. 415.
/179/ Hajjar, _H liopolis_, p. 91; Hajjar, _Triade_, no. 186, pp. 211-14, Pl. LXX.
/180/ Hajjar, _H liopolis_, pp. 90, 106; Hajjar, _Triade_, p. 504.
/181/ Seyrig, "Sol," p. 346; Gese, _Religion_, p. 222; Hajjar, "Heliopolitanus," p. 218; Hajjar, _H liopolis_, pp. 90, 101, 106, 222-25; Hajjar, _Triade_, p. 513.
/182/ Hajjar, _H liopolis_, pp. 36, 106, 224.
/183/ Petra may be the Biblical "Rock of Edom," or _ha- Sela`_. See Jean Starcky, "Petra et la Nabat ne," ["Petra"] _Supplement au Dictionnaire de la Bible_, VII (Paris: Letouzey & An , 1964), cols. 886-900.
/184/ For a discussion of the geographical boundaries of the Nabataean kingdom, see Smith, _Antipatrids_, p. 1 and the sources cited there.
/185/ Avraham Negev, "The Nabataeans and the Provincia Arabia," ["Provincia"] in W. Haase and H. Temporini, eds., _ANRW_ II.8 (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1977), pp. 639-40.
/186/ Starcky, "Petra," pp. 937-38.
/187/ Cassius Dio, _Historia_, 68.14.5 = Cary, VIII, pp. 388-89; Ammianus Marcellinus, _Historia_, 14.8.13 = Rolfe, I, pp. 70-71; see Negev, "Provincia," pp. 640, 642 for texts and translations.
/188/ Starcky, "Petra," p. 914; Nelson Glueck, _Deities and Dolphins_; _The Story of the Nabataeans_ (New York: Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux, 1965), pp. 39, 41, 43.
/189/ Starcky, "Petra," p. 941; Negev, "Provincia," pp. 614, 616.
/190/ Starcky,"Petra," p. 932; Yigael Yadin, _Bar-Kokhba_; _The Rediscovery of the Legendary Hero of the Second Jewish Revolt Against Rome_ (New York: Random House, 1971), pp. 229, 232-35 and the whole of the chapter "The Life and Trials of Babatha," pp. 222-253.
/191/ Starcky, "Petra," pp. 940-41.
/192/ Nelson Glueck, _The Other Side of the Jordan_ [_Other_] (New Haven, CT: American Schools of Oriental Research, 1970), pp. 236, 238; Starcky, p. 985.
/193/ Glueck, _Other_, p. 214; Nelson Glueck, _Dolphins_, p. 74.
/194/ Glueck, _Other_, p. 216; Glueck, _Dolphins_, pp. 74- 76.
/195/ Glueck, _Other_, p. 215; Glueck, _Dolphins_, pp. 76- 77.
/196/ Glueck, _Dolphins_, p. 621.
/197/ Glueck, _Other_, pp. 242-43; Starcky, "Petra," p. 975; Negev, "Provincia," p. 605.
/198/ Glueck, _Other_, p. 241; Negev, "Provincia," p. 607.
/199/ Glueck, _Other_, pp. 221-22, 227; Negev, "Provincia," p. 605.
/200/ Glueck, _Other_, p. 221; Glueck, _Dolphins_, p. 471; Negev, "Provincia," p. 607.
/201/ Glueck, _Other_, p. 227.
/202/ Glueck, _Dolphins_, pp. 143-44, 204-05.
/203/ Starcky, "Petra," p. 974.
/204/ Negev, "Provincia," p. 607; Hajjar, _H liopolis_, p. 195.
/205/ Gundel, "Zodiakos," cols. 628-29.
/206/ Glueck, _Other_, p. 231; Glueck, _Dolphins_, pp. 399- 400, 412.
/207/ Glueck, _Other_, p. 231; Glueck, _Dolphins_, p. 397.
/208/ Glueck, _Other_, p. 231; Glueck, _Dolphins_, pp. 413- 14.
/209/ Glueck, _Other_, p. 231; Glueck, _Dolphins_, p. 415; Negev, "Provincia," p. 607.
/210/ Glueck, _Dolphins_, pp. 415, 417, 426.
/211/ Glueck, _Dolphins_, pp. 433-34; Starcky, "Petra," p. 974.
/212/ Strabo, _Geography_, 16.4.26 = Jones, VII, 366-69.
/213/ Glueck, _Other_, p. 236; Glueck, _Dolphins_, pp. 58, 455, 464.
/214/ Avraham Negev, _Nabataean Archaeology Today_ (London and New York: New York University Press, 1986), pp. 95-97.
/215/ See Maurice Dunand, ed., _La muse'e de Soueida_ (Paris: Paul Geuthner, 1934).