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THE ANTIENT STATE

Any authorities I can collect from the Antients, immediately relating to
Palmyra, might be thrown into a very fmall compafs 5 but as perfons of more
leifure may, if they think it worth while, enlarge and correct thefe hints,
I mail not only produce fuch materials as I have met with, but alfo give the
hiftorical order in which I fearched for them, by taking a fhort view of the moft
remarkable revolutions of Syria, from the earlieft account of this place, which
may at lead: be of fome ufe towards a more diligent and accurate enquiry.

To what information hiftory affords I mail add what may be gathered from
the tafte of the Architecture, and from the infcriptions.

Fabulous
Hiftory.

Solomon
built Pal-
myra.

THE Arabick tranflator of Chronicles a makes Palmyra older than Solomon 5
John of Antioch furnamed Malalab fays, that he built it on the fpot where
David flew Goliah, in memory of that action $ and Abul Faraic mentions in
what year, with other particularities.

But thefe and other accounts of the early flate of Palmyra, which might be
collected from the Arabian hiftorians, bear fuch evident marks of fable and wild
conjecture, that we Ihall pais them over, and come to the earlieft hiftorical au-
thority which deferves to be quoted as fuch.

That Solomon built Tedrnor in the wildernefs we are told in the Old tefta-
ment ;d and that this was the fame city which the Greeks and Romans called
afterwards Palmyra, tho' the Syrians retained the firft name, we learn from
Jofephus.e We may add the authority of St. Jerom, who (if the vulgar latin
verfion be his) thinks Tedmor and Palmyra are only the Syrian and Greek
names of the fame place.

What feems to ftrengthen this opinion is, that at this prefent time the Arabs
of the country call it Tedmor/ and we follow their pronunciation as the beft
authority for this way of writing that name.

Ammianus Marcellinus s takes notice of the attachment of the natives of
Syria to the old names of their cities, which they kept up notwithftanding the
Greek ones given by Seleucus Nicator, when he rebuilt them. And there are
now feveral inftances in that country of the old name of a place preferved by
the Arabs, while the Greek one is from long diiufe forgot and unknown in
the country. Thus the Accoh of the Old teftament in the tribe of Airier,
was called by the Greeks Ptolemais, but now by the inhabitants Acca, the ori-
ginal name only altered in one letter 5 and Haran where Abraham dwelt be-
fore he fet out for the Land of promife, was afterwards the Carrhx of the Ro-
mans j but has again recovered its firft name, Haran.

It feems natural for people to have this affection for the names their towns
bore during their ftateof freedom and profperity 5 and an unwillingnefs to admit
innovations impofed by conqueft is obfervable in all countries, but no where
more than among the Arabs, who, notwithftanding the frequent attempts made

a 2 Chron. 8. b Dynaftiar. lib. 5.

c Verf. Pococ. d 1 Kings, 9. and 2 Chron. 8.

c Antiq. Jud. lib. 8. Pere Hardouin's objections to this
opinion feem chiefly to arife from his ignorance of the
prefent ftate of this place.

f Of feveral antient ways of writing this name the SeSuop
of the Alexandrian copy comes neareft the pronunciation of
the prefent Arabs. We take the Greek name Palmyra from
the infcriptions, though Jofephus writes it iraXpigcc and Pliny
Palmira. £ Lib. 14. b Judges i. 3 *■

upon
 
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