Door Lintel From The Temple Of Baalshamin


This item is depicting the god Baalshamin in an eagle form flanked by Aglibol ( Moon-God) under the left wing and Yarhibol (Sun-God) to the right.

Baalshamin or Ba’al Šamem (Aramaic: ܒܥܠ ܫܡܝܢ), lit. ‘Lord of Heaven(s)’, a title applied to different gods at different places or times in ancient Middle Eastern inscriptions, especially in Canaan/Phoenicia and Syria. The title was most often applied to Hadad, who is also often titled just Ba‘al. Baalshamin was one of the two supreme gods and the sky god of pre-Islamic Palmyra in ancient Syria (Bel being the other supreme god). There his attributes were the eagle and the lightning bolt, and he perhaps formed a triad with the lunar god Aglibol and the sun god Malakbel.

The earliest known mention of this god or title is in a treaty of the 14th century BC between Suppiluliumas I, King of the Hittites, and Niqmaddu II, King of Ugarit.In the treaty of 677 BC between King Esarhaddon of Assyria and King Ba‘al I of Tyre, a curse is laid against King Baal if he breaks the treaty, reading in part:

“May Baal-sameme, Baal-malage, and Baal-saphon raise an evil wind against your ships, to undo their moorings, tear out their mooring pole, may a strong wave sink them in the sea, a violent tide [. . .] against you. (*)

In Nabatean texts in Greek, Baal Shamin is regularly equated with Zeus Helios, that is Zeus as a sun-god. Sanchuniathon supports this:

“… and that when droughts occurred, they stretched out their hands to heaven towards the sun; for him alone (he says) they regarded as god the lord of heaven, calling him Beelsamen, which is in the Phoenician language ‘lord of heaven’, and in Greek ‘Zeus’ (**)

The eagle symbol of Baalshamin

  • Material: Limestone

  • Date: 3ed century AD

  • Proximate Dimensions: (W) 220 cm x (H) 35 cm

  • Excavated from: Palmyra- Temple Of Baalshamin

  • Archaeological Mission: Swiss archaeological mission 1955/1954

  • Archeological Museum Of Palmyra – First Floor. (2011)

Excavation Site Location.

Palmyra’s 3ed Century. Religious rituals and places of worship

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