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Palmyrenes were original of Aramean descent; they bore Aramaic names and worshiped a variety of deities from Mesopotamia (Marduk and Ruda), Syria (Hadad, Baal, and Ishtar), Arabia (Allāt) and Greece (Athena). Religious iconography in Palmyra, situated on a principal trading route in ancient Syria, often showed a hybrid of east and west:
Beelshamen (Baal Shamin), also known as Shamayim (or Sulayman) “lord of the heavens”, was a supreme deity and the sky god of pre-Islamic Palmyra in ancient Syria. His attributes are the eagle and the lightning bolt. The earliest known occurrence of the title Baal Shamin is in a treaty of the 14th century BC between Suppiluliumas I king of the Hittites and Niqmadu II, king of Ugarit. One might take this to be another name for Baal Hadad and again when the name appears in a Phoenician inscription by King Yeḥimilk of Byblos. But other texts make a distinction between the two.
The Belshamen of Palmyra, formed a triad with the lunar god Aglibol and the sun god Yarhibol or Malakbel (“Messenger, or, Angel of the Lord”).
Among the many significant findings dug out from the various temples came the Palmyrene tokens” (tesserae): The tokens (σύμβολα, tesserae / tessères) of Palmyra, are tiles with various shapes, made almost exclusively of clay, bearing embossed designs on both sides. Scholars have expressed the opinion that these objects played an important part in Palmyra’s religious festivals since they were used to access ceremonial meals or in distributions following certain sacrifices. They date between the 1st and 3rd c. AD and provide important information on the deities of Palmyra and Semitic religious history in general.
Places Of Warship And ReligionBisher2020-12-16T05:43:57+00:00