Baalbek, also known as Baalbeck (Arabic: بعلبك / ALA-LC: Baʻalbak, Lebanesepronunciation: [ˈbʕalbak]) is a town in the Beqaa Valley of Lebanon situated east of the Litani River. It is famous for its exquisitely detailed yet monumentally scaled temple ruins of the Roman period, when Baalbek, then known as Heliopolis(Greek: Ἡλιούπολις), was one of the largest sanctuaries in the empire. It is Lebanon’s greatest Roman treasure, and it can be counted among the wonders of the ancient world, containing some of the largest and best preserved Roman ruins.
Towering high above the Beqaa plain, their monumental proportions proclaimed the power and wealth of Imperial Rome. The gods worshiped there, the triad ofJupiter, Venus and Bacchus, were grafted onto the indigenous deities of Hadad,Atargatis and a young male god of fertility. Local influences are seen in the planning and layout of the temples, which vary from the classic Roman design.
Baalbek is home to the annual Baalbeck International Festival. The town is about 85 km (53 mi) northeast of Beirut and about 75 km (47 mi) north of Damascus. It has a population of approximately 72,000, mostly Shia Muslims.
The history of settlement in the area of Baalbek dates back about 9,000 years, with almost continual settlement of the tell under the Temple of Jupiter, which was a temple since the pre-Hellenistic era.
Nineteenth century Bible archaeologists wanted to connect Baalbek to the “Baalgad” mentioned in Joshua 11:17, but the assertion has seldom been taken up in modern times. In fact, this minor Phoenician city, named for the “Lord (Baal) of the Beqaa valley” lacked enough commercial or strategic importance to rate a mention in Assyrian or Egyptian records so far uncovered, according to Hélène Sader, professor of archaeology at the American University of Beirut.
Heliopolis, the City of the Sun
After Alexander the Great conquered the Near East in 334 BCE, the existing settlement was named Heliopolis (Ἡλιούπολις) from helios, Greek for sun, and polis, Greek for city. The city retained its religious function during Greco-Roman times, when the sanctuary of the Heliopolitan Jupiter-Baal was a pilgrimage site. Trajan‘s biographer records that the emperor consulted theoracle there. Trajan inquired of the Heliopolitan Jupiter whether he would return alive from his wars against the Parthians. In reply, the god presented him with a vine shoot cut into pieces. Macrobius, a Latin grammarian of the 5th century, mentioned Zeus Heliopolitanus and the temple, a place of oracular divination. Starting in the last quarter of the 1st century BCE (reign of Augustus) and over a period of two centuries (reign of Philip the Arab), the Romans had built a temple complex in Baalbek consisting of three temples: Jupiter, Bacchus and Venus. On a nearby hill, they built a fourth temple dedicated to Mercury.
The city, then known as Heliopolis (there was another Heliopolis in Egypt), was made a colonia bySeptimius Severus in 193, having been part of the territory of Berytus on the Phoenician coast since 15 BCE. Work on the religious complex there lasted over a century and a half and was never completed. The dedication of the present temple ruins, the largest religious building in the entire Roman empire, dates from the reign of Septimius Severus (193-211 CE), whose coins first show the two temples. In commemoration, no doubt, of the dedication of the new sanctuaries, Severus conferred the rights of the ius Italicum on the city.
The greatest of the three temples was sacred to Jupiter Baal, (“Heliopolitan Zeus”), identified here with the sun, and was constructed during the first century CE (completed circa 60 CE). With it were associated a temple to Venus and a lesser temple in honor of Bacchus (though it was traditionally referred to as the “Temple of the Sun” by Neoclassical visitors, who saw it as the best-preserved Roman temple in the world – it is surrounded by forty-two columns nearly 20 meters in height). Thus three Eastern deities were worshipped in Roman guise: thundering Jove, the god of storms, stood in for Baal-Hadad, Venus for ‘Ashtart and Bacchus for Anatolian Dionysus.
So my Mom came to me this morning talking about something she saw on The History Channel a few nights ago – that there is speculation that the foundation of the ancient city of Baalbeck was constructed by extraterrestrial life.
Yup. That’s right. Aliens.
After some research, it turns out that she wasn’t lying, and that this is actually a widely held belief! (It’s funny that the Nakhal tour guide never mentioned anything about Baalbek being the “place where alien beings first arrived” when I visited the site earlier this year with my family! Shame Shame!)
What interests ‘ancient astronaut theorists’ is not the Greek and Roman ruins (which date back 9,000 years), but the foundation of the site..which, according to them, date back tens of thousands of years. The megalithic stones, which comprise the foundation of the site, have led them to believe that this base was once used as a ‘space port’ landing site for extraterrestrials. This is mainly because they cannot explain how these massive stones, which weigh between 800 and 1200 tons, were moved into place with such geometric precision that even today’s modern machinery cannot replicate. Apparently, the stones at the foundation of Baalbeck are some of the largest, heaviest, stones that have ever been used in human construction on the planet!
Not only that..but, according to the episode, which aired as a part of the series ‘Ancient Aliens’ on the History Channel, ..Baalbeck has been known as “the landing place” since Sumerian times. In The Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh claims to have “seen aliens descend and ascend from Baalbeck – the landing place.”
In ancient times, was built in the more imaginative buildings that override all the laws of nature in order to stay together. Questions about how did you come this is possible when the current methods of subjects either did not get the same result. Would it be possible that we have received for Visitors From Space. Evidence around the world will tell you that this could have happened. Or we were in a union, which came with the space.