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readily subscribe to the judgment of a dis- vent, inhabited by the bishop, the only tinguished traveller, who observes with re Christian minister in Ba'albek. A few gard to the temples of Ba'albek, that their rooms, open and airy, with a delightful architecture, though groaning beneath the view towards the temples, the plain, and weight of its own luxuriance and exhibit the distant Mount Lebanon, had been proing in the numerous chapels, niches, friezes vided for us, and Mustapha now attended and cornices, a display of that minutely with an excellent dinner. finished workmanship, which, neglecting In the afternoon we took a ride through the noble proportions of Hellenic construc- the desolate city of Ba'albek, which, neartion, betrayed the decline of art among ly abandoned to decay, still exhibits traces Greeks and Romans—still leaves a deep of its former importance. Its ruinous and pleasing impression on the traveller, mosque, with broken minarets and sunken and fascinates his eyes alike by the gran- cupola, has a fine portico of red granite deur of the forms, the exquisite finish of the columns; its tanks, fountains, and baths details, and highly picturesque effects of are desolate, and the dark cypresses in the the general scenery.

courts seem still to mourn over the fate of All travellers describe the ruins of Ba'al- the devoted city. bek as superior to those of Palmyra and The early history of Ba'albek or HelioGerasa.

polis is enveloped in almost impenetrable On our return we passed through the darkness. David, King of Judah, consubterranean vaults which run beneath the quered Damascus and held the sway of large platform, supporting the sanctuaries Syria. Solomon was said to have built and the courts. They are built of im- Ba'albek and Tadmor (Palmyra) in the mense square stones, and are two hundred desert.* Heliolatry, or worship of the Sunpaces in length and twenty-five in breadth, god, existed there, says Macrobius, in the and communicate with each other by pas- most remote antiquity ; yet the most floursages. 'Large apertures for the admittance ishing period of these cities, the time of the of air from above, render them dry and cool; erection of the gorgeous temples, and of and from this cause they were formerly the power and wealth of the proud priestused as an armory and magazine by the hood of Ba'al in Heliopolis, Emesa, and Saracens, though they are now neglected Palmyra, falls within the first two centuand so much obstructed by rubbish and ries of our era. Syria had then an exstones, that we had some difficulty in find ceedingly large population, and was full ing our way through their dark recesses of rich and flourishing cities. Gaza, Asto the moat of the castle.

calon, and Ptolemais, were celebrated merOn the south-east of the temples to cantile ports. Aelia Capitolina, the venwards the city of Ba'albek, stands a cir- erable Jerusalem, though interdicted to cular building with six projecting columns the exiled Jews, began slowly to recover of the Corinthian order, which support a from its destruction, and was re-built by curious cornice, ornamented with Cupids, Hadrian. All professions, which required holding garlands of flowers and fruits. talent, ingenuity, and practice, were flourThis little rotunda, which may have be- ishing in Syria, and her intelligent and enlonged to the famous ancient temple of terprising sons were dispersed over every Venus Astarte, the powerful Syrian god- part of the Roman Empire. The most dess, was surmounted by a cupola ; part distinguished musicians, stage-actors, mimof its arched soffit still remains. It is of a ics, and dancers, were found in Cæsarea, white marble or limestone. The workman- Tyre, Berytos, and Heliopolis. Laodicea ship is excellent, but the taste of its archi was proud of her inimitable horsemen; tecture very bad, and so affected and odd Lydda of her purple-dyers. The Syrian that it involuntarily reminded me of the linen manufactures vied with those of rococo style of the age of Louis XIV. in Egypt. Gaza and Ascalon enjoyed the France. The Greeks formerly used it as greatest export of wines and fruits. Science a Christian church, having dedicated it to and philosophy flourished in Tarsus and Santa Barbara ; but since the earthquake of 1759, it is in a tottering condition.

* And Solomon built Gezer and Beth-horon the At noon we returned to the Greek con

nether, and Baalath and Tadmor in the wilderness. -1 Kings, ix. 17, 18.

Berytos, where the young Romans crowded |ed by his sun-priests, was drawn slowly the celebrated colleges of law and juris- backwards that he might continually enjoy prudence. The beautiful and populous the divine presence ! A magnificent temAntioch was the proud capital of the East, ple had been built on the Palatine Mount, while Tyre and Sidon still exhibited the where sacrifices were celebrated to the wealth, ease, and luxury of their more Sun-god with all the pomp and extravagolden days. Emesa and Heliopolis were gance of the East. The most extraordithe great centre of the worship of the Sun- nary victims and the choicest aromatics god, and nowhere was Oriental beauty were consumed on his altars, around which more admired than in the charming priest beautiful Syrian maidens performed their esses of the great temple of Venus Astarte graceful dances ; while the gravest personhere in Ba'albek. The victorious cam ages of the Roman state and army, clothed paigns of Trajan in Mesopotamia, the de- in the long flowing robes of the Phænistruction of the Parthian empire, and the cians, officiated in the meanest functions re-opened commerce with the countries with affected zeal, but their hearts burning beyond the Euphrates and Tigris, contrib- with secret indignation! Thus the high uted to the sudden rise of Palmyra, that priest of Ba'al was the ruler of the world! wonderful city of the desert, which, by her But the reign of superstition and Asiatic impregnable situation, and the talents of extravagance and perversion was of short her great rulers, Odenathus and Zenobia, duration. The most influential revolution soon formed an independent and powerful in the spiritual progress of mankind was empire on the banks of the Euphrates. at hand. The Christian Church had de

This period of two centuries and a half, veloped itself in its primitive obscurity, and when all the beautiful countries around in spite of poverty, contempt, and persethe shores of the Mediterranean were con- cution, had spread throughout Orient and solidated in the well-organized and mighty Occident. The Christians were particuRoman empire, is generally considered as larly numerous in Antioch, and in all Syria. that of the highest civilization in antiquity; Constantine ordered the glittering temples and the peaceful reign of the Antonines, of Ba'albek and Emesa to be closed. The (A. D. 117–180) as the most happy era of re-action was complete, and—although mankind. And yet-bright, glorious, and paganism, during the short reign of Julian peaceful as these times may appear—they the Apostate, again raised its banner, and were those of the deepest corruption and the worshippers of Ba’al, at Heliopolis, once grossest superstition! History does not more abused the transient moments of present us a picture of greater depravity their prosperity-nevertheless the final and degradation among the proud Romans, victory of the Christian faith was triumphthan that of the triumphal entry of the antly proclaimed by Theodosius the Great. monster Heliogabalus and his sun-priests The

pompous sacrifices at the altars of into Rome in 218.

Ba'al then ceased, the priests vanished, When the rebellious legions of Syria, and the zealous Christian rulers of the says the interesting Greek historian, Hero- church now no longer contented themdian, had raised the high priest of the sun, selves with the shutting of the temples, Bassianus, the son of Soemias, to the im- the seizure of the instruments of idolatry, perial throne, the beautiful and vain youth and the abolishment of the privileges of immediately took the sacred name of He- the priesthood, but began a pitiless war liogabal himself, and the triumph of the of destruction against the most beautiful god of Ba'albek, over all the religions of monuments of Grecian antiquity. In the world, became the great object of his Syria, Marcellus, the bishop, animated fanatical zeal and superstitious gratitude. with apostolic fervor, says Sozomenos, the In a solemn and glittering procession he historian, took the field against “the powentered the city of Rome. The way was ers of darkness,” and, accompanied by a strewed with gold-dust, and the black numerous troop of soldiers and gladiators, stone, the symbol of Ba'al, set in precious attacked with fire and sword the pagan jewels, was placed on a chariot drawn by villages and the stately temples of the six white steeds, richly harnessed. The diocese of Apamea. Idols, columns, and young pontiff held the reins, and, support- sanotuaries, now went down in a common

ruin ; the most precious monuments of | Maundrell, passed through Ba'albek in ancient art perished, and the temples of 1697, but appears only to have visited the Ba'albek no doubt would have shared the ruins. same fate, if Theodosius, himself an ad “ The city,” says he, “enjoys a most mirer and protector of architecture, had delightful and commodious situation on the not interposed his powerful commands, and east side of the valley of Bocat. It is of a ordered the Syrian fanatics to desist. The square figure, compassed with a tolerably great Pantheon and the temple of Ba'al good wall, in which are towers, all round, were thus preserved and transformed into at equal distances. It extends about two Christian churches. One hundred and furlongs on a side. Its houses within are forty-six years later came the Saracens. all of the meanest structure, such as are

The Christian sanctuaries of Heliopolis, usually seen in Turkish villages." which by the Arabs again was called by In the year 1751, Ba'albek had still five its ancient Syrian name Ba'albek, became thousand inhabitants ; but it was nearly the residence of an Emir, and were built up destroyed by the tremendous earthquake into a strong fortress, which repelled all in 1759, which demolished a great part of the predatory incursions of the Crusa- the temples. The continual feuds of the ders in the plain of the Buka'a. The ter- Emirs Jusuf and Diezzar brought new rible Timour-Khan, with his Mongols, misery over the fair plain. The sudden stormed and took Ba'albek in 1401, on his prosperity and rapid conquests of the wild march to Damascus. He found there im- Metawileh terminated with their defeat. mense stores of provisions and arms for Emir-Beshir, and his victorious Druzes, the troops of the Mamluke Sultans of Egypt. laid Ba'albek in ashes, and forced the IsThe town continued flourishing even so lam heretics to seek refuge in the Antilate as the middle of the seventeenth cen Lebanon. tury. Its central situation between Da Thus the twelve hundred miserable inmascus, Beirut, and Tripolis, must have habitants, whom M. de Volney saw in secured it some profit from the extensive Ba'albek, are now reduced to a few famitrade carried on through the interior of lies. During our stay there in 1844, we Syria to the coast of the Mediterranean. hardly met with a human being. There

The Chevalier d’Arvieux, who visited were neither bazars nor khans, but heaps Ba'albek in 1660, gives an interesting de- of rubbish and ruins everywhere. Even scription of it in his memoirs of that the present Emir Mar-Kandjar has retime. The city was then large, and de- tired with his family and few retainers to fended by walls and towers, which the the more populous village of Bereitan. hand of time and the indolence of the Os- According to the barometrical observations manlis were leaving to decay. The houses of Prof. Russegger, the city lies 3,490 feet were, on the contrary, though ancient, above the level of the Mediterranean. Its still in excellent condition. It seemed evi- site at the base of the Anti-Lebanon is dent to the Chevalier that they had been picturesque and romantic in the highest debuilt with taste and care by a people who gree; its climate is healthful, and its terrihad an affection for architecture, and knew tory, well watered by the Litany and other how to appreciate its beauties. “We were rivulets, extends twelve hours through the all comfortably quartered in the khan,” upper plain towards the desert of Homs says he, “and we visited several houses be- and the termination of the Anti-Lebanon. longing to our Arab acquaintance, where This more hilly part of the soil is stony the arrangement of the apartments, and and less fertile, but the southern tract their distribution, embellishments, and fur- towards Zableh was formerly covered with niture, were all kept up in the ancient cornfields and vineyards, which in the latRoman style. The inhabitants were Greek ter years have been destroyed during the Christians. They had an archbishop, and encampments of the Egyptian troops in several churches. The greatest number these regions. of them were cotton-weavers and dyers, It had been our intention to ascend who sent their manufactures to Damascus Mount Lebanon by the road to Ainaiteh and and Tripolis."

the ancient cedars; but the Greek bishop, The well-known English pilgrim, Henry | who, besides an elderly woman, was the

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only denizen of the convent in which we restive mules broke loose from their drivers, lodged, dissuaded us from undertaking this and precipitated their burdens in the waroute, not only because the passage of Je- ter. Canteens, trunks and tents, all went bel-Makmel was still covered with deep down in the greatest confusion, until the snow and no traveller had yet descended to horsemen of our party with some difficulty Ba'albek by that road during the spring, recaptured the frolicking culprits, and colbut particularly because

had lected the drenched luggage. We therespread of a rebellion in that part of the fore encamped on the river-side, and in mountain against the Turkish government. the afternoon continued our route along He therefore advised us to take the road to the base of Mount Lebanon to Kerak, a Zahleh, where on learning the true state of ruinous village looking out from a fine affairs in the country, we might cross the grove of cypresses, where Mohammedan mountain by the easier pass of Jebel-Sun- tradition places the tomb of Noah. The nin. Another difficulty arose : Mustapha, building consists of two towers connected our dragoman, had never visited this part of by a long portico of slender arches, Syria : he was therefore ignorant of the which resembled more an aqueduct than a road, and we could not get any other guide sepulchre. The Arab traditions from in Ba'albek. We consequently resolved to Genesis are numerous in this part of Syria. pass through the plain to Zahleh. Having The abode of Adam, in the plain of Daspent the whole evening and next morn mascus, the altar and sepulchre of Abel, ing most delightfully, among the temple the tombs of Noah and Nimrod, and that ruins, we took leave of our hospitable bishop of Moses on the mountains of Judah, are and left Ba'albek at eight o'clock. We then all consecrated by cupolas and tomb-stones, crossed the rivulet, which in the plain unites where the wandering Muslims dismount with the Litany, descending from its head- and devoutly perform their prayers. It is spring at Tell-Hushbein, a hill three miles a curious tradition, that the ark of Noah west of the town. At an hour's ride from the rested on Jebel-Sunnin, where traces of it temples we stopped a few moments near a are still to be seen !* curious octagonal building called Kubbet We now arrived on the banks of the Duris, which is evidently a modern fabric, Barduny, a copious and limpid stream, made up with excellent materials from the issuing from a narrow glen in the Lebanon. ruins. It is surrounded by eight columns Zahleh, a large city inhabited by eight or of a fine red granite ; some have been ten thousand Maronite Christians, is situplaced with the upper part down. The ated in a very picturesque and healthy site, architrave formed an octagon, and the cu

on both sides of the river, in that part of pola had fallen in.

the valley where it opens upon the plain The seven hours' ride through the Bu- of the Buka’a. Immense poplars skirt the ka’a to Zahleh, situated in a narrow deep banks of the stream, and give quite a northdell of the Lebanon, is exceedingly pleas- ern character to the scenery. Crossing a ant. The morning was bright; a light high stone bridge, we at five o'clock disbreeze swept across the open fields. Not mounted before the Greek convent, in a tree was to be seen, but a rich verdant which several well furnished rooms were carpet, checkered by brilliant flowers, co most hospitably offered for our accommoered the whole expanse.

In the distance dation. The view from the terrace of the these fresh green tints were changed into monastery towards the high frowning rocks a transparent lilac-colored haze, which of the Jebel-Sunnin, to the deep dell on the softly enveloped the two mighty mountain- north-west, where on a precipice appears ridges, while the glittering snow of Jebel- | another convent, embosomed in a grove of Makmel and Sunnin and the deep clefts black cypresses and beautiful vineyards, of Mount Hermon presented the sharpest and over the thriving town of Zahleh, eastand most distinct outline against the azure sky. Here and there herds of cattle and horses were grazing. We passed near the

* The Greek priests believe that ruins of the

ark still exist on the summit of Mount Ararat in villages of Beit-Shamar and Temnin, and Armenia. When my friend Papa Ktenas learned arrived at ten o'clock at the ford of the that I was going to ihe Holy Land, he quite seri. Litany, where in crossing the river the l him back some splinters from the ark of Noah !

ously requested me among other relies to bring

sea.

ward to the distant plain and the opposite tion of this news decided us afterwards to range of the Anti-Lebanon, is exceedingly change the direction of our route. The interesting. But the troublesome Zahleans prospect from the pass of el-Sunnin is did not permit us to enjoy this delightful extensive, and more wild and dreary than prospect in quiet. The greater part of them any I had seen on the Lebanon. We were are exiled Christians of the Armenian and surrounded by gray, totally barren limeSyrian Greek churches, who during the stone rocks, forming precipices from which persecutions at Damascus and Halep, have numerous streams and rills, foaming and fled with their families to Mount Lebanon, chafing in continual waterfalls, descended and thus contributed to the rapid increase in picturesque varietyAt a great distance of the city. They are very good-humored, below, we distinguished the village Bisand the most lively and industrious inhab- kinta, and beyond it the broad bosom of the itants on the mountain. Many are weav From the upper table-land we deers and tanners, all agriculturists and scended upon a second terrace, where we gardeners, who most sedulously plough stopped at a solitary hut. A Maronite the terraces of the hills around and lay shepherd, who was guarding his flock of them out in vineyards and mulberry goats and sheep on a meadow among the groves. We had hardly appeared on the patches of snow still covering this part of terrace, before the entire population as it the ridge, offered us a platter with lebben seemed, men, women, and children, began or sour milk, and a wreath of fragrant vioto lay a regular siege to the convent. lets and Alpine roses, which he had gathCourts and staircases were crowded ; fromered from the beautiful bushes of rhododenall sides they pressed in upon us, exclaim- dron, growing luxuriantly in these elevaing in Italian, “Buon giorno, Signori! ted regions. Our horses were extremely Siamo Cristiani, anche noi.” Welcome, fatigued ; we left them grazing, and after gentlemen! we too are Christians.” There an hour's rest we descended through dense was no possibility of escaping from the pine forests by a steep and dangerous pass crowd; all the efforts of the monks were to the bed of the river Nahr-Salib. Evenin vain, and we were at last obliged to take ing was already closing before we gained our pilau and tea in the presence of the the opposite heights of el-Mezra'ah. The wondering multitude.

Next morning we scenery was sublime; the sun set on the were in the saddle at an early hour, and glittering expanse of the distant sea, and began the ascent of the mountain by a suddenly illuminated with hues of the steep path running along the precipices of deepest purple the snowy crest of Sunnin, Jebel-Rihan. The rocks were clothed rising majestically above the surrounding with a variety of fine shrubs and trees, pine woods. In a few moments all was fir, chestnut, and the blooming olean- darkness again. Our weary horses, pantder. In an hour and a half we reached the ing and snorting, stumbled slowly along height of the pass. Here we met an armed the rugged path, and we did not arrive at band of Maronites, who told us that a seri- Mezra'ah until a late hour in the night. ous insurrection had broken out in the dis- Our muleteers had lost their way, and toiltrict of Bsherreh. The apparent cause of ing up and down the hills, they at last found this rising was an order of the Pasha in a guide who accompanied them to our Beirut, that the conscription of young quarters. The roads in the mountains of men should take place for the regular el-Metn and Kesrawan are bad beyond Turkish army. The consequence was, that description. I have passed over horrible the whole valley of Kadisha had taken up roads on Mount Etna, near Modica in arms and driven the Ottoman officers and Sicily, and on Mount Taygetos in Greece, employees out of the mountain. The but those of Lebanon are by far the worst Turks of Tripolis were preparing an ex of all. “When a traveller penetrates these pedition against Bsherreh, and this gen mountains," says M. de Volney, “the rugeral disorder had caused the Maronites and gedness of the roads, the steepness of the Druzes of the districts of el-Metn and Kes- declivities, the depth of the precipices, rawan, through which we were now trav- have at first a territic effect; but the sagaelling, likewise to arm and observe what city of the mules which carry him soon turn affairs would take. The confirma- inspires him with confidence, and enables

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