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Baalbek (Heliopolis)

Baalbek or Heliopolis (Ἡλιούπολις, "sun city"): town in the northern Bekaa valley, site of the largest sanctuary in the Roman world.

History Photos

At the end of the fifth century, Zacharias of Mytilene composed his Ecclesiastical History. It was translated and abbridged by a Syriac author, who added material of his own, like chapter 8.4. This second author is called Pseudo-Zacharias. The translation was made by F. J. Hamilton and E. W. Brooks. The three stones ps.-Zacharias mentions, are the trilithon.

The End of the Temple of Heliopolis

The temple of Solomon [1] in the city of Heliopolis in the forest of Lebanon, as to which Scripture mentions that Solomon built it and stored arms in it,[2] was burnt.

And to the south of it are three wonderful stones, on which nothing is built, but they stand by themselves, joined and united together and touching one another; and all three are distinguished by effigies, and they are very large. And in a mystical sense they are set, as it were, to represent the temple of the knowledge of the faith in the adorable Trinity, the calling of the nations by the preaching of the gospel tidings.

There came down lightning from heaven, while the rain fell in small quantities: it struck the temple and reduced its stones to powder by the heat, and overthrew its pillars, and broke it to pieces and destroyed it. But the three stones  it did not touch, but they remain perfect; and now a house of prayer has been built there, dedicated to Mary the Holy Virgin, the Theotokos.

Note 1:
In Late Antiquity, almost every special building was attributed to Solomon.

Note 2:
1 Kings 9.19: "And all the cities of store that Solomon had, and cities for his chariots, and cities for his horsemen, and that which Solomon desired to build in Jerusalem, and in Lebanon, and in all the land of his dominion.", the online home of Ancient Warfare magazine

History Photos
Jona Lendering for
Livius.Org, 2012
Revision: 1 Aug. 2012
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