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Summary

Baalbek Temple of Bacchus, one of the best preserved Roman temples in the world.

Class:

  • Temple or sanctuary
  • visible
  • Location ± 0-5 m.
(see also PELAGIOS)

Identifiers:

Nearby

Baalbek, museum

Museum of Baalbek

Heliopolis

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

Temple of Jupiter Heliopolitanus, Baalbek

Temple of Jupiter Heliopolitanus, Baalbek

Temple of Venus, Baalbek

Venus Temple - Baalbek

Images

Surroundings (Panoramio)

Annotation

The Temple of Bacchus was one of the three main temples at a large complex in classical antiquity, at Baalbek in Lebanon. The temple was dedicated to Bacchus (also known as Dionysus), the Roman god of wine, but was traditionally referred to by Neoclassical visitors as the "Temple of the Sun". It is considered one of the best preserved Roman temples in the world. It is larger than the Parthenon in Greece, though much less famous.

The temple was commissioned by Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius and designed by an unknown architect c. 150 AD, and built close to the courtyard in front of the larger temple of Jupiter-Baal. When the temple complex fell into disrepair, the Temple of Bacchus was protected by the rubble of the rest of the site's ruins. The temple is 66m long, 35m wide, and 31m high. Its walls are adorned by forty-two unfluted Corinthian columns, nineteen of which remain upright in position standing 19 m high. The columns support a richly carved entablature. Inside, the cella is decorated with Corinthian half-columns flanking two levels of niches on each side, containing scenes from the birth and life of Bacchus. The adyton (inner shrine) stands above a flight of steps.1

Image by Arian Zwegers, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

For extensive bibliography and full details see Aliquot2.  Wikipedia offers more general information on the city and the history of the site.  Taylor3 provides good photographs from the 1960s.

References

  1. Wikipedia: Temple of Bacchus
  2. Julien Aliquot (2009). La Vie religieuse au Liban sous l'Empire romain: Békaa-Nord. Beyrouth : Presses de l’Ifpo, pp. 289-291, Section 54 B.
  3. George Taylor (1967), The Roman Temples of Baalbek. Beirut : Dar el Mashreq Publishers. Plates 42-47.

Tempel van Bacchus te Baalbek. Één van de best bewaarde Romeinse tempels ter wereld.