Philobiblon: The wonders around Aleppo

Friday, January 21, 2005

The wonders around Aleppo

al2, originally uploaded by natalieben.

This isn't usually a photo blog, but having stirred up memories of Syria I thought I'd share a few more pics, since there's not a lot else around about the wonderful area.

The photo on the left here is the Roman tomb, standing out in the middle of apparently nowhere, of Aemilius Reginus (the inscription is still clearly legible). The pillars stand beside a simple cave entered by steps.

I've only found one web reference to the name, here, in, I think, Arabic. (WHOOPS: update, just realised that this is Hebrew!) Found through this Google search. Anyone know what it says?

The picture beside it is one of the wonderful Christian pyramid tombs at al-Bara. My diary notes that this one was about 10m square, and contained a very solid undamaged sarcophagus. My textual guide, Warwick Ball (Syria: A Historical and Architectural Guide, the best book that I found) says these are 4th to 6th century AD. I've never seen anything like them anywhere else in the world. Has anyone?

A little more on Al-Bara.


Blogger Ronnie Smartt said...

Arte you sure that the name is Aemilius Reginus. I know it sounds like the masculine of Regina, but it is not Latin as i know it: rex is the masculine equivalent. I have found a gertrude Bell photo of a bicolumnar tomb at Katura near Aleppo which I take to be the same; vide She however attributed it to Aemilius Regulus. Could you possibly have misread it? However, as for who he is, I have so far two possibilities: the Roman victor in a sea-battle against the Seleucids in about 191 BC, sometimes I think called Ae. Regulus and sometimes Ae. Regillus. There seems also to have been an Ae. Regulus who was a conspirator against an early emperor, I think Caligula. Why any or either of them should have a funerary monument in Syria is beyond me but I am pursuing. Ronnie

8/12/2005 11:57:00 pm  
Blogger Ronnie Smartt said...

Al-Bara? You may like to look it up under Al-Barra in that delightful book for armchair travellers, William Dalrymple's "From the Holy Mountain". The passage will not answer your questions but it may encourage you to read this lovely book. Ronnie

8/13/2005 10:46:00 pm  

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