Baalbeck is in the Beqaa Valley of Lebanon. Known as Heliopolis during the period of Roman rule, it was one of the largest sanctuaries in the empire and contains some of the best preserved Roman ruins in Lebanon.
The history of settlement in the area of Baalbeck 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.
After Alexander the Great conquered the Near East in 334 BC, the existing settlement was named Heliopolis 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 the oracle 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.
Starting in the last quarter of the 1st century BC (reign of Augustus) and over a period of two centuries (reign of Philip the Arab), the Romans had built a temple complex in Baalbeck consisting of three temples: Jupiter, Bacchus and Venus. On a nearby hill, they built a fourth temple dedicated to Mercury.
Bacchus ❦ by Fotoaguado: Bacchus (Dionysus) / Parque del capricho. Madrid (Spain)
He was the god of fertility and wine, later considered a patron of the arts. He invented wine and spread the art of tending grapes. He has a dual nature. On the one hand bringing joy and divine ecstasy. On the other brutal, unthinking, rage. Thus, reflecting both sides of wines nature. If he choses Dionysus can drive a man mad. No normal fetters can hold him or his followers.
El Parque de El Capricho es un parque y zona verde situado en el barrio de la Alameda de Osuna, en el distrito de Barajas, al noreste de la ciudad de Madrid, España. Fue mandado construir por la duquesa de Osuna entre 1787 y 1839.
Está considerado uno de los parques más bellos de la ciudad.
This temple used as the oracle of the god Hadanares, who was comparable to the Baal-Zeus-Jupiter of Baalbek or to Hadad, and the Syrian goddess Atargatis. The temple was still in use when it was destroyed by an earthquake.
To the left and right of the main entrance are doors; the left one leads to a staircase that allows you to look into the sanctuary from quite high. (An arrangement similar to the one in the temple of Bacchus in Baalbek and the eastern temple in Akrine.) The facade walls are decorated with wreaths, but there’s also an exceptionally fine portrait of a priest named Narkisos, with a conical hat and - on his breast - the portraits of Hadanares and Atargatis. The inscription (Ναρκισος Κασιου βουλευτικος κοληα) identifies him as member of the Council of Baalbek, although the last word is unusual.
The cella, which was graced by a water canal, consists of a lower part and a higher “adyton” (the part of the sanctuary that was only accessible to the priests). This latter part is similar to the adyton in the temple of Bacchus in Baalbek. Between these two sections are two stairs; at the mid-level is the entrance to a U-shaped crypt. Its function is not known, but it may have been the place of the oracle. That it was important, can perhaps be deduced from the fact that the architect’s model of the stairs and crypt was carefully preserved. Next to the entrance of the crypt is another relief, showing an animal with someone riding on it, a woman, and someone who can - because of the resemblance to Narkisos - be identified as a priest.
Valued at $180,000, this electrum stater was minted by the Orrescii, an ancient Thraco-Macedonian tribe. It shows a centaur carrying off a struggling nymph. The reverse side is a simple quadripartite incuse square. This stater is of the greatest numismatic importance and rarity and is apparently unique and unrecorded. It appears to be lacking a direct comparison in the published numismatic literature. The closest parallel is an electrum stater in the British Museum collection, of similar type, but of a wholly different style and execution.
The Orrescii lived around the ancient city of Lete (map) in Mygdonia, Macedon. They may have been identical to the Satrae and closely connected with the Bessi, or priests of the oracular temple of the Thracian Bacchus. The Orrescii and other Pangaean tribes were miners who worked the mines around the Pangaean range.
Their coins reflected their religious beliefs, the subjects being satyrs and centaurs carrying off struggling nymphs, iconography associated with the worship of Bacchus. The image of a centaur on the Orrescii coins however is more rare than that of the satyr. These coins illustrate the wild rituals which were held in the mountains of Thrace and Phrygia in honor of Bacchus, whose mysterious oracular temple stood on the top of Mount Pangaeum.