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Ian Straughn

Islamic Archaeology

Archaeology and Religion

Islamic Landscapes

Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology



Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology & the Ancient World
Brown University
Box 1837 / 60 George Street
Providence, RI 02912
Telephone: (401) 863-3188
Fax: (401) 863-9423
[email protected]

Posted at Feb 23/2007 11:07AM:
Zoe: Baal (also Bel) is the primary diety of the Palmyrans. The city was however very diverse in its population and therefore also its gods, so there were many more worshipped there. Hoyland (2001) says that "the best documented cult, since AD 32 at least" was that of Baal, Yarhibol, and Aglibol, with the latter two as acolytes to the primary Baal. Baal was also associated with other dieties, especially Shamash and Herta. (Hoyland, p. 142)

Posted at Mar 06/2007 01:44PM:
ian: Baal means more generally "Lord" and has had many incarnations across the Near East. For instance at Palmyra it was Bal Shamin (Lord of the Sky) who was worshipped.

One key feature of this god was his/her easy association with gods of various other pantheons. What signicance might that hold for thinking about the establishment of cultural relatiosn between Arabs and others?