Baalbeck Temple of Jupiter 32AD
Baalbeck Temple of Jupiter.
- Temple of Jupiter – The Sanctuary of Jupiter Heliopolitan
The compound of the Temple of Jupiter covers an area of about 27 0 square meters (6.5 acres), of which 10 0 square metres (2.5 acres) were open courtyards and stairways. The remaining 17 0 square meters (4 acres) were covered with peristyles, exedras and interior space. In order to chart the development of so large a complex, let us first consider the original nature of the site. At time of the Hellenistic conquest, Baalbek seems to have enjoyed enough fame to attract the attention of the rulers of the day. After the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC the area became part of Ptolemies identified the Baal of Baalbek with their sun god and changed the name of the city into Heliopolis. This provided them with a unifying religious center at the eastern end of the empire. The triad of Baal-Aliyan-Anat was equated with Zeus-Hermes-Aphordite. Around 200 BC the Seleucids under Antiochus the Great won the area from the Ptolemies.
They probably planned to add to the existing courtyard and its altar of sacrifice a temple which, according to their architectural tradition, was designed as an elevated, embellished monument in its own right, towering behind the altar, easily seen by all. Since the sanctuary was already was already on top of the existing hill, an artificial podium had to be created. Most of this podium had been built when Pompey, the Roman general, occupied Phoenicia and Baalbek in 64 BC