This nOde last updated August 23rd, 2002 and is permanently morphing...
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Formerly Heliopolis (hê´lê-òp´e-lîs)
A town of eastern Lebanon northeast of Beirut. It is the site of an ancient Phoenician city probably devoted to the worship of Baal and is now noted for its extensive Roman ruins. Population, 24,000.
A site that whispers the
antiquity of man in our ears, and baffles our intellect with its size.
A place that has been accurately described as ancient in our oldest stories.
A place that has been chosen, culture after culture to build great monuments
to the Gods, to pay homage to the master builders of those days gone by.
The place is Baalbek, where now exist some of the largest and best
preserved ruins, of roman temples. These temples were built from the ruins
of previous Greek ruins, and the Greek temples were built from older ruins.
What sets this site apart from all others is thefoundation.
It is called the Grand Terrace, and in this platform exists to this day
the largest hewn stones ever found. This platform is made up of megalithic
stones precisely cut and placed to form a foundation that is five million
square feet in size. There are three colossal stones in this platform that
take our breath away and leave us bewildered for we have no mechanism to
move such a great weight, let alone precisely place it. They call these
monsters the Trillithon, and they measure over sixty feet long with widths
of twelve and fourteen feet, they are estimated to weigh between one thousand
to twelve hundred tons each. They are red granite, and were quarried three
quarters of a mile away, down a valley. The most interesting thing about
this site is the blind eye our scholars give to this Megalithic Prediluvial
Colossal achievement undertaken by some unknown civilisation that predates
our oldest written accounts. And why donít we lend more credence
to the Sumerian
tales on such subjects?
From: Joachim Martillo (martillo@jjmhome.UUCP)
Subject: Re: Dealings With Infidels
Date: 1990-02-20 12:59:10 PST
This mentality is often encountered among uneducated Shi`i groups outside Persia. In villages in southern Lebanon, between Ballbek and Safad and eastward to Coelesyria and the Antilebanon, there are Shi`i peasants known by the name of metawile. The singular is Mitwali, for the standard Arabic mutawali, "a loyal adherent of the house of `Ali" -- an attribute of the Shi`i spirit that serves in this region to designate the sect. They number fifty to sixty thousand souls [when the book was written]. According to a report -- wholly unsubstantiated -- they are descended from Kurdish settler transplanted, in Saladin's time, from Iraq to Syria. They would then be of Iranian origin; but this seems a completely groundless assumption. Their largest communities are in Baalbek and the surrounding villages. The Harfush family of emirs came from among them. Toward people of other faiths, these peasants share with other Shi`is the feelings described above. Although they practice the virtue of hospitality toward everyone, they regard as polluted the dishes in which they have offered food and drink to outsiders. The American scholar Selah Merrill, who traveled a great deal in this region between the years 1875 and 1877, on commission from the American Palestine Exploration Society, reports that the "consider that they are poluted by the touch of Christians. Even a vessel from which a Christian has drunk, and anything from which he may have eaten or even handled while eating, they never use again but destroy at once."