f.15 'Ruins of the temple of the Sun. Palmyra. Drawn from the Engraving in the Encyclopaedia Britannica.'
Artist: Cussans, Thomas (1796-1870)
Medium: Watercolour with pen and ink
Pen-and-ink drawing of the ruins of the Temple of the Sun at Palmyra, drawn from an engraving in the Encyclopaedia Britannica by Thomas Cussans (1796-1870) between 1817 and c.1822. The drawing is from an album of 19 drawings (22 folios) of scenes in Mumbai (Bombay) and the south of India together with a few miscellaneous sketches. Inscribed on the cover of the album is: 'Thos Cussans Lt. Madras Artillery. Janry 1817'; and on the title page: 'Thos Cussans, July 30th, 1817'.
Palmyra is an ancient city situated in an oasis on the northern edge of the Syrian Desert about 240km (150 miles) northeast of Damascus. Originally called Tadmor by the Arabs, Palmyra appeared for the first time in the 2nd millennium BC in the archives of Mari and in an Assyrian text. It was also mentioned in the Bible as part of the territory of Solomon, king of Israel (see 1 Kings 9:18). In the 1st century AD Palmyra became a Roman outpost and a major city-state within the Roman Empire in the. It was on the old Silk Road and prospered through trade with Persia, the Indian subcontinent and the Arabian Peninsula. The temple of the Sun (or Baal) and the colonnade, which is nearly 1.6 km (1 mile) long and contained some 1500 Corinthian columns, still stand.