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It had long been a vital caravan stop for travellers crossing the Syrian desert and was known as the Bride of the Desert.

The earliest documented reference to the city by its Semitic name Tadmor, Tadmur or Tudmur (which means "the town that repels" in Amorite and "the indomitable town" in Aramaic) is recorded in Babylonian tablets found in Mari.

A legionary fortress was established in Palmyra and although no longer an important trade center, it nevertheless remained an important junction of Roman roads in the Syrian desert.

Diocletian expanded the city to harbor even more legions and walled it in to try and save it from the Sassanid threat.

183 Flavius Josephus also attributes the founding of Tadmor to Solomon in his Antiquities of the Jews (Book VIII), along with the Greek name of Palmyra, although this may be a confusion with biblical "Tamara".

Several citations in the tractates of the Talmud and of the Midrash also refer to the city in the Syrian desert (sometimes interchanging the letters "d" and "t" - "Tatmor" instead of Tadmor).

Aurelian captured Zenobia, bringing her back to Rome.

He paraded her in golden chains in the presence of the senator Marcellus Petrus Nutenus, but allowed her to retire to a villa in Tibur, where she took an active part in society for years.

Palmyra became one of the richest cities of the Near East.In 1132 the Burids had the Temple of Ba'al turned into a fortress.In the 13th century the city was handed over to the Mamluk sultan Baybars.Next, she took Antioch and large sections of Asia Minor to the north.In 272, the Roman Emperor Aurelian finally restored Roman control and Palmyra was besieged and sacked, never to recover her former glory.

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    Its form, a large stone-walled chamber with columns outside, is much closer to the sort of thing attributed to Solomon than to anything Roman.