Monday, June 12, 2006
Shahba was the native hamlet of Philip the Arab. After Philip became the emperor of Rome in 244 C.E., he dedicated himself to building the city up to a metropolis. The city was renamed Philippopolis in dedication to the emperor. The emperor is said to have wanted to turn the city into a replica of Rome itself. Temples, triumphal arches, baths, a theatre, and a great wall surrounding the city were all built based on the plan of a typical Roman city. The building of the city stopped abruptly after the death of Philip. Shahba today contains well-preserved ruins of the ancient Roman city. A museum located in the city exhibits some beautiful examples of Roman mosaic art.