Z for Zenobia of Palmyra

Zenobia, the Rebel Queen of Palmyra (from the 3rd Century CE) was truly the stuff that legends are made of. She was the wife of the King of Palmyra Odaenathus but after his death in 267 CE, she took over the reigns of the Palmyrene Empire, instead of retreating to a corner or acting as…

X for ………

Just as in scrabble, there are a few alphabets in the A to Z Challenge that come with little flags. You’re always apprehensive when you get the Q but actually Q can be your best friend and help you score tons of points if used wisely. Other alphabets such as Z and X though not…

W for War

I know a lot of us will find this strange- but we are possibly living through one of the most peaceful times that has ever been known in the history of humankind. True- today we have terrorism that hangs as a threat over world peace but in a majority of cases countries respect each others’…

U for Umm Qais, Gadara of the Ancient World

First of all, here’s a big round of applause to everyone who has made it to the final week of the A to Z Challenge. Just this week folks and then we’re done! I know I haven’t been regular commenting or visiting- just keeping up with the blog posting is keeping me busy. Getting to…

R for Rome

Rome, Roma, Rome! The eternal city! What would the world be without Rome?

O for Ostia Antica

Ostia Antica was the site of the harbour town that served Rome. Although it was originally on the sea at the mouth of the river Tiber, the ancient town is today about 3 km in from the sea shore. Ostia can easily be visited from Rome (it is just about an hour away).

N for Nabatean Petra

The Nabateans were an Arab tribe who were originally believed to be nomadic but later settled down in parts of Jordan. Petra was their capital city- it sat on an important route on the trade network that connected the east and the Mediterranean. Petra had been inhabited by another group of people called the Edomites…

M for Mosaics

The earliest version of mosaics that I knew were the “mosaic” floor tiles that we used to have in India. At one point almost every house had their floors covered with these tiles. Mosaics are beautiful because you can see how every individual piece contributes to the beauty of the big picture. It also speaks…

J for Jerash, Jordan

Jerash is an ancient town located in Jordan. Its ancient name was Gerasa. It was the site of ancient human settlement as early as the 2nd millenium BCE. Jerash, however, reached the height of its prosperity under Roman rule in the first and second century CE. The city suffered a massive earthquake in 749 CE…

G for Glanum

Before I visited Pompeii, Herculaneum, Ephesus, Jerash and even Rome (for the second time) I visited Glanum- a little town in the Provence region of France which was once an oppidum (a fortified settlement). The town has very interesting ruins (although not as large or spectacular as some of the larger sites such as Jerash,…

F for Flavians

The Flavians were a Roman dynasty of three emperors who ruled the Roman empire from 69CE to 96 CE. The dynasty consisted of three emperors in chronological order: Vespasian, Titus and Domitian (both sons of Vespasian). Vespasian came from a family of obscure origin but rose through the military ranks. He campaigned in Judea against…

E for Ephesus

Ephesus is a city in South Western Turkey. It is a very ancient town settled by Greeks and then later by Romans. Today Ephesus (which was recently declared a World Heritage Monument by UNESCO) is a site of spectacular ruins from the Roman times. The exact location of the city of Ephesus changed over the…