Apollodorus of Damascus

22 May 2010

Apollodorus (?) (Glyptothek, Munich)

I am blessed because I am in the position to travel widely. Usually, I have a camera with me, and sometimes, it happens that I can combine things. Webpages based on these combinations, I find most satisfying.

Take Apollodorus of Damascus. His story is online at LacusCurtius (here), I could take a photo of his possible portrait is in the Munchen Glyptothek, and I found an inscription in the garden of the Damascus Archaeological Museum. The forum he built in Rome is among the best known monument of the city. The only thing I’ve never seen is the ruin of his famous bridge, but it is represented on the Column of Trajan (casts in the Victoria and Albert Museum and in the Museo nazionale della civiltà romana), and it is represented on coins. And I put everything together here.

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Damascus

27 October 2008
Inscription mentioning Apollodorus from Damascus; originally in the Umayyad Mosque, now in the Archaeological Museum

Inscription mentioning Apollodorus from Damascus; originally in the Umayyad Mosque, now in the Archaeological Museum

It’s a problem any blogger encounters: sometimes, you have no time to write, and will disappoint those who make a habit of checking your blog. I do not believe there are many who visit this website on a daily base (only my mum and dad, probably), but for those who are interested in the reason of my recent silence: I am now in Damascus, Syria, and even if I had the time to improve my website and write about that, I could not possibly post it. I am pretty busy and can not often visit an internet cafe.

Over the past two weeks, I have been travelling about 4,000 km and I have made photos of nearly forty sites. In due time, they will be put online (although the Arab calligraphy part is a bit off-topic). I expect to remain here for another two weeks, finishing a book on the Near Eastern (Babylonian, Arabic) legacy to Ancient Medieval Europe. It’s called Vergeten erfenis (‘forgotten legacy‘) and that’s indeed a cliche – anyone who knows a better title is invited to write me. In spite of the title, I like to write the book, although I fear that in the present climate in Dutch politics, where Islam-bashing is common, nobody is waiting for it.

And for those who are worried that I am working too hard: I take sufficient time to relax. I just finished drinking a good coffee and will now be going for a stroll through the Damascene markets, enjoying the noise and the smell of oriental herbs.