The ruins of Balbec


Alternative Title

The ruins of Balbec, otherwise Heliopolis in Coelosyria

Date Created



Ee/1757/W [de Beer Special Collections]


This book documents the Roman monuments of Baalbek in present-day Lebanon. It was a result of Robert Wood and James Dawkins' 1750-53 trip to Asia Minor. Wood was a member of the Society of the Dilettanti These volumes exhibited mark the beginning of the rise of the British as explorers of antiquity. In his commentary Wood described the ruins in the Bekka Valley as ‘the remains of the boldest plan we ever saw attempted in architecture.' While he understood the sites to be of Roman origin, Wood acknowledged a local tradition that linked the buildings back to Solomon. The engravings were prepared by G.B. Borra in England after drawings that he made on site. The work proved to be a valuable source for the architects of the classical revival.




Wood, Robert, “The ruins of Balbec,” | OUR Heritage, accessed February 24, 2024,