Palmyra (modern)


The modern town of Palmyra
The modern town of Palmyra
Palmyra is located in Syria
Coordinates: 34°33′36″N 38°16′2″E / 34°33′36″N 38°16′2″E / 34.56000; 38.26722
Country Syria
405 m (1,329 ft)
 (2004 census)[1]
 • Total51,323
Demonym(s)Arabic: تدمري‎, romanizedTadmuri
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
Area code(s)31

Palmyra (ə/; Palmyrene: 𐡕𐡃𐡌𐡅𐡓 Tadmor; Arabic: تدمرTadmor) is a city in central Syria, administratively part of the Homs Governorate. It is located in an oasis in the middle of the Syrian Desert 215 kilometres (134 mi) northeast of Damascus[2] and 180 kilometres (110 miles) southwest of the Euphrates River. The ruins of ancient Palmyra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are situated about 500 metres (13 mile) southwest of the modern city centre.[3] Relatively isolated, the nearest localities include Arak to the east, Al-Sukhnah further to the northeast, Tiyas to the west and al-Qaryatayn to the southwest.

Palmyra is the administrative centre of the Tadmur District and the Tadmur Subdistrict. According to the Syria Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), the city had a population of 51,323 and the subdistrict a population of 55,062 in the 2004 census.[1] Tadmur's inhabitants were recorded to be Sunni Muslims in 1838.[4] During the Syrian Civil War, the city's population significantly increased due to the influx of internally displaced refugees from other parts of the country.[5]


In Arabic, both cities are known as 'Tadmur'. Tadmur is the Semitic and earliest attested native name of the city; it appeared in the first half of the second millennium BC.[6] The etymology of "Tadmur" is vague; Albert Schultens considered it to be derived from the Semitic word for dates ("Tamar"),[note 1][8] in reference to the palm trees that surround the city.[note 2][9] 13th century Syrian geographer Yaqut al-Hamawi states Tadmur was the name of the daughter of one of Noah's distant descendants and that she was buried in the city.[10]

In English and other European languages, the ancient and modern cities are commonly known as "Palmyra". The name "Palmyra" appeared during the early first century AD,[6] in the works of Pliny the Elder,[11] and was used throughout the Greco-Roman world.[8] The general view holds that "Palmyra" is derived from "Tadmur" either as an alteration, which was supported by Schultens,[note 3][8] or as a translation using the Greek word for palm ("palame", παλάμη),[note 4][9] which is supported by Jean Starcky.[6] Michael Patrick O'Connor argued for a Hurrian origin of both "Palmyra" and "Tadmur",[6] citing the incapability of explaining the alterations to the theorized roots of both names, which are represented in the adding of a -d- to "Tamar" and a -ra- to "palame".[9] According to this theory, "Tadmur" is derived from the Hurrian word "tad", meaning "to love", + a typical Hurrian mid vowel rising (mVr) formant "mar".[13] "Palmyra" is derived from the word "pal", meaning "to know", + the same mVr formant "mar".[13]

There is a Syriac etymology for Tadmor, referring to dmr "to wonder", and Tedmurtā (Aramaic: ܬܕܡܘܪܬܐ) "Miracle"; thus Tadmūra means "object of wonder", most recently affirmed by Franz Altheim and Ruth Altheim-Stiehl (1973), but rejected by Jean Starcky (1960) and Michał Gawlikowski (1974).[14]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Tadmoer
العربية: تدمر (مدينة)
беларуская: Тадмар
español: Tudmur
euskara: Tadmur
فارسی: تدمر
français: Tadmor
한국어: 타드무르
ქართული: თადმორი
magyar: Tadmur
norsk: Tadmur
norsk nynorsk: Tadmur
português: Tadmor
русский: Тадмор
Scots: Tadmur
suomi: Tadmur
українська: Тадмор