On 27 March 1813, Lady Hester Lucy Stanhope, the daughter of Lord Stanhope and Lady Mary Hester, granddaughter of Lord Chatham of Kent, rode a black stallion given to her by the pasha of Damascus into Palmyra, or Tadmor, the famed caravan city in Syria at the edge of the eastern desert frontier of the ancient Roman Empire (Figures 1 and 2).1 Her entourage moved along the great colonnaded avenue toward the Monumental Arch that symbolized the city then, as in a tragic way it does now. Lady Hester’s triumphal entry into Palmyra represents a defining moment of power and glory in her life, when she was crowned as melike (queen) under the arch, an event that stitched the triumph accorded to her by the Bedouin residents of Tadmor to the Roman triumphs of the past in remarkable ways. An intriguing consideration is Lady Hester’s putative connection...
Lady Hester Stanhope, a Monumental Arch, and Multiple Readings of a Triumph at Palmyra
Fikret Yegül is an architect and architectural historian specializing in Roman architecture and urbanism, with long-term archaeological experience. His recent publications include Roman Architecture and Urbanism (coauthored with Diane Favro; Cambridge University Press), which received the 2020 PROSE Award for Excellence in Reference Works; Temple of Artemis at Sardis (2 vols., Harvard University Press); and numerous scholarly articles. His book Baths and Bathing in Classical Antiquity received the SAH Alice D. Hitchcock Award in 1994. firstname.lastname@example.org
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Fikret Yegül; Lady Hester Stanhope, a Monumental Arch, and Multiple Readings of a Triumph at Palmyra. Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 1 June 2022; 81 (2): 175–196. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/jsah.2022.81.2.175
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