By Grahame Clark
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On a nearby hilltop, two obelisks represented the gods of the sun and the moon. Following the road westward, very close to the road, the caravan trader would have seen an amphitheater carved out of rosecolored sandstone. It had forty-ﬁve rows of seats, divided into three horizontal sectors. The orchestra pit was a perfect semicircle, following the cultural inﬂuence of Rome. After the traveler passed this theater, the valley opened up into a basin. On the right one could then see, far away, a façade of Corinthian columns, adorned with uniquely Petraean conical tops, along the red sandstone cliffs.
After the traveler passed this theater, the valley opened up into a basin. On the right one could then see, far away, a façade of Corinthian columns, adorned with uniquely Petraean conical tops, along the red sandstone cliffs. On the left, where the stream that was diverted above now joined the Wadi Moussa—the Valley of Moses—one ﬁnally reached the urban area of Petra. A typical entrance in cities built in the Hellenistic style of the time greeted the traveler on ﬁrst walking into the city: a shrine to the left and a nymphaeum, a structure with a fountain and a statue, to the right.
When he and his son, the heir apparent, died in the same year, his second wife Zenobia became the queen of the kingdom. It was said that Zenobia was among the few non-Romans there who spoke some Latin and who had her sons educated in Latin. Besides being capable, she was ambitious. Rumor had it that she murdered her husband and the son of his ﬁrst wife in order to secure the throne for Wahballat, her own son. ” Zenobia quickly expanded the territory of her kingdom at the expense of the Roman Empire.