Wood - Palmyra & Baalbek
This book describes Roman Imperial monuments in Palmyra in present-day
Syria. It was a result of Robert Wood's 1750-53 trip to Asia Minor
with James Dawkins and the Piedmontese architect/draftsman Giovanni Battista
Borra. Wood acknowledged that this book was motivated both by his curiosity
and that of the public. Following the scientific approach adopted by Antoine
Desgodets in the 1680s, Wood's work was produced with a concern for
excavating and measuring. Despite this, the published work has numerous
errors. Wood wrote,
In the following works we give not only the measures of the architecture, but also the views of the ruins from which they are taken For as the first gives an idea of the building, when it was entire, so the last shows its present state of decay, and (which is most important) what authority there is for our measures.'
Wood goes on to characterise Palmyra as having a greater sameness
than we observed at Rome, Athens and other great cities.'
The engravings contained in this book became valuable sources for the
emerging neoclassicism of the late 18th century and cemented the notion
of Palmyra' in the Western mind.
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