How Fire Came to the Indians

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The outcome of this was Palmyra. Originally an insignificant village at one of the desert oases, the Tadmor of the Bible, Palmyra was, in the late Hellenistic period, a rapidly growing centre of caravan trade protected by Petra; it now became not only a strong neutral state but also the most important trading centre between Roman Syria and Parthia. Neither Rome nor Parthia found it easy to control or protect the more northern route of Syria, and hence they agreed to choose the desert-route through Palmyra as a shorter and cheaper alternative.

Also days in order to explore these ruins it was necessary to equip a caravan, to find guards, and to obtain an from the Turkish officials. In the Palestine of to-day all this has been altered. The English have ap- irade peared, bringing in their wake, like the Romans before them, order and safety, good roads and new motor-car has transport. In Palestine the superseded the camel, whilst the Sultan's irade, means of now and the Turkish zaptieh have been his talkative replaced by Mr. Thomas Cook, by one of of the Transjordanian guides, and by the police force Emir.

In exchange, however, they obtained the eastern provinces of Palestine and Phoenicia from the now almost powerless Ptolemies, Syrian and Parthian warfare nearly wrecked the caravan trade of the Iranian plateau and of the Persian Gulf, and the Parthian conquest of Mesopotamia dealt it an even severer blow. Parthia obtained the mastery of these routes, but she never became an entirely stable or centralized state. She never ceased to dream of the and as a result the struggle conquest of the whole of Syria round the Euphrates became endemic.

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