Keywords : Ancient Art

Palm Trees In the Greco-Roman World

Wathiq Ismaeel Al-Salihi

Athar Alrafedain, 2022, Volume 7, Issue 1, Pages 3-23
DOI: 10.33899/athar.2022.170118

The Greeks called the palm tree “phoenix” and “phoenicia” on the Syrian Coast and they believed that the Phoenicians had a significant role in spreading its agriculture. The earliest mention of the palm tree is found

in the Odyssey of Homer when Odysseus described the palm tree in the Island of Delos. Herodotus mentioned palm in Babylonia and the various benefits of both the dates and the trees themselves. Strabo in his Geography numerates the advantages of the palm and said that the Palms were planted in Europe, but they do not bear the ripened dates because of the weather, the dates need hot climate to ripen.
Pliny the Elder narrates detailed accounts on the Palms and methods of growing and he mentioned 49 kinds of dates. The representation of Palms in the arts is limited and in accidental way. However, Palms were depicted on coins and on few representations.

Palm Trees in the Arts of Mesopotamia

Athar Alrafedain, 2021, Volume 6, Issue 2, Pages 3-82
DOI: 10.33899/athar.2021.169564

Iraqis through the periods considered Palm trees the most generous not only for their grandeur and lofty. They produce dates of variegated types which is considered one of the important nutrients for sustainable human life because it contains the essentials for healthy life. In the initial phase, the Iraqi artists drew on their pottery simple bands similar to a palmette but as they progressed, the style was developed during Protoliterate period (the Early Sumerian) and the best example is the Votive Vase from Warka. Then cluster of dates started to appear on the Votive Plaques and on cylinder seals. Few examples of palms appear on cylinder seals from the Akkadian period. Gudea appears with the tree. Ur-namu in his well known stele pour sacred water on a palm. From tell Al-Rimah (Old Karana) palm trunks in mud-bricks were used as attached decorative columns, The palace of Zimri-lim in Mari was adorned with painting of the blessed tree. The Assyrians considered the palm trees blessed, holy, and sacred, and their kings themselves paid great attention in depicting themselves with the palms. The concept of the significant of the palms as sacred identity continued and reached the city of Hatra which mentioned its heritage of the older Mesopotamian period. The palms were depicted with both the gods and humans.