The Romans were just one of many armies to come to Syria and stay. (Daesh, Russia, Turkey being some of the latest.) On fertile land positioned to benefit from silk road trade routes, the cities became wealthy. They left some impressive monuments, as well as Christianity.
A Roman city since 3rd century, Apamea.
A hill top village overlooks the Ghab Valley and Apamea, a Roman city dating back 2,000 years.
At Apamea, two gents in the background are looking for antiquities, which are often revealed by rains. We were offered some for a few dollars. Satelite images reveal wholesale looting in recent years.
Earthquakes in 115 and 1152, and battles through the ages (including 21 century) have taken their toll.
At 2km, Apamea's main colonnade is one of the Roman Empire's longest.
Again, our only company at Apamea were sheep and shepherds.
Half way between Aleppo and Hama, Serjilla is a 5th century Roman town.
A shepherd walks on old Roman paths in Serjilla.
In the 5th century, Serjilla was an important Roman trading town, boasting fine stone mansions.
An olive oil press, probably 1500 years old, Serjilla.
A bustling metropolis from the 5th century, Serjilla was home to sheep and shepherds when we visited. Now? Who knows.
Goats grave on centuries of Roman history.
Pillars which once lined the logest Roman Road in the east, in Apamea.
These immense columns stood for close to 2000 years in Apamea. I doubt they are still standing.
An ancient water wheel used for granaries in Hama, which suffered greatly under both Bashar Al Assad and his equally evil father Hafeez.
More Roman houses in central Syria.
Built to last forever, this building has withstood earthquakes, the Mongols, two world wars, but probably didn't survive the recent and ongoing civil war.