Just English Magazine Articles

Giants, Aliens, or Human Ingenuity?


As you may be aware there is a magnificent Roman temple in the town of Baalbek, north of Beirut. It is a fitting tribute to the god Jupiter. A few things are surprising about this particular temple. For one it is not in Rome. Many of the best and most spectacular feats of Roman engineering were kept in Rome. Often they would bring things back to Rome. But why was the largest religious building in the Roman Empire built in Lebanon?

There is documentation of the building of the temple. However there is no information about the plinth or platform. The platform includes the famous triathlon stones. These blocks (megaliths) are the biggest ever used in construction on the planet. Let us just think about that. In the plethora of different dominant cultures in all the years before and since, none have come close to using such colossal stones. What is even more intriguing is we have no real idea of how they were moved and placed.

It is said that the stones fit so precisely to each other that a piece of paper cannot be slid between them. Each one is 70 feet long, 14 feet high and 10 feet thick. These blocks weigh in excess of 800 tons. To this day we do not have a crane capable of lifting such a huge weight. That’s right, we can go to the moon and back, find cures for numerous diseases, discuss topics such as DNA and quantum physics but we cannot lift and move a stone of that size. Yet someone in the past moved not one but three!

For now it looks like we may never know the answer but there are one or two theories floating around. Legends of who built the great platform are numerous. Depending on how they are interpreted, many of the religions of the area and in particular their scriptures refer to the stones and temple or citadel. Some say the first city was built by Cain, the banished son of Adam, before the great flood. Others say it was reconstructed by a race of giants under the rule of Nimrod after the great flood. There are tales of the Titans roaming the Earth and that they were responsible.

Aliens are a popular explanation for many things we cannot explain. It takes away the “how question” as we are free to assume the aliens have technology and means of power we do not understand. Various legends allude to beings from the heavens descending on earth. There is, of course, no hard evidence.

Perhaps, as many academics argue, the Romans did actually quarry and move them. What greater way to show your superiority to all those who have gone before and all those who will follow than to build something so mindbogglingly enormous that they are in awe of your powers?

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fitting tribute (n) – suitable or appropriate acknowledgement.
plethora (n) – an abundance or excess of something.
colossal (adj) – extremely large or great.
float around (v) – if an idea is floating around, it has been suggested but not yet accepted as true.
banish (v) – to officially order someone to leave a country or region as a punishment.

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