Photo by John Freeman Group, courtesy of the Victoria & Albert Museum Library, London

Temple doorway at Baalbek. Built as a Roman temple by Emperor Antoninus Pius (138–161 A.D.), this magnificent structure dominates the plain between the Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon mountain ranges in northeast Lebanon. Roberts eloquently describes the doorway in his journal:

“This is, perhaps, the most elaborate, as well as the most exquisite in its detail, of anything of its kind in the world. The pencil can convey but a faint idea of its beauty. … Earthquakes have shaken this extraordinary remnant; but from the magnitude of the blocks which form the lintel, the central one, being wedge-shaped, has slipped only so far as to break away a portion of the blocks on either side, and thus remain suspended. … An eagle, with expanded wings, hovers in the center of the lintel, bearing festoons of fruit and flowers.”

On either side of the eagle is a winged youth, or Genius. The central block has since been restored to its original position in the lintel.