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I recently visited a city called Faqra (located in north Lebanon - Middle East) and was astonished to find Roman temples there. Granted, Lebanon is famous for Roman temples in Baalbek and Beirut, Greek ruins in Byblos and ancient structures in Tyre and Sidon. But the temples at Faqra differ from these others: They are built on a mountain - a remote and difficult location - the Romans must have had to deal with harsh weather conditions that would have hampered access to the site and made construction difficult, so these temples must have been of considerable importance. What was the reason for their construction?

Wikipedia did not give me much information: in History of Lebanon under Roman rule they didn’t mention it! I found faqra little history, this link gives brief information onthe temples. But can the source be trusted? While continuing my search, I found in Wikipedia George F. Taylor. A professor of English and an amateur:

He travelled Lebanon and documented the antiquities, temples and little known ancient sites and in 1967 published a book called The Roman Temples of Lebanon: a pictoral guide containing rare and information on an understudied subject.[6] He divided up the temples into three groups; Temples of Mount Hermon, Temples of the Beqaa Valley and Temples of the Lebanese coastal plain. Taylor humbly admitted that he was only an amateur at trying to unravel the ancient mysteries of Lebanon and referred to his publication as a "book by an amateur, for an amateur". This has not stopped it being used as an authoritative reference on the subject for several decades.[6]

(This paragraph mentions three types of temple, but elsewhere Wikipedia discusses only two of them.)

What was the purpose of the Roman temples at Faqra?

In particular, I am curious about the relevancy of this paragraph from Wikipedia's article on Mzaar Kfardebian to my question.

It is believed that the Romans were using fire as signals to communicate between the coastal area and Baalbek, or Heliopolis, through Faqra and the Mzaar peak.

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People use Wikipedia as a reference because it's handy. It shows up first or second in a vast number of Google searches. Many of its articles are well-researched and the references given are on point. However, often one finds articles that are poorly written, expand on irrelevant trivia but skimp on important facts, and the references turn out to be unreliable. Most of what's in Wikipedia, in fact, is crap, although the sheer number of articles means that the absolute number of useful articles is large. But you already need to know something about the subject to recognize them. –  Eugene Seidel Aug 20 '13 at 15:21
1. Roman temples in the middle east are well known. Faqra seems more famous for skiing than temples, but the temple is in fact the first picture that shows up when you do a Google search. So implying that the temple isn't well known is IMO incorrect. 2. The weather in the Lebanese mountains can hardly be called "harsh" even compared to many other places in the Roman empire. Also, they probably built the temple mostly in the summer. Lastly even neanderthals were good at coping with hard weather, and Romans were hardly stupider. –  Lennart Regebro Aug 20 '13 at 18:03
Because we all love infographics: upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/99/… –  Eugene Seidel Aug 20 '13 at 19:39
I voted to close this question: What is being asked here? I see: "So my question.." followed by at least five questions, some about the Faqra temple and some about Wikipedia. Also, "George"? This question probably has a good kernel, but it needs a great deal of editing and refining before it is fit for public consumption. –  user2590 Aug 22 '13 at 9:18
@moudiz - it is better but still needs work. I will try and fix it up over the weekend for you. –  user2590 Aug 23 '13 at 15:37

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