Homs is an ancient city dating back to the year 2300 B.C and was known in Roman times as Emesa, which contained a great temple to the sun god El Gebal (Aramaic; Latin: Elagabalus; Greek: Heliogabalus). Emesa was ruled by a line of priest-kings throughout the Roman Empire, and two of its nobility rose to become emperor, Elagabalus and Severus Alexande who ruled Rome from 193 to 211. Four Homs women became Roman Empresses -Julia Domma, Julia Maesa, Julia Mammea and Julia Soemia. Aurelian (reigned AD 270-275) made the town his headquarters and there defeated Queen Zenobia of Palmyra. Emesa’s fortunes were always tied with the trade city of Palmyra. As long as Palmyra flourished so did Emesa. When Zenobia was defeated at Palmyra in about 272 AD, Emesa declined.