Cassas/Keystone of Temple of Bacchus, Baalbek, Lebanon
A day's journey from Beirut stand the monumental Roman ruins at Baalbek. The keystone of the gateway of the Temple of Bacchus had threatened to collapse for centuries; the British consul ordered the installation of the brick support in about 1870 (see photograph). The striking image of the falling keystone appears in eighteenth-century illustrations of the site and is suggestive of the inevitable destruction of a once-powerful empire.