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JERUSALEM EXPLORED

BEING

A Description of the Ancient and Modern City.

Cambridge:
PRINTED BY C. J. CLAY, M.A.
AT THE UNIVERSITY PRESS.

JERUSALEM EXPLORED

BEING

A Description of the Ancient and Modern City,

WITH NUMEROUS ILLUSTRATIONS

CONSISTING OF VIEWS, GROUND PLANS, AND SECTIONS,

BY ERMETE PIEROTTI,

DOCTOR OF MATHEMATICS, AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER, CIVIL AND MILITARY, TO HIS EXCELLENCY SURRAYA PASHA OF JERUSALEM.

TRANSLATED BY

THOMAS GEORGE BONNEY, M.A., F.G.S.

FELLOW OF ST JOHN'S COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE.

VOLUME I.—TEXT.

LONDON: BELL AND DALDY, FLEET STREET.
CAMBRIDGE: DEIGHTON, BELL, AND CO.

M.DCCC.LXIV.

[The right of Translation is reserved.]

TO HIS IMPERIAL MAJESTY

NAPOLEON III.

Emperor of the French,

PROTECTOR OF THE HOLY PLACES,

THIS CONTRIBUTION

TO ARCHÆOLOGICAL SCIENCE,

IN WHICH HE IS HIMSELF A PROFICIENT,

IS BY HIS MAJESTY'S AUGUST PERMISSION INSCRIBED,

BY HIS OBEDIENT SERVANT,

ERMETE PIEROTTI.

PALAIS DES TUILERIES, LE 26 NOV. 1861.

CABINET DE L'EMPEREUR.

MONSIEUR,

L'EMPEREUR ME CHARGE D'AVOIR L'HONNEUR DE VOUS INFORMER QUE, SELON VOS DÉSIRS, SA MAJESTÉ VEUT BIEN ACCEPTER LA DÉDICACE DE VOTRE OUVRAGE SUR LES MONUMENTS ET LES LOCALITÉS DE LA PALESTINE[1].

AGRÉEZ, MONSIEUR, L'ASSURANCE DE MA CONSIDÉRATION DISTINGUÉE.

POUR LE SECRÉTAIRE DE L'EMPEREUR, CHEF DU CABINET ET PAR AUTORISATION.

LE Ss. CHEF.

JACALEY.

LE DR. E. PIEROTTI.

11 RUE DES DEUX BOULES, PARIS.

[1] Of which Work this is intended as the first part.


PREFACE.

On the subject of Jerusalem many books in various languages have already been published; but I venture to think that there is still room for another, as most of them are open to objections of different kinds. Some authors have erred in being carried away by their subject, and disappoint the reader by substituting their own reflexions for the information that he desires to acquire. Some, with the eye of fancy, seem to behold the shades of Kings, of Prophets, and of Heroes, wandering among their tombs, or haunting the ruins of Sion; others, after a short stay in Jerusalem, return to their own homes and publish books, composed of fragments of classic lore, and the traditions they have gathered from the guides who have accompanied them in the visits to the Holy Places; some indeed going so far as to denounce as heretics and infidels all who do not lend a ready belief to these tales. Lastly, there are some who, without visiting Jerusalem, and consequently without a minute knowledge of its topography, rely upon the information they have gathered from the accounts of others, to reconstruct the ancient walls, the Temple, and other buildings, and endeavour to overthrow the conclusions which have been formed after a prolonged residence in the country and much careful observation.

In the works of all these authors there is much that is interesting, but the description of what is really to be seen is always more or less defective. I have accordingly endeavoured to supply this want during my residence in the Holy City,[Pg viii] and now present to my readers the fruits of eight years of continual labour, devoted to a study of the topography of Jerusalem upon the spot, in which I have been constantly occupied in excavating and removing the rubbish accumulated over the place during so many centuries, in retracing the walls, in examining the monuments and ancient remains, and in penetrating and traversing the conduits and vaults; so that I trust I am in a position to throw some fresh light upon the subject of Jewish Archæology. In arranging the plan of my work, I have rested chiefly upon the Bible, the traditions of the Rabbis, and the works of Josephus, and have made but little use of any other authorities upon the ancient topography of the city; but, to compensate for this, I have made excavations and watched those made by others, have formed intimacies with the inhabitants of the country, have sought for information on the spot, regardless of personal risk, have worked with my own hands under the ground, and so have obtained much knowledge of that which lies below the surface of the soil in Jerusalem; and have pursued my purpose, at one time with bribes, at another with force, and always with patience, perseverance, and courage.

But my efforts would have been of little avail had it not been for the constant protection and assistance of His Excellency Surraya Pasha, of M. de Barrère, the French Consul, and his Chancellor, M. Aimé Dequié, who lost no opportunity of publicly testifying their esteem and regard for me. I must not forget to express my gratitude to the Ecclesiastical authorities, who have also shewn me great kindness.

That I have been able to publish my book in England is due to the Rev. George Williams, Fellow of King's College, Cambridge, who, when he had heard of my discoveries in the Holy City,—a place so dear and so full of interest to him,—invited me to this University, gave me a truly English welcome, and aided me to the utmost of his power in accomplishing my desire.

For the translation of my Italian manuscript into English, I am indebted to the Rev. T. G. Bonney, Fellow of St John's College, whom I have also to thank for several useful suggestions and corrections. I must also express my obligations to Mr R. W. Taylor, Fellow of the same College, who, in order to expedite the publication of the book, kindly undertook to assist his friend by translating the Notes.

The proof-sheets have been corrected by Mr Bonney, and revised by Mr Williams, and by the Rev. John E. B. Mayor, Fellow of S. John's College, who has not only[Pg ix] been at the pains to collate them with my manuscript, but has also aided me with his great learning and experience. I cannot find terms adequate to express my gratitude to these three gentlemen for their constant kindness and friendly care. Nor can I refrain from thanking my numerous friends in this University, who have contributed to render my sojourn among them at once pleasant and profitable; with whom I have spent many happy hours, the memory of which will not leave me during the rest of my life.

And now I present my book to the reader, apologizing for its many deficiencies, and trusting that he will be an indulgent critic. It does not profess to be more than a simple and strict record of facts, and therefore I must ask him to pardon me if it be sometimes rather dull and dry. I have purposely avoided, as much as possible, all that would interfere with the main end of the work, such as personal reminiscences and unimportant details; wishing rather to put forward facts than theories, to rely upon sight rather than imagination. Most thankfully shall I receive friendly correction and criticism, or suggestions and advice for my conduct in the new investigations which I hope to make in Palestine. As regards those which I have described in the following pages, I can honestly say that I have spared no pains to make them as complete as possible; and though they have cost me much time and money, much anxiety and fatigue, still, if I succeed in throwing any additional light upon Jewish antiquities, or in exciting a more general interest upon such an important subject, I shall feel that I have not laboured in vain.

ERMETE PIEROTTI.

Cambridge, December 15th, 1863.


CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I. PAGE

ORIGIN OF THE NAME JERUSALEM—HISTORY—TOPOGRAPHY AND GENERAL ASPECT—CLIMATE—POPULATION—WATERS 1

CHAPTER II.

ANCIENT TOPOGRAPHY OF JERUSALEM—IDENTIFICATION OF THE MOUNTAINS, HILLS AND VALLEYS—JERUSALEM IN THE TIME OF THE JEBUSITES, DAVID, SOLOMON, JOTHAM, HEZEKIAH, MANASSEH, NEHEMIAH, HEROD—THE TESTIMONY OF JOSEPHUS EXAMINED—THE SIEGE BY TITUS—FORMER EXTENT OF THE CITY—JERUSALEM IN THE TIME OF HADRIAN, THE CRUSADERS AND SOLYMAN 16

CHAPTER III.

MOUNT MORIAH AND ITS ENVIRONS—HISTORY IN THE TIME OF ABRAHAM, JACOB, DAVID, SOLOMON, ZERUBBABEL, ALEXANDER THE GREAT, ANTIOCHUS EPIPHANES, THE MACCABEES, POMPEIUS, CRASSUS, THE HERODS, TITUS, HADRIAN, CONSTANTINE, JULIAN THE APOSTATE, OMAR, ABD-EL-MALEK, VALID OR ELULID, THE CRUSADERS, SALADIN, SELIM I., SOLYMAN I.—GENERAL EXAMINATION OF MORIAH, WITH DETAILS OF THE INVESTIGATIONS 45

CHAPTER IV.

THE CHURCH OF THE RESURRECTION, AND THE HOSPITAL OF S. JOHN, WITH THEIR ENVIRONS—HISTORY OF THE HOLY SEPULCHRE FROM THE DEATH OF CHRIST TO THE PRESENT TIME—GENUINENESS OF THE SEPULCHRE—GOLGOTHA—EXAMINATION OF THE EXTERIOR AND INTERIOR OF THE CHURCH—RUINS OF THE HOSPITAL 102

CHAPTER V.

INVESTIGATIONS IN THE VIA DOLOROSA (OR THE WAY OF THE CROSS). THE RELIGIOUS AND OTHER REMARKABLE BUILDINGS IN IT OR IN ITS NEIGHBOURHOOD AND IN THE REST OF THE CITY, TOGETHER WITH ALL THE CONVENTS OF THE DIFFERENT RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES 135

CHAPTER VI.

EXCURSIONS IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD OF THE CITY ON THE EAST, SOUTH, AND SOUTH-WEST—THE VALLEY OF KIDRON, CALLED ALSO THE VALLEY OF JEHOSHAPHAT, WITH ITS MONUMENTS AND REMARKABLE PLACES—THE MOUNT OF OLIVES—BETHPHAGE—BETHANY—THE VALLEY OF HINNOM—THE MOUNT OF EVIL COUNSEL—SOUTH-WESTERN PART OF THE VALLEY OF GIHON—MOUNT SION—CHRISTIAN CEMETERIES—TOMB OF DAVID, AND SUBTERRANEAN VAULTS—THE CŒNACULUM—THE HOUSE OF CAIAPHAS—THE GROTTO OF S. PETER—THE LEPERS 167

CHAPTER VII.

EXCURSIONS IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD OF THE CITY ON THE NORTH AND WEST—THE MONUMENT OF HELENA OF ADIABENE, AND THE CHURCH DEDICATED TO S. STEPHEN—ROYAL CAVERNS—GROTTO OF JEREMIAH—HOUSE OF THE VINE—TOMBS OF THE KINGS—SHEIKH JERRAH—ANCIENT SYNAGOGUE—TOMB OF SIMON THE JUST—TOMBS AT THE HEAD OF THE KIDRON VALLEY—KIDRON POOL—VARIOUS TOMBS ON THE NORTH-WEST—TOMBS OF THE JUDGES—SHEIKH AYMAR—RUSSIAN BUILDINGS—VALLEY OF GIHON—BIRKET MAMILLAH—MONUMENT OF HEROD, AND RUINS OF THE CHURCH OF S. BABYLAS—GREEK CONVENT OF THE HOLY CROSS—PROPERTY OF THE ARCHIMANDRITE NICOFORUS 223

CHAPTER VIII.

ON THE WATERS, FIT OR UNFIT FOR DRINKING, IN JERUSALEM AND ITS NEIGHBOURHOOD 245

CHAPTER IX.

GENERAL REMARKS UPON THE PRESENT STATE OF THE CITY OF JERUSALEM 262

NOTES 281

CHRONOLOGICAL SUMMARY
311

PRINCIPAL PASSAGES FROM THE HOLY BIBLE
315

PASSAGES FROM JOSEPHUS'S ANTIQUITIES OF THE JEWS
323

PASSAGES FROM JOSEPHUS'S HISTORY OF THE JEWISH WAR
327

INDEX
333

CORRIGENDA ET ADDENDA.

Page 7, line 30, for Hulda read Huldah
Page 10, line 33, for and in 1859 read and in 1861
Page 14, line 2, and page 15, lines 6 and 13, for Sherif read Sherîf
Page 37, line 8, for Barrére read Barrère
Page 43, line 28, for Willebrand read Willibrand
Page 106, line 5, and page 117, line 14, for Abbot read Abbé
Page 145, line 23, for then read be thou
Page 155, head line, for Greek Synagogue read Great Synagogue
Page 207, line 18, for 260 read 270
Page 210, last line, for Note XXII. read Note XVI.

Chapter 1. The numbers of the different nations and sects that inhabit Jerusalem were taken by the Author, in the service of Surraya Pasha, in the year 1861.

Vols. I. and II. of the Gesta Dei per Francos, referred to in the body of the work, form 'Tomus Primus Orientalis Historiæ.' The pages are numbered continuously, and, according to Dr Robinson, the book usually forms only one volume. This, however, was not observed by the translator in verifying the references until the earlier sheets were struck off. Sanutus' Liber Secretorum fidelium Crucis forms 'Tomus Secundus Orientalis Historiæ.' An account of most of the earlier books referred to in this work will be found in Dr Robinson's Biblical Researches, Vol. III. First Appendix, pp. 3—27 (1st Edition). La Citez de Jherusalem, contained in M. de Vogüé's work, Les Églises de la Terre Sainte, is also printed in the Rev. G. Williams' Holy City, Vol. 1. Appendix II. pp. 134—142 (2nd Edition).


[Pg 1]

JERUSALEM EXPLORED.

CHAPTER I.

ORIGIN OF THE NAME JERUSALEM—HISTORY—TOPOGRAPHY AND GENERAL ASPECT—CLIMATE—POPULATION—WATERS.

Most authors agree in identifying the Salem of Melchizedek[2] with Jerusalem. S. Jerome[3] however asserts that the residence of the King of Righteousness was in the east of Judea, three leagues to the south of the city of Scythopolis, and not far from the Jordan, supporting his opinion by the fact that in his time a town still existed there called Salim (Salumias), not far from which was Ænon[4], where S. John Baptist baptized. The Arabs of the Jordan guided me to Salumias and to a neighbouring valley, which I identify with "the valley of Shaveh[5] (the plain), which is the king's dale." We are told that Abraham met Melchizedek and the king of Sodom on his return from the successful attack on the invaders, and it seems incredible that he should have gone by Jerusalem to Hebron, thus uselessly prolonging his journey by passing through a strange country. Nor would it be said that the king of Sodom went out "to meet him in the valley of the plain," but rather "to seek him in the king's dale in the mountains," nor would Melchizedek have been received by Abraham, but they would have met in Salem[6]. For these reasons I believe Salem and Jerusalem to be two distinct places. There is, however, no doubt that Jerusalem was the city of the Jebusites, a nation descended and named from Jebus, son of Canaan.

It is difficult to fix the period when it acquired the name of Jerusalem (Yerush-shalom, Inheritance of Peace,) for the use of the word in Joshua x. 1, xii. 10, Judges i. 21,[Pg 2] does not prove that it was older than the period of the conquest. The Emperor Hadrian called it Ælia Capitolina. The City is named El Kuds, or Beit el Makdus (the Holy House), by the Arabic writers of the middle ages. It is possible that it may have borne this name at a much earlier period, as Cadytis[7], a great city of Syria, taken by Necho, king of Egypt, may be Jerusalem; Cadytis being only a corruption of the Aramaic Kadishtha (the Holy). Some suppose that Jerusalem has been formed by the union of Jebus and Salem, the b being changed into r, but the Hebrew form of the word does not admit of this transformation. The derivation given by Lysimachus[8] is amusing from its absurdity. He asserts that in the time of Bocchoris, king of Egypt, the Jews were expelled from that country by the order of the Sun-god, who was disgusted at the diseased and leprous condition of the race, and visited the land with a famine; that being led by Moses, they travelled over the desert; and "the difficulties of the journey being over, they came to a country inhabited; and there they abused the men, and plundered and burnt their temples; and then came into that land which is called Judea, and there they built a city and dwelt therein; and that their city was named Hierosyla, from this robbing of the temples; but that still, upon the success they had afterwards, they in time changed its denomination, that it might not be a reproach to them, and called the city Hierosolyma, and themselves Hierosolymites."

Adonizedek was king of Jerusalem at the time of the conquest under Joshua[9]. He fell in battle against the Jews, near Gibeon, and some time after the lower town was taken by them. The Jebusites[10], however, still remained in it, among the descendants of Judah and Benjamin, and were not driven from the upper town till the eighth year of David's reign, when their stronghold was taken by storm[11], and the place became the capital of his kingdom. Jerusalem attained to its highest pitch of grandeur under the government of Solomon, being the centre of commerce, civilization, and religion. After the division of the Tribes, it continued to be the capital of the kingdom of Judah. In the fifth year of Rehoboam it was taken and sacked by Shishak[12], king of Egypt. In the reign of Jehoram[13] bands of Philistines and Arabs entered the city, plundered the king's palace, and carried his wives and sons into captivity. In the reign of Amaziah[14] it was sacked by Joash king of Israel. It was unsuccessfully threatened by the Assyrians in the days of Hezekiah[15]. Manasseh[16] fortified the western side of the city and Ophel, but it was laid waste by the Chaldeans under Nebuchadnezzar[17].[Pg 3]

After a captivity of half a century, the Jews were permitted by Cyrus to rebuild it, but, owing to the opposition of their enemies, the work was not completed till the time of Nehemiah. Jerusalem was involved in the troubles caused by the fall of the Persian Empire. The city opened its gates to Alexander, who not only treated it with humanity, but also conferred upon it several privileges. After his death it was taken by Ptolemy, son of Lagus, king of Egypt. Under the Ptolemies, and for a while under the Seleucidæ, it on the whole enjoyed peace and honour, until the barbarity of the tyrant Antiochus Epiphanes renewed the sorrows of the unhappy city. The heroic sons of the house of Mattathias delivered their country from this yoke, and it remained under the princes of the Asmonean family until Palestine was conquered by the Romans. Pompeius the Great, who entered Jerusalem as a conqueror 63 B.C., respected the lives and property of the inhabitants. The temple was protected by him, only to be plundered by Crassus. The liberality of Herod the Great added much to the splendour of Jerusalem; but after his death the spirit of sedition spread more and more every day among the Jews, producing frequent revolts against the Romans, which were terminated by the destruction of the city by Titus, A.D. 71. Thus were the predictions of the prophets fulfilled.

After lying in ruins for sixty years it was rebuilt by the Emperor Hadrian upon a part of its former site, and called Ælia Capitolina[18]; but the Jews were forbidden to enter it under pain of death. When Christianity triumphed in the reign of Constantine, the heathen temples were replaced by churches in honour of every memorial of the Saviour's life and death.

Chosroes II., king of the Persians, took the city by assault, A.D. 614; it was regained by the Emperor Heraclius A.D. 629, and again taken by the Khalif Omar A.D. 636. After this it was successively under the dominion of the Persian Khalifs, of the Fatimites of Egypt, and of the Seljukians, in whose time the Crusades were commenced, owing to the preaching of Peter the Hermit. The Christian army, led by Godfrey of Bouillon, entered the Holy City A.D. 1099. The Latin kingdom was brought to an end by the victories of Saladin A.D. 1187. Sultan Malek el-Kamel ceded the city to Frederick II. of Germany, but it was recovered by the Mohammedans under Jenghiz Khan, A.D. 1244. It then remained subject to the different dynasties of the Sultans of Egypt and Syria, until it was conquered by the Turks under Selim I. A.D. 1517. Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt took possession of it A.D. 1832, but the Great Powers restored it to the Porte A.D. 1840[19]. The spirit of the present Turkish government, influenced as it is by the nations of Europe, induces us to think that a happier and more peaceful future is in store for Jerusalem, and that under their protection the furious contests, so common among the rival sects of Christians, who[Pg 4] struggle for the possession of the Holy Places, will be appeased. By these quarrels only will the soil of Jerusalem be stained with blood, not by the fanaticism of the Mohammedan; he is, and will be, restrained by the power of the local authorities, the energy of the Consuls, and the bribes paid by the Convents to pacify the more restless spirits. We may also hope that European civilization will speedily penetrate into Palestine, and that Jerusalem will become an inviolable asylum, open to every devout man; for all, without distinction of creed, are entitled to mourn, to hope, and to pray, on the spot consecrated by the sacrifice of our Divine Master.

The city of Jerusalem[20] is situated about 31° 47' north latitude and 33° east longitude (Paris) in the highest part of the mountains of Judea, and upon the ancient boundaries of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin (Joshua xviii. 6). It is surrounded on every side by rising ground, and therefore cannot be seen by the traveller until he approaches near it. The most distant view of it is obtained from the village of Neby Samwîl[21] (Prophet Samuel), three hours (about twelve miles) distant on the north-west; and it was from this height that the first Crusaders, under Godfrey of Bouillon, saluted Jerusalem with shouts of exultation.

On the north the city is overshadowed by the mountain of Shafat (fair prospect), the ancient Scopus. It was from this position that Titus made his first general survey of the city, which at that time he had no intention of destroying[22]. On the east rises Mount Olivet; on the south, an eminence known as the Hill of Evil Counsel, and also as the Mount of the Sepulchres, from the great number of tombs existing there. To the west are the summits of Mount Gihon. Valleys separate all these mountains from the city and the high table-land to the north, entirely surrounding it except on the north-west and a small portion of the north side, where the ground is so nearly level as to admit of an easy approach.

On the north commences the valley of Kidron, at first not deep but sinking as it approaches the east, and continuing to do so along the whole of that side, until it reaches the lower extremity of the gardens of Siloam. Here it unites with the valley of Hinnom, which runs parallel to the south of the city. On the west is the valley of Gihon, which is very deep at the point where it takes the name of Hinnom, on the south-west. From this conformation of the ground, it is obvious that, in times when only the weapons and military engines of ancient warfare were employed, the city was an important stronghold, well defended by nature, except on the north-west and a small portion of the north side, where the almost level ground exposed it to an attack. From the most remote periods of antiquity until the time of the Crusades and Saladin, Jerusalem was invariably assaulted at these points by those who made themselves masters of the city.[Pg 5]

A few olive-trees, a bare argillaceous soil scattered over with stones and flints, some ruins of ancient sepulchres, four water-tanks, some cisterns almost entirely dilapidated, and bare rocks, some of which exhibit traces of chiselling, are the only objects that meet the eye throughout the whole region of the north and north-west.

On the east, along the course of the valley of Kidron, nothing is seen but rocks and accumulations of earth and rubbish: these continue likewise along the south, but the desolate effect is somewhat concealed by the growth of vegetation, and by the gardens of the peasants of Siloam. The ruins still existing, and the nature of the soil, which is mostly grey in colour and full of lime, shew that the ground on this side was once occupied by houses. Finally, on the west are seen the reservoir of Mamillah, accumulations of earth and rubbish, argillaceous soil, bare rocks, and a few recent plantations,—the work of the improver of cultivation in Palestine, the Greek Archimandrite, Nicoferus.

As may be inferred from this description, the environs of Jerusalem present an appearance of wretchedness and desolation, that cannot fail to strike the eye of the traveller: and the feeling of melancholy is further increased by the thought that the Holy City itself is surrounded by tombs which are daily being opened, and that the inhabitants have only cemeteries for their public promenades. The memories of the past alone are able to attract the traveller and the pilgrim to Jerusalem,—not its present condition; for the miserable spectacle presented by the monuments still existing above ground would certainly not repay the trouble and fatigue of so long a journey. But those memories, together with the subterranean remains, afford ample recompense to any one possessing imagination and religious feeling, who wishes to study the Bible in its own peculiar country, where its use will inevitably lead him to the truth.

During the past few years several buildings have been erected in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem, more especially on the north-west. Of these, the most remarkable, both for their extent and for their site, which commands the city on every side, are those belonging to Russia. This great nation, though the last to establish a mission here, has been the first to choose a fine situation and erect suitable buildings upon it. The occupants have also the advantage of escaping from the bad smells of the city. I was the first to offer this site to Cyril, Bishop of Melitopolis, and head of the Mission, but it was declined. I renewed the offer to His Excellency M. de Mansouroff, who at first refused it, but afterwards gave orders that the purchase should be made.

We will now proceed to a survey of the city itself. The whole terrain slopes sensibly in an easterly direction; its highest point is at the north-western angle of the walls; but between this position and the highest part of Sion to the south the[Pg 6] difference of level is not so great as to forbid us to conjecture that it was originally one hill. The accumulations of soil have so much altered the surface of the ground that it is impossible to recognize ancient localities in the modern city without making excavations: this I have done to an extent that enables me to speak confidently on the point. Believing that in an undertaking of this kind it is useless to form an opinion without an accurate investigation of the soil and a careful study of the subject, I could not be content to remain merely a few days in the country.

Modern Jerusalem does not occupy the whole of the space covered by the ancient city in the days of Herod; the greater part of Mount Sion (to the south) being excluded, as it has been since the time when Hadrian rebuilt the city under the name of Ælia Capitolina. The agreement between the descriptions of the town, given by William of Tyre, James of Vitri, Brocardus and many others in the middle ages, and those of modern writers, shews that its limits have not since undergone any changes. The wall, which now surrounds the city, was built from the foundations at that time, and only restored in some parts by order of Sultan Solyman the Magnificent, son of Selim I. in 1534, as declared by the inscriptions over the gates[23]. This wall is not of uniform height, but varies from thirty-six to forty-two feet. Its thickness also varies in different parts, from four to five and five and a half feet. The whole wall is crowned by battlements, and makes a great number of angles; of these there are more on the south than on the north; while on the east it forms nearly a straight line, and on the west, two segments, meeting in a very obtuse angle at the Jaffa gate. Here rise some towers[24], and the old fortress, called the Castle of David[25]. This constitutes the feeble nucleus of the fortification of the city, and is of no importance whatever in the present state of military science. The form of the city is an irregular trapezium, the longest side of which is the north, the next the south; the east is shorter than either of the former, the west the shortest of all.

The walls contain eleven gateways[26], five of which are closed up.

1st. On the north, the gate of Damascus, called by the Arabs Bâb-el-'Amud, or The Gate of the Column[27]. Through this is the road to the ancient land of Ephraim, and so to Nablûs and Damascus. It is also the gate of honour by which all the Mohammedan authorities who arrive as governors or as visitors to the Holy City make their first entry. This gate is better built than any of the others, and presents a fine appearance; its Saracenic architecture is magnificent; the few arabesques and ornaments are of excellent workmanship. Inside, on the right-hand wall on entering, is a Cufic inscription.[Pg 7]

2nd. Proceeding eastwards, about 780 feet from the gate just described, is the gate, commonly called that of Herod, which has been walled up for some few years, to save the expense of a guard. The Arabs call it Bâb-ez-Zaheri, which some translate as Gate of Gardens. Close to this gate is a small reservoir, called the Pilgrim's Pool, in memory of a maiden who made a vow to walk to Jerusalem barefoot and fasting, and died of exhaustion on reaching this spot.

3rd. Continuing along the eastern side and turning to the south, after passing by a ditch excavated in the rock, we come to a pool and to the Gate of Saint Mary, Bâb-Sitti-Mariam of the Arabs, called by many S. Stephen's Gate. Over the gateway are four lions in bas relief, said traditionally to have been placed there by the Khalif Omar[28]. The pool is called Birket-Hammam-Sitti-Mariam, or the Pool of the Bath of our Lady Mary. This gate leads to the valley of Kidron, commonly called the valley of Jehoshaphat, to Bethany, and to Jericho.

4th. At a short distance, towards the south, is the Golden Gate[29], which would open upon the area of the Haram-es-Sherîf. This is the most richly ornamented of all, and is remarkable for its architecture, of which I shall presently speak at greater length. It has long been closed up, doubtless on account of a legend, to which much importance is attached by the natives, which states that through this gate a sovereign from the west will enter, on a Friday, and make himself master of the city. In consequence, many resort to the gate every Friday to offer their mid-day prayer and to entreat God to deliver them from foreign invasions.

5th. Within a short distance is a very small gate, also built up, which M. de Saulcy was the first to recognize, (in my opinion wrongly,) as the gate of Jehoshaphat of the period of the Crusades.

6th. Passing the south-east corner of the wall, and proceeding westward, we observe a gate with a pointed arch, also walled up.

7th. Continuing in the same direction we find a triple gate, also closed with masonry.

8th. The southern gate, called by the Mohammedans Bâb-el-Huldah, Gate of Huldah[30]. This gate, now disused, is under the Mosque el-Aksa. Of its ornamentation I shall speak more fully in another place.

9th. Still keeping along the southern wall in a westerly direction we find the small Dung Gate, called by the Arabs Bâb-el-Mogharibeh, Gate of the western Africans. It is not kept open throughout the year; but when there is a scarcity of water in the city, it is used by the water-carriers.

10th. Ascending towards Sion, we reach the Sion Gate, Bâb-Neby-Daûd, (The Gate of the prophet David,) so called because it leads to the Sepulchre of David,[Pg 8] which is at a short distance. Through it too is the way to the Christian and Jewish cemeteries.

11th. Lastly, on the west is the Jaffa Gate[31], or in Arabic, Bâb-el-Khalíl, (Gate of Hebron,) because through this gate is the best and shortest road to Hebron.

The appearance of Jerusalem within the walls is sombre and sad, offering no attraction to the eye, and filling the mind with deep melancholy. With the exception of the esplanade of the Haram-es-Sherîf, the city presents but a mass of buildings without order or design, very few of which deserve special attention. The cupolas of the Church of the Resurrection, that of the new Jewish Synagogue, and some minarets, are the only edifices which tower above the others, and the forms even of these are not pleasing. The panorama of Jerusalem, as seen from Olivet[32], is striking from the feelings it awakens and the reminiscences it calls up; but it conveys no idea of life. It is in truth the panorama of a Deicide city. The streets and lanes entangled in the labyrinth of houses are irregular, narrow, dirty, and ill-paved; through many of them flow open sewers, receiving the drainage from the houses, and filth of all kinds abounds. There was a period when it was even thought desirable to leave the gates of the city open at night, in order that hyenas and jackals might enter and purify the streets by devouring the carcases of animals that were lying about.

The vaulted bazaars, which in many cities of the East are so full of life and activity, at Jerusalem look rather like caves containing sepulchral cells, and the visitor must be careful where he stands, lest some portion of the ruinous wall fall upon him, where he sets his foot, or against whom he brushes in the street. With few exceptions, the fronts of the houses present nothing but rows of windows with iron-bars, or heavy wooden jalousies, that give them the appearance of prisons—weeds and hyssop are growing upon many—others are fast falling to decay—the whole is a sad picture of neglect and indifference.

There are three great divisions of the city. A central valley, commencing at the N.W., outside the Damascus gate, and terminating at the S.E., below the Pool of Siloam, separates it into two parts, of which that on the west of the valley may be considered as the first division, being larger than both the others together. These are separated one from another by a street, now called (for the greater part of its length) the Via Dolorosa, which begins at the Gate of Saint Mary, whence it rises westward until it meets the central valley. The hill to the north of this street forms the second division, and the platform on the south, occupied by the Haram-es-Sherîf and its precincts, the third division.

The first division is traversed from north to south by a street[33] extending from the Damascus Gate to the Gate of Sion. The part to the west of this is chiefly[Pg 9] inhabited by Christians, and may therefore be considered as the Christian Quarter; the part to the east, as far as the central valley, is occupied by people of various creeds. From the Jaffa Gate as far as the western side of the Haram, the city is traversed by another street, called in the time of the Crusaders the Street of David. The district, then, east of the street leading to the Gate of Sion, and S.E. of the Street of David, is the Jewish Quarter; and that north of the Street of David, together with the western side of the central valley, the Mohammedan Quarter, although many Christians and Jews also dwell in it.

The second division may be considered as partly a Christian and partly a Mohammedan Quarter, because in the last few years the Christians have become possessed of much of it, especially along the northern side of the Via Dolorosa.

The third division is entirely a Mohammedan Quarter, except that the Armenian Catholics possess a small plot of ground in the angle formed by the junction of the Via Dolorosa with the central valley.

Of all these quarters, the dirtiest, most fetid, and wretched, is that of the Jews, and this not on account of its topographical position, which is undoubtedly the best of any, but entirely from the habits of the people, who pay no attention to cleanliness either in their houses or dress; they wallow in the mire, so to speak, and carry it on their persons as though fearing to be robbed of it. They dwell in small houses, huddled together in great numbers, like moving heaps of filth, and seem only to use their reason for the purpose of plunging more deeply into the dirt. I have repeatedly entered their habitations, and observed that in the courts masses of filth were accumulating year by year and producing various physical evils, simply because the occupants would not spend the few piastres necessary for its removal. It is impossible to persuade them of the unhealthiness of their way of living, because they would themselves have to pay for any improvements in it; while, if they fall ill, the hospitals are chargeable with the expense. Moreover, in two rooms, measuring from twelve to fourteen feet square, it is by no means rare to find a whole family of six or eight persons. The mere sight of these things enables one to understand, in some measure, the statements of Josephus in his "Wars of the Jews," both as to the number of deaths during the siege by the Romans, and the causes which produced such mortality. In visiting this quarter, it is impossible to forget the curse that hangs over the children of Israel, and the words of Deuteronomy ix. 6: "Understand, therefore, that the Lord thy God giveth thee not this good land to possess it for thy righteousness; for thou art a stiffnecked people." Alas! no longer can any one exclaim at sight of Jerusalem: "Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Sion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King[34]."[Pg 10]

The climate of Jerusalem would not be unhealthy, if the streets were kept cleaner, if the heaps of refuse were deposited further from the walls, and if the lazy agriculturists would avail themselves of it for manuring the ground; if the houses were kept in a more cleanly state, and the drains were better attended to; if the rain-water, by which the cisterns are fed, passed through filters which were themselves free from impurity; if the dead, especially among the Mohammedans, were interred at a greater depth; if all the cemeteries were at a distance from human habitations, and so situated, that the prevalent winds of the country would not carry their exhalations over the city; if the carrion and offal, now often found in the city itself, and always abounding in the immediate vicinity, were buried; if, in short, there existed a board for the maintenance of sanitary regulations. His Excellency Surraya Pasha has made every effort to remedy all these evils, and something has been done to promote the healthiness of the place since he removed the slaughter-houses and tannery from the centre of the city. But he has stood alone in his endeavours. His subordinates, not being animated by the same spirit, according to their custom, have neglected to see his commands carried into execution. Hence the result of his measures, though very perceptible, has not yet been proportionate to just expectation.

Although the climate is not subject to the frequent and sudden changes that occur in western countries, yet it is necessary to guard against the variation of temperature in the morning and evening, which is very great, and an ordinary cause of violent attacks of fever, not unfrequently fatal. Affections of the eyes are common among the lower classes, who so seldom wash their faces. Those of cleanly habits rarely suffer.

From the month of October until the end of March the temperature is much lowered by the rains. In December and January snow occasionally falls. From the beginning of April to the month of October there is great heat during the day and much dew by night. At this season the greatest care must be taken of the health.

The ordinary population of Jerusalem comprises about 20,453 souls, but at the Easter season this number is more or less increased, according to the concourse of pilgrims, and it is impossible to fix the numbers, even approximately. In 1856 about 12,800 pilgrims arrived in the Holy City; in 1859, 7000; and in 1859 not more than 1200. The following are the religious communities in Jerusalem:—

1st. The Jews, whose numbers amount to 7,738: of these, 5,200 are called Sephardim, and derive their origin from the Jews driven out of Spain A.D. 1497, under the reign of Ferdinand the Catholic and Isabella. Their Spanish tongue, mixed with many expressions from the Arabic and other languages, is the sole trace they have preserved of their former temporary home. The second branch is composed[Pg 11] of 2,500 Ashkenazim, from the countries of the north and west of Europe, who have taken up their abode at Jerusalem: some moved solely by the desire to die in the land of their patriarchs, others to exercise their industry, the greater number to profit, with the Sephardim, by the abundant alms sent thither by their co-religionists of Europe, and badly distributed by a wretched administration. Finally, the Karaites,—a sect which sprang up about the decline of the Jewish kingdom, and admits no human interpretation of the Old Testament, nor any Rabbinical book—number about 38, and are superior to all the rest in intelligence, education, cleanliness, and probity. They belong to the country, though they may have occasionally abandoned it for a short time during periods of trouble.

The head of the whole Jewish community is the Grand Rabbi (Khakam-bashi), to whom all look up, both as the head of their religion, and as the one to whom the distribution of the alms chiefly belongs. He it is who gives civil protection to the Sephardim and Karaites, and supports their interests with the local government; while the Ashkenazim are protected by the Consuls of the different nations whose subjects they are. Their synagogues are numerous but unimportant[35]; a hospital, a dispensary, and a house of refuge, outside the Jaffa gate, are due to the kindness of their co-religionists in Europe, among the most distinguished of whom are the Messrs. Rothschild and Sir Moses Montefiore. It is to be hoped that their public schools for both sexes will for the future be better managed and more effective than they have hitherto been.

The Mohammedans number 7,598; thus divided, Arabs 6,854, Turks 680, Lepers (a separate class) 64. The first are the proprietors of the country, and govern it with moderation; less, however, from natural inclination, than from the advantages resulting to themselves from this course. They are aware that any excesses committed by them at Jerusalem would not only entail severe punishment, but involve them in the greatest distress, for but few of them live on their property or by commerce. Many are employed in public offices or under the civil and ecclesiastical authorities; others derive the means of subsistence from the influx of pilgrims and travellers; and the rest subsist upon the alms distributed by the convents, and in some cases by the Consuls. From all these sources the Mohammedan prospers in Jerusalem, and consequently is generally not averse to the Christian. Even at the time of the late disasters in the Lebanon and the massacres of Damascus, His Excellency Surraya Pasha by his activity and force of character was able to prevent any outbreak in Palestine, thus earning the gratitude of every Christian.

The Lepers are separated from all, and inhabit a very filthy quarter, near the[Pg 12] gate of Sion. The reader must not believe that they live in abject misery; they have property of their own and beasts of burden to fetch and carry their provisions, and each one has his special duty assigned to him by the head of their community (chosen from among themselves); either to provide in some way for the common wants, or, in the case of the most diseased, to solicit alms incessantly, which is done with so much success that no one of them would submit to be cured, for fear of losing so profitable a profession.

The orthodox Greeks are in number about 2,700; they are chiefly subjects of the Sublime Porte, and acknowledge as their religious head the Patriarch of Jerusalem, who also, in virtue of his high position, directs and counsels them in their civil affairs. The great Greek convent of Saint Constantine at Jerusalem is the light-tower that sheds its beneficent rays not only over the city but through the whole country: being very rich, it exercises the greatest influence; modifies the policy of the government; curbs fanaticism; rouses the idle; finds work for the poor; acquires very large landed possessions, and encourages an enlightened system of cultivation; in a word, it greatly fosters the small amount of prosperity visible in the country.

The Greek Church has many convents, hospices, seminaries, schools, and a hospital; but of these, and of those belonging to the other communities, I will speak in detail in another chapter.

The number of the Latins or Roman Catholics is about 1,270. Except a few who are under the protection of the different Consuls, they are all subject to the Porte, but yield religious submission to a Patriarch, delegated by the Pope, who resides in Jerusalem. The inability to lavish money, as the Greek convent does, would limit the influence of the Patriarch and the Franciscan Fathers of the Holy Land, but that happily this want is largely compensated by the special protection accorded to the Holy Places officially by France, and also by other Christian Powers, which, though not called upon to give protection, yield it from devotion. Chief among these is Spain, who, both in times past and present, has liberally aided in supporting the religious communities that have the care of the Holy Places. Hence it comes that from these resources, in addition to those supplied by the French Government, the Propaganda of Rome, Lyons, and other places, both the Patriarch and the Guardian of the Holy Land are so well able to minister to the wants of the members of their Church, to assist the sick, to entertain the pilgrims, and to maintain seminaries and schools for the civil and religious education of the youth of both sexes.

The Armenians do not exceed 526 in number, and belong to the Monophysite sect, declared heretical by the Council of Chalcedon, A.D. 451. They are subject to the Porte, but yield religious submission to their Patriarch, who sometimes gives[Pg 13] them excellent advice in civil matters. The Armenians are few and well governed. They are industrious and free from abject poverty, applying themselves to trade and commerce, and may be truly said to live by the sweat of their brows.

Of the Protestants, about 206 belong to the Anglican Church, and 62 to the Lutheran; total 268.

The Copts are so few in number, and so entirely engrossed in their commercial pursuits, that there is nothing whatever to be said about them; they live a quiet unobtrusive life, and are 130 in all.

The Abyssinians are so wretchedly poor that they have ceded, or at least leased out in perpetuity, most of their rights in the Holy Places to the Armenians, who, in return, furnish them with the means of daily subsistence. Their number does not exceed 80.

Notwithstanding the numerous caravans of pilgrims which Russia annually sent to the Holy Land, that country formerly did not possess a foot of ground in Jerusalem. But a few years before the last Eastern war, Russia established in the Holy City an Archimandrite, for whom the Greeks themselves supplied a fitting residence. The jealousy of the latter, however, was soon aroused, and they were foolish enough to treat as dangerous intruders those whom a more prudent course of conduct might have made valuable allies. The plans of Russia have perhaps changed since the late war; that which she has been unable to secure at once by force of arms, she will doubtless acquire more slowly by other means, which time will bring more fully to light. Meanwhile she is at present taking the lead in the restoration of the cupola of the Holy Sepulchre. In February 1858 a Russian Bishop, accompanied by his clergy, took up his abode in Jerusalem; in October of the same year, the Russian consulate was established, and a temporary hospice opened pending the erection of a permanent one.

The new buildings are nearly finished, but not yet inhabited. The community numbers 68.

The Syrians, who possess a convent presided over by a Bishop, are in number 32.

The Greek Catholics have a well-built convent. The number of those permanently established in the city is 24.

The Armenian Catholics possess an estate, on which they intend to erect a church, a convent, and a Bishop's house. Their number will then increase, at present they are but 6.

The Ammonites are 8 in number, the Disciples 3, and the Sabbatarians 2: these three sects have arrived during the last few years from America, but have not made any proselytes.

From these numbers it results that the whole population, as I have already stated, amounts to 20,453.[Pg 14]

Compared with the space surrounded by the walls the population is very small. Without including the large area of the Haram-es-Sherîf, Jerusalem could easily contain at least three times as many inhabitants as it now does. If indeed the houses were built two or three stories high, if those belonging to the Government and the mosques were occupied, if those now tottering or in ruins were rebuilt and made habitable, if the numerous convents of the different religious communities contained a number of inhabitants in proportion to their sizes, if also the plots of land now abandoned, covered with rubbish or occupied by gardens, were partially built over, there would be no lack of room for a greatly increased population. From this it is evident that, even if the city did not contain the exaggerated number of more than a million at the time of the siege by Titus, the amount of its inhabitants might have been considerable, especially when Ophel and the southern part of Sion were within the enclosure, thus augmenting the habitable space by more than a third.

To complete the description of the present state of Jerusalem, a few words may be said about the sources of water and the sewers, which at present so insufficiently supply the wants of the city. First come the cisterns for rain-water, which are thickly sprinkled over Jerusalem and its suburbs; one at least being possessed by every landholder and community. When, during the summer-months, the supply of rain-water fails, the peasants of the neighbouring villages, especially of Siloam (where it is drawn from the well of Joab, Bir-el-Eyub), drive a thriving trade as water-carriers. Such is the sad state of a city once so well supplied with water from the works constructed by its former kings and the Herods, which are now for the most part in ruins.

The conduit of Solomon (by many called that of Pilate), which constantly supplied Jerusalem from the fountains of Etham, still exists, and by it during the last few years (by direction of Kiamil Pasha and Surraya Pasha) the water was, under my care, again brought into the city. Owing to the length of the aqueduct (about three hours' journey) it was impossible to protect it from the Arabs, whose wanton injuries before long cut off the supply of water. On the west, the Pool of Mamillah, though partly filled with earth, catches the rain-water, which is conveyed from it by a dilapidated conduit into the so-called Pool of Hezekiah, inside the city. This, during a few months of the year, supplies a bath. The water, being mixed with dirt and the drainings from the sepulchres round Mamillah, is not fit to drink. The Pool by St Mary's Gate, being in bad repair, contains very little water; during twenty or thirty days in the year it supplies the bath close to the wall, within the city, called Hamman-sitti-Mariam. A similar reason to that mentioned above renders this water also unfit for drinking. The Pilgrims' Pool, on the north, close to Herod's Gate, is too small to be worth further notice. The Pool at the head of the[Pg 15] Valley of Kidron, on the north, is filled with earth and stones. That of Birket-es-Sultan on the west cannot hold water, as it escapes by the south wall. The great Pool of Siloam is now filled with earth and converted into a garden. The Pool of Bethesda, within the walls, is almost choked with earth and refuse that has been thrown into it; by this time it would have been quite filled up, had not Kiamil Pasha, at my earnest request, put a stop to the practice in 1856. Within the Haram-es-Sherîf the great cistern at the south-east corner is not only in ruins but so filled with rubbish as to be useless. This is the effect not so much of time as of Vandalism and of the carelessness of Mohammedans about keeping up ancient monuments; when they are gone they regret their loss, but take no pains whatever to preserve them.

The waters naturally unfit for drinking are, inside the city, the springs of the Hammam-es-shefa (Bath of Shefa), situated near the western side of the Haram-es-Sherîf. The water supplies the neighbouring bath, but has a disagreeable taste. Outside the city is the spring called the Fountain of the Virgin, that runs into the Pool of Siloam. It is used for irrigating the gardens of Siloam and for domestic purposes. Neither of these springs gives a copious supply of water.

The city is full of sewers, the principal being that which, beginning from the Damascus Gate and following the line of the central valley, goes out under the south wall at the Dung Gate, and continues along the western side of the same valley till it comes to the great Pool of Siloam. Another goes along the Street of David, joining the former on the east. All are in the worst possible condition, and annually stand in need of repair, as they frequently become choked up by the accumulated filth.

The above brief sketch may suffice for the present; the subject will be treated in detail, and further information given in a future chapter.

FOOTNOTES:

[2] Gen. xiv. 18.

[3] Ep. ad Evang. Presb. § 7.

[4] S. John iii. 23.

[5] Gen. xiv. 17.

[6] Advocates of the other opinion rely on 2 Sam. xviii. 18, but in this passage the king's dale only is mentioned, without the specification of the valley of the plain. These last words could not be used of a place overhung by the steep slopes of Mount Moriah and Mount Olivet.

[7] Herod, II. 159; III. 5.

[8] Josephus, c. Ap. I. 34.

[9] Josh. x. 1-27.

[10] Judg. i. 21; Josephus, Ant. V. 2, §§ 2, 3.

[11] 2 Sam. v. 6-9.

[12] 1 Kings xiv. 25, 26.

[13] 2 Chron. xxi. 16, 17.

[14] 2 Chron. xxv. 23, 24.

[15] 2 Kings xix. 35.

[16] 2 Chron. xxxiii. 14.

[17] 2 Kings xxv. 9, 10.

[18] Note I.

[19] See the Chronology in Appendix.

[20] Plates II., IV.

[21] Note II.

[22] Note III.

[23] Note IV.

[24] Plate V.

[25] Plate VI.

[26] Note V.

[27] Plate VII.

[28] Images of animals are not forbidden to Mohammedans; see for example the Court of Lions in the Alhambra.

[29] Plate XVIII.

[30] Plate XX.

[31] Plate V.

[32] Plate I.

[33] Note VI.

[34] Psalm xlviii. 2.

[35] The Great Synagogue and the Polish are the only two worth mention.


[Pg 16]

CHAPTER II.

ANCIENT TOPOGRAPHY OF JERUSALEM—IDENTIFICATION OF THE MOUNTAINS, HILLS AND VALLEYS—JERUSALEM IN THE TIME OF THE JEBUSITES, DAVID, SOLOMON, JOTHAM, HEZEKIAH, MANASSEH, NEHEMIAH, HEROD—THE TESTIMONY OF JOSEPHUS EXAMINED—THE SIEGE BY TITUS—FORMER EXTENT OF THE CITY—JERUSALEM IN THE TIME OF HADRIAN, THE CRUSADERS AND SOLYMAN.

Having thus described the existing city, let us pass on to consider the ancient, and endeavour to recognise in its mountains and hills, its valleys and other landmarks, points corresponding to the allusions of the Bible and the writings of Josephus. We will suppose the reader to be standing with us on the summit of the Mount of Olives, and will point out the chief features of the view before him[36]. At the first glance we see that the city is built upon two nearly parallel ranges of hills, separated by a central valley. These we proceed to examine in detail. The summit of the western part forms a kind of plateau, extending from the north-west to the south, whose highest points are at the southern extremity, at the Armenian convent, at the castle of David, and at the north-west corner; but on closer examination we see that the plateau, which commences at the castle and terminates at the south, forms a hill sloping sensibly on the west, east, south, and slightly on the north as far as the street of David, where there is nothing to be seen which would induce us to suppose that a valley had once existed there. I believe that the fortress of the Jebusites, and afterwards that of Sion, used to stand on the upper part of this hill, and that the city of David[37] extended over the whole of its irregular[Pg 17] quadrilateral area. This opinion is confirmed by Josephus, who says[38] it was defended by precipices on every side, except the north, which, being the weakest, was guarded by a triple wall. This hill then has on the west the valley of Gihon[39], on the south the valley of Hinnom[40], on the east the continuation of the central valley, while on the north it is open to attack, and consequently in former time was fortified there more strongly than on the other sides, which were inaccessible. Sion is then the spot on which the upper city of Josephus was situated.

A street, rising from the Gate of S. Mary and running in a westerly direction to meet the central valley, distinctly divides the eastern range. North of this division is the highest ground; on the south there is the great plateau of the Haram-es-Sherîf. Outside the west wall of the Haram a gentle slope leads towards the central valley, which is covered by houses. The testimony of Josephus[41] is consequently verified, that "the city was built on two hills, which are opposite one to another, and have a valley to divide them asunder; at which valley the corresponding rows of houses on both hills end."

Having thus pointed out the western hill, Sion, and the valley indicated by Josephus, which we call the central valley, let us examine that part of the eastern range, which is to the south of the dividing street, in order to identify Moriah and Acra. Josephus[42] states that "the other hill which was called Acra, and sustains the lower city, slopes[43] on all sides; over against this there was a third hill, but naturally lower than Acra, and parted formerly from the other by a broad valley. However, in those times when the Asamoneans reigned, they filled up that valley with earth, and had a mind to join the city to the Temple. They then took off part of the height of Acra, and reduced it to be of less elevation than it was before, that the Temple might be superior to it." Hence it appears why we no longer see the broad valley and the two separate hills, but an area in which the site of the ancient Temple overtops the rest. We consider Moriah to be the third hill, and Acra the part lying between the west side of Moriah and the central valley.

The identification of Moriah does not admit of any doubt. The name and its probable equivalent Jehovah-jireh, are found in the story of Abraham's sacrifice[44]; there Solomon[45] built the Temple, whose precious remains still indicate its position: of these we will speak at length in a future chapter. The name Moriah is not used by Josephus, but the place can be identified with certainty from his description. We are told by him[46] that the platform of the temple was defended on the north-west by the tower Antonia, which was itself protected by a ditch. An examination[Pg 18] of the Pool of Bethesda and the excavations, which I made by the foundations of the barracks of the Haram, have convinced me of the historian's accuracy. In his description of the Temple[47] it is stated that the hill-side to the east of it was precipitous, and that Solomon was obliged to build a wall to support the made ground. The ancient wall and the valley of Kidron still exist, in confirmation of this statement. It is also implied that the south side was precipitous, which is proved by the remains of buildings still to be seen and the actual declivity of Ophel. That there was once a large valley on the west side, is proved by the following fact: on the west of the area of the Haram-es-Sherîf the rock runs up to the inside of the boundary wall, but on the outside it disappears, and is replaced by made ground of very great depth. I have inspected several excavations in the neighbourhood, and examined the tanks which are just outside the Haram, usually not less than 50 or 56 feet deep, the shaft (passing through the earth) being generally from 30 to 36 feet, and built with masonry. Hence I infer that a valley once existed on this spot, and that the made ground was obtained by the demolition of Acra; by this means Moriah was thrown open to every part of the city, which surrounded it like a theatre[48], and so was made 'superior to Acra.' But on examining the tanks nearer to the Tyropœon valley, I found the shafts not more than 12 feet deep: here then was Acra in former times. These few feet of made ground were probably formed by the destruction of the city by Titus. Acra was said to 'slope on all sides,' because it had on the east the 'broad valley,' on the south the descent to the central valley, on the west the central valley itself, and on the north the valley, which, starting from the central valley, went in an easterly direction to that of Kidron. How this last has been filled up I will presently explain. In the time of Josephus these hills were already united, and so, speaking generally, the city appeared to be 'built on two hills opposite to one another.'

In the northern part of the eastern range we find Bezetha, or the 'New city' of Josephus, which was entirely surrounded by valleys or ditches[49] artificially made. This position is elevated and opposite to the north[50] side of the Haram, and must therefore be identical with Bezetha, which had the central valley on the west, ditches on the north and east, and on the south the valley dividing it from the Tower of Antonia: all which characteristics may still be recognised on the spot.

There is yet another hill in Jerusalem, called Gareb. The only instance we have of the use of the name in former times is in Jer. xxxi. 39. Josephus does not mention it, either considering it as part of Mount Sion, with which it was continuous, or, more probably, comprehending it in the 'New city.' It bears the name Gareb among the Arabs at the present day. When I speak of the walls of the city, the Temple, and[Pg 19] the tower Antonia, I will bring forward other arguments to confirm my assertions about the hills; for the present I reserve them, and pass on to the valleys.

The central valley has already been mentioned several times. It agrees in every respect with the Tyropœon of Josephus[51], which "distinguished the hill of the upper city from that of the lower, (and) extended as far as Siloam." Many who have written on the topography of ancient Jerusalem, especially Dr Robinson, assert that the Tyropœon valley ran eastwards from the Jaffa Gate till it joined the central valley, at the point where the latter bends to the south-east, in its course to the Pool of Siloam. In opposition to this opinion, and in confirmation of my own, I have certain facts to bring forward. The valley which I consider the Tyropœon still drains the whole city; all along it runs a sewer receiving those from the eastern and western divisions. I have had frequent opportunities of ascertaining this, while repairs were being carried on[52]. I found that the central sewer, although 12, 16, and sometimes even 18 feet below the surface, was not based upon rock, but upon made ground. During the repairs I searched for the rock in the upper part of the valley, and found it at a depth of 18 feet, near the Damascus Gate, of 26 feet near the Temple Bazaar, of 22 feet at a few paces to the north of the Dung Gate. These facts shew that there was formerly a valley in this part of Jerusalem. Now we cannot adopt the position assigned to the Tyropœon by Dr Robinson, for the following reasons: (1) In the north ditch of the Castle of David we find the rock, which extends thence in a north-west direction. I came upon it in 1860, when a building (now used as a custom-house) was erected by the Greek convent outside the wall adjoining the Jaffa Gate. (2) The rock, found under the new buildings belonging to the Latin Patriarch a little to the north of the castle, under the English church and under a new building to the north of it, plainly shews that the head of the valley could not be at this spot. On the south side of the Christian Bazaar is the Greek Convent of S. John, and a few paces to the south of this the Prussian hospital. While this was being built in 1858, I examined its foundations, and ascertained the shelving stratum on which they rest to be a continuation of the rock beneath the convent. Where then could the valley be? (3) A similar state of things is found on descending about 350 feet to the east. (4) From west to east along the course of the supposed valley runs a sewer, 6 feet below the ground, cut in some parts in the rock. This I helped to repair at several points in 1856, and was able to ascertain that there was but very little made ground anywhere near it; I cannot therefore allow that there ever was a valley at this place. Brocardus about A.D. 1283, Adrichomius and Villalpandus near the close of the sixteenth century, assert that this valley existed, but to prove their statement they ought to have made excavations. They must have seen Jerusalem in a condition very like its present, especially[Pg 20] as regards its valleys, which must have been already filled up, either at the time of the destruction by Titus or of the rebuilding by Hadrian; for since these periods the city cannot have undergone any material change. The above authors inferred the existence of a valley from seeing that the south side of the street of David was considerably upraised, while the north was nearly level. Had they searched for the rock, they would have found the higher ground to the south to be nothing but a mass of rubbish, while the south front of the Convent of S. John, and the rest of the buildings on the same side, rest upon rock a few feet below the surface.

The supposed existence of this valley has led some to think that the ground, now occupied by the Church of the Resurrection, was the hill Acra; but this locality does not correspond with any of the topographical data of Josephus. How could the citadel[53] of Antiochus Epiphanes be built in this position to command the Temple? How could the Macedonian garrison from this place harass and even kill the Jews who were going to the Temple? Could this be Acra 'sloping on all sides' which was 'levelled that the temple might be higher than it[54]'? None of these conditions are satisfied, therefore this theory must be rejected. In the Tyropœon of Dr Robinson I place the Quarter of Millo: my reasons for doing so I will give at the proper place.

A valley has already been mentioned as dividing Moriah from Bezetha; only the eastern extremity of this is now visible, at the Pool of Bethesda, at which place we will examine it. The north and south side walls of the pool are founded upon and rest against the rock, while on the east, as the valley once extended down to Kidron, a solid sloping wall has been built solely to confine the water. There is also a wall on the west, and all the observations that I have made in this direction, as far as the Tyropœon, have convinced me of the existence of a valley; and on questioning the old masons who in the time of Ibrahim Pasha, A.D. 1836, laid the foundations of the Barrack of the Haram-es-Sherîf, I was assured that on the north side they had gone down not less than 26 or 30 feet before they came to the rock. On the south side of the Latin Chapel of the Flagellation, which lies directly north of the Barrack, the Franciscans had to dig 16 or 18 feet for the same purpose. In laying the foundations of the Austrian Hospice above the eastern verge of the Tyropœon, A.D. 1856, I clearly ascertained the existence of the valley on the south side, and have done the same on the property of the Armenian Catholics, called 'the first fall of Christ.' Hence I conclude that there was a valley in this part of the city, which divided Bezetha from Moriah and the north-west corner of Acra.

A small valley, commencing on the north near Herod's Gate, runs into the city, and terminates at the Pool of Bethesda, thus dividing Bezetha into two parts. Inside the city it can hardly be distinguished, owing to the quantity of rubbish by[Pg 21] which it has been filled up. Its existence however is proved by the water-courses that descend from the east slope of the western part of Bezetha.

Let us now proceed to examine the exterior of the city. Ophel or Ophlas is to the south of the Haram-es-Sherîf. Its position corresponds exactly with the statement of Josephus[55], that it adjoins the Temple on the south. Its form is that of a triangle with the base resting against the south side of the Haram and the vertex directed towards the Pool of Siloam. It is bounded on the east by the sloping sides of the valley of Kidron, on the west by those of the Tyropœon valley. Its defences were carefully attended to by different kings of Judah, because its fortifications greatly increased the strength of the Temple, which otherwise would have been exposed to an attack from the south. The position is a sufficient argument for its identity.

The positions of Mount Olivet and the Mount of Offence are indisputable. David[56] went up Mount Olivet, weeping, after crossing the torrent Kidron, and the Mount of Offence[57] is 'before Jerusalem.' Olivet is frequently mentioned in the New Testament, especially in the Acts of the Apostles, where its distance from the city is fixed by the words "Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath-day's journey[58]," that is, a little more than 2000 cubits, according to the rabbinical writers; and so we find it to be. We may also cite in confirmation the testimony of Josephus, who says that it "lies over against the city on the east side, and is parted from it by a deep valley interposed between them, which is named Kidron[59]."

Authors differ about the site of Mount Gihon[60], or Guihon, but I place it on the west, because we find that Hezekiah "stopped the upper water-course of Gihon, and brought it straight down to the west side of the city of David[61]," and Manasseh "built a wall without the city of David on the west side of Gihon, in the valley, even to the entering in at the Fish-gate[62]." This gate was probably the same as that of Jaffa, which might very likely bear this name, because through it the produce of the sea would be brought into Jerusalem. If Gihon does not correspond with the hill on the west, outside the city, I cannot understand the two verses cited above; especially since Hezekiah could not have brought water into the city from any other point, without either cutting through the hills with great trouble and expense, or making an aqueduct over a valley.

The Hill of Evil Counsel is probably the same as Tophet[63]. We find from the prophet Jeremiah that it was a place of sepulture, and indeed it was only there[Pg 22] that room could be found for the purpose. Even now the Arabs call it the Mount of the Sepulchres, from the number of graves there. They call Hinnom the Valley of the Fire; in Syriac it is Gehenna (Hell). This nearly corresponds with the Valley of Slaughter, as it is called by Jeremiah[64]. It is not impossible that the fortress of Bethsura[65] stood on this mount, which was distant from the city about five[66] stadia, towards the south. Mount Shafat, or Scopus, is the northern part of the range of Olivet, which runs in a north-west direction; the account of it given by Josephus, the distance from the city of seven stadia, the use made of it in the strategic operations of Titus[67], all correspond exactly with this position.

Having thus gone through the chief points of topographic interest, let us glance at the condition of the city during the different epochs of its existence. First, then, in the time of the Jebusites. On this subject the Bible only tells us, that it was defended on the south by the valley of Hinnom[68], that it was on high ground, and, in the then state of the art of war, nearly impregnable, so that its inhabitants thought it could be defended against the army of David by the blind and the lame[69]. Jerusalem was then divided into two parts, the Fortress and the Lower City[70]. Hence we can understand how it was that the descendants of Benjamin[71] dwelt at Jerusalem with the Jebusites; the former dwelling in the Lower City, the latter in the Fortress. This we find confirmed by the statement of Josephus[72]. It is very probable that the fortress of the Jebusites covered the platform of Sion, which reaches from its southern extremity to the castle still existing on the north, and is bounded on the east by the Tomb of David, the Armenian convent[73], and the English church. This opinion is confirmed by the remains of an old wall, which the Armenians found on building a seminary and rooms for pilgrims, and by the discovery of an ancient pool. Both these appear to be the work of a very early age, and anterior to the introduction of Phœnician art into Jerusalem. The lower city must have occupied the eastern slope of Sion near the western side of the Tyropœon. Owing to the scanty materials that have come down to us, we cannot add anything more about the city of the Jebusites.

The form and size of the City of David have already been mentioned in the account of Mount Sion. It is stated in the Bible, that David, directly after his conquest, began to strengthen not only the fortress but the whole city, that he dwelt in the fortress[74], that the King of Tyre sent labourers to build his house[75], which was cer[Pg 23]tainly the whole fortress, that "David built round about from Millo and inward[76]," and that "Joab repaired the rest of the city[77]." We are not told that David enlarged the city, but unquestionably he fortified it; possibly however he may have made its form more regular by bringing the houses up to the edge of the declivities of the valleys on the west, south, and east. To test this opinion I examined the part of Mount Sion which is outside the present wall, and found in the Protestant cemetery the vertical hewn rock, and a flight of steps close by cut out of it, which were discovered by the workmen employed by the Mission; at the same time large stones were also dug up in the ground, such as are frequently thrown out by the spades of the husbandmen. On questioning some of them, more particularly the older men, I heard that, for a long time past, large stones had been found in considerable quantities, and sold by the landowners to the builders in the city, who, in order to remove them more easily, broke them up on the spot. I was able to satisfy myself of the truth of this statement at the place itself[78]. I then asked them about the shape of the stones, and inquired whether those found near the surface corresponded with those found at a greater depth, and was told that the former were usually rusticated, and also almost calcined, while the latter were large irregular blocks in excellent preservation. I satisfied myself of the truth of this by examining the two kinds of stone. I then inquired about the direction in which the greatest number of stones were discovered, but their answers on this point were so vague, that I determined to make some excavations on my own account. With some difficulty permission was obtained from the owners of the land, under the condition that I should use their workmen, give them all that might be found, and make them a present in addition. As I was only anxious to obtain proof of the position of the wall of David, I willingly agreed to this. The attempt was successful; at certain points on the south and east[79] I found the rock hewn vertical or cut into steps, or else steep and broken; on it fragments of ancient masonry still remained, built of large irregular blocks, fitted together without mortar: in some places other rows of stones, joined with greater skill, were laid upon these, which in turn supported others rudely rusticated in high relief, with the surface rough. I am inclined to think that the lower rows belong to the period of the Jebusites, the next to that of David[80], and the upper to a later date. Near the Pool of Siloam the vertical hewn rock is again plainly seen, and also inside the city, on the west side of the Tyropœon Valley, and in front of the Mosque el-Aksa. I believe therefore that the Wall of David can be traced on the south and east. A careful examination of the western brow of Sion and the configuration of the ground shew that this wall must have followed its present course, and have continued in the same direction as[Pg 24] far as the south-west angle. All that I have been able to find at the castle belongs to a much later period, as we shall presently see. North of Sion, on the south side of the Street of David, the ground is covered by houses. I have therefore been unable to examine it, and can only draw inferences; but I am led to think that Millo was on that side for the following reasons.—We have seen that David "built round about from Millo and inward[81];" which must mean that he began to build from the position of Millo inwards, i.e. to the south, or round about the city. Now I believe that the quarter of Millo derived its name from the great pool in the neighbourhood, commonly called the Pool of Hezekiah[82]—the original Millo of David. A learned Russian ex-rabbi explained to me that the word Millo generally meant 'made ground,' but that a large reservoir, which receives water from another, is commonly called Millo, while this other is called Mamillah, and water-carriers, Malleah. We can therefore understand that David began to build from Millo, because, as there is not a valley on that side, it was the weakest part of the city. This explanation, as we shall see, suits all the other passages in the Bible in which Millo is mentioned; but it cannot be a place of 'made ground,' because there is none here. This is all that is known about the City of David.

The city was undoubtedly enlarged in the reign of Solomon, by the addition of Mount Moriah, on which the Temple was built[83]. David bought the threshingfloor (its site) from Araunah[84], a rich Jebusite, at which time it evidently was outside Jerusalem: but when Solomon built upon it, he joined it to the City of David[85]. Josephus also tells us that Solomon enlarged the city, and built new walls and fortified it with towers[86]. My opinion is that Solomon's wall began on the north side of David's, to the east of the Castle, and ran in a northerly direction, till it bent round to the east, so as to include Mount Moriah, which it encompassed on the east, south, and for a short distance on the west, till it again joined the wall of the City of David, after crossing the Tyropœon Valley. Thus the fortifications of the Old city were strengthened on the north, while the New was liable to be taken from the north-west and a small part of the north side; but the rest of this, and the other sides, were strongly defended by art or the natural difficulties of the position. In this new part of the city I have found fragments of the age of Solomon in the foundations of houses, in the walls of the Pool of Bethesda, and in the eastern and southern boundary wall of the Haram; but will speak of these more particularly in the chapter on the Temple. The remains that I have seen or found inside the city are of the greatest interest, but all belong to a much later period. In the passages of the Bible that speak of Solomon, we find frequent mention of Millo;[Pg 25] for example, "This is the reason of the levy which King Solomon raised, for to build the house of the Lord, and his own house, and Millo, and the wall of Jerusalem.... Pharaoh's daughter came up out of the city of David unto her house which Solomon had built for her: then did he build Millo[87]." And "Solomon built Millo, and repaired the breaches of the city of David his father[88]." This Millo is not the same as the Millo of David; for I hold with the rabbinical tradition, that Solomon's house was near the south side of the Temple, to which place he brought Pharaoh's daughter from the City of David; that this Millo is the immense reservoir still to be seen at the south-east corner of the Haram-es-Sherîf, and that the materials derived from it were used to fill up the depths of the Tyropœon Valley, between the New and the Old City. The "House of Millo, which goeth down to Silla[89]," where Joash was murdered, I take to be near the Millo of David, because the going down to Silla must have been a street leading down to Siloam, and therefore corresponding with the street of David. We may observe that this part added to the city is specified at an early period[90].

Some works of defence appear to have been constructed on Ophel, before the reign of Jotham, for it is said that "Jotham built much on the wall of Ophel[91]," which seems to mean that he found the wall already in existence. What he did build there we have now no means of ascertaining. Of Hezekiah we learn that he "built up all the wall that was broken, and raised it up to the towers, and another wall without, and repaired Millo, in the City of David[92]." This place I have already identified with the Pool[93] bearing Hezekiah's name, which before his time was outside the city, and was by him enclosed within the defences so as to deprive the Assyrians of water. In confirmation of this view I may mention that when the fathers of the Holy Land were laying the foundation of the house now occupied by the Latin Patriarch, they came upon remains of the solid masonry of the old wall. The same thing occurred to the Copts on the north side of the foundations of their Hospice. I do not speak of this from personal knowledge, as I was not living in Jerusalem at the time, but I have no doubt of the truth of the statement. I myself found a fragment of the massive ancient wall, when superintending the laying of the foundations of the little mosque, dedicated to Omar[94], which is opposite to the Church of the Resurrection on the south: the masonry was composed of large blocks of stone, of a tolerably regular form, which were fastened together by iron clamps: and the thickness of the wall was about seven feet and a half. I have therefore traced and attributed to Hezekiah the wall, which starting on the north of the Castle of David, passes on the north[Pg 26] of the Copts' Hospice, and finally joins the line of that which I have attributed to Solomon, after running parallel to the street of the Sepulchre.

A strong line of fortifications was built round Ophel by Manasseh[95]. Directed by the hints given in the Bible, I examined it as I had Sion. The answers given to me by the fellahîn, the evidence on the spot, and my excavations, brought to light some traces of a wall of circumvallation on the east side of the Tyropœon, and at the south end of Ophel. The great accumulation of earth on the Kidron side would have made any investigations very costly, and I was convinced of the direction of the walls in this part by the account of Josephus[96]; accordingly I did not make any excavations here.

Before describing Jerusalem at the time of Nehemiah, it will be well to enumerate the gates of the city before the Captivity, and to fix, as far as possible, their positions. We are told that Jehoash king of Israel "brake down the walls of Jerusalem from the gate of Ephraim to the corner gate, four hundred cubits[97]." I place the gate of Ephraim at the N.W. angle of Solomon's wall because it led to the land of Ephraim. The Corner gate was, I think, at the north-east angle of the platform of the Temple. We find in Jeremiah "The city shall be built from the tower of Hananeel unto the gate of the corner[98]," which may be very well understood to mean "from one extremity of the city to the other." I believe that the tower of Hananeel was in the present castle. King "Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the corner gate and at the valley gate, and fortified them[99]." The latter might have been in the south side of the wall of Sion. The horse gate[100] is also mentioned, but this was probably in the wall of the Temple, not of the city. I identify the fish gate[101] with the present Jaffa gate. The situation of "the high gate of Benjamin, which was by the house of the Lord[102]," is uncertain: I think it to have been either a gate of the Temple, or one through which a road to the Temple passed. Perhaps it may be found in the second line of wall on the north, but this is very doubtful. Lastly, it is said that when the Chaldeans entered Jerusalem, "all the men of war fled by night, by the way of the gate between two walls, which is by the king's garden[103]." These are the walls of David and Manasseh on the two sides of the Tyropœon, so the gate was probably in the middle of the valley, looking southwards towards the King's garden, now tilled by the peasants of Siloam. I do not expect that the above remarks will convince all, but trust that they may at least suggest subjects for thought and study.

The city, thus built at different periods, was burnt and destroyed by Nebuchad[Pg 27]nezzar; but let us pass over the sad years of captivity, till we come to the time when, by the energy and zeal of Nehemiah, it rose again from its ruins. Something must be said of its aspect at that time, and especially of its gates; but I must warn the reader that, after all my labours, I have not been able thoroughly to satisfy myself about their situation, because of the difficulty of reconciling the third and twelfth with the second chapter of Nehemiah. Still, without desiring to push my opinions presumptuously forward, I offer them in hopes that they may be fortunate enough to attract the attention of competent students to this interesting point of Biblical Archæology. I know that many have already attempted to fix the position of these gates, but I am also aware that their theories are contradictory, and often rest upon hypotheses which are open to attack. The illustrious Reland has not chosen to make any positive assertions on these points, and has contented himself with a simple list of names; I will therefore follow his example[104].

The sheep gate[105] must have been in the west wall, that runs southwards from the castle, in which were the towers of Meah and Hananeel: the fish gate, nearly on the site of the present Jaffa gate: the old gate, in the north part of David's wall, near its junction with Solomon's: the broad wall, that portion of the second enclosure, which protected the west and north as far as the north-west corner of the temple area, and the tower of the furnaces, outside it: the valley gate, at the extreme south-west corner of Sion: the dung gate, on the south side of Sion, a thousand cubits to the east of the valley gate: the fountain gate, at the east extremity of the north wall of David's enclosure, and, consequently, at the middle of the Tyropœon valley. I identify the pool of Siloah with that, now filled with earth, below the fountain of Siloam, and the king's garden with those still existing there. The stairs that go down from the city of David begin at the south-east angle of that king's wall and extend eastwards down the slopes of Sion. The sepulchres of David are upon Sion, a little to the west of that now shewn under that name. The pool that was made is Birket-es-Sultan, outside the walls on the west. The water gate is in the Tyropœon valley, to the south of the fountain gate; the east gate, on the site of the present golden gate. Let the reader now examine the account[106] of the two companies which went, in opposite directions, to dedicate the new wall to the Lord.

The dragon well[107] may have been near the south end of the pool Birket-es-Sultan; indeed there is a tradition among the Arabs, that a spring once existed on this spot, but I do not know whether it is of any value. No remains of the age of Nehemiah are to be found either outside the present city or in its walls, except in the east wall of the Haram-es-Sherîf: I will explain my reasons for referring these to this epoch in the chapter on the Temple.[Pg 28]

No one besides Josephus has handed down to us a detailed account of the topography of Jerusalem in the time of the Herods and Titus: since then he lived in this period and is our sole authority, I follow his account entirely. In endeavouring to identify the spots mentioned by him, in a place that has undergone such frequent alterations, I have not imitated the example of most writers, in ancient and modern times, who have copied one from another, and based their arguments on mere hypotheses; but, during a period of eight years, have devoted myself to a thorough examination of every part of Jerusalem; have carefully studied the terrain, the rocks, the stones, which I have sought under the accumulated ruins of centuries; have made deep excavations to trace the course of the ancient walls, underground passages and conduits; have watched the digging of numbers of foundations, from day to day, within and without the city; have collected information from persons worthy of credit and experienced in building, about the most important works that had been carried out before my arrival; have descended into and examined cisterns, clean and dirty; and after working like a labourer during the day, have read Josephus instead of going to sleep, and tested his statements for myself. I did not use any other authors except Livy and Cæsar, whose writings I studied in order to understand thoroughly the Roman art of war and the siege operations of Titus against the city; and after I had done all this, I made plans and sections upon the spot. This being well known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, I fearlessly present the results of my labours to all who take an interest in the reconstruction of the city of the Herods. I may indeed sometimes be mistaken in my arguments, or wrong in my conclusions; if so, I shall be glad to be corrected; thankful if even by this means I have created an interest in the subject, and given rise to new ideas and a better knowledge of the archæology of Jerusalem.

Having now considered the general features of the city, its hills and its valleys, and seen that it was guarded by a triple wall on the exposed side and a single wall on those which overhung the valleys[108], we will proceed to examine this triple line of defence.

The first wall began on the north at the Tower Hippicus, and passing by the Xystus joined on to the Palace of the Council, and ended at the west gate of the Temple. It was strengthened with much care and expense by David, Solomon, and their successors. In examining its course on the present ground, I started from the castle of David, going eastward in a line parallel to 'David's street' as far as the Mekhemeh (the Turkish law courts), and thence to the west wall of the Haram-es-Sherîf.

In order to identify the towers of Hippicus, Phasaëlus, and Mariamne, I frequently and carefully examined the fortress[109]. In it there are still three towers, one on the[Pg 29] west, just south of the Jaffa gate, whose architecture, as far as it is visible, appears mediæval; another to the east of this, built of stones with large rustic work of the Herodian pattern; and a third to the south of these two, resembling the first. In all three I ascertained that the Jewish masonry is founded on the rock, and that, for a height of five feet above the ground, they are cased with large stones, roughly rusticated; but in the middle tower the Jewish masonry continues about 39 feet from the bottom of the ditch—only the stones, however, are of the Herodian period, the architecture is of a later date, belonging to the time when art was declining in the country[110]; for we see that these interesting remains are used without the slightest care; being arranged without any regard to their size, and most of them shewing the marks of the clamps, by which they were formerly bolted together inside the wall; so that they have evidently been placed in reverse order[111]. The three towers are solid inside to a height of 11 feet, and the lower part of the ditch (14 feet deep) that surrounds them on the north, east, and south, is cut in the rock; the west tower is nearly 25 cubits square, the centre 40, the south 20. I adopt, then, Williams' opinion, that the tower Hippicus stood on the foundation of the first, Phasaëlus on the second, and Mariamne on the third. This identification seems to agree with Josephus' description[112]; so that these are the positions of the three ancient towers, which Titus ordered to be spared, "in order to demonstrate to posterity what kind of a city it was, and how well fortified, which the Roman valour had subdued[113]."

It may be urged, as an objection to this, that the cisterns, mentioned by the historian, are not to be found in these towers; but it is surely very unlikely that these would come down to us through so many changes. One tower has been enlarged to accommodate a greater number of troops, and nothing is more probable than that the cisterns would be destroyed in some of the extensive alterations which the buildings have undergone; for example, in making the story 20 cubits high, which now exists in it; besides, the cisterns, which are in other parts of the fortress, seem to shew that those within the towers have been removed. We shall presently see that the position assigned to Hippicus agrees very well with the historian's statements on other points, especially on the second position, occupied by Titus during the siege[114].

The number of houses and the character of their several owners make it impossible to excavate along the street of David, from the tower Hippicus to the west wall of the Temple; so that I was obliged to be contented with what I could find above ground. In many places I noticed large stones, generally rusticated, built into the lower parts of the present houses; for example, in the Greek convent of S. John,[Pg 30] in the south-east corner of the Pool of Hezekiah, and in many houses on the south of the above-named street. These stones I suppose to be remains of the old wall, because I cannot think that any one would have taken the trouble to bring them from a distance. The most remarkable thing is a semicircular Jewish arch, forming part of an ancient gateway, now almost entirely buried. This I will describe when I come to the second wall.

The Xystus, as appears from several passages in Josephus, was a public place surrounded by buildings, on the lower slopes of Sion, opposite the west wall of the Temple. We are told that the priests built a wall on the west of the Temple, to prevent king Agrippa II. from watching the sacred rites from the top of his palace[115] near the Xystus; also that, after the capture of the lower city and the Temple, the Jews, entrenched on Sion, asked to speak with Titus, and that he placed himself on the west side of the Temple, for "there were gates on that side above the Xystus, and a bridge that connected the upper city with the Temple[116]." The Xystus is also mentioned in conjunction with the bridge in other passages; but it is unnecessary to quote them, as the present state of the ground assists us in determining its position, the slope of Sion being much less here than at any other part of the east side. In the careful investigations that I have made on the west side of the Tyropœon, I found evidence that the surface had been levelled in the direction of the street of David; this however did not extend southwards beyond the point opposite to the south-west corner of the Haram-es-Sherîf, where the ground is very much broken with steep faces of rock; therefore, as I cannot suppose that a public place would be on an uneven site, I imagine that the Xystus began at the street of David and ended before it came opposite to the south-west corner of the Haram.

The Palace of the Council was probably situated in the position of the present Mekhemeh. The number of stones of Jewish workmanship of the Herodian period in the foundation of the present building, and its position with reference to the Xystus and the Temple, are strong arguments in favour of this identification[117]. This is all that I have been able to gather about the northern part of the first line of walls; excavations being impossible, from the nature of the place, and still more of the inhabitants.

On the west, the first wall started from Hippicus and "extended through a place called Bethso to the gate of the Essenes, and after that it went southward, having its bending above the fountain of Siloam, where it also bends again to the east at Solomon's pool, and reaches as far as a certain place which they called Ophlas (Ophel), where it was joined to the eastern cloister of the Temple[118]." I have[Pg 31] already stated how I was able to retrace this part of the wall on the south of Sion and at Ophel, and have no more to add, except that I found, during my investigations on Sion, great vaulted cisterns hewn out in the rock, remains of conduits, also cut in the solid rock, and ruined caverns, which had obviously once been reservoirs; but all these occurred inside the circuit of the wall, that I have laid down on the Plan, and never outside; shewing that one part had been formerly covered by houses, the other not. The position of Bethso is unknown: some think that the word means "house of filth:" one Rabbi supposes it to have been a place where waters met; however, I have not been able to find out anything certain about it.

The site of the gate of the Essenes is also unknown to us: I place it at the south-east angle of the City of David, because this position seems to suit best the Greek text of Josephus—"the wall extended downwards to the gate of the Essenes[119];" moreover, from this point I see that the wall could bend to the south, while, from a higher position, a very irregular course must be given it, in order to obtain this angle.

The positions of the fountain of Siloam and the pool of Solomon cannot be doubted. As the latter is filled with earth, I was obliged to make excavations, in order to ascertain whether it still retained marks of its antiquity. I found that the wall on the east side, especially in its lower part, was of ancient Jewish work; so also were parts of the north-west side and the east extremities of the other two walls. The pool is from 7-3/4 to 10 feet deep on the south-east, and 14 feet on the north-west. I have no doubt that it is as old as the time of Solomon, and think it may be the one named by the prophet Isaiah, "Ye made also a ditch between the two walls for the waters of the old pool, but ye have not looked unto the maker thereof, neither had respect unto him that fashioned it long ago[120]."

Josephus does not directly state that the east side of Sion, above the Tyropœon valley, was fortified, but we may infer it, as he[121] tells us that, when Titus had gained possession of the Temple and Ophel and all the north part of Jerusalem, he laid siege to the Upper City, which must have fallen at once, if there had not been a wall defending it on the east. We can hardly suppose that the Jews would have built it at the time, after seeing the fall of their strongest bulwarks, the tower Antonia and the Temple, nor would an obstacle hastily thrown up, and therefore weak, have arrested the victorious Romans.

The second wall is thus described: it "took its beginning from that gate which they called Gennath, which belonged to the first wall; it only encompassed the northern quarter of the city, and reached as far as the tower Antonia[122]." I have[Pg 32] already mentioned the addition made to the city of David and its probable extent, in speaking of Jerusalem at the time of Solomon: consequently I now have only to give the reasons that have induced me to fix the position of the places, and see whether they agree with the narrative of the historian. There are but two points to give in the line of the wall, the gate Gennath, whose position we must determine, and the tower Antonia, which was situated at the north-west angle of the platform[123] of the Temple, and whose position we may consider to be nearly ascertained. I place the gate Gennath (i.e. of gardens) east of the tower Hippicus, in the northern part of the first wall, at the place where I stated that I had found an ancient Jewish semicircular arch. From its name we may infer that it opened on cultivated land, and Josephus[124] speaks of the gardens on the north and north-west of the city, which were destroyed by the troops of Titus in levelling the ground. If the Pool of Hezekiah be the same as the pool Amygdalon[125] (of almonds), we may infer that probably plantations of almonds were in this neighbourhood. We must also recollect that if the sepulchre of Joseph of Arimathea were on the north-west, there would be a garden here[126]. Now as all the gates of Jerusalem in former times were named from their position or destination, it is very probable that this was called the garden gate, because the road to the gardens went through it; and indeed on excavating by the side of the arch above named, I found the two piers, which have been preserved by the accumulation of the earth. The arch, visible for about five feet above ground, is formed of large stones, rusticated, although the work has been much injured by time. They are firmly fastened together inside with iron clamps without mortar, that which I saw being merely superficial, and introduced by the Arabs during repairs. The two piers are constructed of similar masonry, but here the rustic work is very conspicuous. I discovered that the gate was founded on the rock, was 18 feet high and 8-1/2 wide. It is buried by a mass of rubbish, that here, as elsewhere, has raised the true level of the soil. The position of the gate (looking west) is not incompatible with its having formed part of a line of defence from the tower Hippicus to the Xystus; because not only were angles admitted into the systems of fortifications of that time, but also, with regard to Jerusalem, we are told by Tacitus[127] that "Walls with re-entering angles and curves, to take the assailants in flank, enclosed two very high hills."

In the immediate neighbourhood of the tower Hippicus I was not able to find any ancient remains, and therefore suppose that the wall commenced at this gate. I sought for its ruins, along a line northwards from this point, but was at first[Pg 33] unsuccessful; although I found a fragment of a building on the east side of the plot of land formerly occupied by the convent of S. Mary the Great[128], which may possibly belong to an early period; but I had afterwards three opportunities of learning that I was not mistaken, in expecting to find the required evidence somewhere in this part. (1) In January 1857, the weight of a quantity of fallen snow threw down a part of the wall of a Mohammedan Bazaar[129], called the Meat Bazaar, near the above-named convent. By order of the Governor I repaired it in 1858, and in digging down to the rock to lay the new foundations, at a depth of 10 feet below the surface, came upon large stones, boldly rusticated, and arranged in a manner that reminded me of the Phœnician work of the time of Solomon. This wall is nine feet thick, and consists of three courses of stone, the first, which lies on the rock, being 3-1/4 feet in height, the second 2, and the third 2-1/2; thus an extension both north and south from this spot was proved by this fragment. (2) In 1858 the Russian mission at Jerusalem, by my suggestion, obtained a piece of land near to the church[130] of the Resurrection on the east. In 1859 they cleared away the accumulated rubbish, and during the work a corner of a Jewish wall was discovered; the stones of which were rusticated to a depth of 4 or 5 lines, and carefully finished; these were the remains of a restoration of the time of the Herods on the ancient foundation of Solomon's wall. (3) In 1860 the dragoman of the French consul built a house, close to the west side of the present judgement-gate, and in digging down for the rock found, at a depth of 18 feet below the surface, a fragment of a wall, resembling in all respects that described above in the first case. From these three points I ascertained the course of the west side of the wall; it remained therefore to search for the northern face towards the Damascus gate; and an opportunity occurred before long, when the Greek Archimandrite Bisarion repaired and strengthened a house (now temporarily occupied by the Russian consulate). I dug some pits to examine its foundation, but no remains of antiquity were discovered, and the only result of my labours was to ascertain the true level of ancient Jerusalem at this spot. I made enquiries of all, who in former years had built in this neighbourhood, but could not hear that any Jewish ruins had ever been found, and therefore think that the wall must have turned sharp to the east at the judgement-gate (formerly the gate of Ephraim), and so, facing the north, gone on to the tower Antonia. The occurrence of very large stones, evidently of Jewish work, in the walls of the houses (especially in the lower parts) in this direction confirms this idea. These were found when the Effendi Kadduti repaired and partly rebuilt the house in the Via Dolorosa, at the Station of Veronica. A similar discovery was made by[Pg 34] the Mufti, in strengthening his house, at the Station of Simon of Cyrene; and by the Effendi Soliman Giari, opposite to the Mufti's house on the north. The Armenian Catholic Monk requested me to examine and level a piece of land, at the Station of the first fall of Christ, which, as representative of his nation, he had just bought. In the lower part of the wall enclosing it on the north very large stones and an ancient gate were found.

In the foundations of the Austrian hospice, laid in 1857, to the north of the Armenian property, large stones were discovered, and also, farther to the east, in the new convent of the Daughters of Sion. From all these facts, I infer that the line of the second wall passed along this side. I may also remark that the Greek text of Josephus states that the wall "went up to the Antonia[131];" and we can still see, from the conformation of the ground in this direction, that, after crossing the Tyropœon valley, it would go up to the tower. The assertion that the second wall "only encompassed the northern quarter of the city," is true, because, at the time of Josephus, Hezekiah's wall must have been standing, and therefore considered to form part of the second line. I once supposed that the gate Gennath was near the tower Hippicus on the east, and that consequently the second wall went in a zigzag course until it joined the Antonia: but, as mentioned above, I did not find any traces of it very near the tower Hippicus, and I think that if the gate of Gennath had been close to this, the historian would have mentioned it. I have already said that I attribute this wall to Solomon, because it is mentioned in the Bible in connection with events after his time.

Josephus states that "the beginning of the third wall was at the tower Hippicus, where it reached as far as the north quarter of the city and the tower Psephinus, and then was so far extended till it came over against the monuments of Helena, which Helena was queen of Adiabene, the daughter of Izates; it then extended farther to a great length, and passed by the royal caverns (σπηλαιων), and bent again at the tower of the corner, at the monument which is called the Monument of the Fuller, and joined to the old wall at the valley called the Valley of the Kidron[132]." In laying down the course of this wall I differ from all those (in particular Barclay, Schultz and Robinson) who, up to the present time, have written on the topography of ancient Jerusalem. I am led to do this by the careful investigations, which, during a long time, I carried on in the district north of the city. It is my positive opinion that the ancient walls did not extend to the north beyond the present enclosure; that is, that they began at the Jaffa gate, passed by the Damascus gate, and ended at the north-east corner of the Haram-es-Sherîf. Let me now state the facts which have led me to this conclusion.

In 1860 the Greek convent repaired the building outside the Jaffa[133] gate, now used[Pg 35] as a custom-house. Wishing to lay some foundations against the city wall, I came, on digging down, upon those of Agrippa's, which rest upon the rock; now we know that this wall near to Hippicus was defended by the steep slope of the side of the valley, and that where this ceased, towards the north-west corner, a ditch was cut in the rock. This may still be seen, and is a proof that I am right in supposing the present to be the wall that went from Hippicus to Psephinus.

At the north-west corner a massive ruin still exists inside the city, rising about twenty feet above the ground, and built of small stones joined with strong mortar; in the south-west corner however are found large stones, rusticated after the Herodian pattern. On digging about the shapeless pile, I discovered that courses of similar stones continued down to the rock. I also found two sides of masonry, and many large rusticated stones buried in the rubbish, and traces of a great cistern. Hence I consider this to be the site of the tower Psephinus, an octagon in form, and seventy cubits high[134]. Beyond these ruins, outside the present wall, is a ditch cut in the rock, unquestionably a work of the Herodian age, for no later conquerors would have had the time or desire to execute such a great and costly work. It is now concealed by rubbish, but it runs eastward parallel to the present wall, which therefore can scarcely have extended beyond it, in the course laid down by Barclay, Schultz, and many others.

The position I assign to Psephinus is the highest point in the city; therefore as the tower was seventy cubits high, we can understand that from its top the confines of Arabia and the sea (the Dead Sea) might be visible; indeed the latter may even now be seen from the terraces of the highest houses in the neighbourhood of the ruins. I call particular attention to this, because some have supposed that Josephus meant the Mediterranean; which cannot be seen even from the higher station of Mount Olivet. Besides he tells us that the tower was at the north-west corner of the wall[135]. The position assigned to Psephinus by Schultz, about 1800 feet from the corner, along the line, is not only a very bad one in a strategic point of view, being in a hollow and commanded by higher ground in front, but also would not have given a glimpse of the sea had the tower been double the height. Barclay's position is to the north-west and beyond the present wall, but nearer to mine and on higher ground, so that it satisfies the historian's conditions, but still is inadmissible, because it would be on a plateau without any defences, and would therefore have been easily taken by the Romans, instead of giving them some trouble.

I believe that Schultz fixed upon his position because a pool and some fragments of a wall, which he considered ancient, were found there. The reservoir is however too small and is an oblong, and therefore ill suited for an octagonal tower; in which[Pg 36] we should at least expect to find a square. I examined the wall by excavations, and found it to be only an Arab work: some stones, large but not thick, are the only things that have a look of antiquity, and this character is not decisive because they are embedded in mortar; in fact they are only the remains of some slabs that have once been used in a conduit. Barclay has certainly made the most of the reservoir of the Meidan; but in his time it was filled with rubbish, and therefore could not be examined. I have seen it empty, and its dimensions are nine feet deep, twenty long, and ten wide. It is therefore too small for the tower. I have surveyed and carefully investigated all the ground near it, for the Russian Mission and for Signor Tanûs (the owner of the reservoir), but could not discover the slightest trace either of defensive works, or a wall, or detached stones, to induce me to believe that a fortification ever occupied this spot, but on the contrary found rock, either quite bare or thinly covered with a red clayey soil. Other writers have assigned other positions to Psephinus, which are either near the above, and so open to the same objections, or else do not agree with the account of Josephus.

At the north-west corner the wall turns to the east, and after about 150 paces, before arriving at the Damascus Gate, we come to a new Greek building, touching the city-wall. When the foundations of this were laid, I examined a piece of wall, entirely of the age of the Agrippas, some stones of which are still visible. From this we see that a part of the wall, or a tower, was formerly on this spot, in accordance with my opinion.

The present Damascus Gate[136] bears strong testimony to the fact that Agrippa's wall once passed by it. It is flanked, east and west, by two towers, that are conspicuous objects from inside the city; their bases are entirely composed of large stones of the Herodian period. They are twenty cubits square[137], and solid up to the ancient level of the ground. I believe them to be the 'women's towers' mentioned by Josephus[138]. I say the ancient level, because in a reservoir outside the gate, on the east, I discovered traces of another gate, at a lower level than and supporting the present Damascus Gate. In the south wall of this there is a segment of a semicircular arch, 12 feet wide and 26 high, the stones forming the side piers are large and rusticated, those of the arch itself are also large but smooth. I discovered it in January, 1861. This I believe to be identical with the 'North Gate' of Josephus, through which the Jews made a sortie to disturb Titus' first reconnoissance of the city[139]. On both sides, without the present gate, are large stones, rusticated, of the Herodian period, some in the lower part of the present wall, others forming a sort of terrace above the road.

About 980 feet north of the Damascus Gate is an isolated rock rising 8 or 10[Pg 37] feet above the ground, and bearing inside and out traces of the hand of man. In the east side is an aperture, which resembles the doors in the sepulchres of the Kings, of the Judges and of Aceldama, and, like these, has been closed by a heavy stone moving on two hinges, the holes for which are still visible. It leads into a ruined cistern, nearly filled with rubbish. I had often been struck by the resemblance this presented to an ancient sepulchre, and thought that in that case it might be the tomb of Helena, but several difficulties stood in my way, and it is to the intelligent co-operation of M. Edmond de Barrère, French Consul at Jerusalem, that I am indebted for the confirmation of my idea. During our investigation at this place, we discovered that the rock appeared to be cut into the form of the base of a pyramid; also, by excavating inside the cistern, we found traces of tombs hewn in the rock. Hence I conclude that this is the site of the tomb of Helena. This is not the only instance where the resting-places of the dead have been profaned. Near the tombs of the Judges, and to the north of the head of the Kidron valley, changes of this kind are common: so too at the sepulchres of Aceldama the peasants of Siloam have converted some into dwelling-houses, others into barns. We know the history of some of the accidents that have befallen the grave of Helena; for a church was built on the same rock by the Empress Eudoxia, between the years A.D. 450 and 461, and dedicated to S. Stephen, who was said by tradition to have been stoned there; it was destroyed by the Saracens on the approach of the Crusaders. These rebuilt it, completing the work about the middle of the twelfth century; but destroyed it again A.D. 1187, fearing that Saladin would use it to cover his troops in attacking the city. This site satisfies another condition given by Josephus, when he says that the tomb was "distant no more than three stadia from the city of Jerusalem[140]." Now he invariably uses the words 'city of Jerusalem' to express the part enclosed by the first or second line of walls, and 'the new city' or 'Bezetha' for that within the third. Agrippa's wall, commenced A.D. 44, and continued A.D. 66, by the Jews[141], was lying in an unfinished state at the time of Helena's death; consequently, I understand that Josephus intended the three stadia to be reckoned from the second wall. S. Jerome[142], speaking of the Journey of Paula, states that, coming from Ramah and Gabaah, she left the tomb of Helena on the left hand, and then entered Jerusalem. The ancient road from Ramah, whose remains may still be seen, passed a little to the north of the sepulchres of the Kings, and then turning to the N.W., left the monument of Helena on the left and entered Jerusalem. The distance from the north gate, as determined by me, is another very strong argument for this position.

The following Jewish tradition also confirms my opinion. It is the custom for the Jews, every year, about the time of the Feast of Pentecost, to leave Jerusalem by the[Pg 38] Damascus Gate, and pass the whole day in visiting this rock, the sepulchres of the Kings, the supposed tomb of Simon the Just, and a grotto, opposite to this, looking south, called in Arabic Jadagat el-Ahel, that is, "store of food" or "alms of food[143]." They repeat their visit, or rather pilgrimage, for three days, and never return to the city without scrupulously visiting these four places. I asked educated Jews the reason of this custom, and was told that from this direction a great Queen had come, who, during a severe famine, had brought large supplies of food to Jerusalem, which were deposited in the above-named grotto; that on her death she wished to be buried on the north near the city; (I asked them to point out the place, but they could not), and consequently they went out in respectful remembrance of her, (they did not know even her name,) and also to visit the tombs of their ancestors. Thus, though the tradition does not fix the exact place of the grave, it shews that it was near the city, and indicates the direction in which it lay.

Close to the outer side of the wall, a little to the east of the Damascus gate, is a large deep hollow, almost entirely enclosed on the south, east, and north, by bare rock, which has evidently been worked at some very distant period[144]. In the upper part of the south side is a hole, opening into a long deep cavern extending southward and eastward under the city; and facing this, to the north, is the (commonly called) grotto of Jeremiah. These are nothing but ancient stone-quarries, which I consider to be the Royal Caverns of Josephus, and believe that the stones, which at different times have been used to build the city walls and the Temple, have been, at least in great part, taken from them. They were separated one from another, as at present, partly in getting the stone and partly in fortifying the north of the New City (Bezetha) with a ditch, which still runs eastward along the wall till it arrives at the pool near S. Mary's gate. It is cut entirely in the rock, like the one on the north-west in front of the tower Psephinus, and is a regular defence for the city-walls. As similar works have never been found in any other part of the district on the north, its occurrence at this place seems a strong argument in favour of my theory. I also compared the levels of the bottom of the hollow in front of the cavern, and of the Tyropœon valley, with the old level of the north gate, and found they correspond. I further ascertained that the road sloped gently towards the Temple, so that the huge blocks could have been easily transported. We may remark also that Josephus uses different words to express Cavern and Sepulchre[145]; and that the word used in speaking of this place does not apply to a place of burial. I conclude therefore that these are the Royal Caverns of Josephus, and if it be objected that this position restricts too much the line of Agrippa's wall, I ask to what other place on the north this name can be applied.[Pg 39]

To the east of the Royal Caverns is Herod's gate, and a little below it, in the same direction, the lower part of the present wall for four courses above the ground is of Herodian work; another point in favour of my theory.

It is stated that "the wall bent again at the tower of the corner, at the monument which is called the Monument of the Fuller[146]." We must now endeavour to assign the position of these two. I place the tower inside the present wall at its north-east corner, where massive masonry may still be seen on a level with the ground. The Monument of the Fuller is entirely destroyed, and its place cannot be exactly determined. Still, two passages in the Bible give some clue: Josiah burnt the grove which he had removed from the house of the Lord "at the brook Kidron, and stamped it small to powder, and cast the powder thereof upon the graves of the children of the people[147];" also, Jehoiakim slew Urijah "with the sword, and cast his dead body into the graves of the common people[148]." Now in the valley of the Kidron, east of the corner of the wall, are some rocks bearing evident traces of workmanship, but so much injured and weatherworn, and so covered with rubbish, that it is impossible to say whether they have belonged to a monument or not; but there are some signs of sepulchres; so, as the 'graves of the common people' are in the valley of Kidron, I am inclined to think that this may have been the Fullers Monument. The highway of the Fuller's field is mentioned in 2 Kings xviii. 17, Isaiah xxxvi. 2, and some think that this is connected with the monument named by Josephus; but the two things are quite distinct, and there is no reason why the former should be near the latter. After passing the monument the wall joined the old wall, which now forms the north-east corner of the Haram-es-Sherîf.

Having thus examined the line of the walls, let us try to prove, both from the historian's words and the conformation of the ground, that the city cannot have extended to the north beyond its present limits.

It is stated[149] that "the third wall had ninety towers (twenty cubits square), and the spaces between them were each two hundred cubits, but in the middle wall were fourteen towers[150], and the old wall was divided by sixty; while the whole compass of the city was thirty-three stadia." Now it is quite credible that the middle and old walls had the above numbers of towers, but it is very hard to understand how the third could have had ninety, and these two hundred cubits apart. If each tower was twenty cubits square, then the space occupied by towers would be eighteen hundred cubits; and if they were two hundred cubits apart, the sum of their distances would be eighteen thousand cubits; so that the whole length of the third wall would have been nineteen thousand eight hundred cubits; which is equal[Pg 40] to about nine thousand seven hundred and ninety-one yards, or forty-eight stadia. This, besides being greater than the whole compass of the city (thirty-three stadia), is far too large for even the space claimed by Barclay; because in order to obtain a measurement of this extent, we must suppose a part of the Scopus itself to have been included within the walls. There must therefore, as it appears to me, be some error in the text of Josephus in the number 'ninety,' so that no argument can be founded upon it. The position, however, which I assign to the wall, agrees very well with the thirty-three stadia, given by the historian as the whole length of the walls[151].

My theory is also supported by the description of Titus' wall of circumvallation[152]. "He began the wall from the Camp of the Assyrians, where his own camp was pitched; and drew it down to the lower parts of the New City; thence it went along the valley of the Kidron to the Mount of Olives; it then bent towards the south, and encompassed the mountain as far as the rock called Peristereon, and that other hill which lies next it; and is over against the valley which reaches to Siloam; whence it tended again to the west, and went down to the valley of the fountain, beyond which it went up again at the Monument of Ananus the high priest; and encompassing that mountain where Pompeius had formerly pitched his camp, it returned back to the north side of the city, and was carried on as far as a certain village called the House of the Erebinthi, after which it encompassed Herod's Monument, and there on the east was joined to Titus' own camp, where it began. Now, the length of this wall was thirty-nine stadia. Now, at this wall without were erected thirteen places to keep garrison in, whose circumferences put together amounted to ten stadia."

Of the places mentioned in the above description, the camp of the Assyrians is at the north-west corner of the present line of walls, two stadia distant from which were the head-quarters of Titus[153].

I cannot ascertain the position of the rock Peristereon (dovecote). According to Schultz this word has the same meaning as the Latin 'Columbarium[154],' and he identified it with the so-called 'Tombs of the Prophets[155],' but this does not correspond with the 'Columbarium' of the Romans. Its position indeed, at the first glance, seems to agree with the data of Josephus; but his words appear more applicable to a prominent rock than to a monument, which moreover is too far up the hill-side to be included in the line of circumvallation. I believe therefore that the Peristereon of Josephus was situated at the north entrance of the present village of Siloam, where the rocks still bear marks of having been extensively quarried.

The Monument of Ananus has been identified by Schultz with the present tomb[Pg 41] of S. Onuphrius, a building in the Doric style, situated in Aceldama; we will examine it more minutely hereafter.

I also agree with Schultz in placing the village, called 'House of Erebinthi' (chick peas), in the valley of Gihon to the west of Birket-es-Sultan, at a spot marked by some ruins, quarried rock, and a considerable number of cisterns hewn in the rock; called by the Arabs, Kasr-el-Asfur or el-Ghazal (castle of the young sparrow or of the gazelle) and Abu-Wair. Near, and to the west of Birket Mamillah, is a large mass of ruins, covering some sepulchral caves, which are identified by Schultz with Herod's monument. Though it is difficult to recognise in them the customary magnificence of that family, still the position suits the account of Josephus. They were injured in the early ages of Christianity on the building of the Greek church of St Babylas, which was afterwards destroyed by the Persians under Chosroes II., and to which the present remains belong.

Some authors are very anxious to extend Jerusalem towards the north (since this is impossible on the south), in order to make it large enough to contain the immense population, and the numbers of dead and prisoners recorded by Josephus[156]. But Hecatæus of Abdera, cited by the historian[157], reckons its inhabitants, at the time of Alexander the Great, at 120,000; is it then possible that the population of the city could have so greatly increased in four centuries, during which Palestine had been drained by numerous emigrations and frequent revolutions, and was the field of constant and bloody strife[158]? Nor must we forget that the defenders were not more than 25,000, nor the besiegers more than 60,000[159]. Could not then so great a population (about 2,000,000) furnish a larger garrison for the defence of their Palladium? Though Titus might have reckoned on the intestine struggles among the Jews, would he even then, skilful general and experienced warrior as he was, have undertaken so hazardous an enterprise? Could he have approached so large and populous a city with an army relatively so weak? We do not need more evidence to convince us that either the historian has included in his numbers the prisoners and dead of the whole war, or has indulged in exaggeration, or else that the figures have been wrongly transcribed.

Let us also consider the conformation of the ground on the north. Josephus has distinctly stated that the city was enclosed by a triple wall, except on the side of the valleys, where there was but one, as this part was inaccessible[160]. These few words appear to me to be fatal to any theory that lays down Agrippa's wall near the Tombs of the Kings. If he had begun to build it on the ridge south of the upper part of the Kidron valley, the Jews would of course have completed it on[Pg 42] the same spot, and Josephus would not have omitted to state that the city was defended to a considerable extent by a valley on the north. But on this point he is silent, and finding his description correct in other respects, I cannot suppose that he has made an omission in this. If it be contended that the upper part of the Kidron valley is too shallow to be worth mention, I reply, that it is from 16 to 24 feet deep, and was no doubt deeper in the time of Josephus; who therefore would not have failed to observe that there was also a valley on the north, which at any rate was quite deep enough to be a formidable obstacle to an attack from that side. Again, suppose that the city-wall had come up to the Tombs of the Kings, or stood a little to the south of them, what would then have been the use of Titus' reconnoissance from Gofna with 600 horse[161]; thus uselessly exposing himself to danger, when he could have examined the place better, and even exhorted the people to submit, from Mount Scopus. Had the city extended thus far, it would have been open to view and exposed to an attack on the north-west, being closely surrounded by higher hills; nor would a skilful general like Titus have given his men the trouble of levelling the ground from Scopus up to Herod's monument[162], needlessly increasing the labours of his troops, and exposing them to constant attacks from the Jews. He certainly would not have moved his camp to a position two stadia distant from both Psephinus and Hippicus[163], because he could easily have attacked the city at any point between the Tombs of the Kings and Psephinus. Lastly, I assert that no signs of defensive works, natural or artificial, are found to the north or north-west of the present walls. From the Jaffa Gate to the Tombs of the Kings, and thence to the north-east corner of the walls, there is not the slightest trace of the foundation or the masonry of the outer wall; no great hewn stones scattered over or buried in the ground; nothing but twenty-six vaulted cisterns, hollowed out in the rock, and four very small pools, which could not have supplied the large population that must have covered this space; the rock, though in places worked, is generally rough and untouched by any tool; the soil is everywhere red and clayey, its natural condition; another proof that it was never built over, for where the houses have been destroyed by fire or age, it is of a blackish or greyish colour, and contains fragments of walls or at least hewn stones in plenty. Let any one examine the south part of Sion or Ophel and contradict my assertion if he can. On the south heaps of broken stones and rubbish are scattered over a grey soil; on the north is bare rock, or a scanty though rich virgin earth.

Some, however, infer an extension of the city to the north, from the occurrence not only of cisterns but also of small cubes of stone, belonging to mosaic pavements, and of certain walls which, without proper examination, have been considered[Pg 43] to be ancient Jewish work. But these remains are not of any value, because, as stated by Josephus[164], there were houses and gardens in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem to the north. We may indeed infer the same from the words of Nehemiah[165], because we cannot imagine persons engaged in the service of the Temple living elsewhere in the environs of the city, on account of the great number of tombs in every other part. Houses also stood here at the time of the Crusades, and a church, dedicated to the Martyrdom of S. Stephen; therefore the occurrence of some mosaics and stones is easily accounted for. For all these reasons I deny that the walls extended farther to the north than their present position; and if the advocates of other theories are not convinced, I invite them to examine the places for themselves, when they will see that I have spoken the truth.

A Roman garrison was left by Titus at Jerusalem, after the work of destruction was completed, to watch over the ruins and prevent any attempt at restoring the city[166]; and it was not till 60 years afterwards that Hadrian sent thither a heathen colony to rebuild it and call it Ælia, after his name Ælius. A temple to Jupiter Capitolinus was erected on the site of the ancient Temple, whence the epithet Capitolina. He forbade the Jews to enter the territory of Jerusalem under pain of death, in order, according to Ariston of Pella[167], that they might not behold the home of their fathers even from afar. He also caused the effigy of a pig to be sculptured in marble on the gate leading to Bethlehem; an animal unclean to the Jews, but one of the Roman standards[168]. The southern part of Sion was excluded from his city, and all agree that its form and size coincided with the present. On this point we have the testimony of the Pilgrim of Bordeaux[169], who visited the place early in the fourth century, during the building of the Church of the Resurrection by Constantine.

At the time of the arrival of the Crusaders Jerusalem had not undergone any material change, as we learn from El Edrisi[170], who finished his work January, A.D. 1154, Benjamin of Tudela, who visited it A.D. 1173, and Willibrand of Oldenburgh, who stayed there A.D. 1211. During the occupation by the Crusaders a ditch extended along the wall from the south-west corner to the Sion Gate. It is now covered by a street, but on descending into one of the cisterns which opens into the middle of the road, I found that they were all in reality formed out of the ditch. This is the only part of the city of the Crusaders that has disappeared from view owing to the restorations of Solyman the Magnificent, who ascended the throne A.D. 1534.[Pg 44]

The form of Jerusalem was not changed in his days, although he greatly wished it. He had given orders to the architect, who was building the new walls, to extend them on the side of Sion, so as to include the whole of that hill. Regard for the sanctity of the place was not his motive (as many Christians both then and since have thought), but fear, lest in the event of a siege it might be occupied by an enemy, as a commanding position on which to collect troops preparatory to an assault. But when the architect, who hated the Christians, saw their deep reverence for the place and their desire that it might be included in the city, he determined to leave it outside as Hadrian had done; without thinking of the political or military views of his sovereign. He paid dear for his disobedience, for the Sultan recalled him to give an account of his actions, and regardless of his religious scruples cut off his head.

Having thus given a general idea of modern and ancient Jerusalem, we will proceed to describe all the objects of interest enclosed within its walls.

FOOTNOTES:

[36] See the Panorama, Plate I, and Plates II., III., IV.

[37] 2 Sam. v. 6, 7, 9.

[38] Jewish War, V. 4, § 1.

[39] 2 Chron. xxxiii. 14.

[40] Josh. xv. 8; xviii. 16.

[41] Jewish War, V. 4, § 1.

[42] Ibid.

[43] αμφικυρτος. Whiston translates 'Of the shape of a moon when she is horned.'

[44] Gen. xxii. 2, 14.

[45] 2 Chron. iii. 1.

[46] Jewish War, V. 4, § 2; 5, § 8.

[47] Jewish War, V. 5, § 1; Ant. XV. 11, § 3.

[48] Ant. XV. 11, § 5.

[49] Jewish War, V. 4, § 2.

[50] Jewish War, V. 5, § 8.

[51] Jewish War, V. 4, § 1.

[52] Note I.

[53] Ant. XII. 5, § 4; 9, § 3.

[54] Ant. XIII. 6, § 7; Jewish War, V. 4, § 1.

[55] Jewish War, V. 4, § 2.

[56] 2 Sam. xv. 23, 30.

[57] 1 Kings xi. 7; 2 Kings xxiii. 13.

[58] Acts i. 12; Note II.

[59] Jewish War, V. 2, § 3.

[60] 1 Kings i. 38. See Note XIII.

[61] 2 Chron. xxxii. 30.

[62] 2 Chron. xxxiii. 14.

[63] 2 Kings xxiii. 10; Jer. vii. 31, 32; xix. 11.

[64] Jer. xix. 6.

[65] 1 Macc. iv. 61; vi. 26, 31; 2 Macc. xi. 5.

[66] Note II.

[67] Ant. XI. 8, § 5; Jewish War, II. 19, § 4; V. 2, § 3.

[68] Josh. xviii. 16.

[69] 2 Sam. v. 6, 7.

[70] Ant. VII. 3, § 1.

[71] Judges i. 21.

[72] Ant. V. 2, § 2.

[73] Note III.

[74] 2 Sam. v. 9; 1 Chron. xi. 7.

[75] 2 Sam. v. 11.

[76] 2 Sam. v. 9.

[77] 1 Chron. xi. 8.

[78] Note IV.

[79] Marked with black on the Plan of the Ancient City. Plate II.

[80] Note V.

[81] 2 Sam. v. 9; 1 Chron. xi. 8.

[82] Plate XXXI.

[83] 2 Chron. iii. 1.

[84] 2 Sam. xxiv. 16-25; 1 Chron. xxi. 18.

[85] 1 Kings ix. 15; xi. 27.

[86] Ant. VIII. 2, § 1; 6, § 1.

[87] 1 Kings ix. 15, 24.

[88] 1 Kings xi. 27.

[89] 2 Kings xii. 20.

[90] 2 Kings xxii. 14 (margin); Zeph. i. 10.

[91] 2 Chron. xxvii. 3.

[92] 2 Chron. xxxii. 5.

[93] Plate XXXI.

[94] Note VI.

[95] 2 Chron. xxxiii. 14.

[96] Jewish War, V. 4, § 2.

[97] 2 Kings xiv. 13; 2 Chron. xxv. 23.

[98] Jer. xxxi. 38.

[99] 2 Chron. xxvi. 9.

[100] 2 Chron. xxiii. 15; Jer. xxxi. 40.

[101] 2 Chron. xxxiii. 14; Zeph. i. 10.

[102] Jer. xx. 2.

[103] 2 Kings xxv. 4; Jer. lii. 7.

[104] Note VII.

[105] For what follows see Neh. ch. iii.

[106] Neh. xii. 31, 37, 38, 39.

[107] Neh. ii. 13.

[108] Jewish War, V. 4, § 1, 2, 3.

[109] Plate V.

[110] Note VIII.

[111] Jewish War, V. 4, § 3.

[112] Plate VI.

[113] Jewish War, VII. 1, § 1.

[114] Ibid. V. 3, § 5.

[115] Ant. XX. 8, § 11.

[116] Jewish War, VI. 6, § 2.

[117] Note IX.

[118] Jewish War, V. 4 § 2.

[119] Δια δε του Βηθσω καλουμενου χωριου κατατεινον επι την Εσσηνων πυλην.

[120] Isaiah xxii. 1, 11.

[121] Jewish War, VI. 7, § 2; 8, § 1.

[122] Ibid. V. 4, § 2.

[123] Jewish War, V. 5, § 8.

[124] Ibid. V. 3, § 2.

[125] Ibid. V. 11, § 4.

[126] S. John xix. 41.

[127] "Duos colles, in immensum editos, claudebant muri per artem obliqui, aut introrsus sinuati ut latera oppugnantium ad ictus patescerent."—Hist. V. 11; Note X.

[128] Plate XXX.

[129] Plate XXX.

[130] Plate XXX.

[131] Ανηει μεχρι της Αντωνιας.

[132] Jewish War, V. 4, § 2.

[133] Plate V.

[134] Jewish War, V. 4, § 3.

[135] Ibid. V. 3, § 3; 4, § 3.

[136] Plate VII.

[137] Jewish War, V. 4, § 3.

[138] Ibid. V. 2, § 2.

[139] Ibid.

[140] Ant. XX. 4, § 3.

[141] Jewish War, V. 4, § 2.

[142] Jerome, Ep. CVIII. Ed. Migue, (Ad Eustochium virginem).

[143] Plate LVII.

[144] Plates VIII., IX.

[145] αμφικυρτος (cavern), μνημειον (sepulchre).

[146] Jewish War, V. 4, § 2.

[147] 2 Kings xxiii. 6.

[148] Jer. xxvi. 23.

[149] Jewish War, V. 4, § 3.

[150] Whiston reads 'forty' instead of fourteen; the latter is the number in the Greek text.

[151] Note II.

[152] Jewish War, V. 12, § 2.

[153] Ibid. V. 7, § 3.

[154] Columbarium means not only a dovecote, but also a sepulchre, with niches for urns.

[155] Plate LIV.

[156] Jewish War, V. 13, § 7; VI. 9, § 3.

[157] c. Apion. I. 22.

[158] See the Chronological Table.

[159] Jewish War, V. 1, § 6; 6, § 1.

[160] Ibid. V. 4, § 1.

[161] Jewish War, V. 2, § 1.

[162] Ibid. V. 3, § 2.

[163] Ibid. V. 3, § 5.

[164] Jewish War, V. 3, § 2.

[165] Nehem. xii. 28, 29.

[166] Jewish War, VII. 1, § 1.

[167] Eusebius, Eccl. Hist. IV. 6.

[168] Jerome, 'Interpretatio Chronicæ Eusebii Pamphili' (Hadr. An. XX.).

[169] Note XI.

[170] Note XII.


[Pg 45]

CHAPTER III.

MOUNT MORIAH AND ITS ENVIRONS—HISTORY IN THE TIME OF ABRAHAM, JACOB, DAVID, SOLOMON, ZERUBBABEL, ALEXANDER THE GREAT, ANTIOCHUS EPIPHANES, THE MACCABEES, POMPEIUS, CRASSUS, THE HERODS, TITUS, HADRIAN, CONSTANTINE, JULIAN THE APOSTATE, OMAR, ABD-EL-MALEK, VALID OR ELULID, THE CRUSADERS, SALADIN, SELIM I., SOLYMAN I.—GENERAL EXAMINATION OF MORIAH, WITH DETAILS OF THE INVESTIGATIONS.

Mount Moriah, forming the south-east part of the Lower City, is one of the points in Jerusalem whose situation can be fixed with the greatest certainty, from the evidence of the place itself with its ruins and remains, and from the testimony of ancient authors and local traditions. At the present day it is surrounded by walls and buildings enclosing the great plateau, in the middle of which rises the majestic Kubbet-es-Sakharah (Dome of the Rock), on the site formerly occupied by the Temple of the God of Israel. The followers of Islam, on their conquest of Jerusalem, dedicated this spot to the service of their own faith, under the name of Beit-el-Mokaddas-es-Sherîf (the Noble Sanctuary). They esteemed it the holiest place on earth, after Mecca and Medina, and, as usual, strictly forbade all unbelievers to enter it. An accurate and scientific examination of it was not made, so far as we know, in the days of the Crusaders, and since then, though many have attempted it, none have succeeded. Ali Bey's description, made A.D. 1807, is correct enough for a traveller, but does not touch upon questions of archæology; Catherwood, Bonomi, and Arundale, during Ibrahim Pasha's occupation of Syria, A.D. 1833, commenced a survey with plans and views; but were hindered and finally stopped by the fanaticism of the Arabs, and so obliged to bring to a hasty conclusion a work carefully begun. Many have spoken before scientific societies and written on this subject in various publications; some after looking at the place from[Pg 46] the Mount of Olives or the terrace of the Barrack at the north-west corner of the enclosure, others after a hurried visit; but no one since the time of its destruction by Titus has examined the ground, no one has carried on careful and systematic investigations there; all have been content to speak of what appeared above the soil, and were consequently ignorant of the objects of far greater interest below.

In consequence of the late war in the East, Mohammedan fanaticism was somewhat abated, and Kiamil Pasha, Governor of the city, several times allowed travellers to visit the Haram[171], and kindly gave me frequent leave to enter it alone, without forming one of the train of some distinguished visitor; at other times I went in disguise with Arab friends; but on all these occasions I could only use my eyes, and now and then venture to measure a distance by stepping it. This was not what I wanted, for I had determined to construct plans and thoroughly examine the ground in every direction. My wishes were carried into effect by the great kindness and powerful protection of Surraya Pasha, who attached me to his service as honorary architect, and then gave me every opportunity and assistance in accomplishing my design, during a period lasting from the beginning of 1857 to August 1861, when I returned to Europe. I have accordingly examined this celebrated place, patiently and perseveringly, and with no small sacrifice of time and private means[172]. I have penetrated into the subterranean works, sought out and classified the conduits and ascertained their course, constructed plans[173], and now present the details of my labours to the reader, in confidence that, even if I have not fully accomplished my design, I am the first to bring forward many facts useful to archæology, and that if others continue the researches (when that is possible) many great problems will be solved.

The first mention of Moriah in the Bible is when Abraham, in obedience to the divine command, came to it to offer up his son Isaac, and the Almighty, satisfied both of the faith of the father and the obedience of the son, arrested the knife, and substituted another victim[174]. It is possible that this mount may have been the scene of Jacob's dream[175], and not the Bethel usually supposed; where at a later period the golden calf was set up by Jeroboam. Had it been the latter place it is rather improbable that the patriarch would have halted at so short a distance from Shechem, when he fled from the vengeance of the neighbours of Hamor[176]. Moriah is not directly mentioned in the account of David's conquest of Jerusalem, nor in the history of his reign, but it is indirectly when his country was smitten by a pestilence, after that, led astray by pride, he had numbered the people[177]. He repented and entreated God, who checked the destroying angel's hand, as his sword was stretched[Pg 47] out over Jerusalem. Bidden by the prophet Gad, the King went out from the city to raise an altar to the Lord on the threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite, near to which he had seen the angel. He found the owner with his four sons threshing wheat, purchased the floor for 600 shekels of gold, with the oxen for sacrifices, the grain for meat-offerings, and the instruments for wood; built an altar there, and called upon the Lord. The fire of heaven descended upon it, and the angel thrust back his sword into the sheath. He continued to sacrifice there, saying, "This is the house of the Lord God, and this is the altar of the burnt-offering for Israel[178]." From the above narrative we see that the threshing-floor was without the city, and the property of a Jebusite, that it was a sacred spot, chosen by the Lord himself for his House, and identical with Moriah. Josephus[179] informs us that this was the very place to which Abraham brought his son Isaac to offer him as a burnt-offering.

Here it will be well to digress a little to describe a 'threshing-floor' (Goren) of this period. It consisted of a plot of ground, usually rocky, levelled to allow of the crops being spread out to the air and sun, ready for the labourers, yet so situated as to be sheltered from the full force of the prevailing wind. For greater security it was usually near a dwelling; and, either within the enclosure or in the immediate neighbourhood, cisterns were hewn in the rock, some to catch the rain-water, others to hold the grain and other farm produce[180]. The purposes for which these were designed can be determined from their form. Those for water have only one chamber, with a shaft (about 2-3/4 feet wide) opening out into the middle of the roof; the rest have two chambers, one below the other, communicating by a hole (about 4 feet wide) in the middle of the floor of the upper[181], which itself opens to the threshing-floor by a sloping passage (about 3-1/2 feet wide). The lower cavern is deeper and larger than the upper.

I have met with very many of these cisterns during my frequent journeys in Palestine, where they are still applied to their ancient uses; they are especially common in those Arab villages which stand upon sites mentioned in the Bible; as at Beth-shemesh, on the road from Jaffa to Jerusalem just at the east of the village of El-Atrun, at Neby Samwîl (formerly Ramah the home of Samuel), at Gibeon and Beth-horon, at Beit-zacaria, the ancient Bath-zacharias[182], at El-Kebab in the plain of Sharon, and in many other places.

In the threshing-floor of Araunah there are many cisterns, but I wish to call especial attention to two very near each other, to the north of the Kubbet-es-Sakharah[183] and to one inside it, beneath the sacred rock; of which the visitor can only see the hole on the north-east side and the upper part, but can convince himself[Pg 48] by the hollow sound of the existence of the lower cave. These are, in my opinion, the strongest proofs of the identity of the position of the mosque and its platform with the ancient threshing-floor of the Jebusite. I will hereafter explain how I contrived to explore the interior of the cisterns in a place of such sanctity.

David collected materials, and instructed his son to build the Temple on the spot where he had offered sacrifice; and when Solomon had established himself upon the throne, he commenced the work, which was to perpetuate the glory of his reign. As his own dominions were not able to supply suitable wood for the building, and as his people had not as yet made sufficient progress in art to enable him to execute his magnificent designs, he asked Hiram king of Tyre to furnish him with cedars from Lebanon and Phœnician masons[184], with a skilful artist to direct the work[185]. His request was granted, a treaty was made between the two kings[186]: timber was prepared and brought to Jaffa[187] by orders of Hiram, while Solomon had great blocks of stone, of 8 and 10 cubits[188], quarried and transported to the spot ready for use, so that "there was neither hammer, nor axe, nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building[189]." Before laying the foundations of the Temple itself he executed great works to enlarge and strengthen the ground[190]. Josephus indeed states that the summit of the mountain was so abrupt and surrounded by precipices, that it was hardly large enough to support the sacred house and the surrounding buildings, and that in consequence a wall was built on the east, rising 400 cubits from the bottom of the valley, and the intervening space filled up with earth to support a portico[191]. The work began in the fourth year of his reign in the month Zif (April-May) and lasted seven years[192].

I agree with Munk that it is impossible to give an exact description of this Temple; those found in 1 Kings vi. 7 and 2 Chron. iii. and iv. are very incomplete, and often hard to reconcile; besides the meaning of the architectural terms used in them cannot readily be determined. That given by Josephus frequently differs, especially in dimensions, from those given in the Bible, and the details which he adds seem based upon mere conjecture. The numerous modern accounts[193] are very dissimilar and present great difficulties, when elevations are made from them. We may therefore conclude that a correct idea of the proportions and architecture of Solomon's Temple cannot be obtained; consequently I have put aside during my researches all considerations about the height, style, and ornamentation of the building, referring my reader to Josephus[194] and Munk[195], and concerned myself only about the details[Pg 49] relating to the ground-plan. This was an oblong, 60 cubits in length from east to west, and 20 cubits wide. At the entrance of the Temple on the east was a portico called Oulam, measuring 20 cubits from north to south, and therefore corresponding with the house, and 10 cubits from east to west[196]. The Temple itself was divided into two distinct parts; that in front on the east, called Hechel (Palace), now the Holy Place, was 40 cubits long; inside it, on the right or north, was the table of shewbread, on the left the seven-branched candlestick; between these in front of the veil, the altar of incense. The inner part, Debir (the Holy of Holies), was twenty cubits square, and contained the ark alone, in which were the two tables of stone, placed there by Moses at Horeb[197].

The Temple was surrounded by two courts. The inner is mentioned in 1 Kings vi. 36, but its dimensions are not recorded; it was probably an oblong, enclosing the building, which stood near the west end, so as to leave a considerable space in front, where the holy things, used in the Jewish ritual, were arranged; as none but the Priests could enter this, it was called the court of the Priests[198]. Besides this there was the 'great' or 'outward' court[199], where the people assembled to worship. In the middle of the inner court, opposite to the entrance of the Sanctuary, was placed the great bronze altar of burnt-offerings, which was 20 cubits square and 10 cubits in height[200]. South-west of this and south-east of the Temple, was the large laver called from its size the 'sea of bronze,' 10 cubits in diameter and containing 3,000 baths[201] of water, used for the lustrations of the priests[202]. Besides this there were ten other vases, 4 cubits in diameter, five on either hand, each containing 40 baths[203]; these were used in washing the burnt-offerings[204]. The effect of these works was to change entirely the appearance of the Moriah of Abraham and David; but the threshing-floor of Araunah, which had sustained the original altar, was handed down to posterity by the succession of events which identified the spot, and the indelible traces of antiquity, yet to be found there.

As Solomon had built in the Temple enclosure houses for the Levites[205], besides the laver and altar of burnt-offering; it was necessary for him to construct conduits and cisterns to bring, to keep, and to carry off water for the religious ceremonies and the various purposes of daily life, as well as to remove the blood of the victims and other refuse. On this point the Bible is silent, but we can easily see that there were not any sources of drinkable water in the Temple and its vicinity, or indeed in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem; and that the rain-water alone could not be depended upon for a supply sufficient for the wants of the place; we may therefore[Pg 50] assert with confidence that Solomon must have made great works to bring water from distant sources, as from Etham (Eccl. ii. 6), where an abundant quantity could always be obtained; with cisterns to keep it, and conduits attached to convey it to different parts of the platform of the Sanctuary.

We are told that the victims were slain on the north, the blood sprinkled about the altar, and the refuse cast away towards the east, in the 'place of the ashes[206],' and the Priest's chambers built on the north side of the altar of burnt-offerings[207]. Hence it follows that drains must have existed at the altar of burnt-offerings, on the north-side, and at the 'place of the ashes.' That these and many other things were constructed by Solomon, we shall presently see from my investigations in the Haram-es-Sherîf; I have now only alluded to the account given in the Bible of the ground-plan of the building, in order to be more easily understood in describing them.

Although the Temple was sacked in the reign of Rehoboam by Shishak king of Egypt[208], and under Amaziah by Joash king of Israel[209], and repaired by Joash king of Judah[210], it did not undergo any material change up to the time of its destruction by the Chaldeans. It was set on fire by order of Nebuchadnezzar, with the rest of Jerusalem, and in a few days became a heap of ruins. So fell the first Temple of the Lord, rather more than four centuries after its first foundation[211]. This done, the Chaldeans carried away a part of the people into captivity, but left the poorer class to cultivate the land; over whom Gedaliah, their countryman, was set as governor. He fixed his residence at Mizpah[212], the abode of Jeremiah, and under his good rule the number of inhabitants rapidly increased, the fugitives returned from all quarters, tranquillity and order were established, and the people began to devote themselves to the vintage and the harvest of summer-fruits[213]; but before long a traitor, Ishmael, overthrew the hopes of this remnant of Judah by the murder of Gedaliah[214], after which the greater part of them, fearing the anger of the king of Babylon, migrated into Egypt, and settled in the land of Tahpanhes[215], five years after the destruction of Jerusalem. From these facts, derived from the Bible, it is evident that the country was never wholly cleared of its inhabitants during the captivity; and that, as Jeremiah mourned for five years over the ruins of the city, so might many others follow his example during successive years; so that the recollection, not only of the site of the Temple, but of its very details, would be preserved, together with the traces of the ancient threshing-floor of Araunah, and the cisterns, which must have escaped the flames.

Cyrus ascended the throne of Persia B.C. 536, and in the first year of his reign[Pg 51] allowed the Jews to return to Palestine and rebuild the Temple[216]; fifty-two years after the destruction of the city, and sixty-three after the exile of King Jehoiakim[217], a numerous band, headed by Zerubbabel and Joshua, set out for Judæa, and arrived there after a journey of four months[218]. The next year, B.C. 535, in the second month, Zerubbabel began to rebuild the Temple, and the new walls rose among the joyful shouts of the young men, who saw them for the first time, and the tears of the old, who remembered the greater glories of the former House[219]. Hence we see that persons, worthy of credit, who had seen the first Temple, were alive when the second was built; and therefore cannot but believe that it stood on its ancient foundations. The Samaritans, ever the rivals of the Jews, wished to share in this work; and when their offers were rejected, harassed the workmen and interrupted its progress, until, at last, by sending exaggerated and false reports to the King, they obtained an order suspending it[220]. After a lapse of fifteen years, in the second year of Darius, Zerubbabel[221], instigated by Haggai, re-commenced the building; which was finished and solemnly inaugurated[222], in the sixth year of Darius B.C. 517, on the third day of the month Adar (February-March). We do not find any description of the dimensions and appearance of Zerubbabel's Temple: according to the decree of Cyrus[223], it was to be sixty cubits broad and as many high; but these dimensions cannot be relied on, because we are told that the new edifice was not in any respect equal to the former[224]. It was visited by Alexander the Great B.C. 332; and if we can credit Hecatæus of Abdera, a contemporary of the conqueror, it differed considerably in style and size from Solomon's Temple; the dimensions of the enclosure in which it stood were six plethra (606 feet) long and 100 cubits wide; the great altar of burnt-offerings was built of large white unpolished stones, being 20 cubits square and 12 high. According to the assertion of Herod the Great, quoted by Josephus[225], the second House was not so high as the first.

Antiochus Epiphanes entered Jerusalem B.C. 170, and after killing many of the Jews and plundering the Temple, withdrew to Antioch. After two years he returned, persecuted the people more barbarously than ever, and profaned the House of the Lord, despoiling it of all that had been left on the former occasion. He built a fortress in the lower city in a commanding position, and placed therein a Macedonian garrison to harass all who went to pray at the Holy Place[226]; still the form of the Temple and its enclosure remained unaltered during this calamitous period.[Pg 52]

Never have more glorious deeds been done by any nation than by the Jews under the rule of the Maccabees, men ever ready to die rather than break the laws of their God and country. The Temple was recovered and cleansed from pollution; the sacred things, which had been carried away by the Syrians, were recaptured; the altar of burnt-offerings, having been defiled by heathen sacrifices, was destroyed and a new one erected[227]; the walls surrounding the Temple, which had been pulled down by Antiochus Eupator, were rebuilt by Jonathan, and strengthened by towers[228]; the neighbouring fortress on the hill Acra was captured by Simon, the Macedonian garrison expelled, and the building razed. The hill itself was levelled, so that it no longer commanded the Temple: three years of incessant labour, night and day, being spent on the work. He afterwards fortified Moriah, and built his house upon it[229], probably on the site at the north-west corner, where his successors built the castle Baris[230]. In this dwelt Aristobulus, son of Hyrcanus, by whose orders his brother Antigonus was murdered, at a place in an underground passage, leading to the castle, called Strato's Tower[231]. I shall return to this again, as I think that I have discovered it, or at least been the first to identify it.

At the time of Pompeius the Great the Temple was joined to the city by a bridge, which was destroyed by the followers of Aristobulus, as they retreated within the sacred walls, and prepared to defend themselves against their assailants, who had called the Roman forces to their aid. On the north it was protected by high towers and a deep ditch, excavated with great pains in a valley; and on the west by precipices, which could not be scaled when the bridge was broken down[232]. The Roman conqueror entered the sanctuary, but respected its treasures, and permitted the Jews to carry on their worship without interruption. Crassus, on the contrary, though only passing through Jerusalem, did not imitate the moderation of Pompeius, but despoiled it of its treasures and sacred vessels. The last calamity that befell it was when some of the cloisters were burnt, during the siege by Herod the Great[233].

Of all the great works executed by this King, the most important for several reasons was the Temple of Jerusalem. In the eighteenth year of his reign he convoked a national assembly, and set before them the necessity of rebuilding it, giving as his chief reason that, at the time of its restoration by Zerubbabel, it had not been made of the proper dimensions or on the right plan. No doubt a house, raised five centuries before, by a poor colony, with funds supplied by the King of Persia, must have had a paltry appearance, contrasted with the magnificent buildings erected by Herod in the highest style of Grecian art. The Jews hesitated to consent to[Pg 53] his scheme, fearing that after he had demolished the old Temple, he might be unable or unwilling to finish the new. He reassured them by promising not to begin to pull it down, until he had collected all the materials required for so great an undertaking. He kept his word; two years were spent in preparation[234]; the sanctuary itself was completed in eighteen months, and the courts and their cloisters in eight years; but the works in the outer buildings were carried on for a much longer time[235]. This wonderful pile rose upon the summit of Moriah, now enlarged by the labours of many centuries, and surrounded by solid walls and deep valleys, more like an impregnable fortress than a house of prayer; therefore the Apostles, beholding with wonder the huge blocks of stone, bound with clamps of lead and iron into a mass as firm as the rock itself, said one day to our Saviour, "Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!" The truth of His reply may still be seen at the place itself[236].

I must now describe the ground-plan of the Temple sufficiently to enable my readers to understand my investigations; referring those who are desirous of entering more minutely into the subject, to the two accounts of Josephus[237], and the description of Munk, to which I am greatly indebted[238]. The area, enclosed by the outer wall, (called in the Mischna 'the Temple Hill,') was a square of 500 cubits, or, according to Josephus[239], of one stadium. This was divided into a series of platforms, rising one above the other, and the Sanctuary was situated rather nearer to the north-west corner, on the highest ground. This arrangement produced a magnificent effect, and rendered the building visible from every part of the city[240]. In the outer wall were several gates; five, according to the Mischna[241], two on the south, and one on each of the other sides; but in Josephus[242] it is stated that there were four on the west alone, the numbers on the other sides not being mentioned. Cloisters were built round the wall on the inside, those on the east, north, and west were double, being supported by three rows of columns, and thirty cubits wide; that on the south, called the 'Royal Cloister,' was triple, and supported by four rows of columns[243]. The Temple-market was held in this court; for all, even foreigners, were allowed to enter it; hence it has been called by modern authors the 'Court of the Gentiles[244].' It was bounded on the inside by a stone balustrade, in which columns were placed at certain intervals, bearing inscriptions forbidding the Gentiles to pass them. In this fence, according to the Mischna, were thirteen gateways from which fourteen steps (each half a cubit in height and breadth) led[Pg 54] up to a platform ten cubits wide, called by the Mischna, Hêl (before the wall), above which rose the wall enclosing the sacred precincts. This was 25 cubits high, and had nine gates, four to the north, four to the south, and one to the east; these were approached by five steps; consequently the enclosure was higher than the Hêl. It was divided into two courts, one on the east, another on the west. The eastern gate led into a court, 135 cubits square, devoted to the women, and called after them Azarath naschîm (court of the women). This was divided from the western court by a wall, in the middle of which, opposite to the entrance into the women's court, was 'Nicanor's Gate[245],' approached by five steps circular in form; the western court was therefore raised above the eastern. It surrounded the Sanctuary, and was 135 cubits from north to south, and 187 from east to west. The wall on the inside was surrounded by columns; and on the north, east and south were a number of chambers, devoted to various purposes, among which was the Hall of the Sanhedrim, Lischcath Hagazîth. This court was divided by a balustrade, 11 cubits from the east end, in the middle of which were three flights of steps[246], from which the Priests blessed the people. The part devoted to the men (135 cubits from north to south, and 11 from east to west) was called the 'Court of the Israelites,' Azarath Yisrael: the other, the 'Court of the Priests,' Azarath Cohanîm.

The Temple itself was 100 cubits in length, and as many in height; its east front was formed by a vestibule, 100 cubits wide, measuring from east to west 11 cubits, according to the Mischna, and 20 according to Josephus. The rest of the building was 60 cubits wide (according to the Mischna 70), therefore the vestibule projected 20 (or 15) cubits on each side; twelve steps led up to the open door of the vestibule, which was 25 cubits wide. The Hechal, or Holy Place, was 20 cubits wide and 43 long, and was divided from the Holy of Holies (20 cubits square) by a curtain. The sacred things were arranged as in Solomon's Temple. The bronze laver stood in the Priests' court, south-east of the Sanctuary; a certain Ben Katîn made twelve outlets for water in it, so that the same number of Priests could purify themselves at the same time; he also contrived a machine to bring the water into it from a well[247]. In the middle of the court opposite the entrance of the Temple, north-east of the laver, was the altar of burnt-offerings, made of unhewn stones, as ordered by the law of Moses[248]. According to Josephus it was 50 cubits square and 15 high, terminated at each corner by a kind of horn, and approached by a gentle slope on the south side. The Rabbins say that it rose in steps, the base being 32 cubits square[249], and that at the south-east corner was a conduit, draining off the blood into the torrent Kidron. North of the altar were marble tables to[Pg 55] receive the flesh of the victims[250]. In the Holy Place, the table of shewbread stood on the north, the seven-branched candlestick on the south, and between them the altar of incense; all made of gold. The Holy of Holies was empty, since there was no ark in the second Temple, as it was lost when the first was destroyed. According to a tradition, it had been hidden for security by the prophet Jeremiah in a cave on Mount Nebo, which could not afterwards be found[251]. A stone, about 2 inches high, called by the Rabbins Schethiyya (foundation), occupied its place, on which the High Priest placed the censer on the day of Atonement[252].

Herod did not restrict his liberality to the Temple alone, but executed some other great works in the same part of the city. He extended the sacred enclosure on the north[253], strengthened its fortifications, restored the ancient tower Baris[254], built by the Asmonean princes at the north-west corner of the Temple, and called it Antonia, after his patron, Marcus Antonius. As altered by him it was a square[255], half a stadium each way; so that the whole perimeter of it and the Temple together was six stadia. The outer wall enclosed a palace and four towers, one at each angle; three of them 50 cubits high, and the fourth, at the south-east corner, nearest the Temple, 70; from its summit the Roman sentinel could see what was going on in the several courts[256]. The fortress was joined by a subterranean passage to a tower near the east gate of the Temple, so that in case of a popular tumult the king could easily escape into the Antonia[257]. At the present day, a plot of levelled ground, a rocky knoll on the north of the Haram-es-Sherîf, and a few shapeless fragments of masonry, are all that remain of the splendid buildings of Herod.

All the buildings connected with Herod's Temple were finished at the time of our Saviour's ministry[258]. He frequently taught in its courts, and twice expelled those who profaned them with merchandise. He prophesied the destruction of the place; and in its citadel His sufferings commenced; for the Prætorium of Pilate was in the tower Antonia, which was the residence of the Roman Governor and his garrison[259]. There the sentence was proclaimed to the infuriated people, who called down on their own heads the curse of the innocent blood; in a few years so terribly avenged.

The description of Josephus, who was an eye-witness of the scene, has been followed by all who have written on the siege and fall of Jerusalem; it bears every mark of truth; and I shall give a brief sketch of the part relating to the Temple and its environs, in order that the account of my researches on the spot may be more intelligible to the reader. On the first day of the month Thammuz (June-July)[Pg 56] the Romans assaulted the tower Antonia[260] and made a breach in the wall; but were surprised to find that a second had been built up behind it. This was carried on the fifth of the same month, and the Jews were driven within the walls of the Temple courts. The greater part of the fortress was razed during the next seven days, and the assailants erected mounds for their engines on the space thus cleared, and battered the walls of the Temple. Meanwhile the Jews burnt the north-west cloister, fearing that it would open a communication with the main building for the Romans, who themselves burnt the north cloister on the twenty-fourth day. This was in no way opposed by the Jews, who considered that their position was improved by the destruction of the cloister, and on the twenty-seventh, by a feigned retreat, they decoyed a number of the Romans on to the roof of the west cloister, and then fired a quantity of combustible material, which had been previously heaped up below; so that numbers of their enemies perished in the flames. The Romans having battered the west wall of the inner inclosure during six days, and tried in vain to undermine the north gate, were ordered to carry the cloisters by escalade. On the eighth day of the month Ab (July-August) they mounted the ladders without opposition, but when they had arrived on the roof, they were fiercely assailed by the Jews, and driven back with the loss of some standards. Titus, seeing that the attempt had failed, set the gates on fire; these were quickly destroyed, and the flames spread to the cloisters in both directions. The fire continued till the next day, when Titus, wishing to open a passage to the Temple for his troops, and to save the building itself, if possible, ordered it to be extinguished. During this day the Jews remained quiet; but on the morrow they renewed the attack, determined either to drive the Romans from the Sanctuary, or to perish beneath its ruins. By a sortie from the east gate they forced back the enemy; but Titus, seeing from the Antonia the retreat of his soldiers, went to their aid, and at last, about the fifth hour, the Jews were again driven within the walls. He determined to wait and collect his forces before making the assault; but this was a fatal day, being the anniversary of the destruction of Solomon's Temple by the Babylonians, six centuries and a half before[261]. The Jews made another sortie upon the Romans, who were occupied in extinguishing the flames in the inner inclosure, and were forced back as far as the buildings in the neighbourhood of the House itself; these were set on fire by a Roman soldier without orders, and the flames quickly spread to all the chambers. Titus, in vain, commanded his troops to extinguish them; his voice was drowned in the tumult; the Jews, with loud shrieks, fought furiously in defence of the last bulwark of their nationality; but it was now too late; the sacred building was in a blaze, and its obstinate and heroic defenders perished beneath the ruins. After the Temple had[Pg 57] fallen, Titus tried to induce John and Simon, who had retreated into the Upper city, to submit, and a parley was held at the bridge by the Xystus[262]. These proud and blood-thirsty tyrants would not hearken to him; the siege was carried on, and before long the whole upper city was in his power. He ordered the Temple and the rest of Jerusalem to be levelled with the ground, leaving only some of the western fortifications to mark its former magnificence[263]. Thus ended the political existence of the Jewish race.

The Christians came back from Pella to Jerusalem soon after its destruction, and some of the Jews returned there to mourn over its sacred ashes; so that the place was not wholly deserted even in the darkest days of Trajan's persecution. Therefore tradition, as well as the heaps of ruins, pointed out the site of the Sanctuary to Hadrian, when, in order to humiliate the Jews and extinguish every hope of its restoration, he built thereupon a temple to Jupiter Capitolinus.

When the idol temples were destroyed by Constantine the Great A.D. 332, this too was demolished; but he took no care of Moriah, and allowed two statues of Hadrian to remain there; neither did he attempt to clear it of ruins, nor prevent its becoming a receptacle for rubbish; as if he wished every trace of the departed glory of the nation to disappear. However, the wretched descendants of David visited the place in solitude, to anoint with oil and bedew with tears the 'perforated stone,' which they considered a relic of their Sanctuary[264].

The accession of Julian the Apostate renewed the hopes of the Jews. Wishing to prove the words of Scripture[265] false, he determined to rebuild the Temple; and supplied the necessary funds, giving the business in charge to Alypius of Antioch, Governor of Great Britain. The Jews came in crowds to take part in the work, but their attempts to lay the foundations were frustrated by flames, which issued from the excavations with such peals of thunder, that the workmen fled affrighted, mistaking in their ignorance a natural phenomenon for a miracle[266].

The Emperor Justinian was the first to begin to clear away some of the ruins from Moriah, A.D. 527. He endeavoured to identify the places mentioned in the Gospels, and ordered a basilica to be erected on the south side dedicated to the Presentation of the Virgin, not far from the site of the Temple[267]. Some buildings were also constructed on the north side, and perhaps on the east, as I will presently shew.

The Mohammedans, commanded by Khaled and Abu Obeida, besieged the Holy City, A.D. 636. The Patriarch Sophronius capitulated to Omar himself, and the new master of the place converted the basilica of Justinian into a mosque (Aksa); purified the sacred rock (Sakharah), the ancient threshing-floor of Araunah[268], and[Pg 58] ordered a mosque to be built over it, which was commenced A.D. 643. William of Tyre reports that in his time Arabic inscriptions existed in the building, mentioning the date of the foundation, the founder's name, and the cost of the work[269]. However, from the account of Said-Ebn-Batrik, it appears that the mosque was afterwards enlarged by Abd-el-Malek-Ibn-Meruan, fifth Khalif of the race of the Ommiades, who ascended the throne the 65th year of the Hejra (A.D. 684), and died in the 86th (A.D. 705)[270]. His eldest son, Valid or Elulid, embellished and enlarged the mosque, enriching it with a dome of gilded copper, which he took from the church of Baalbek and placed over the Sakharah[271]. The completion of the building must therefore be attributed to him; although it was from time to time improved by the Khalifs his successors, being considered second only in sanctity to Mecca and Medina; so that when, during the Khalifat of Al-Moktadar (Hej. 229 = A.D. 950), the pilgrimages to the former place were interrupted by the invasions of the Karmali, the Kubbet-es-Sakharah took the place of the Kaaba[272]. It is evident that the present mosque is not in every respect identical with that built by Omar, from the words of Adamnanus (an author of the eighth century) in a book on the Holy Places, compiled from the accounts of Arculf, who had passed nine months at Jerusalem. He says (speaking of the mosque) "but on that celebrated spot where once the magnificent Temple stood, near the wall on the east side, the Saracens have now meanly built with uprights and great beams, a quadrangular house of prayer over some ruined remains, which they frequent; it is large enough to contain three thousand men at once[273]." William of Tyre however asserts that on the building seen by him (which was different from the one described by Adamnanus), the name of Omar its founder was inscribed. One of the existing Arabic inscriptions seems, at first sight, to cause some difficulty; it runs as follows: "May God render illustrious the great king, son of Meruan, who enlarged this majestic temple, and grant him mercy." 65th year of the Hejra (A.D. 684, the first of the reign of Abd-el-Malek[274]). This at first sight appears to contradict the assertion made above, that Elulid, son and successor of Abd-el-Malek, was the Khalif who added to the splendour of the mosque, but it is very likely that if he completed the work of restoration, he would inscribe not only the name of the first founder Omar, but also that of his father. In other respects William of Tyre gives no detailed information, in speaking of the mosque of Omar; only alluding to it in general terms[275].[Pg 59] During my frequent visits to the Haram, I often thought of copying all the inscriptions, but was always pressed for time, and afraid that each visit might be the last; therefore, as the examination of the subterranean vaults was by far the most important matter, I thought it better not to turn aside to a work, which others may easily execute by degrees.

It is evident that the mosque remained in the hands of the Mohammedans from the commencement of Omar's building, A.D. 643, to the arrival of the Crusaders, A.D. 1099. These soldiers of Christ, forgetful alike of charity and mercy, slaughtered numbers of the followers of Islam in the building[276]: they also converted the mosque el-Aksa into a dwelling-house, and after altering the interior of the Kubbet-es-Sakharah, consecrated it as a Christian church, on the third day after Easter, A.D. 1143[277], under the name of Templum Domini[278]; because the first Temple to the honour of God had been erected by Solomon on that spot. Saladin, the champion of toleration, magnanimity, and generosity[279], restored the worship of Islam in the two mosques, A.D. 1187[280]; and from his time the Haram-es-Sherîf has remained in the hands of the Mohammedans as one of their holy places.

Selim I., Sultan of Constantinople, who conquered Syria and Palestine, A.D. 1517, restored and improved the two mosques; doubtless the internal and external mosaic decorations, with the various arabesque ornaments still existing, are due to his liberality, and that of his successor, Solyman I., with his favourite Sultana Rossellane; who, according to the works of authors preserved in the Mohammedan archives, spent large sums of money in adorning the whole of the Haram, and in erecting there schools and other philanthropic establishments.

From the above narrative I draw the following conclusions: that history and an unbroken chain of events prove that the whole Haram-es-Sherîf is the ancient Mount Moriah; that the present mosque of Omar stands upon the ancient threshing-floor of Araunah; that the levelled rock on the north-west, and that rising at the barrack mark the position of the tower Antonia, and that the mosque el-Aksa is the original basilica of Justinian.

Let us now proceed to a detailed examination of the whole area, within and without, pausing at each object, which, either from its antiquity or other causes, seems to merit special attention. The barrack, which, according to ancient tradition, stands on the site of the Prætorium, touches the western part of the north side of the wall enclosing Moriah[281]; east of the barrack are buildings of the period of the Crusades, or not much later; and near the north-east angle of the wall the Pool of Bethesda[282]. Before proceeding to examine these places, we must notice some objects in their immediate neighbourhood, which are worthy of the most careful attention.[Pg 60]

The Society of the Daughters of Sion bought (November, 1857) a plot of land a few yards to the north-west of the barrack[283], on which stands the north pier of the arch of the 'Ecce Homo[284];' and requested me to survey it. In December, after removing with considerable difficulty the accumulated rubbish of centuries, I came upon a small arch, close to the larger one, which from its style, masonry, and materials, evidently was part of the same building. I at once tried to examine the south side, belonging to the Kusbeck dervishes, but as in this place excavations were impossible, I was obliged to restrict myself to what appeared above ground; and found, in the line of the large arch, a fragment of an ancient wall, which from its form and position seemed to have belonged to a pier supporting an arch corresponding to the one I had discovered. Both the arches are semicircular, with a single archivolt composed of a narrow fillet, a wide ogee moulding, and a band of the same breadth, supported by a cornice, formed by two fillets, separated by an ogee moulding. In the west face of the north pier is a semicircular recessed niche, above a projecting cornice of the same width and pattern as the one just described. Early in the year 1860 I took charge of the already commenced buildings of the new convent of the Daughters of Sion, which abut upon the arch mentioned above; and consequently had an opportunity of examining the foundations of the piers, and convincing myself that both their materials and masonry are of the Roman period; because the blocks of stone, being neither rusticated nor clamped with iron or lead, are not earlier than the time of Hadrian, and are not sufficiently finished for so late an age as that of Constantine or Justinian. Some think that the large arch was built before the capture of Jerusalem by Titus; but how in that case could it have escaped the general destruction of the city, and especially of the adjoining tower Antonia, of which it was actually a part, in the opinion of those who believe that from it our Lord was shewn to the people? But would the Romans, who razed the tower and reduced the Temple and whole city to ruins, have spared this insignificant building; or would the fire have left its architectural features uninjured? The conformation of the ground itself shews us that the arch could not have been standing at that time; because, in its present position, there was then a valley or ditch, separating Moriah from Bezetha. I found the rock, supporting the piers, 18 feet below the surface (as I have before stated), and to the north and south are vaulted cisterns excavated in it, in the natural slopes of Bezetha on one side and Moriah on the other. It is therefore highly improbable that an arch would have been built in such a position with reference to the fortress.

My predecessor had laid the foundations of the east wall of the convent, but being ill acquainted with the nature of the ground at Jerusalem, he discovered too[Pg 61] late that they rested, especially on the north-east, on unsolid ground, namely, on the vaulted roof of a subterranean building, and as the walls rose they began to crack. Some of the masons were just aware of the existence of the vault when I came; but no one had entered, or measured it, or examined its whole length, so that I was the first to do this and determine its age. In order to build a buttress at the north-east corner, and at the same time to lay new foundations in a small plot of land on the north, I was obliged to dig a hole, 18 feet deep, below the level of the street, which rises towards Bezetha: and on the 3rd of June came upon a layer of large slabs, each 4 or 5 feet long, 3 or 4 wide, and 9 or 10 inches thick. On removing two of these I found a square hole, through which I entered, or rather fell, into the vault I was looking for, but the intense heat and foul air compelled me to beat a hasty retreat, and have the aperture enlarged to permit the air to circulate more freely. Meanwhile I continued excavating a little to the north, and met with the wall bounding the vault on that side, and found, 4-1/2 feet below its top, (measured from the outer surface,) the original entrance; by which I obtained easy access for myself and afterwards for many others.

The end of the east side of this gallery is just at the south-east angle of the building on the north, separated from the body of the convent by a small level street; and it terminates at the north-west angle of the Haram-es-Sherîf; the floor throughout the whole length slopes slightly and is formed in the rock: though the place was partly filled with earth at the north end, and with filthy stinking mud at the south, I thoroughly examined it and made a plan and elevation. At the entrance a stone staircase, with steps about 2-1/2 feet wide, afforded an easy descent; but unfortunately I was obliged to mutilate this, in order to construct a pier to sustain the weight of the north-east corner of the building above. The side walls are founded on the rock, which appears above the level of the floor, at a distance of 69 feet from the entrance, and gradually rises in them up to the southern extremity. They are built of squared blocks, generally 3-1/2 feet long, and from above 2 to 3 high, perfectly fitted together. The semicircular vaulting is admirable, being formed of oblong stones, 2-1/2 feet long, and 8 inches high. Its exact regularity is its most striking feature.

I consider that this gallery was remodelled during the Roman period, because some holes in it to admit the water are no part of the original design. In the east wall is a semicircular arched door, built up, whose width and height shew that it was formerly the entrance of a passage. Along the side walls are semicircular headed apertures, which, together with the two openings of the same shape, opposite one to another, near the south end, are also no part of the original design. These two are the beginnings of conduits, one of which ran eastward down to the Pool of Bethesda; the other westward, into the Tyropœon valley. The accu[Pg 62]mulated water and filth did not allow me to make a close examination of these, but, as far as I could see at the openings, the masonry and shape of the stones led me to think that they formed part of a Roman restoration. A short distance from these the gallery is closed by a wall, entirely of Arab work; but I made a temporary opening in it, and was able to continue my examination as far as the Haram-es-Sherîf; the ground of which is about 8 feet above the top of the vault. The quantity of water, earth, and filth, prevented my approaching the rock at the end, and ascertaining the means of communication with the surface at the Haram, but as I saw that the south-east corner was built up, I have no doubt there had been access at that point. It immediately occurred to me that the vault had originally been a passage between Bezetha and Moriah, and was the 'Strato's Tower,' where Antigonus, younger brother of Aristobulus, (the sons of John Hyrcanus,) was murdered by the treacherous devices of the Queen Alexandra[285].

After completing the examination of the interior I applied myself to the exterior, and found that the side walls rose one foot above the top of the vault; the space thus made being filled with strong masonry, so as to form a level surface of the same size as the gallery; which was covered over along the whole length by large slabs, of the size mentioned above; these, being firmly cemented together, bound into one mass the two side walls and the vaulting.

At the same time, during the progress of the excavation another interesting discovery was made, namely, the arched opening of a sewer, 3-1/2 feet wide and 4 feet high, by the side of the entrance to the gallery on the east. It was choked up with dirt, but appeared to come from the north, and ran along the east side of the vault of the gallery as far as the middle of the Via Dolorosa, where it turned to the east. Afterwards upon making further examinations I discovered that it bent again towards the south, opposite to S. Ann's church, and came out on the north side of the Pool of Bethesda. I followed it down for 112 feet from the entrance, and found that after 22 feet the vaulting gave place to a covering of large slabs. The floor rested upon made ground, and was also formed of large slabs, strongly cemented together. I was unable to continue my expedition by reason of the filth it contained, in which I had a disgusting bath through a fall, caused by a sudden change of level in the downward course of the sewer: so to make sure of its direction, by the permission of the Pasha, I excavated in the middle of the Via Dolorosa, opposite to the projecting north-east angle of the barrack, and over against the tower commonly called the Antonia; and so verified what I have already stated, and ascertained with greater certainty that it rested upon made ground; another proof of the existence of a valley in this part of the city. The sewer was made centuries after the first construction of the gallery.[Pg 63]

I have however not yet exhausted the objects of interest afforded by the property of the convent of the Daughters of Sion. On continuing the excavation to the north in order to lay new foundations, at a depth of 36 feet below the street, water was met with in abundance. At first I supposed it had filtered through from some cistern, but as it did not increase or diminish, I had the excavation deepened and enlarged, and then discovered, to the north of the water, a perpendicular face of hewn rock; and on digging deeper a small conduit cut in it, through which the water ran from north to south. I was anxious to follow it in these directions, but was prevented by the depth of the soil, the houses in the neighbourhood, and above all by the customs of the country, and so was obliged to restrict my researches to that spot, and even there the owner did not allow me to do much, fearing to attract the attention of the Mohammedans. I ascertained however that this water did not enter the gallery, because after drawing off all that was found there, no more appeared beyond what drained from the street after rain, while the stream flowed continuously southward, yielding a constant supply for building purposes. During the first three days its water was muddy and brackish, but afterwards it gradually became clearer, but always had a disagreeable taste and contained the same ingredients as that at the springs of the Hammam-es-Shefa and at the fountain of the Virgin in the Kidron valley. From the day of its discovery (June 12, 1860), to the end of January, 1861, it yielded a daily supply of from 200 to 250 gallons without any diminution, and was not affected by the fall of rain or snow. At this time I resigned the charge of the works to a master-mason, as all the difficulties had been overcome, but I am told that the water continued to flow, and has done so abundantly up to the present date (April, 1863). From several investigations which I will mention in the chapter on the waters, I infer that this stream enters the well of the Hammam-es-Shefa[286].

My plan and sections shew all the ancient cisterns, both excavated and built, which occur in this small compass, and some remains of masonry either of the age of the Crusades or of Arab work. This spot is an excellent example of the great and frequent changes that the ground of Jerusalem has undergone, and shews the difficulty that all have to encounter, who attempt to form an opinion without taking them into account.

Let us now examine the north side of the Haram. I have already mentioned the depth of the foundations of the north walls of the barrack[287]; but on the south the masonry rests upon the bare rock, which here rises 35 feet above the level of the Haram-es-Sherîf as is shewn in the drawing[288]; its north face being 55 feet above the bottom of the valley. Hence I cannot admit the common tradition that the barrack[Pg 64] stands on the site of the Antonia, but consider that the rock above named is the true position of the north side of the ancient tower. This opinion, I think, is in accordance with all that Josephus says of its height and situation, divided from Bezetha by a valley and ditches[289]. If its southern side had coincided with that of the barrack (which the height of the rock mentioned above entitles us to assume), I cannot understand why it was built in so bad a position, where it would be completely commanded by Bezetha, and from which it could not have been separated by any work of defence. Besides, where are we then to place the pool Struthium[290]? We must remember that the shape of the Antonia was a square, each side being half a stadium; it must therefore have extended to the north right across the valley. Now if it had stood in this position, Titus would not have been obliged to batter its walls with engines, and to throw up banks to support them and to enable his troops to make the assault; because he could have poured upon it such a storm of stones and combustibles from the summit of Bezetha, that the garrison would have been obliged to evacuate so untenable a post. Moreover, Josephus states, that the perimeter of the Temple and the Antonia together was 6 stadia[291]. Now according to every estimate of this measure, this condition cannot be satisfied unless the latter is placed within the north-west angle of the Haram, as the description in Josephus seems to require[292]. We are also told that it was razed by Titus; the place which I assign still bears traces of this; and as a still stronger proof, there remains, in the middle of the rock that has been thus levelled, a fragment of the ancient Herodian wall; which I believe to have formed the south-east corner of the inner buildings of the tower, i.e. of the Prætorium. On the west is the house belonging to the Pasha, governor of Jerusalem, and there I have seen, by means of excavations, the rock in the foundations and, resting against it, the earth which conceals the valley filled up by the Asmoneans. Lastly, there is a vault, which starts from the position I assign to the Antonia and goes towards the present Golden Gate. This I discovered by descending into two cisterns on the north of the Haram, and by the fall of the west portion of an old wall, near the north-west corner of the above gate, which, being washed away by the rain, exposed the other end. I was not able to pass along its whole extent, as it was nearly filled up by rubbish, but by examining the two extremities at these places, I convinced myself that they belonged to a continuous building. It is partly excavated in the rock, which however sinks on approaching the east. The masonry of the side walls and vaulting resembles that in the gallery below the convent of the Daughters of Sion. The floor is also paved throughout the whole length, as far as I saw. Josephus[293] mentions that a subterranean communication[Pg 65] existed between the Antonia and the east gate of the Temple; consequently for this and the other preceding reasons I firmly believe that I have placed the tower in the true position. I believe then that the barrack stands in the valley; that is, upon the ancient position of the Pool Struthium, which has been filled up, by the materials cast into it by order of Titus, in making the bank to support the Roman battering train, and by the ruins of the Antonia itself. Had the tower occupied this position, the only side properly defended would have been that towards the Temple, by the high face of rock, which in that case ought to shew traces of having been hewn away towards the north. What purpose could my 'Strato's tower' have then served, if it had passed through the basement of the Antonia? It would have been useless as a communication, because the tower itself would have done as well, and it is too deep in the ground and too small for a work of defence.

The buildings on the east of the barrack, between it and the first passage leading up to the Temple, may belong either to the age of Saladin or of Solyman I.; the Arabs attribute them to the latter. They have been greatly altered within and without, and therefore do not present any distinctive features. Their foundations rest upon the rock, which on the south side is one or two feet below the level of the Haram, but on the north from 14 to 18 feet lower down, being at the bottom of the valley which I have already mentioned.

On the left of the passage going up to the Haram is a bath now disused, inside the buildings. During my examination of it I discovered the eastern conduit, which starts from inside the gallery. Its course from this place to the pool of Bethesda cannot be followed, as it is stopped up by rubbish; it is vaulted but not founded upon the rock.

Facing the little passage mentioned above, on the north, are the remains of an ancient building[294], commonly called a bastion of the tower Antonia. It rests upon the rock, and is doubtless of considerable antiquity, but certainly not Jewish work. The stones composing it are small and bevelled at the edges, so that the part projecting from the wall is like a thin slice cut horizontally from a pyramid: they are laid with mortar, and do not appear to belong to an age remarkable for the splendour of its work. This place is about a stadium from the north-west angle of the Haram, and therefore, besides being in too low a situation, cannot have been included in the tower Antonia, if we accept the dimensions of the fortress given us by Josephus.

The north side is terminated on the east by the Pool of Bethesda[295]. This, I believe, was made by Herod the Great, at the same time as the Antonia, from the valley or ditch defending the north side of the Temple. It has obviously undergone great alterations and greater injuries. Porticoes were built upon its south wall by[Pg 66] Solyman I.; on the others are Arab houses in the meanest style, most of which are now in ruins. It is nearly filled with soil and rubbish, which are covered with creepers and shrubs. By this time it would probably have been quite full, if I had not preserved it[296]. At its west end are two arches, almost choked up with earth, and overgrown by vegetation. I forced my way into them, and saw two more arches, built of small stones, and obviously of Arab work; the northern of these was the termination of the eastern conduit from the great gallery. With much difficulty I traversed it for a distance of 72 feet, and found it vaulted in the same way as the one I have described below the bath. Tradition asserts this place to be the Pool of Bethesda, at which our Saviour healed a paralytic[297]. I shall notice it again, in describing the various works connected with the supply of water to the city.

In both faces of the north-east angle of the Haram wall are several courses of ancient stones, rusticated, which prove that in former times this was also the corner of the sacred enclosure.

After passing the Gate of S. Mary and leaving on the left the ruins of a small Saracenic building of the age of Saladin, the Mohammedan cemetery is reached, which occupies almost the whole of the high narrow plateau running parallel to the east wall of the Haram, above the Kidron valley. I consider the foundation of the whole line of wall, from the north-east to the south-east corner, to be the work of Solomon; being led to this conclusion by a series of observations, carried on when graves were dug against the wall, and by excavations which I made with the help of the keepers of the cemetery, wherever I could do it without exciting suspicion and arousing the fanaticism of the Mohammedans.

Near the south-east corner is a stone, which appears to have been the impost of an arch; as there are no tombs in this part, I made an excavation opposite to it, at a distance of 12 feet, and, after digging down for 14 feet, came upon the great foundation stones. By opening another hole along the same line, nearer to the corner, I found them again at a depth of 12 feet; the difference being caused by the slope of the ground. By this means I convinced myself that the foundations of the wall were laid far down in the valley (as stated by Josephus), and that they rose up to the place, where it still appears above the surface of the ground, in a series of steps about 2 feet wide. The foundation (strictly speaking) is made of large blocks, roughly squared, and not rusticated, fastened together by a tenon left projecting from the face of one stone, fitting into a corresponding mortise in the next: there is not a trace of iron or lead or mortar; but where the wall rises above ground its face is vertical, the blocks are more carefully squared, and rustic work is used, with wide and deep grooves; as may be seen at many places in the[Pg 67] lower part of the present wall[298]. The force of the flames, the vandalism of man, and the course of time, have produced no effect upon these massive buildings; which have been saved from the fate of those on Sion and Ophel, by the ruins heaped about them, and still more by the reverence paid by the Mohammedans to the ground on which they stand.

These valuable remains enable us to compare their masonry with the Herodian work, seen more especially in the projecting wall at the north-east angle[299], and at the south-east extremity. The stones in these two places are of large size[300] and rusticated; only the grooves here are small, and the whole surface of the block is well smoothed; they also are perfectly fitted together without mortar, but clamps of iron or soldering plugs of lead are used; as I was able to ascertain when a small part was repaired: each course stands a little more than a tenth of an inch farther back than the one below it. The general appearance of the work manifests a progress in art and a delicacy of execution, which could not have been produced in the time of Solomon, even with Phœnician aid. In all the countries formerly occupied by this people there are not any examples of a wall in this style, while those resembling the architecture of Solomon are far from uncommon. We might reasonably suppose that Herod would increase the strength of the northern corner, as an outwork to the Antonia on the east; while the south-east corner might have been destroyed by the Chaldeans, being weaker than the rest owing to the existence of the great vaulted cistern within the Haram; and, as Nehemiah was no doubt unable to repair it in a manner befitting its position, Herod would rebuild it in his restoration of the above-named cistern, whose east and south sides are not formed by the rock, but by the outer wall of the Temple enclosure, and are made of great strength to withstand the pressure of the water.

I have already explained by what marks I distinguish the walls which I attribute to Nehemiah, the Romans, and the Arabs[301]; examples of each can be readily found in the eastern wall of the Haram. From the side of a small sepulchral building (containing the ashes of Yacûb Pasha and his wife) to beyond the Golden Gate the masonry shews many signs of Arab restorations. Here may be seen columns of verd antique, porphyry and valuable marbles, built longwise into the thickness of the wall. Doubtless these formerly decorated some Christian edifices, and were placed in their present position when the city walls were repaired by Sultan Solyman.

The principal object that attracts attention on the east side is the Golden Gate[302], which projects slightly from the line of the wall. The two outer doorways, as I have already said, are built up[303]; but for the sake of description we will for a moment[Pg 68] imagine them opened. From the outside we see two round-headed arches each supported by two pilasters, built of stones of no great size, which are laid in mortar, without rustic work, and form a perfectly smooth face, in strong contrast with the genuine ancient blocks in the lower parts of the walls on each side, and at each corner. The two arches and their capitals are richly carved with leaves and other ornaments. The whole building is cased, except at the base, with Saracenic work of the date of Solyman; as I infer from the irregular masonry, the smallness of the stones, the occurrence of a Byzantine capital (out of its proper place) on the top of the façade, and many other minor ornamental details, bad in taste and execution, which are characteristic of that age[304].

Passing through the entrance, we find the piers and architraves of the doors composed of immense blocks, six in number, which resemble Jewish work. Their state of decay shews their antiquity, and they must have been exposed to the action of fire, being calcined and crumbling; for otherwise, from their great size and sheltered situation, they ought to have been in good preservation, like all the rest of the internal masonry of the gate; which I assign to the age of Justinian. The plan of the building is an oblong, the length being double the breadth, divided into two aisles by two large columns of grey veined marble and two half-columns, which, with the help of small pilasters, projecting slightly from the lateral walls, sustain the vaulting, composed of very narrow pointed domes; beneath this a magnificent entablature, carved in leaf patterns[305], is carried round the walls of the building. The west façade[306], inside the Haram, has a double doorway with round-headed arches, supported by a central column and two side pilasters. Their form and ornamentation resemble those on the east front. The outer roof is also a series of domes, which were built during some repairs about 60 years since. Not a few authors have attributed the architecture of this gate to the time of Herod, forgetting that Josephus states that the Temple and its cloisters were burnt and utterly destroyed by the Roman troops. How then is it possible that the walls, and still more the ornamental work, should have survived the fury of the soldiers? If the east cloister has so entirely disappeared, how is it that the gate, which stood in the middle of it, has escaped? Those few blocks in the piers of the door may be of the age of Herod, but not the rest of the masonry, and we cannot therefore on this evidence assign the whole building to that period. It is however very probable that they were found among the ruins of the ancient eastern gate and incorporated in the present. Nor can we believe that the two large monolithic columns were brought to Jerusalem by Herod. It is far more likely that they were sent by Justinian to adorn a spot sacred in Christian tradition as the place where our Saviour entered Jerusalem, among the[Pg 69] shouts of one part of the populace, to keep that last Passover before he suffered[307]. I consider therefore that the present Golden Gate stands not only upon the site of the ancient east gate, but also upon its foundations, for we find its dimensions given in the Mishna, 'the east gate was 40 cubits long and 20 wide;' and a strong proof of the truth of this opinion is, that, on making an excavation near the north door, I discovered at a depth of 10 feet the foundations, of undoubted Herodian work. At the same time I saw that there have never been any steps leading up to the gate, and that a mass of rubbish is heaped against its east front, in the slopes of which are the graves of the Mohammedan cemetery.

There is a small doorway closed with masonry a little to the south of the Golden Gate, and besides this nothing else remains to be noticed on the east side, except that the whole length of the wall is covered with creepers, which flourish here luxuriantly and do constant mischief; breaches are already formed in some places, but the guardians of the Haram pay no attention to them; though in a few years they will not be so indifferent to the expense of the repairs, which will then be absolutely necessary. All the loop-holes were made in the time of Solyman.

After the south-east corner has been turned, the whole wall, both in its foundations and upper part, exhibits the same solid and magnificent ancient masonry as on the east face. A few yards from the corner is a doorway with a pointed arch, now walled up, which I consider to have been made at the time of the Crusades, and possibly then called the Gate of the Valley of Jehoshaphat. We shall hereafter notice the purpose for which it was used. A little distance to the west of this, we see three plain round-headed arches, supported by four pilasters, whose masonry differs both from the older and newer work in the immediate neighbourhood. Their general character is Roman, and I believe them to have been built at the time of Justinian, to communicate with the vaults within the Haram; which I shall presently describe.

Under the mosque el-Aksa is a gate not only built up, but also partly buried[308]. The arch is cut in two by the city-wall, which here turns to the south. Its architectural features both constructive and decorative resemble those of the Golden Gate; so that I consider it also the work of Justinian. Under its arch is a grated window; by climbing up to this, it is possible to look into a vaulted gallery below the mosque. A stone, bearing the following inscription, is built slantwise into the wall above and turned upside down.

TITO AEL. HADRIANO
ANTONINO AVG. PIO
P. P. PONTIF. AVGVR.
D. D.

[Pg 70]

No doubt it was picked up with many others in removing the ruins at the time of Justinian and built in here by the masons, and when the wall was again repaired in the reign of Solyman, the workmen, less careful and skilful than the former, placed it in its present position. The Mohammedans call this archway the Gate of the Prophetess Huldah[309], for what reason they cannot say, for they also consider it to have been the grand entrance to the stables of Solomon, and consequently hold it in great respect. I shall recur to this gate in my account of the vaults. I made several excavations in front of it, like those at the south-east corner, and after digging 10 or 12 feet through the rubbish, came upon the foundations laid in the age of Solomon, but could not discover anything to prove that a gate had then existed on this spot.

Starting from the Aksa the city wall goes to the south, and then turns again to the west down to the Dung Gate. Throughout the whole of this angle the lower part of the wall is Roman work, the upper Saracenic, of the time of Solyman. Although this gate is evidently only a few hundred years old, it is usually pointed out by the guides as that entered by our Saviour, when he was brought from the garden of Gethsemane to the house of Caiaphas. Ignorance of architecture and of the plan of the ancient city has allowed this tradition to exist[310]. Entering, and forcing our way through a thicket of cactus, we regain the south wall of the Temple enclosure, whose lower parts date from the reign of Solomon. An excavation made at the south-west angle gave, first the masonry of Solomon, secondly that of the Crusaders, and above these that of Solyman[311].

The ruins south of the Aksa belong to the choir of Justinian's basilica, which was thrown down by an earthquake between the years A.D. 775 and 785. They now await the last stroke of the hand of Time to bring them to the ground, when they evidently must injure in their fall the south wall of the mosque; but the Mohammedan fatalists never think of averting this by timely repairs.

The whole of the space between the walls of the city and the Haram was probably, at the time of Herod the Great, covered by the amphitheatre erected by that king[312].

Near the south-west angle is a very remarkable fragment of an arch and its pier, built into the Haram wall. Nearly all the learned writers who have noticed it, with the exception of the Rev. G. Williams, have considered these remains to belong to the age either of Solomon or Herod; I however venture to differ from them, and attribute it to Justinian; who, when building the neighbouring basilica, may have contemplated throwing a bridge over the valley between Moriah and Sion to facilitate the communication between the two sanctuaries on these hills. The work may have been left unfinished, because the plan was either changed or found imprac[Pg 71]ticable. The blocks shew none of the characteristics of the work of Solomon or Herod, nor have they the same marked appearance of antiquity; nor does the masonry in any respect resemble the Jewish; the stones being laid with mortar. I cannot but think that if either of these kings had executed a work of such importance, the Bible and Josephus would not have passed it over in silence. We can scarcely imagine that so vast an arch, 375 feet in span, could have been built in those times; and if we suppose that the bridge crossed the valley with a series of arches, then traces of the piers, or at least of the stones that composed them, ought to be found among the rubbish below; also there should be some remains of it on the eastern slope of Sion; where nothing of the kind occurs. On this point I can speak with confidence, because when the Pasha requested me to inspect the city sewer, which runs down the valley to the Pool of Siloam, I availed myself of this fortunate opportunity to widen and deepen the excavation, and did not find the slightest indication of a bridge. Josephus[313] states that when Pompeius approached the city with his forces, the partisans of Aristobulus, on retreating to the Temple, cut off the bridge. He alludes to it again on other occasions[314], and to the tower near it, built by Simon to defend himself against John. What then has become of the ruins of this bridge and of the tower? Though now, as on Ophel and part of Sion, there may be open fields on the site of some parts of ancient Jerusalem, numbers of stones, as I have already described[315], are scattered about; why then does not the same thing happen in the Tyropœon valley, where the great accumulation of rubbish would have buried the fallen blocks and preserved them from the action of fire? Besides, the rock exposed in the eastern slope of Sion is rough and rugged, and untouched by the chisel; there is no part of it that we can suppose to have supported a building. I have also excavated along by the side of it in the valley below and found nothing. I have examined the lower parts of the Arab houses, which some have imagined to be built upon its foundation, but all my investigations have confirmed me in my opinion that the bridge never stood upon this spot. Had it done so, why, as we see the pier on the east, do we not see some corresponding remains on the west; or if not these, the place where the spring-stones of the arch rested upon the rock? I believe the bridge mentioned by Josephus was near the present Mekhemeh (the Mohammedan Court of Justice), which is on the west of the Haram, at the bottom of Temple Street, because at this point the valley is still crossed from west to east by arches, sustaining the conduit which brings the water from Etham into the Temple, and the ground south of this, on the opposite side, formerly occupied by the Xystus, has been levelled. The height of this bridge or dyke above the street is 38 feet on the south, and 20 on the north; which,[Pg 72] it must be remembered, is not the true elevation of the work itself; because the ground has been raised on each side by the accumulation of rubbish in the bottom of the Tyrop[oe]on. This, in my opinion, joined the Upper city to the Temple-hill in former times, as it now does. It is surely very improbable that the principal approach to the Temple from the west should have been placed at one corner, instead of in the centre of the enclosure; as would have been the case had the great arch formed part of a bridge while that building was standing: and when this was broken down, the communication with the Temple would not have been cut off, as the dyke would still have been a more direct and convenient road from the city.

Before arriving at the Jews' wailing place, we come to the Gate el-Mogarba, leading to the mosque of the Mogarabins; a few yards to the north of which is a little rectangular plot of ground, surrounded by a low wall: after passing this I entered a dark chamber, in which was a doorway almost buried. M. Isambert[316] has attempted to identify this with one of the four western gates mentioned by Josephus[317]; but not having tested his theory on the spot, he is unaware that the difference of level between the outside and inside of the Haram renders this impossible; moreover, the gate has evidently been made at a date long after the building of the wall.

The Jews' wailing place is a small open plot; where a piece of Herod's wall is still seen between the outer wall of the Mekhemeh and that of a private house (belonging to Abu-Saud): it is called in Arabic Haï el-Mogharibeh (the wall of the Mogarabins). M. de Saulcy says of it: "Up to a height of more than 12 metres (about 39 feet) the original building has remained entire; regular courses of fine stones, perfectly squared, but with an even border standing out as a kind of framework, enclosing the joints, rise over each other to within two or three yards from the top of the wall. A moment's inspection is enough to ascertain, without any doubt, that the Jewish tradition is positively correct; a wall like this has never been constructed either by Greeks or Romans. We have evidently here a sample of original Hebraic architecture[318]. In the inferior courses the stones are on the average twice as wide as they are high; now and then, however, some square blocks happen to be laid between the long ones. The four inferior courses nearest the ground are formed of square blocks, with the exception of the last but one, which is composed of blocks three times as long as they are high. As the courses successively rise above the ground, the dimensions of the blocks decrease, and, lastly, every course recedes about one fifth of an English inch behind the surface of the one immediately below it. Beyond these walls (bounding the space on each side) the ancient construction extends about 38 feet to the right, and 36 to the left, or in the direc[Pg 73]tion of the Mekhemeh. Again, the primitive wall is crowned towards the summit by several courses of hewn stones regularly disposed, but of small dimensions. These upper courses are of comparatively recent date, and their age cannot be referred to a period anterior to the Mohammedan conquest. On the face of the ancient wall appear large notches, which have been made at some undeterminable period, for the purpose of fixing a pediment over this part of the enclosure; these notches, hollowed out in the shape of a niche, that is to say, round at the top with a rectangular basis, are of different dimensions, perhaps they may have been made at the period of the rebuilding of the Temple by Herod[319]." From its delicacy of execution I consider this wall Herodian work; besides, I think it very unlikely that the Chaldeans, more barbarous than the Romans, would have left anything standing at Jerusalem: they would have pulled down all that the flames had spared. I consider the smaller masonry of the upper part to be of the time of the Crusades or Saracenic. Friday is the day on which the Jews chiefly assemble here in great numbers, to pray, to recite the Psalms of David, and bedew with their tears these remains of their former greatness. This privilege is granted to them on payment of a sum of money to the Effendi in charge of the Haram. This custom dates from a very early period; it is mentioned by Benjamin of Tudela in the twelfth century[320].

The stones in the lower parts of the walls of the Mekhemeh are remarkable for their rough rustic work in high relief. They are not so large as those we attribute to the age of Solomon or Herod, but still appear ancient. I think they may belong to the Asmonean epoch, and have formed the basement of a tower, defending the Xystus bridge on the side of the Temple. The masonry in the upper hall of the time of the Crusaders, where the vaulting is supported by pointed arches springing from pillars, is evidently much more modern. According to Mohammedan tradition this is the Judgement Hall of Solomon, converted into an armoury by the Crusaders: it is certainly not improbable that it may have been a dependency of the Knights Templar. The large chamber below, which has undoubtedly been used as a cistern, as is shewn by the very strong cement in the walls, is now filled with rubbish. In the middle of the upper hall is a fountain, now and then supplied with the water of Etham; and on the left of the principal entrance (part of a restoration by Saladin or Solyman) an ancient sarcophagus, found in the Tombs of the Kings outside the Damascus Gate: it is a facsimile of that carried to Paris by M. de Saulcy, and now placed in the Gallery of the Louvre; it at present serves to hold water[321].

Close to the Mekhemeh is the principal entrance into the Haram, which has two doorways, and is ornamented with groups of spiral columns supporting elegant capi[Pg 74]tals carved in leaf patterns, the work of Saladin. Before its west front is a fountain, an elegant specimen of ornate Saracenic work: its small basin, no longer filled with water, is an ancient sarcophagus of red Palestine breccia. From this spot up to the north-west corner the ancient foundations of the Haram wall are concealed by Arab houses, and can only be seen here and there above the level of the ground; enough, however, is visible to shew that the old wall followed the line of the present enclosure from south to north.

Returning to the Temple Street and going westward along the dyke, which, with the Rev. G. Williams[322], I consider to be the ancient bridge between Sion and Moriah, we see, after a few yards, on the right hand a small façade of Saracenic architecture, adorned with arabesques of excellent design; whose accurate execution deserves notice. It is a fragment of an ancient school, established by Saladin, the revenues of which are now exhausted, so that nothing else remains besides this building. A little further on we leave this street (called by the Crusaders the Bridge of S. Giles), by taking the first turning to the north, and find, after passing the corner, a stone embedded in the lower part of the wall of the first Arab house on the right hand, bearing an inscription, which however is of no importance. This street runs along the top of a vault which I have examined. It was constructed to form an easy communication with the Tyropœon, and proves that in former times there was high ground on this spot. Going on northward we arrive at a Saracenic fountain, now without water; near it on the south is a passage leading into the central sewer, which here deviates a little to the east to regain the middle of the valley, and consequently passes under the bridge near the above-named school of Saladin. On the north of the fountain is an ancient Mohammedan bath rapidly falling to ruin, and near it the great gate of the Bazaar of the Haram, at the end of which is the Bâb el-Katannin (Gate of the Cotton Merchants). The entrance to the Bazaar is a frontispiece of rude rustic work, which I attribute to the age of the Crusades. The interior is Saracenic, as is shewn by the architraves of the cells on each side, which were built for merchants' shops, but now are receptacles for filth. After passing the middle of the Bazaar, there is a bath on the south side called the Hammam es-Shefa, supplied by a spring rising at a great depth: its waters have an unpleasant taste; but we will speak more particularly of it presently. On the north, nearly opposite to the entrance of the bath, a little street leads to the Bâb el-Kadid (Iron Gate) and the Convent of Blind Dervishes, (a philanthropic establishment of Solyman,) where singers in the mosque, suffering from this calamity, are still received.

The first lane on the north of the Bazaar leads directly up to the Bâb el-Kadid; along each side are establishments in aid of the poor, but, as the revenues have been[Pg 75] swallowed up, they are going to ruin, like the schools of Saladin, which are in the next street on the north, leading up to the Bâb el-Nadhir (Inspector's Gate). Here, according to Mohammedan tradition, the Prophet alighted from his steed Borak[323], on his visit to the Holy Stone of Jacob. Near this gate, on the south, is a magnificent building, which from the various kinds of stone employed, the delicacy of its ornamentation, the regularity of its columns, and the harmony of all its parts, is an excellent example of Saracenic taste. It was erected by Solyman, and is said by the Mohammedans to have been the residence of his Sultana Rossellane. It is now gradually falling to decay, although a very small sum spent in repairs would make it last for centuries.

Before leaving this side I need only remark that the arches, crossing the street down the Tyropœon, shew that the houses on the west side of the valley are also in the precincts of the Haram and consequently inalienable. Up to the time of Saladin and his successors, these belonged exclusively to the Jews; who, since then, have been gradually deprived of them by the law of might; and, in order to conceal the iniquitous usurpation, they have been thus joined to the enclosure of the Haram.

Having thus described the outside of the Mohammedan sanctuary, I shall now conduct my reader within, and introduce him to places all as yet unknown to him, except one or two, which, from their connection with the exterior, I have been obliged to mention. In doing this, I shall not spend time over the minor details, which are explained by the Plan and its description[324]; but attend solely to the matters of greater interest, not forgetting the Mohammedan traditions.

I have already, in describing the exterior, noticed all the important points on the north side, and therefore only call attention to the extent of levelled rock, continuous with that which forms a large part of the south wall of the barrack, and was, in my opinion, the north of the tower Antonia[325]. A short distance from the barrack is an octagonal oratory, surmounted by a dome, containing (according to the Mohammedans), a piece of the sacred rock, which was cut off by the Christians during the time of the Latin kingdom. I have been inside the building, and seen a stone; but it is too shapeless to enable me to form any opinion of the truth of the tradition. I think that the place has a vault beneath, and that probably the passage already mentioned, which was constructed by Herod as a communication between the tower Antonia and the east gate, passes by it.

Above the pool of Bethesda rises the minaret of Israel, erected to commemorate the Patriarch's sleeping on Moriah; this, and the minaret of the Serai at the north-west corner, are used for the especial purpose of calling to prayer the faithful of the rite Hannefi: both are founded on the rock, and near the latter the large[Pg 76] Herodian masonry is still visible: they were built in the time of Omar, according to the Mohammedan chronicles; which I am disposed to believe, because I have seen, in the interior of the second, small holes, which may have been made for the fittings of Christian bells during the Latin kingdom. These would not be there had the minarets been built by Saladin, by whom however the second may certainly have been restored.

A small Arab building abutting on the outer wall is the first thing to attract attention on the east side. In the middle of the room inside is a kind of pedestal, covered with rich carpets woven in different colours. According to the Mohammedans, this is the site of the throne of Solomon, and the place where the Book of Wisdom was composed, to which, in consequence, he will return at the Day of Judgement to assist his father David in judging the Israelites. We can see how highly the followers of the prophet esteem the place by the number of small tablets fastened to the window, as tokens of gratitude for some blessing received.

To the south of this is the Golden Gate[326]; a small staircase on the north side conducts us to the top, which is an excellent position for a general view of the Haram es-Sherîf, the Valley of Kidron, the Mount of Olives, and the whole of Jerusalem. Here we see the truth of the words of Josephus[327], that "the city lay over against the Temple in the manner of a theatre." The Mohammedans say that on the Last Day the Prophet Isa (Jesus) will descend from heaven upon this gate to judge the world, and will commit the Jews to the decision of David and Solomon, and the followers of Islam to the Prophet. Passing along the boundary wall to the south we come to a very narrow staircase built against it, leading up to a window from which the shaft of a column laid longwise projects for about 5 feet; beneath it is the deep valley of Kidron. This marks the position of the invisible bridge es-Sirah and the 'Window of Judgement,' where Mohammed will sit on the Day of Judgement, and order all to pass the bridge, no wider than the edge of a sword; over it the faithful will run swiftly and enter Paradise; while the infidels, in trying to cross, will fall into the abyss of Hell open wide beneath them. I have seen not a few fanatics come to pray in a niche very near the window, and then step on to the column; and afterwards try to obtain the credit of having seen that which is invisible. In the south-east corner of the enclosure is a ruined mosque, with 14 arches, in two rows, supported by square pillars. This was formerly the place of prayer according to the rite Hanbeli. The keeper asserts that, in times long since past, there was a high tower on this spot; he is indeed not altogether mistaken; for, in the days of Herod, the cloister with its four rows of columns stood here; high enough to afford a beautiful view[328].[Pg 77]

Just on the north of the site of this is a staircase leading down into a chamber lighted by loopholes in the outer wall of the Haram. After passing the upper doorway we have on the right hand a small aperture, through which we can look into the great vault, and see some of its many columns. In the south wall at the end of the chamber the keeper points out a marble basin in the form of a cradle, as the one which held the Infant Jesus, when He was brought to the Temple for circumcision; and shews the places occupied by the Virgin Mary and S. Joseph, and the two niches where stood the Prophets Zacharias and Ezekiel. The story is worthless, but the view of the grotto excavated partly in the rock and of the enormous blocks in the wall is very interesting.

On quitting this place we observe a large terrace formed above the subterranean vault. I descended by a large hole close to the south wall of the Haram, and on arriving in the great chamber, saw a forest of columns supporting the roof, rising among heaps of earth and ruins. I believe that this immense building was originally constructed by Solomon, in order to increase the area of the platform of the Temple; and at the same time to contain water, which was used in such quantities in the service of the Sanctuary; the height of the vault, measured near the south-east corner, is 39 feet above the floor of rock; which I found after digging through a layer of earth. It is lower towards the north, for the rock rises there, as it does towards the north-west corner, where I had great difficulty in finding it, from the accumulation of rubbish. The whole building has evidently undergone restoration at different periods; as is shewn by its irregular shape and the condition and different kinds of masonry of the present walls. Of these the east and south walls (being part of the Haram wall) are Herodian work; at the south-east corner, by the chamber of the cradle of Christ, which we have already visited, we see Roman work in the inner wall and in some masonry on the north, at which point it is evident that the size of the vault has been diminished; some other small walls in the interior belong to a much later period, perhaps that of the Crusades. The plinths of the numerous columns are rusticated in the Herodian style, but their shafts are Roman. Their length diminishes towards the north owing to the rise of the rocky floor towards the main mass of the hill on that side; which however is generally not visible from within, as it is faced with masonry. The whole vaulting, supported by semicircular arches, is Roman. I consider therefore that the last restoration was made by order of Justinian, but cannot allow that the whole building dates from that time, because it is not likely that his historian, Procopius, would have omitted to mention so stupendous a work; nor would there have been any necessity for that Emperor to enlarge this part of the area of Moriah. From within we plainly see the triple gate and the pointed arch, to which we drew attention during our circuit of the walls. The former is of the age of Justinian; but the quantity of earth and rubbish, now piled[Pg 78] against it on the inside, renders it difficult to form an opinion on the purpose for which it was constructed. I believe that at that period the vault was not used as a cistern. The pointed arch was, I think, built in the time of the Latin kingdom, as a postern gate for sorties, and an entrance into the stables of the Knights Templar; which, from the small splayed loopholes in the south and east walls, the iron rings fastened to the masonry, and the small party walls and holes cut in the ground, I suppose to have been in this building. I was confirmed in this opinion by observing a door (built-up) on the west side of the vault which, I think, must have communicated with those under the mosque el-Aksa. The Mohammedan legend, that both these were the stables of Solomon[329] (as they still call them), probably took its rise from the use to which they were applied by the Crusaders. On excavating inside, near the ruined passage, I found three capitals of columns in white veined marble[330] of an elegant design and good execution.

Returning to the open air and standing upon the great terrace, we see on what vast foundations the famous 'Royal Cloister' of Herod was supported. The mosque el-Aksa is a large pile of buildings abutting on the south wall of the Haram. The principal axis of the edifice runs north and south, instead of east and west according to the general law of the Latin Church; consequently some authors have asserted that it was not built for Christian worship, but originally was a mosque. We will therefore examine its history. Some think it was the work of Constantine; but then Eusebius, his panegyrist, does not mention that he in any way evidenced any regard or care for Moriah. Others attribute it to Justinian; with these I agree. The idea of erecting this basilica, and dedicating it to the Virgin, was not conceived at first by the Emperor, but by Elias, Patriarch of Jerusalem, A.D. 501. As the Christians of Palestine had not the means of executing so great a work, they sought the aid of Justinian, through the Abbot Saba; and the Emperor not only gave the assistance asked, but also took care that the building should be worthy of the Christian religion: so we are informed by the monk Cyril of Scythopolis, a Greek historian, living A.D. 555, who embraced the monastic life under the rule of S. Saba. In the year 531 all difficulties were overcome, and this magnificent edifice completed. Its grandeur is recorded by Procopius[331], whose account is briefly as follows. The length of the building was greater than the breadth, which however was so great that they had difficulty in procuring rafters for the roof of sufficient length. This was supported by two rows of columns, one above the other, which were quarried in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem, rivalling marble in beauty, and veined with red, resembling in colour the brightness of fire. Two of them, at the entrance of the Temple, were larger and more beautiful than the rest. He also mentions the great blocks[Pg 79] of stone used in the work, and tells us by what means they were brought on to the ground. The whole of his description undoubtedly suits the mosque el-Aksa, although its exterior has been greatly changed; since there are now no traces of cloisters, atrium, or other buildings mentioned by the same historian. The two great columns are no longer to be seen; but it is not improbable that they are concealed within the two central piers of the porch. Those inside the basilica correspond to the above description, and by secretly chipping off bits of the plaster, with which all are now coated, I was able to ascertain that they are made of red Palestine breccia, a rock occurring in abundance on the west of the city, near the Greek convent of the Holy Cross.

Antoninus of Piacenza[332], in the sixth century, saw the whole pile of Justinian's building in its glory. He speaks of the adjoining hospice, containing from 3000 to 5000 beds, wonders at the number, and praises the piety of the Monks and Nuns who served there, and states that the basilica of S. Mary was in front of the Temple of Solomon, and communicated with the basilica of S. Sophia, situated on the site of the Prætorium of Pilate. He also mentions that a stone was then exhibited inside it, bearing the print of our Saviour's foot. It is remarkable that a similar stone is now exposed to receive the reverence of the Mohammedans at the south end of the present mosque.

It appears that the basilica was not greatly injured at the time of the Persian invasion, A.D. 614; as we find it open for Christian worship when the troops of Omar were besieging Jerusalem. The Khalif visited it after the surrender of the city to offer up his prayers within its walls, and ordered that thenceforth it should be devoted to the rites of his faith[333].

The Rev. G. Williams, in his learned and valuable work on the Holy City[334], tells us that towards the end of the seventh century the tenth Khalif, "'Abd-el-Melik covered its gates with plates of gold and silver, but it was soon stripped of its treasures in consequence of the poverty of his successors. During the Khalifat of his son Waled, the eastern part of the mosque el-Aksa fell to ruin, and as he had no funds to repair it, he ordered the ruined part to be pulled down, and the price of the materials to be distributed to the poor. Forty years later, in the time of the second Abbasside Khalif Abu-J'afar-el-Mansur, the east and west sides were decayed by time, or injured by an earthquake, and as he could not afford to restore it, he stripped the gold from the doors, coined it, and applied the proceeds to the necessary repairs. A second earthquake shook down what he had rebuilt, and his son and successor el-Mahadi (A.D. 775-785) found the mosque in ruins. The character of the building was altered[Pg 80] by this Khalif, whose taste was offended by its proportions, and he gave orders that its length should be diminished and its width increased. Again in the 452nd year of the Hejra (A.D. 1060) it suffered materially from the falling in of the roof." From the facts stated in this account we can see how greatly the basilica of Justinian has been altered, and understand the Saracenic features which now exist in the original building. The two aisles added to the older structure on the east and west, the demolition of the choir, and the erection of the south wall, belong to the great alterations made by el-Mahadi.

The Crusaders converted it into a residence under the name of the 'Palace of Solomon,' and a portion of it was granted to the Knights Templar[335] by Baldwin II. Saladin restored the worship of Islam, and it is now used for the rite Shaffi.

We will now proceed to an examination of the exterior and interior of the building itself. The façade has a porch with seven arches[336], corresponding to the seven aisles of the mosque itself. The centre arch is much larger than the others; all are acutely pointed. The form of the battlements crowning the walls, the details of the niches, and the ornamental painting characterise the architecture of this part as Saracenic. On entering the mosque the keeper points out the sepulchre of the sons of Aaron, opposite to the middle door. The central or more ancient part of the building retains traces of a cruciform Christian church, being a nave with two side aisles and a transept[337]; the dimensions of the different parts also agree perfectly with this plan[338]. The walls of the nave are supported by columns bearing Corinthian capitals, which are rather overloaded with ornamental detail, in the usual bad taste of Byzantine art. From these spring pointed arches, and above them are two rows of windows with semicircular heads, of which the lower range is open, the upper built up. The pillars supporting the walls and aisles on each side are square, and very plain, except on their faces to the east, which are relieved by projecting half-columns. The two outermost aisles on each side are much lower than the others, and shew in their rough walls a very different and later style of masonry, thus proving that they were added at a subsequent period. The transept is divided from the nave by a large pointed arch, and at their intersection is a dome, rising from a cylindrical drum supported by four pillars ornamented with shafts of verd antique with Corinthian capitals. The section of the dome is slightly ovoid and the drum has pointed windows, which prove that it must have been wholly rebuilt at a date later than the original foundation of the church. Its walls on the inside are adorned in the Saracenic style with arabesques, flowers, landscapes, and mosaics (executed during the reign of Selim I. and Solyman). This mass of ornament, though devoid of taste,[Pg 81] when combined with the coloured glass in the windows, produces an agreeable and at first sight striking effect. Behind the south arch and under the dome in the south wall is the Mikhereb of the Mohammedans, indicating the Kibla or direction of Mecca. This is ornamented with small shafts of porphyry and verd antique; the wall being faced with slabs of very valuable marbles of different colours; the keeper asserts that the black stone in the middle was brought from Mecca, and was taken from that given by God to Abraham, as a token of His covenant with him. On the right of this is the Minbar or tribune for prayers, a magnificent work in cedar wood, executed in former times by the carvers of Aleppo; it is called Borkan-ed-din-Khadki, and to the right of it, is the stone with the print of our Saviour's foot, mentioned above; to speak the truth, it requires a vivid fancy to see the impression. In the arms of the transept are fine columns of granite, verd antique, travertine, and lumachello[339], supporting capitals of different patterns and unquestionable antiquity. In the western arm, on the left hand, are two columns of verd antique, a small distance apart, called by the Mohammedans the 'Columns of Proof,' because, according to our guide, all who enjoy the favour of God can pass through the narrow space between them, but not those who are wicked. The worn state of their inner sides shews the great number of the faithful who have passed the test. This arm terminates in a long hall, whose low vaulted roof is supported by pointed arches springing from many-sided pillars; it is called the mosque of Abu-Bekr, but is really an ancient gallery built by the Crusaders. Our guide tells us that in their time it was used as an armoury, which is doubtless the truth, as the mosque el-Aksa itself was converted into a dwelling-house. At the end of the eastern arm is a small vaulted hall, resting on the city wall and lighted by windows commanding a fine view of the slopes of Ophel, part of the Kidron valley, and the Mount of Offence with the village of Siloam. This chamber is supposed to be the place in which Omar prayed for the first time within the walls of the Haram: by the spot where he knelt there is a niche, ornamented with two columns of clouded grey marble, which have been inverted by the architect, so that the capitals richly carved with leaves serve as bases. This is called especially the mosque of Omar, as it continued to be the private oratory of the Khalif. On turning back to enter the main building, we see on the right a kind of chapel, wherein is a niche ornamented with marble, called Bâb er-Rahma (Gate of Mercy), near it are the Mikhereb of S. John (Baptist) and Zacharias. On quitting the mosque by the great northern door, and turning to the right, we find a flight of steps leading down to the subterranean vaults below it.

These consist of two large corridors running below and parallel to the mosque.[Pg 82] The floor slopes from north to south, and near the latter extremity there is a change in the level[340]. At the entrance they are separated by a wall entirely of Arab work, and farther on by an arcade supported by square pillars; the vaulting is not quite circular, being slightly flattened; it is very regular, and composed of stones of moderate dimensions, well chiselled with sharp edges. They are not of an uniform size, but nevertheless perfectly correspond with Roman work, as do the two pillars, and cannot belong to an earlier period; being laid with mortar and with great accuracy. The east wall is formed of oblong blocks, all of moderate dimensions and laid with mortar. The stones are well squared and smoothed by the hammer, without the least trace of rustic work; the surface of the wall is smooth and perpendicular to the ground and cannot be considered anything but Roman masonry. The west wall differs somewhat from the above in the form of its materials; these are large blocks of stone resembling in their size those attributed to the Herodian age. On some the rustic work remains, on others there are but slight traces of it, and after a very minute and careful examination, I think that there has been an attempt to destroy it on all, with the intention of smoothing the face of the wall: these blocks are all laid with mortar, but not arranged in regular courses; and the wall is perpendicular to the ground. It is quite evident that, though materials found among the extensive ruins have been used in constructing this wall, the present building is not of the age of Herod, still less of Solomon, but without doubt of Justinian. At the south end of the vault the two galleries unite, the line of the arcade dividing them being only marked by a large monolithic column and two half-columns; one attached to the last pillar on the north, the other to a wall on the south. The vaulting of this chamber consists of four hemispherical cupolas, divided by arches springing from the central pillar, with a shell ornament on the pendentives. Two doors, still remaining in the south wall, communicated with the outside. The one on the east is the Gate of Huldah, which we noticed during our survey of the exterior, inside it is marked by a marble pillar built into the wall; the other opens into a chamber, and is flanked by two marble pillars with elegant capitals[341]. The east and west walls in this lower portion of the gallery are a continuation of those described above, and of similar masonry; but the face of the south wall which divides the two doors is entirely formed by four great blocks, laid without mortar. This, then, together with the monolith and its capital[342], I consider a fragment of Herod's magnificent building; but I attribute the cupolas in the vaulting and the two doors to Justinian's restoration. It is very probable that the gates and the gallery were built in the days of Solomon, either as an entrance to the Temple from the south, or perhaps as part of the substructure of the palace[Pg 83] of Pharaoh's daughter, which may have occupied this position. The whole was, no doubt, destroyed by the Chaldeans and repaired to the best of his ability by Nehemiah. It is very probable that the south gate and the galleries were rebuilt by Herod, when he undertook his great work of the restoration of the Temple, to form a communication between it (especially the Court of the Gentiles) and the south part of the city. We need not suppose that it was entirely destroyed when the Romans razed the sacred buildings, because, though the ruins which fell upon it might injure the vaulting, they would also cover and so preserve it. In the gate at the south extremity we recognise the Middle Gates of Josephus; the position of which is defined by the words of the historian: "the fourth front of the Temple, which was southwards, had gates in the middle[343]." Justinian was, I think, the person who repaired and adorned these gates, and rebuilt the vaults, to support the foundations of his basilica, and serve at the same time for a communication between Moriah and the south part of the city. The east wall of the galleries is underneath the row of pillars, on the east of the first side aisle in the same direction; that is, under one of the outer walls of the ancient basilica; while the west wall is exactly under the line running down the middle of the great nave. The architect must have rebuilt them to serve for this purpose, and not simply availed himself of what was already there, because, as I have already said, the character of the masonry in the walls shews that it is not older than the age of Justinian.

Let us now refer to the account given by Procopius[344], who, after stating that the Emperor Justinian had ordered a Temple, dedicated to the Virgin, to be built at Jerusalem on the most prominent of the hills, goes on to say, "The hills however had not sufficient space for the completion of the work according to the Emperor's order; but a fourth part of the Temple was deficient, towards the south and the east, just where it is lawful for the priests to perform their rites. Hence the following device was conceived by the persons who had charge of the work—they laid the foundations at the extreme of the flat ground and raised a building of equal height with the rock. When, then, they had brought it as high as the extremity, they placed over the intervening space arches from the top of the walls, and connected the building with the remainder of the Temple's foundation. In this way the Temple is in part founded on solid rock and in part suspended; the Emperor's power having contrived a space in addition to the hill." He also states that this is the only building in the city situated in this way. I agree with what the historian says of the want of space, on the south and east (where the ruined vault was), and that the persons in charge of the work built the side walls as described, but do not believe that they[Pg 84] were the first persons to construct them; they found them existing, but in ruins, and made use of the excellent materials which were lying on the spot, to rebuild them to suit their purpose; repairing such parts as they found standing upright and firm.

As I agree in almost every point with the opinion of M. de Vogüé, I quote his words[345]: "This gallery is a Byzantine building, and is roofed with two parallel barrel vaults, the inner sides of which are supported by a row of semicircular arches springing from square piers. The south end is covered by four domes arranged in a square, resting on pendentives; and the four arches dividing and supporting them spring from an isolated central column. This arrangement is characteristic, so that though the end of the building is ancient, and probably of the age of Herod, it is impossible to assign that date to a vestibule vaulted with domes. This portion of the passage has then been rebuilt at a comparatively modern period, namely that of the foundation of the basilica."

The only point on which I differ from the above is, that I believe the monolith, the south wall, and perhaps some portion (in the lower parts) of the side walls of the end gallery to be of the age of Herod. Near the entrance, on the west side, I discovered a dark room; the Arab wall above mentioned has been built to enclose it, and, at the same time, conceal a doorway, leading into an underground passage, which runs to the west, and formerly came out inside the city, to the south of the Mekhemeh. It is possible that the doorway, half buried in the ground, near the Jews' wailing place, is its other extremity. I endeavoured to clear a passage to it, but was prevented by the mass of rubbish by which it had designedly been blocked up, and obliged to abandon my attempt; the keeper however assured me that I was right in my conjecture. There is also an aperture in the east wall, now closed with loosely built stones and rubbish, which seems to have been the entrance to a passage leading into the vault at the south-east corner of the Haram. In the west wall of the western corridor, just before reaching the steps leading down into the chamber of the monolith, is a small arch, rising about four feet above the ground. A Mohammedan tradition asserts this to be the entrance to an underground passage, leading to the Tomb of David; it is now however impossible to explore it. There is also a space in the east wall of the above chamber, formerly occupied by a doorway, which no doubt communicated with a passage into the vaults we have already visited, in the south-east corner of the Haram; it is exactly in a line with the door I pointed out in them. Hence we see how the stables were reached from inside the enclosure. Opposite to this doorway is another, in the west wall, leading into the vaults below the mosque Abu-Bekr or the armoury of the Templars. These are very likely the underground passages in which the Jews took refuge during a riot[346]; that they[Pg 85] communicated with Mount Sion seems established by the account given by Josephus[347] of the attempted escape of the tyrant Simon from that place; who appeared on the spot where the Temple had stood, dressed in purple and white, in the hope of terrifying the Roman guard. This is also an additional proof that the architects of Justinian were not the original builders of these vaults.

Returning to the outer air and going towards the south-west angle of the Haram we see the mosque of the Mogarabins, or western Mohammedans. It is a plain edifice without aisles, with some buildings attached to it serving as a hospice for pilgrims; in which Abd-el-Kader resided during his visit to the city in 1857. On the west side of the enclosure are various buildings, chiefly of the dates of the Crusaders, of Saladin, or of Solyman; with a chapel dedicated to Cobba-Moussa (Moses), a fountain for ablutions, and several small edifices which may be seen in the plan.

The mosque Kubbet es-Sakharah[348] stands upon an irregular quadrilateral platform, raised above the general level of the Haram, consisting almost wholly of rock, and surrounded by a low wall intended (most unsuccessfully) rather for ornament than use. Abutting on it, and in different parts of the platform itself, are several small buildings, crowned with elegant domes, and applied to various uses; some for oratories or schools, or for interviews between the faithful and their spiritual advisers; others for houses for the readers of the Koran, dervishes, and the keepers of the mosque; others again for stores. Two or three flights of steps on each side lead up to the platform, which is regarded by the Mohammedans as a sacred place. The number of steps in each flight is not the same, owing to the differences of level in the general surface of the Haram. They are made of white Palestine breccia, and at the head of each stands an elegant arcade of pointed arches, with columns of different materials, such as granite, or verd antique, or marble of less value; these generally differ both in height and diameter, in their bases and in the patterns of their capitals. Hence I am led to suppose that they formerly belonged to one of the Christian churches, which the Mohammedans destroyed and robbed of their ornaments to decorate their own sanctuary. These slender structures are not all alike; some have four arches and three columns, others six or seven arches with a corresponding number of columns; but their general effect is very good. The whole of the platform is paved with large slabs of white Palestine breccia, concealing the rough surface of the rock; which I saw underneath when some slight repairs were in progress, and also in the houses abutting on the wall, and in the cisterns; there is therefore no doubt that this is the actual summit of Moriah.

From this esplanade there is a fine view of the mosque[349], a structure whose light[Pg 86]ness, elegance, and richness is surpassed by very few. Its plan is very simple: a circular drum, rising above a regular octagonal base, supports a pointed dome, whose form is enough to characterise the building as Saracenic. The upper part of the dome is slightly pointed, while the lower is almost imperceptibly contracted. Its gracefulness is thus increased, without loss of grandeur. It is covered with zinc; the drum is inlaid with small glazed tiles of different colours (called Damascenes by the Levantines), which, being made expressly for the purpose, bear on them arabesques and maxims from the Koran with other inscriptions, standing out clearly from a blue background. The octagon is faced with slabs of veined white marble for a height of five feet from the ground; and then incrusted with coloured bricks, which terminate in a cornice covered with Arabic inscriptions. The south-west face of the octagon is uncovered, and exposes the original rough wall; whose stones and masonry prove that the whole, without exception, is the work of Saracenic artists. All the doors and windows are pointed; but their original shape was slightly altered during the restorations in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; especially in the case of the windows of the drum, whose outside moulding is now square.

Opposite to the Gate of David (on the east side) is a small building with a dodecagonal dome, supported by columns of valuable marbles with very old capitals. Their bases are of different heights, to compensate for the inequality in the length of the shafts. It is called Kubbet es-Silsileh (the dome of the chain) or Kubbet el-Berareh (the dome of justice), being, according to Mohammedan tradition, the site of the judgement seat of David, to which he will return on the Last Day[350]. After stamping on the floor and carefully examining the interior of this edifice, I have come to the conclusion that there is a vault below it, in the middle, which however is of no great size, and is very probably part of a conduit. The south door has a porch supported by eight columns of verd antique with Corinthian capitals; on the west, near to this, the Santon points out a slab of veined marble called 'the Bird of Solomon[351].'

In my description of the interior of the mosque[352], I shall, in a great measure, follow the account of M. de Vogüé[353], with several additions and omissions. It is divided into three concentric spaces, by two arcades, the inner circular, the outer octagonal in plan. The first, which supports the drum of the dome, is formed by four large quadrangular piers and twelve columns; the second by eight piers and sixteen columns; these two outer galleries have flat ceilings of painted wood; the shafts of the columns are made of valuable marbles, the majority of verd antique. I think they may have been taken from Constantine's church of the Resurrection, when it was lying in ruins, after its destruction by Chosroes; for many of them have been broken, and are united again by iron hoops; others shew chips and bruises appa[Pg 87]rently produced by a fall; besides, they do not correspond one with another, either in diameter or in height. The history of the other Christian edifices in Jerusalem supplies us with not a few instances of a similar spoliation; while we have no record in the Mohammedan chronicles, that valuable foreign marbles were brought by them to the city; as was done by Constantine according to Eusebius. The bases of the columns in the inner range are Attic, those in the second are different, and of a debased style; very frequently the shaft rests on a cubical plinth of white marble without any base moulding. Their capitals are Byzantine, that is, resemble more or less closely an order which is a coarse copy of the Corinthian[354]. The arches of the inner arcade spring directly from the capitals of the columns; but the arrangement in the outer one is very peculiar. On the capitals is placed a large block, resembling a truncated pyramid (base square), supporting a horizontal entablature, from which springs a series of slightly pointed arches: their form and ornamentation are thoroughly Saracenic, as is the mosaic work over the arches[355]. The quasi-capitals of the piers are formed by an arcade in low relief, enclosing a series of palm trees, rudely executed. The drum is inlaid with mosaic of various leaf patterns. The upper part of the dome is profusely adorned with gilded arabesques on different coloured grounds. The shape of the building, its ornamentation in carved wood, mosaic, pictures and gilding; in a word, its whole appearance bears a Turco-Arabian character of various periods, more especially from that of Saladin to that of Solyman.

In the centre of the mosque is a rock, rising above the floor, and occupying nearly the whole space under the dome, whose bare rough surface is strangely contrasted with the rich decorations surrounding it. This is es-Sakharah, the great object of the Mohammedan's reverence[356], which gives the building its name. Its highest part is some five or six feet above the pavement. No tool has ever touched its upper surface, but the north and west sides have been hewn vertical, and from the appearance of the work, I am inclined to think that it was done when the mosque was built by Omar. A circular hole is cut in its highest part towards the south-west, and on the south-east side is a doorway leading down into a rather large chamber within it, whitewashed, and lighted by the above-named hole. The Iman, who accompanied us, informed us that the rock is suspended in the air[357], and also that it has a great cavity beneath, and certainly by stamping on the floor and striking the walls a hollow sound is produced; but this is not to be wondered at, because, in order to give a more regular shape to the chamber, (as it is only a cistern,) they have built a slight wall within it all round, in front of the shelving sides. The hollow sound, heard on striking a large slab in the middle of the floor, is to be explained by the existence of a communication with a lower cistern; how[Pg 88] I ascertained this fact I will presently relate. The Mohammedans themselves account for it by saying, that this is the well of the souls of the dead, called by them Bir el-arruah[358]. I consider it the cistern of the threshing floor of Araunah.

The Turkish Iman related to us many legends connected with the inside and outside of this rock. The description of the plan will explain the shorter of these; the others will be found in the Notes[359].

On quitting the mosque by the south door, we find, opposite to us, a minbar or pulpit, ornamented with small columns, and marbles of different colours. Saladin built it as a place from which to read prayers on days of great solemnity[360]. On the west of this, the spot is pointed out on which he slept after entering Jerusalem, and where he also remained to assist in the purification of the mosque.

I have now finished my description of those places in the Haram, which can be easily seen or visited; but not of those below the ground, which we will presently proceed to examine; but before doing this, I will endeavour to apply to the Haram area, the data, which history and Rabbinical traditions afford to us on the position of the ancient Temple.

From the historical and other evidence, which I have now brought forward, it results that I consider the rock of the Sakharah to fix, positively and precisely, the position of the threshing floor of Araunah, and, consequently, of the Temple of Solomon.

Starting from this as a definite point, I shall endeavour, not indeed to restore the sacred edifice in its minutest details, but to lay down on the existing area the position of the House itself, and the principal places in connection with it.

Now the surface of the Haram, at the present time, is divided into three stages of different level.

(1) The highest is the rock es-Sakharah; unquestionably the summit of Mount Moriah, which, doubtless, was left standing in a conspicuous position, as a perpetual memorial to posterity of the spot, where David offered the sacrifice, which God had so mercifully accepted. On this, then, I place the altar of burnt offerings.

(2) The platform of the present mosque is to be regarded as the space levelled by Solomon to support the House itself, with the Inner Court of the Priests, and the Great or Outer Court, occupied by the people, during the performance of the sacred rites.

(3) The lower plateau of the Haram has been formed by the made ground constructed by Solomon; which was afterwards extended, especially at the time of Herod, to make a large and convenient space round the Temple; and was at that time called the Court of the Gentiles.

Let us now proceed to examine in detail these three elevations, referring to the[Pg 89] authorities whom I have already cited in my description of the Temples of Solomon and Herod[361]. I consider the Sakharah to be the site of the altar of burnt-offerings, because it is very improbable that Solomon would have chosen any other position for it than that indicated by an Angel to the prophet Gad. Those who object are bound to explain why this rock alone was left in its natural rough state amid the splendour of the Temple. If it were not reserved for some purpose of the highest importance, it would never have been spared when everything around it was levelled. We shall now see that this site satisfies the requisite conditions. (1) The altar was to be of unhewn stone, and not reached by steps. Therefore the bronze altar of Solomon can have only been an ornamental casing for the rock. The shape of the Sakharah is adapted for this purpose, and it has a regular slope on the south side leading up to the higher part; and, according to the Rabbinic traditions, this was the position of the inclined ascent. (2) It was a square of twenty cubits. The rock is large enough to admit of this and still leave room for the ascent. (3) There must have been a capacious receptacle for its drainage, as they burnt upon it the victims and their fat, and sprinkled the blood upon and around it. This was the cavern we have just visited, with the one below, which we shall presently describe. (4) It occupied an elevated position, as appears from both the Bible and the Rabbinic traditions; probably in order that the sacrifices might be seen by the people. The present site satisfies this condition. (5) There must have been cisterns for water and drainage on the north side to wash the victims and cleanse the ground from blood, because there the Levites appointed for that duty flayed them, and had their chambers[362]. (6) On the east side of the altar must be a 'place of the ashes,' where also the refuse of the victims might be cast. I cannot but think that this would be outside the above-named sacred courts; and in fact we find a connected system of cisterns to the west of the Golden Gate, which I believe were used for this purpose. (7) The great 'sea of bronze' was to the south-east of the altar, as we are told by the Mischna; therefore in this direction there should be traces of the place from which it was supplied. Now on the platform of the mosque, south-east of the rock, is a vault, and to the south of it many cisterns of water, one of which might have supplied the sea. These latter, I think, may have been in the great court; so that after the priests had purified themselves at them, they could enter the sacred enclosure.

Therefore I conclude that the locality satisfies the conditions required by this position of the altar of burnt-offerings and the places in its neighbourhood; and we have only to see if the cisterns and vaults, mentioned above, are connected by subterranean passages, to admit of the flow of water or of blood, as the case may be. That this requirement is also satisfied, will be presently seen from the account of my investigations among them.[Pg 90]

I have already stated that I suppose the Temple and its sacred courts to have occupied the second plateau. The House itself was 60 cubits long and 20 wide, lying east and west; the porch in front on the east side was 10 cubits long. If then we circumscribe a square with a side of 20 cubits about the rock, facing to the four points of the compass, and produce its north and south sides westward, we inclose a space on the plateau large enough to admit a building of the required dimensions, and sufficient space is left even for the courts and buildings of Herod's Temple. We are told by Josephus that the Temple was not situated in the middle of the area on the summit of Moriah, but rather towards the north-west corner: a glance at the Plan will shew that this condition is satisfied. The same historian relates that the Temple of Herod was a square of 500 cubits; the place admits of this; consequently we may conclude that we are right in assigning this site to the ancient Temple.

That the position of the third plateau has been rightly assigned, hardly needs demonstration. The made ground is still to be seen on the east side, and the levelled surfaces and projecting remnant of rock on the north-west; while we have already noticed the great works by which it was enlarged on the south. Hence the three levels of the Haram es-Sherîf correspond with the three spaces occupied by the ancient Temple.

It may also be as well to mention a plan of Solomon's Temple, set forth by some of the Rabbinical authors[363]. They circumscribe a square, with a side of 20 cubits, about the rock, which they also consider the site of the altar of burnt-offerings; about this they describe symmetrically another square, with a side of 180 cubits; then dividing each side into 9 equal parts, and joining the opposite points, the whole is subdivided into 81 squares, with the square about the rock in the middle. To the west of this they leave one square, and consider the next three in the same row to be the site of the House itself. The rows lying north, east, and south of the five squares mentioned above, are considered to form the Court of the Levites. (The square between the altar and the Temple they suppose to have been occupied by the porch and its approach, the walls of the building, &c.). Parallel to the east side of the above court, at a distance of 10 cubits, they draw a line, and consider the parts cut off on the west as the Court of the Israelites, and that farthest to the east as the Women's Court. Every one may form his own opinion as to how far this plan may agree with that of Solomon's Temple (with whose dimensions we are only partially acquainted); for my part I think that the spaces allotted to the courts are too small, and ought to be enlarged.

In order that my investigations among the cisterns, pools, and conduits in this[Pg 91] part of Jerusalem may be understood, I must call the reader's attention to the three following facts, which for the present I simply state, but of which I will hereafter give a more detailed account, with proofs of my assertions where they are necessary. (1) That water is brought into Jerusalem, and especially into Moriah, by a conduit from Etham. (2) That in the bath of the Hammam es-Shefa is a spring of undrinkable water. (3) That at the bottom of the Kidron valley, to the south-east of the same corner of the Haram, is a spring called the Fountain of the Virgin. I will now enter upon the history of my discoveries, describing them in order of time, so that the reader may understand the manner in which the conclusions I have drawn from them were reached, and the various obstacles which I had to overcome. Before undertaking an investigation of the subterranean works on Mount Moriah, a task demanding so large an expenditure of time and money, and encompassed with so many difficulties, wherein, if discovered, I might be exposed to very great danger, without any hope of defence or escape, I considered how far it could be avoided by a careful examination of all that could be seen on the surface, by a study of the works on the subject, and by collecting all the information that was possible from ancient traditions and all other sources; but when all this was done, I found that I had not been able to form a clear idea of the hidden recesses of the Haram, of its ancient reservoirs and conduits for water, blood, and other purposes, or of the points where the latter entered or left the enclosure. I had indeed obtained a knowledge of many useful facts, but not of what I wanted, and was therefore obliged to wait until an opportunity occurred of making an accurate scrutiny of the place itself. This was long in arriving; but by patience and perseverance I at last succeeded in accomplishing my undertaking, as will be seen from the following narrative.

I felt tolerably certain of the existence of a double-chambered cistern beneath the Sakharah, (called in the Rabbinical traditions Amah,) and had no doubt that it had been used to catch the blood of the victims; in accordance with the statement in the Mischna, that under the altar of burnt-offerings, to the south-west, was a conduit by means of which the blood sprinkled on it flowed into the Kidron Valley[364]. I had also seen on the north side of the platform of the mosque the openings of two cisterns; and the Mohammedan keepers assured me that the one to the north contained dirty water, but that the other was dry, and had been so for many centuries. I accordingly tasted the water of the former, and found it excellent; and therefore concluded that it was nothing but a traditional prejudice, derived from the fact that the place had formerly received the blood of the victims, which are said to have been slain there[365]. I have already stated that the cistern on the west of the Golden Gate appeared, in accordance with the data in the Bible, a probable[Pg 92] position for the 'place of the ashes[366].' I had also learned that some, especially among the Jews, were of opinion that the Pool of Bethesda was not only used to cleanse the victims for sacrifice, but also to receive the water which had served for that purpose, when the animals were flayed in the neighbourhood of the Temple; also that it was supplied from some pools on a higher level; and that, when it became necessary to empty it, the filth escaped by a conduit excavated in the rock, on the east, down into the torrent Kidron. Now I do not know whether there was a channel of communication from the Temple to the pool; but it is certain that there were upper pools[367], and that its waters would naturally escape into the Kidron. To establish this last point is impossible, from the quantity of rubbish that fills the pool, and the accumulation of earth outside the walls; but it is so obvious that it hardly needs demonstration. In the south-east corner of the pool there is an opening, which apparently belongs to a conduit, but it is now built up; and on the whole of the south wall, which is almost buried with earth, there are not any signs of other mouths. It was then evident that if the water came to it from the Temple it must enter either from higher ground on the west, or by the above opening. This however could not be proved without an examination of the interior of the Haram. The keepers of the mosque wished to persuade me that the water from the spring of the Hammam es-Shefa flowed into the cistern beneath the Sakharah. Very frequently, on different days, during the deepest silence, I placed my ear on the great slab, in the middle of the chamber in the rock, beneath the mosque, but could not hear the slightest sound. I observed that the floor was paved with marble, and therefore frequently examined both it and the walls to see if they gave out damp; (if water had been flowing below, there would certainly have been some moisture;) but they were always perfectly dry, even during wet weather, so that this test induced me to reject the common notion that water ran beneath this place.

Again, one day in the month of January 1857, during an excessively rainy season, and while a quantity of fallen snow was melting, I observed, on passing along the Kidron valley, a large stream falling down from the mouth of a conduit high up in the western bank of the torrent, nearly opposite to the Tomb of Absalom. I was delighted at the sight, and instantly resolved to enter the place as soon as the flow of water had ceased. However, on reflection, I abandoned the design; because I should have exposed myself to certain danger, since the hill-side at that place is almost vertical above, and excessively steep on both sides and below, besides being composed of loose earth that has been thrown down there and been accumulating for centuries. In course of time the opening was closed by a landslip, but the water still forced its way through in the rainy seasons of the following years. The question[Pg 93] occurred to me, Can this be the mouth of the conduit of blood? It was however impossible to answer it without examining the ground, and this was impracticable by reason of the great expense of removing such a quantity of soil, and the fanaticism of the Mohammedans, who would never have allowed me to enter a subterranean passage possibly leading towards the Haram; to which place I had not then the right of entrance.

My next information was derived from a brave old Bedouin, who had taken part in the war against Ibrahim Pasha. In the month of May of the same year he informed me, in the course of the story of his life, that underground conduits ran from the Fountain of the Virgin into the interior of the city and Temple; which he had once traversed with a company of Arabs in making a night attack on the city, in order to surprise the Egyptian troops at the gates and admit his own companions. I wanted him to give me more minute information, but he refused, even when I offered him money; and it was not until a later period that I obtained fuller details from a peasant in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem; of which I afterwards availed myself, as will be seen: but even in his case, in spite of bribes, I was obliged to content myself with listening, without verifying what was reported.

In the month of September 1857, I was walking outside the east wall of the Haram, and stopped to watch an Arab who was digging a grave near the southern extremity of the cemetery. I entered into conversation with him, with a view of quietly examining his excavation; but on reaching a depth of three feet he stopped, as his work was finished; for the dead Arabs like the earth to lie light upon them. However, by a present I induced him to continue his labour; but after going down about 2 feet more, he again desisted, at the instigation of another workman, who in the mean time had come to bring him some food. A little more money set them both at work, and after sinking 2 feet lower, they came upon something hard, which on examination proved to be a wall, belonging, as I suspected, to a conduit; and by widening the excavation a little, we found the corresponding side wall at a distance of 3-1/2 feet, both being of great age. I would gladly have had them continue their work; but they were both tired, and also afraid of being seen digging so deep, in the company of a European and Christian; besides, the corpse was expected before long; so they partially filled up the hole as quickly as possible. I was however satisfied with what I had seen, and a few days after, having obtained permission from the Pasha, on some trifling pretext, I employed them, with two other workmen, to make an excavation opposite to the south-east corner of the Haram (not being able to dig farther to the north on account of the graves); and after two days' hard work we found, at a depth of 11 feet, remains of a conduit resembling the former, and, like it, 3-1/2 feet in breadth. The walls were 2-3/4 feet high, but had been higher, the upper part having been destroyed. I thought that these were more likely to[Pg 94] belong to the conduit for blood than the opening which I had seen in the Kidron valley, as that was too low relatively to the upper and middle levels of the Haram, and too far (being about 30 feet) above the bottom of the valley, which is now much higher than in former times; for I can hardly think that the blood and filth would be openly disgorged in a kind of cataract from the sewer. What a quantity of water would in that case have been required to transport the refuse of the victims from the front of the Temple, where, because of the Jewish law, they could never have been suffered to remain! Two points however had to be established, the proof of which was far from easy, before I could assert that the conduit for blood flowed into the Fountain of the Virgin; a place which might have been chosen, both because it was at a considerable distance from the Temple, and because the constant supply of water from the spring would carry on the refuse into the Kidron. These were, (1) whether the lowest part of the Fountain (which is reached by a long descending flight of steps) was above the bed of the torrent; and (2) whether, in the interior of the Haram, a conduit had existed, connecting the cistern beneath the rock Sakharah with that on the west of the Golden Gate, and had gone from this point outside the wall, in a course agreeing with the traces I had already discovered. Accordingly I hired some of the peasants of Siloam, and made an excavation in the valley, to the east of the mouth of the Fountain, and ascertained that its lowest point was about 5-3/4 feet higher than the present bed of the torrent; which has been much raised by the rubbish accumulated during so many centuries, that is not only brought down by the stream itself from the north, but also falls in from the sides of the valley during the rainy season. This determined, I made a second excavation near the steps leading down to the Fountain, and at a depth of 16 feet found part of the bottom of the original pool, and a fragment of the side wall; and thus saw that the conduit might have emptied itself directly into this pool, into which the water flowed from the Fountain (situated 5 feet above it): whence the refuse descended into the Kidron 4-1/2 feet below, and so was carried away by the torrent. As the quantity of water supplied by the spring could never have been very large, it occurred to me that on special occasions, when a great number of victims was sacrificed, there would be some method of increasing the torrent to enable it to sweep away the refuse quickly; and at first I supposed that the water of the Pool of Bethesda was used for that purpose, but afterwards I found that it was not the only means employed. Had I been able, I should at once have followed up the subject, by investigations in the interior of the Haram; but all my attempts at that time proved ineffectual, and I was obliged to wait for a more favourable opportunity.

I obtained another clue to the positions of some of the cisterns within the enclosure, during the summer months of 1857. I had frequently visited the ground[Pg 95] between the city-wall and the south-west part of the Haram, in order to search for old coins, and was struck with the luxuriance of the vegetation there, even in the driest weather. On asking the farmer for an explanation of this, I obtained no other answer than that it was due to God's grace. I did not of course doubt that this was a sufficient cause; but at the same time I was desirous of finding a more natural reason; the more so because, on certain evenings, I observed that he drew a large quantity of water for his plants from a cistern near the south-west corner of the Haram. I therefore asked him repeatedly, and in all kinds of indirect ways, (as is necessary in dealing with Arabs,) if his cistern contained much water; but he always evaded my question, and I was never able to overcome his reticence or outwit his craft. Even the offer of money produced no effect, and subsequently he refused to allow me to examine its interior; still, although baffled, I felt certain that this cistern was supplied from another inside the Haram, which was the true 'God's grace.' I found afterwards, as will be seen, that I was quite right in my supposition.

I had also frequently remarked, during the rainy season, that the water running down the street in the central valley flowed into a large opening on the east side, level with the ground, to the south of the fountain near the bazaar leading to the Haram. From this I inferred that it found its way into the sewer which passes along the valley at a lower level. Some old men, who had for many years been employed in the repairs of the conduits, told me that I was right, and informed me at the same time that from this opening it was possible to go along underground and come out inside the Haram, by a conduit which entered a cistern on the lowest plateau, situated on the west side near the south end of the platform of the mosque es-Sakharah, and filled by the water that had drained from the street. Such was the information that I had obtained concerning the underground works of the Temple, up to the end of 1857. It had not enabled me to arrive at any positive conclusion, and I was puzzled about the conduit for blood, because the Rabbinical writers made it begin beneath the sacred rock on the south-west, in which direction I had not been able to discover any traces of it.

During the winters of 1858 and 1859 no great quantity of rain fell at Jerusalem, and the cisterns were in consequence not filled; so that in the summer months there was a scarcity of water. Under these circumstances Surraya Pasha ordered the conduit from Etham to be repaired, in order that it might supply the Haram. I availed myself of this circumstance, and entered many of the cisterns in that precinct, which were either almost or quite dry, under the pretext of inspecting them to see if they needed repairs. In the year 1856, when Kiamil Pasha was governor, the Turkish engineer, Assad Effendi, had restored the aqueduct, and I had assisted him as a volunteer, and had been able to offer him some useful advice; which was the reason that I was now employed.[Pg 96]

I will now relate my discoveries in connexion with this conduit, commencing at the point where it enters Moriah.

It comes down by the dyke or bridge crossing the Tyropœon, and at the present time empties itself into a small basin opposite to the entrance of the Mekhemeh; but formerly it flowed into a large reservoir, still existing in the lower part of that building, whence it went on into the Temple. This chamber is now disused, and filled with rubbish. Thus by their carelessness the Mohammedans lose the benefit of all the works of antiquity in Jerusalem. From the above-named basin two conduits branch out; the smaller and newer supplies water to the fountain in the middle of the Mekhemeh, and then rejoins the larger and older one (2-3/4 feet wide and 2-1/4 high), which, after passing under the Bâb es-Salsala, enters the Haram, and then, after running some little distance southward, turns off at an angle and goes to the fountain opposite the mosque el-Aksa, whence it proceeds to the great cistern called Birket es-Sultan. During the course of the work I observed that the quantity of water which entered the latter reservoir was less than that which arrived at the Mekhemeh; and on examination I found that the conduit had formerly kept on to the south, instead of turning to the east, and that its old channel still existed at that point, by which, although very much dilapidated and full of earth, a large part of the water was diverted into an ancient cistern, 29 feet deep, to the north of the mosque of the Mogarabins. Into this I descended, and found 6 feet of mud at the bottom; and after hard work ascertained that the water entering it from the conduit went out by another made nearly on a level with the floor, which was too much choked up to be passable, but which ran in the direction of the cistern of 'God's grace,' at the south-west corner of the Haram, so profitable to my friend the farmer. On the east side of the cistern of the Mogarabin mosque is the mouth of a conduit, walled up to a height of 3 feet from the vaulting. I saw some traces of it on the surface of the ground, but was unable to excavate; however, it was evident that it went into the Birket es-Sultan. We repaired the above-named corner of the conduit at present used, so that all the water might flow into the fountain of the Aksa, where it would have again been diminished before reaching the Birket es-Sultan, if we had not completely closed up the mouth of a very ancient conduit (3 feet in width and height), running northward and communicating with the lower chamber of the cistern below the Kubbet es-Sakharah, which was entirely cut in the rock, and covered with large slabs as far as the south staircase of the upper platform. The above remarks on the works in connexion with the conduit from Etham are sufficient for my present purpose, and I will now pass on to relate my discoveries in the different cisterns and conduits into which I descended.

The water in the Birket es-Sultan (Prince's Pool) was, at the time of my visit, a foot deep; the sides and vaulting, with the piers supporting it, have been hewn[Pg 97] with great pains out of the rock. It is 32 feet in height. In the wall near the opening from the fountain are notches cut in the rock, obviously to be used as steps. There are two apertures in its west side, the one already mentioned as coming from the fountain, which almost touches the vaulting; the other, 4 feet lower down and blocked up, which is the end of the conduit coming from the cistern near the mosque of the Mogarabins. There is another opening on the north which I could not examine; it is under the vaulting. On the south-east, 4 feet below the vaulting, is an opening walled up, corresponding with the great chamber at the south-east angle of the enclosure, as I was able to ascertain by examining the north-west corner of that place, after removing a quantity of earth. On the south is another opening (now closed with Arab masonry), 3 feet above the floor, 3-1/4 feet wide and 3-3/4 high; the beginning of a conduit mainly excavated and vaulted in the rock, but for a short distance built with stones and roofed with large slabs[368], which I have traced with difficulty and labour along its whole course quite close to the Fountain of the Virgin. At certain points it is 5 feet wide and 3-3/4 high. It bears the marks of a very remote antiquity, and is, in my opinion, contemporaneous with the building of the first Temple. After discovering this, I found out the Bedouin peasant, who had on a former occasion told me of its existence, and he now did not refuse to be my guide along it, and, to tell the truth, I should not have been able to get on without him at some places, either from the accumulation of rubbish, or the earth, which every moment threatened to fall in, besides the great number of rats, reptiles, insects, and a thousand other nuisances which I encountered. I have traversed this passage three times and carefully examined it, and regret to say that from its age and tottering condition parts of it will soon fall into ruins. It is a great misfortune that a country possessing so much that deserves to be studied and preserved should be governed by a nation so unwilling to partake of European civilization.

We will now examine the cisterns to the north of the mosque es-Sakharah[369]. On entering the northern one (29-1/2 feet deep) I found the floor covered with wet mud to a depth of about 1-1/2 feet. At the first glance I saw an opening on the south side, 3 feet wide and 4-1/2 high, half built up with Arab masonry, and after clearing away some of the stones, earth, and mud that blocked it up, I passed through it into another cistern in the same direction, 32 feet deep. These are both very ancient, and are wholly excavated in the rock; and I have no doubt that they belonged to the threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite. On the south and on the east of the deeper cistern are the openings to two passages; the first leads to a conduit (3 feet wide and 3-1/2 high), descending from the west; but after going a few feet along the passage we find another conduit of the same size as the above, coming from the south,[Pg 98] and leading upwards into a double cistern, as I had always expected. The form of the lower chamber is an irregular sphere, about 22 or 23 feet in diameter, its floor is covered deep with dry mud with a few stones, (but rather too many for me to remove). On a careful examination I saw, at a height of 12-1/2 feet, the mouth of the hole leading to the upper chamber, about 6-1/2 feet in diameter and 4 feet long, and the marble slab, which we have already mentioned as covering it. This it was that the Santon struck with his foot or stick to prove the existence of the 'Well of the Souls' below! There is a conduit on the south, into which I entered through an aperture (now walled up), and by a very gradual ascent reached the other extremity at the fountain opposite to the mosque el-Aksa. The whole depth of the double cistern is 28-1/2 feet below the top of the rock, and 23-1/2 below the pavement of the mosque. The reader may imagine my joy at this result of my labours, so long desired and so anxiously sought, and the gratitude I felt to God for granting me this boon of ascertaining the position of the altar of burnt-offerings, and the cisterns and conduits for blood belonging to the ancient Temple; an ample recompense for all my toil. It is true indeed that after a most careful search I have not been able to find any opening on the south-west, in accordance with the statement of the Rabbinical writers; but for this time I trust my own eyes, and that suffices me.

Returning to the nearer of the two cisterns on the north of the mosque, I went along the conduit, rising to the west, for a distance of 12 feet, beyond which I could not advance because of the soil in it. It runs exactly in the direction of the cistern, which is situated very near to the north-west corner of the net-work on the Plan[370]: this I afterwards endeavoured to enter, but found it filled with earth. The other opening, on the east side of the first-named cistern, is that of a descending conduit (about 3 feet wide and high), which I traversed for some distance, until I was eventually stopped by a number of obstacles; however, I ascertained clearly that it went towards the east.

The above observations are the results of three visits, in which the short time I was allowed to stay, the frequent summons to depart, coupled with not a few threats when I resisted, prevented me from making farther investigations; but there is nothing more to be found there of greater importance than the things I have mentioned.

On entering the cistern, excavated in the rock on the west of the Golden Gate, I found that it was 20 feet deep, and that on the west side was the mouth of the conduit, which I partially examined from the cistern north of the mosque es-Sakharah. I was able to pass along it for some distance on this side also, and found it to be 3-1/4 feet wide and 3 high. The only thing that now remained to be done was to find the conduit leading out of the cistern towards the east: and after a long search I had begun to despair, when a labourer, who was working at the south side of the chamber, told[Pg 99] me that there were signs of an opening there; in a few minutes it was uncovered, and through it I entered into another cistern, whose floor was 4 feet below the level of the former; and on the east side of this was a conduit, 3-1/2 feet wide and 3 high, running towards the Haram wall, which must have communicated with that the ruins of which I had found outside the east wall. I had thus completed a chain of evidence, which established the course of the conduit for blood, as laid down by me, at every point.

Marks of another opening appeared above the soil on the south side of the same chamber, but I had not time to uncover it, being recalled into the first cistern by the discovery of another passage on its north side; through this I entered a series of cisterns, on a level of 3-1/4 feet above the central. In the last of these, at the north end, was the entrance to a conduit (2-1/2 feet wide and high), which sloped upwards in the direction of the Pool of Bethesda. It was impossible to follow it up, but from its direction, level, and design (as I will presently shew), it must have corresponded with the opening (walled up) to which I called attention at the south-east corner of the above Pool.

Before proceeding to draw my final conclusions from the above observations, I must remark that it is untrue that the water flowing down the street of the Tyropœon valley, at the time of rain, supplies the cistern (on the lowest level) at the south-west corner of the platform of the mosque. This (24 feet deep and wholly excavated in the rock) receives the water that has been used by the Mohammedans for their purifications, which is carried off from it into the great sewer in the Tyropœon by a conduit on the west side. I shall discuss the springs of the Hammam es-Shefa more fully in another place; at present I will only observe that the depth of the source is about 96 feet below the surface, consequently it is impossible that its waters could flow into the cistern of the Sakharah, and to the Fountain of the Virgin.

The cistern in front of the east gate of the bazaar (excavated in the rock and 26 feet deep) has a conduit on the south, supplying the fountain for ablutions, near the Chapel of Moses. This is filled by the droppings from the terrace-roofs of the buildings on the east and west of it, as well as from the ground around it. On the platform of the mosque, near its south-east corner, is a cistern in the rock, whose depth I was unable to measure, as it is nearly filled up: from it two small conduits (of no antiquity) run in opposite directions, their openings being above the vaulting; that on the north-west catches the water dropping from the mosque, that on the east is intended to drain a part of the platform, but it is now useless; both are visible on the surface of the pavement. Lastly, the conduit parallel to the west and north walls of el-Aksa, was made to receive the water from that mosque, and carry it into the Birket es-Sultan. The remaining cisterns, plentifully scattered over the Haram, are for the most part useless. We see then that, while the Mohammedans pay no[Pg 100] regard to the works of antiquity, they are equally careless about those which are of the highest importance to themselves.

Having thus narrated the investigations I have made and the information I have collected, I will now state my conclusions on the connexions and purposes of these underground works.

They are as follows: (1) That from the time of the building of the Temple the conduit from Etham has emptied itself into the cistern beneath the Mekhemeh, whence the water was conveyed into the Temple by a branching system of conduits, the chief of which I have traced. (2) That the cistern north of the Mosque of the Mogarabins was used as a reservoir to supply Ophel, where at the present time but few traces of these works are found. (3) The conduit leading from this into the Birket es-Sultan must have been intended to carry away any excess of water, and also by this means to relieve that which now goes to the fountain, especially when it might be out of order. It is obvious that these filled the Birket es-Sultan, and consequently the great reservoir at the south-east corner of the Haram. (4) It is probable that the numerous cisterns on the west side may also have been fed by different conduits, but I had not sufficient time to ascertain this. If not, they might have been supplied by the drainings from the courts, the terrace-roofs of the cloisters, and the Temple itself[371]. (5) The fountain opposite to el-Aksa is Saracenic, but not the basin in which it stands. This supplied water to the cistern under the altar of burnt-offerings, to cleanse it from the blood that flowed down from above. Hence the stream ran into the cisterns on the north, and thence into the 'place of the ashes' on the east, which I believe to have been the southernmost of the underground chambers; and from this it went outside the wall, and after passing along parallel to it, finally emptied itself into the pool near the Fountain of the Virgin. (6) In the 'place of the ashes,' in which they cast the crops of the birds, the entrails of the victims, and other refuse, a larger quantity of water would be needful, especially at times when the sacrifices were numerous; and I suppose that the conduit from the Pool of Bethesda was constructed to augment the supply; also I fully believe that if I had found time to uncover the apertures on the south of the 'place of the ashes,' and on the north of the Birket es-Sultan, and to examine the cistern on the south-east of the Sakharah, I should have discovered that this cistern (where I place the 'bronze sea') was supplied from the Birket, and discharged its waters into the 'place of the ashes.' Was there then also a conduit on the north of the great reservoir at the south-east corner communicating with the opening on the south of the 'place of the ashes'? I sought for it without success owing to the accumulation of earth, the want of time, and the continual interference of the Mohammedan guardians of the Haram, who be[Pg 101]lieved, as I suppose, that I was seeking for treasures, when, on the contrary, I was spending my savings.

If, after the sewage had reached the pool by the Fountain of the Virgin, there was still need of a further supply of water to sweep it away, that could be brought by the long conduit from the south side of the Birket es-Sultan, by the conduit at the east end of the Pool of Bethesda, and especially by a conduit, which, starting from the west extremity of the Bridge, runs down the Tyropœon to the Fountain of the Virgin, along which the whole stream from Etham might be diverted, if necessary. I have not mentioned this before, but will give a fuller description of it in another place. The conduit on the west slope of the Kidron valley, nearly opposite to the Tomb of Absalom, which I saw discharging so much water in 1857, may possibly have been another means of augmenting the supply, and may very probably (although I have not been able to prove it) communicate with the great reservoir at the south-east corner of the Haram, and have occasionally been used to lay it dry.

I have now arrived at the end of my researches on Mount Moriah, and leave the subject, trusting that some other explorer may find more frequent opportunities and more favourable circumstances for examining this venerable spot; and thus carry further my discoveries, and correct any errors into which I may have fallen.

FOOTNOTES:

[171] Note I.

[172] Note II.

[173] Plates XI., XII.

[174] Gen. xxii. 2-14.

[175] Note III; Gen. xxviii. 10-12.

[176] Gen. xxxv. 1-15.

[177] 2 Sam. xxiv; 1 Chron. xxi.

[178] 1 Chron. xxii. 1.

[179] Ant. VII. 13, § 4.

[180] 2 Sam. xvii. 18; Jer. xli. 8.

[181] Plate XXVII.

[182] 1 Maccab. vi. 32, 33.

[183] Note IV.

[184] 1 Kings v. 18.

[185] 2 Chron. ii. 13, 14.

[186] 1 Kings v. 10, 11.

[187] 2 Chron. ii. 16.

[188] 1 Kings vii. 10, 11.

[189] 1 Kings vi. 7.

[190] Jewish War, V. 5, § 1.

[191] Ant. VIII. 3, § 9; Jewish War, V. 5, §§ 1, 2.

[192] 1 Kings vi. 1, 38.

[193] Note V.

[194] Ant. VIII. 3.

[195] Palestine, pp. 289-292.

[196] 1 Kings vi. 2, 3.

[197] 1 Kings vi. 17-20; viii. 9.

[198] 2 Chron. iv. 9.

[199] 2 Chron. iv. 9; Ezek. xl. 17.

[200] 2 Chron. iv. 1; Ezek. xliii. 13, 18.

[201] Note VI.

[202] 2 Chron. iv. 2, 5, 6.

[203] 1 Kings vii. 38.

[204] 1 Kings vii. 38; 2 Chron. iv. 6; Lev. i. 9.

[205] 1 Kings vi. 5; Ezek. xlii. 13.

[206] Lev. i. 5, 11, 16; xiv. 11, 12.

[207] Ezek. xl. 40, 41, 42, 46.

[208] 1 Kings xiv. 25, 26.

[209] 2 Kings xiv. 13.

[210] 2 Kings xii. 4-14; 2 Chron. xxiv. 4-14.

[211] 2 Kings xxv. 9.

[212] 2 Kings xxv. 11, 12, 22, 23; Jer. xl. 6.

[213] Jer. xl. 12.

[214] 2 Kings xxv. 25.

[215] 2 Kings xxv. 26; Jer. xliii. 7.

[216] 2 Chron. xxxvi. 22, 23; Ezra i. 1; v. 13.

[217] Note VII.

[218] Ezra vii. 8, 9.

[219] Ezra iii. 8, 12, 13; Haggai ii. 3.

[220] Ezra iv. 1-24.

[221] Ezra iv. 24; v. 1, 2.

[222] Ezra vi. 15-17.

[223] Ezra vi. 3.

[224] Haggai ii. 3; Ezra iii. 12.

[225] Ant. XV. 11, § 1; Note VIII.

[226] 1 Maccab. i. 20-23, 35, 36, 41; Ant. XII. 5, §§ 3, 4.

[227] 1 Maccab. iv. 41-59; Jewish War, I. 1, § 1.

[228] 1 Maccab. xii. 35-37.

[229] 1 Maccab. xiii. 50-53.

[230] Ant. XIII. 6, § 7; Jewish War, I. 3, § 3.

[231] Ant. XIII. 11, § 2; Jewish War, I. 3, §§ 3-5.

[232] Ant. XIV. 4, § 2; Jewish War, I. 7, §§ 1-3.

[233] Ant. XIV. 16, § 2.

[234] Ant. XV. 11, § 2.

[235] S. John ii. 20.

[236] S. Mark xiii. 1, 2.

[237] Ant. XV. 11, §§ 3-7; Jewish War, V. 5 (the more minute account); Note IX.

[238] Palestine, p. 551.

[239] Ant. XV. 11, § 3.

[240] Ant. XIII. 6, § 7; Jewish War, V. 4, § 1.

[241] Middoth, I. 3.

[242] Ant. XV. 11, § 5.

[243] Ant. XV. 11, § 3.

[244] S. Matt. xxi. 12.

[245] Note X.

[246] Mischna, 2, § 6.

[247] Mischna, 2nd part, Treatise Yoma, c. III., § 10; Babylonian Talmud, same treatise, fol. 37.

[248] Exod. xx. 25; Deut. xxvii. 5, 6.

[249] Mischna, Treatise Yoma, c. III., § 1.

[250] Ezek. xl. 39, 40.

[251] 2 Maccab. ii. 4-7.

[252] Mischna, Treatise Yoma, c. V., § 2, and the Rabbinical traditions in the Babylonian Talmud, same treatise, fol. 54.

[253] Jewish War, V. 5, § 1.

[254] Note XI.

[255] Jewish War, V. 5, § 2.

[256] Ibid. V. 5, § 8.

[257] Ant. XV. 11, § 7.

[258] S. John ii. 20.

[259] Jewish War, V. 5, § 8.

[260] Jewish War, V. 11; VI. 1.

[261] Note XII.

[262] Jewish War, VI. 6, § 2.

[263] Ibid. VI. 9, § 1; VII. 1, § 1.

[264] Note XIII.

[265] S. Matt. xxiv. 2.

[266] Note XIV.

[267] Note XV.

[268] Note XVI.

[269] Note XVII.

[270] Note XVIII.

[271] Note XIX.

[272] Note XX.

[273] Adamn. de Locis Sanctis, Lib. I. c. 1, ap. Acta SS. Ord. Bened. Tom. III. Part 2, p. 304: "Cæterum in illo famoso loco, ubi quondam Templum magnifice constructum fuerat, in vicinia muri ab oriente locatum; nunc Sarraceni quadrangulam orationis domum, quam subrectis tabulis et magnis trabibus super quasdam ruinarum reliquias construentes vili fabricati sunt opere, ipsi frequentant; quæ utique domus tria hominum millia simul (ut fertur) capere potest."

[274] Note XXI.

[275] William of Tyre, Book I. c. 12.

[276] Note XXII.

[277] Note XXIII.

[278] Note XXIV.

[279] Note XXV.

[280] Note XXVI.

[281] Plate XI.

[282] S. John v. 2.

[283] Plate XII.

[284] Plate XIII.

[285] Ant. XIII. 11, § 2; Jewish War, I. 3, § 3.

[286] Note XXVII.

[287] Page 20.

[288] Plate XIV.

[289] Jewish War, V. 4, § 2; 5, § 8.

[290] Ibid. V. 11, § 4.

[291] Ibid. V. 5, § 2.

[292] Ibid. V. 5, § 8.

[293] Ant. XV. 11, § 7.

[294] Plate XV.

[295] Plate XVI.

[296] See Ch. I. p. 15.

[297] S. John v. 2-9.

[298] Plates X., XVIII.

[299] Plate XVII.

[300] Note XXVIII.

[301] Plate X.

[302] Plate XVIII.

[303] Note XXIX; Page 7.

[304] Plate XXIX. See the details of the Golden Gate.

[305] Plate XXVII.

[306] Plate XIX.

[307] Note XXX.

[308] Plate XX.

[309] 2 Kings xxii. 14.

[310] Note XXXI.

[311] Plate XXI.

[312] Ant. XV. 8, § 1.

[313] Ant. XIV. 4, § 2; Jewish War, I. 7, § 2.

[314] Jewish War, VI. 6, § 2; 8, § 1.

[315] Page 23.

[316] Guide d'Orient. Description des Environs du Haram-es-Sherîf.

[317] Ant. XV. 11, § 5.

[318] In my opinion, of the date of Herod.

[319] Narrative of a Journey round the Dead Sea, Vol. II. pp. 100, 101, (edited by Count E. de Warren).

[320] Note XIII.

[321] Plate LVIII.

[322] Holy City, Vol. II. pp. 43, 392. Second Edit.

[323] Note XXXII.

[324] Plate XI.

[325] Plate XIV.

[326] Plate XIX.

[327] Ant. XV. 11, § 5.

[328] Ant. XV. 11, § 5.

[329] Mejir-ed-din, Mines d'Orient, Vol. II. p. 95.

[330] Plate XXIV.

[331] De Edific. Justin., Lib. IV. c. 6.

[332] Note XXXIV.

[333] Eutychius, Annales, II. 246. Dielal-ed-din. Kemal-ed-din. Mejir-ed-din.

[334] The Holy City, Vol. I. p. 318. Second edition.

[335] Note XXXV.

[336] Plates XXIII., XXIV.

[337] See M. de Vogüé's work, Les Églises de la Terre Sainte.

[338] Plate XI. (Plan).

[339] A variety of marble, generally of a dark brown colour, full of fossil shells, exhibiting beautiful iridescent colours, due to the nacreous matter of the shells; sometimes deep red or orange, when it is called fire-marble.

[340] Plate XXIV.

[341] Plate XXV.

[342] See details, Plate XXIX.

[343] Ant. XV. 11, § 5.

[344] De Ædificiis Justiniani, Lib. V. cap. vi. (Translated in Rev. G. Williams' Holy City, Vol. II. p. 369).

[345] Les Églises de la Terre Sainte, par le Comte Melchior de Vogüé, p. 272. He also quotes the Rev. G. Williams in confirmation of his opinion.

[346] Jewish War, V. 3, § 1.

[347] Jewish War, VII. 2, § 1.

[348] Plate XI.

[349] Plate XXVI.

[350] Note XXXVI.

[351] Note XXXVII.

[352] Plate XXVII.

[353] Les Églises de la Terre Sainte.

[354] Plate XXIX.

[355] Note XXXVIII.

[356] Note XXXIX.

[357] Note XL.

[358] Note IV.

[359] Notes XXXIX., XL.

[360] Note XLI.

[361] Pages 48, 49, 53, 54.

[362] Levit. i. 11; Ezek. xl. 35-38.

[363] See the enclosed space, covered with cross lines, about the Mosque of Omar, Plate XI.

[364] Mischna, 2nd part, Treatise Yoma, c. 3, § 1.

[365] Ezek. xl. 39-41.

[366] Levit. i. 16.

[367] Jewish War, V. 11, §§ 4, 5.

[368] See the Conduits, Plate X.

[369] See the sections, Plate XII.

[370] Plate XI.

[371] Note XLII.


[Pg 102]

CHAPTER IV.

THE CHURCH OF THE RESURRECTION, AND THE HOSPITAL OF S. JOHN, WITH THEIR ENVIRONS—HISTORY OF THE HOLY SEPULCHRE FROM THE DEATH OF CHRIST TO THE PRESENT TIME—GENUINENESS OF THE SEPULCHRE—GOLGOTHA—EXAMINATION OF THE EXTERIOR AND INTERIOR OF THE CHURCH—RUINS OF THE HOSPITAL.

After the publication of the works of the Rev. G. Williams, Professor Willis, and M. de Vogüé, on the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the fruits of so much learning and research, it is perhaps rash to undertake to write upon this subject; still, as I only enter upon its history so far as it concerns things now to be seen and the explanation of my own investigations, I venture to apply myself to the task; requesting the reader, who is desirous of fuller information, to study the works of these authors[372]. If I may happen to differ from them on any point, I do not intend to discuss their theories, as that would occupy too much time, but simply to state my own opinions, which have been formed after a most careful examination of the place by different means, during a period of eight years.

My principal aim is to establish the genuineness of the site now reverenced as the Sepulchre of Christ, and to point out the position of Calvary in its neighbourhood; therefore I begin from this point; the more so, because the identity of the present tomb is disputed, and those who disbelieve in it lean especially on the assertions, that its situation with reference to the ancient city disqualifies it; as it is within the circuit of the walls, instead of without in accordance with the Jewish law; and that every trace was swept away by the destruction of the city by Titus, and the alterations of Hadrian; so that the basilica of Constantine did not cover the real Sepulchre of Christ. We proceed then to examine the question.[Pg 103]

The place of our Saviour's Passion undoubtedly was outside the city, in accordance with the Jewish law, as is proved by the words of S. John[373]: "This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city." According to the positions which I have assigned to the walls, Golgotha was at that time without the city, being very near the second line formed by the walls of Solomon and Hezekiah; for it must be remembered that the third line was not yet built, because King Agrippa I. did not arrive at Jerusalem till A.D. 42, some years after the death of Christ, and the work commenced shortly afterwards. The fact that a large crowd[374] followed our Saviour also makes it probable that the place was near the city, for as the next day was the Sabbath and 'an high day[375],' and as it was about the sixth hour when He was brought forth to the people[376], and the ninth when He died[377], they would have had to return home to prepare the Passover, and not have had time to go any considerable distance.

It is not indeed in my power to state the exact distance of Golgotha from the city, but at any rate I am certain that it was far enough off to comply with the legal requirement, that sepulchres should be 50 cubits from the outside of the wall[378]. It was very probable that it would not greatly exceed this distance, as the enraged populace would be likely to place the cross where those in the city could glut their eyes with the spectacle.

In tracing the course I have assigned to the second wall, I sought for its remains on the spot, being guided by the testimony of Josephus, without any desire of adapting it to the present position of Calvary; which indeed (if admitted) is in my favour, as shewing that there were gardens outside my gate Gennath[379], in accordance with the words of the Evangelist[380], "Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid." Therefore I firmly believe that the body of the Redeemer was laid in the sepulchre now under the great dome of the Church: but of the locality assigned to Calvary I will state my opinion presently.

As, however, there are some who contest this assertion, I must support it by the aid of history and tradition. It is not probable that either the Heathens, Jews, or Christians, would lose sight of the Sepulchre of Jesus; for each, though from very different motives, would have reasons for remembering the grave of One whose teaching had introduced a new era into the world, and who had left behind Him such zealous preachers of His doctrine. Now the body was obtained from Pilate and entombed by Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, men of note among the Jews,[Pg 104] before the eyes of the women who had followed our Saviour from Galilee[381]. It is then not likely that this new tomb, belonging to one of them, would ever be forgotten by any of these persons. We know that the Chief Priests and Pharisees obtained a guard of soldiers to watch the tomb[382], who were at the spot when Christ arose[383]. It is then very improbable that the Sepulchre would be forgotten by that generation. The number of the disciples augmented so rapidly in a very short time after the Resurrection, that neither the sect itself, nor the life, history, teaching, or prophecies of its Founder, could fail to be remembered. We find it asserted in the Talmud[384], that the sentence against Jesus Christ was proclaimed during forty days, and all who could bear evidence in His favour were invited to come forward. If then this story be true, it shews that the Jews did not deem Him an insignificant person. The Romans, so much more highly civilized than the Jews, would be alive to the important effect that the Saviour's teaching was likely to produce on Paganism, and so would not regard His death and the place connected with it, without interest.

But even if the Jews and Gentiles had been slow to recognize the importance of the new doctrine, surely its disciples would remember, and at the least regard with affection, the scene of the redemption of the human race by the death of their Lord and Master. Can we believe that S. Paul would not have conducted his new converts to this spot on his visit to Jerusalem; that S. James, first Bishop of Jerusalem, (murdered by the plots of Ananus[385] A.D. 62,) and S. Peter, would be ignorant of it? Consequently there can be no doubt that the spot must have been well known when the Christians, led by Simon their Bishop, retired to Pella[386], A.D. 66, to escape the troubles that were about to fall on their doomed city. From A.D. 70 to A.D. 135, the year of Hadrian's visit, Jerusalem lay in ruins; but still it was not entirely deserted, since we know that he drove the inhabitants away, to make room for his colony of Roman veterans[387]. The garrison which Titus had left on Sion to prevent any attempts at rebuilding the city, would not have interfered with those who came peaceably to dwell near the ruins of their Temple, or the scenes hallowed by the Redeemer's Passion. Again, from S. James, the first Bishop, to the days of Hadrian, and thence to Constantine, there was an unbroken succession of Bishops of the Holy City[388]; so that it is impossible that the situation of the Sepulchre should not have been correctly indicated by tradition to the first Christian Emperor. Indeed, from the time of Hadrian the place was marked in a manner that prevented all possibility[Pg 105] of mistake, as we know from the words of Eusebius[389]. "For impious men in former time, or, to speak more correctly, the whole race of demons working by their hands, were eagerly desirous of overwhelming in darkness and oblivion that sacred monument of immortality, to which the angel, flashing forth light, descended from heaven; and rolled away the stone from the stony hearts of those who thought that the living (Christ) was still lying among the dead; bearing good tidings to the women, and rolling away from their hearts the stone of unbelief in the life of Him Whom they sought. This Cave of Salvation, then, certain godless and impious men purposed to destroy utterly, deeming in their folly that they could thus conceal the truth. So having gathered together from different quarters a great quantity of earth, they covered up the whole; and then having raised it on high and heaped it up with stones, they concealed the Divine Cave under this large mound. Then as if nothing further remained, they in very truth constructed above the ground a grim sepulchre of souls; erecting a dark recess of the shades of the dead to the unchaste goddess Aphrodite.... (The Emperor) inspired by a Divine Spirit, and having invoked God's help, commanded that place to be cleansed, which had been pointed out to him; hidden though it was by unclean materials cast upon it by the plots of enemies; not overlooking it though delivered over to oblivion and ignorance.... And as soon as the order was given, the works of deceit were thrown from on high to the ground, and the buildings of error were pulled down and destroyed, together with their statues and demons. Nor did the vigour of the Emperor rest here, but he ordered the materials, wood and stone, to be taken and thrown away as far as possible from the place."

From these passages it is evident that the Emperor Constantine found the true position of the Holy Sepulchre, and erected over it a magnificent basilica, which is described by the same author[390]. The work was commenced A.D. 326, and completed A.D. 335.

The present position of Calvary does not however rest upon the same indisputable evidence as that of the Sepulchre, as there are no marks of antiquity nor any other internal evidences to support its claim. The testimony of the Evangelists proves beyond question that it was near to the Sepulchre, but gives us no clue to its position relative to that place, nor tells us whether it was on a plain or a hill, on smooth ground or on rocky. It seems very probable to me that the Cross would be erected on a hill, in order to make it as conspicuous an object as possible. The present Chapel of the Calvary, wherein are shewn the hole in the rock made for the foot of the Cross, and (at the distance of three feet towards the south) the fissure caused by the earthquake, are indeed on higher ground than the Sepulchre; but we must presently examine whether this elevation is natural or artificial. I will now only remark that the hole is too small to[Pg 106] admit a post large enough to support the weight of a man, and is perfectly round; though it is very unlikely that the executioners would have taken the trouble to make the shape so regular. The holes in which the crosses of the two thieves were planted are not visible, although the Greek monk in charge of the Calvary pretends to indicate their position. Abbé Mariti[391], who saw them before Oct. 12, 1808, writes as follows: "The Arabs call the penitent thief Leuss-el-Jemin, which means the thief on the right hand; the position of the cross of the impenitent thief is on the left. If then our Lord was crucified with His face to the north, the other two crosses would not have been in the same line with His; and the distance between the holes compels us to suppose that they were placed at right angles to it." The remark is correct, and I assert, in addition, that the present Calvary is not large enough for three crosses to stand upon, being about nine feet wide; therefore I regard the story, at any rate so far as concerns the two side crosses, as a mere fable. It is impossible to examine the rock cleft by the earthquake, as it is only visible at the bottom of an aperture about three inches wide and two feet deep; all the rest of it being encased in slabs of marble. Its shape therefore cannot be ascertained, but by examining the place we shall see how far it extends. It is difficult to say whether the level floor, raised about two feet above the pavement, on which are pointed out the hole that supported our Lord's Cross, the positions of those of the two thieves, and the fissure produced by the earthquake, is one entire block or not. As the bare rock is only visible at the hole of the Cross and the fissure, we should suppose that it extended over the whole plateau; but a close scrutiny gives rise to the suspicion that these blocks have been brought from some other position and placed here. The platform is only about nine feet from north to south, and five from east to west, so that it would not require a large mass. My opinion was confirmed by observing that two piers are built on the north and south of the platform, and that on the east there is a wall separating the Golgotha from some of the rooms of the Greek convent, and on the west the inlaid pavement of the chapel. This arrangement suggested to me that either the piers and wall rested upon the rock, or that it was altogether wanting beneath. In order to determine this point I examined the Chapel of Adam, situated under the Golgotha, and reached by a descending staircase on the west. Here it is not difficult to ascertain that the aforesaid piers and wall go down below the level of the floor, and that the vaulting is entirely constructed with masonry. The fissured rock, seen from above, is in the east wall; it is protected by a strong iron grating, which renders it impossible to see whether it goes down to the level of the floor, or how far it extends to the north and south. This however may be inferred without difficulty, for on the south there is a wall, and beyond that an apartment belonging[Pg 107] to the Greeks, and on the north, another wall, and then the open space inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. On the west is the stone pavement below the wall supporting the grating, which is 3-1/2 feet above the floor. The rock is therefore concealed, but so far as we can see, it does not appear to descend to the floor. Hence the only direction in which it could extend is the east; but here, on the other side of the rock, which cannot be more than 5 feet thick, is a wall separating it from an ancient staircase, belonging to the Greeks, leading to Calvary. It seems then very improbable that after levelling all around so completely, they would have left, to exhibit the mark of the Cross, a fragment of rock which could not stand without the support of walls. I cannot believe this, and am therefore compelled to suppose that the rock is only a piece of the true Golgotha, brought and placed here for the veneration of the faithful, no doubt at the time of Constantine. A farther proof that this block is not in its natural position, but has been brought from another place, is that its mineral character differs from that of the native rock, preserved in its original roughness in the remains of an ancient cistern in the Chapel of the Invention of the Cross, a little to the east of Golgotha.

Far better would it have been had S. Helena and Constantine left the Sepulchre and Golgotha as they discovered them. Far more strongly would the rough rock and the unaltered scenes have spoken to the heart, than all the ornaments they lavished upon it, and those which now load and disfigure it! From a mistaken notion of reverence they wished to adapt the ground to the basilica, and not the basilica to the ground; thus laying the foundation of all the doubts and contests that have since arisen.

For my own part I am inclined to think that Golgotha was on the west of the Sepulchre, because we still see, at a little distance in that direction, some elevated rock in the Syrian chapel, whence it gradually rises westward up to the Christian bazaar, presenting the same mineral (calcareous) character as the block on Calvary. If it were in this direction, it would not only comply with the data of the Bible, and be more than fifty cubits from the walls, but also be on high ground, so that the execution could be seen from a large part of the city; whereas the present site is too near the wall and is in a low situation, so that even though we allow that the ground may now be somewhat lower than it used to be, it would be visible to a very small portion of the city. As there were no strong natural features to mark the spot, and as this side has frequently been devastated during the sieges of Jerusalem, one place may easily have been mistaken for another in the same neighbourhood, so that the tradition on this point is of little value. Therefore, although I do not positively assert that the present position of Golgotha is not the true one, I think that the evidence of the place itself is not sufficient to render its identity unquestionable.[Pg 108]

Let us now resume the history of the Sepulchre. Chosroes II., king of Persia, A.D. 614, completely destroyed the magnificent buildings erected by Constantine, took captive the Patriarch, and carried off the wood of the Cross (kept as a relic at Calvary); but through the intercession of the conqueror's wife, a Christian and sister of Maurice, Emperor of the East, the faithful were allowed to rebuild the holy places. A monk, named Modestus, successor of the Patriarch Zacharias, was enabled, by the assistance of the Emperor Heraclius and John the Almsgiver, Patriarch of Alexandria, to erect again four churches in less than fifteen years; but they were much inferior to the originals. During this period Heraclius conquered the Persians, recovered the Cross, and replaced it in Calvary with his own hands. More than one description of the sanctuaries built by Modestus has come down to us; the most interesting is that of Arculf, who visited them; they were called the Church of the Resurrection, the Church of Calvary, the Church of the Invention of the Cross, and the Church of the Virgin[392]. These were respected by the Khalif Omar, A.D. 636, but, according to the Mohammedan chronicles, the conqueror took possession of the columns and other marble ornaments which were lying about in the ruins of Constantine's magnificent buildings, and ordered them to be worked into his new mosque es-Sakharah. He granted freedom of worship to the Christians, and his example was followed, if not surpassed, by Harûn er-Rashîd alone (A.D. 786-809), after whose death they suffered many persecutions; and their churches, especially that of the Resurrection, were plundered and greatly injured. The dome of that church was repaired by the Patriarch Thomas, in the reign of El-Mamûn, with timber brought from Cyprus[393]. Hakem Biamr-Illah, Fatimite Sovereign of Egypt and Syria, ascended the throne A.D. 996, and began an incessant persecution against the Christians. In the year 1010 he ordered the total destruction of the churches of Jerusalem. His barbarous decree was executed, and all the buildings erected by the Patriarch Modestus were ravaged and burnt[394]. A second time the persecution was arrested by a woman, Mary, the mother of Hakem, who obtained permission to rebuild the churches in the same year that they were destroyed. The work was commenced, but proceeded slowly for the want of funds; for when Daker or Daber, successor of Hakem (through the influence of Romanus Argirius), ordered that the injuries done to Jerusalem should be repaired, and that the wall should be restored by the inhabit[Pg 109]ants at their own expense; and assigned one quarter of the expense to be borne by the Christians, they were so heavily burdened by this additional demand, that the works at the churches were interrupted. It was not till A.D. 1048 that, with the help afforded by Constantine Monomachus, the sanctuaries were completed according to the plans of Modestus, in the reign of the Egyptian Khalif Maabad-Abutamin Mustansir-Billa. They are described by Sæwulf, who visited Jerusalem during the years A.D. 1102 and 1103[395].

The numerous pilgrimages, which were made annually to the Holy Sepulchre after A.D. 1048, kindled a wide-spread enthusiasm in Europe and a strong excitement against the Mohammedans, who had made themselves masters of the Christian Holy Places. These found their vent in the Crusades, and the soldiers of the Cross, who took possession of Jerusalem, acquired the sanctuaries in the condition in which they had been left by Constantine Monomachus; and it was not till A.D. 1130 that they united them under one roof, nearly as they are at the present time[396]. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was not altered by Saladin on his regaining the city, A.D. 1187. It was polluted and injured by the wild tribes, especially by the Kharismian hordes, A.D. 1244; but in 1555 when Father Bonifacius of Ragusa was Guardian of the Holy Land, the whole building was repaired and the great dome restored at the expense of Philip II., King of Spain; as appears from the testimony of some valuable documents preserved by the Commissary General of Madrid and the convent of S. Saviour at Jerusalem. About the year A.D. 1607, Sultan Ahmet I. ordered the whole church to be destroyed, and a mosque erected on its foundations, by a decree inflicting the punishment of death upon all who attempted to prevent its execution. One man alone had the courage to raise his voice against it, Girolamo Capello, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, whose nation, from its powerful navy, was more highly respected by the Sultan than any other. By his firmness and energy, he got the order revoked, and the punishment denounced against all who tried to carry it into effect, or inquire into the reason of its revocation. About a century later the great dome was again restored by help of contributions from Spain. The cost would appear incredible, if it were not established by authentic documents, and the chronicles of the Holy Land, still preserved in the convent of S. Saviour at Jerusalem. These state that, in order to obtain a firman from the Porte (which was opposed and retarded during 21 years by the Greeks, who hoped to procure it for themselves), and to complete the restoration 400,000 colonnati (about £92,000) were expended.

A firman was obtained from the Porte, A.D. 1757, by the Greeks, excluding the Latins, partly or wholly, from some of the sanctuaries, including even the Holy Sepulchre, which was sold to the Greeks by the Grand Vizier Regib Pasha. France had already proclaimed her intention of protecting her Church in the East, and the[Pg 110] Chevalier de Vergennes was charged with maintaining the rights of the Latins at Constantinople; but, notwithstanding, the places then lost were never wholly recovered. On the 12th October, 1808, a great part of the church was consumed by a terrible fire, caused by the Armenians; and the Greeks obtained permission from the Porte to repair the damage. An ignorant architect, who has had the audacity to record his name, which however I will not help to perpetuate, completed the work of destruction, by pulling down, or covering up, the interesting remnants of Byzantine and Gothic architecture, which the flames had spared. The tombs of the Latin Kings of Jerusalem (of which I will speak presently) were demolished by the Greeks on this occasion; who however try to make us believe that they were destroyed by the fire.

I conclude this sketch of the history of the building, by stating that the great dome is in danger of falling in[397]. Year by year it becomes more and more dilapidated, and the large holes in it, caused by the want of a covering of lead[398], admit the wind and the rain, so that the floor below is sometimes flooded to a depth of five or six inches (as happened in 1857 and 1860), causing so much annoyance to the Priests, that the services have to be performed under umbrellas, and rendering it impossible for the congregation to remain without injury to their health. It has long been hoped that France, the official protector of the place, would put a stop to these trials, and undertake the work of repair: and in 1862, France, Russia, and the Porte, came to an agreement, and the works appeared to be on the point of commencing, as the architects of the three nations at Jerusalem had consulted together; but some disputes on the question of ownership arose between the Greeks and Latins, and the whole matter has been adjourned. While the question is slowly dragging on at Constantinople, it is far from improbable that the dome will fall, and it will be a very fortunate thing if this happen without loss of life.

I will now accompany the reader round the outside and inside of the church, and point out and remark upon the chief objects of interest connected with the building; referring him to the Plans and their description for those of less importance[399].

Before the façade of the church is an oblong open court[400] paved with large slabs of Palestine breccia, which are all cracked, apparently by the action of fire; no improbable cause, when we remember how many Christians have suffered martyrdom by burning on this spot[401]. On the south side is a number of bases of columns arranged symmetrically, shewing that an arcade, if not a porch, formerly stood here. A flight of three steps leads down from these, and the rest of the area is percepti[Pg 111]bly lower than the ground on the south, west, and north, and very slightly than that on the east. I remark this to shew, that as the place is in a hollow, it might have been used for a garden, but not for public executions. Below the pavement is the rock, which lies at the same level under the interior of the church, and under the floors of the buildings on each side, east and west. The cistern at the south-east corner of the place is a stronger proof that it was not used for executions. The court is bounded on the west side by the chapels belonging to the Greek convent of S. Constantine; and at the north-west corner is the bell-tower, erected between the years A.D. 1160 and A.D. 1180, and mutilated A.D. 1187 by the loss of the lantern which originally surmounted it. The Greeks have made rooms in it, which are now occupied by the monks[402]. On the east side is the Greek convent of S. Abraham; on the ground-floor of which are two chapels, one belonging to the Armenians and the other to the Abyssinians: through the latter the roof of the chapel of S. Helena, on the east, can be reached. Inside the convent of S. Abraham the Greeks point out to the credulous the spot where Melchizedek planted the first olive; on which one of those trees is still growing. They also shew the spot where he made the first bread, and that on which Abraham offered up his son Isaac.

The architecture of the south façade of the church belongs to the twelfth century, and the work was evidently left unfinished. From what remains it is difficult to deduce the architect's original plan. The position of the bell-tower might lead us to suppose that there would be another corresponding with it on the opposite (eastern) side; but then the Chapel of the Agony, with its precious contents, would be covered over, together with the part below the Golgotha, which must of necessity have been mutilated, if, as would seem probable, other doors had been made into the church. Let us however examine the building which is still left to us. On the level of the ground are two doorways, and above them two windows with arches similarly pointed[403]. The arches of the doorways are composed of three archivolts finely carved, which spring from three columns of verd antique, placed in the re-entering angles of the piers of each door[404]. The capitals of these columns, which are skilfully executed, are a Byzantine imitation of the Corinthian order. The design of the cornice running along the top of the whole façade is also ancient. The bas-reliefs on the lintels of the tympana of the two doors are too well wrought to be the work of the twelfth century. The profiles of the figures on that above the western door are admirably executed, as well as their attitudes; they represent several scenes from the Gospels, as the entry into Jerusalem, the raising of Lazarus, and the Last Supper. The outlines of the leaves, flowers, fruit, birds, and men, on the other, are exquisite. The eastern doorway[Pg 112] is built up; the other is the only entrance into the church, and consequently accidents frequently happen there during the Easter season[405].

By the side of the closed doorway is a staircase leading into the Chapel of the Agony, which is a square in plan, and is built against the south wall of the Calvary, communicating with that sanctuary by means of a window which has replaced an ancient door. This chapel was formerly a small ornamental terrace-roof, which served as an antechamber to the Calvary. Tradition asserts that the Emperor Heraclius brought back the true Cross into the church through this entrance. The Latins believe that the Virgin Mary remained upon this spot during the Passion of her Son whence its name is derived. The Greeks call it the Throne of S. Helena, but cannot give any reason for doing so. The rock does not lie immediately underneath this chapel, but there is a small oratory, dedicated to S. Mary of Egypt, which proves that the rock is not met with in any place round the present Calvary, but only on its summit. In the lower cornice of the Chapel of the Agony, towards the entrance to the oratory, is a carving of two four-footed animals (ideal monsters), which, in my opinion, is a chef d'œuvre, and, like all the other ornaments on the outside of this chapel, well worth notice.

Besides the two doors in the above façade, the church had another on the west opening into Patriarch Street (the Christian bazaar). This, owing to the difference in level, gave access to the lower gallery of the great rotunda; it is now closed up. It is first mentioned by Edrisi, A.D. 1154, that is, some years after the choir had been finished by the Crusaders[406]. There is no doubt that it was made between the years A.D. 1140 and A.D. 1150. It is ornamented by two columns with capitals, from which springs a pointed arch closely resembling those in the south façade[407]. There appears to have been another entrance from the terrace of the Abyssinians on the east side, because a doorway can be seen there, apparently of the time of the Crusades, which is now built up.

I may also remark that the terrace-roofs over the church are divided (as is shewn by the Plan) between the Greeks and the Mohammedans, and that the latter have the right of entering the gallery under the dome in the great rotunda. The Latins are now anxious to close the door communicating with the roof, but the Greeks are unwilling to allow it. Hence have arisen disputes that will greatly retard the repair of the dome, which at one time seemed likely to be commenced without delay. Most certainly the terrace-roofs of the church ought not to be private property, but should wholly belong to the edifice; and when this change is brought about, which will not be done without much difficulty and great firmness, there will be fewer dissensions, and the church will not be allowed to fall to ruin. But it is now time to take my reader within the building.[Pg 113]

On entering the church we see on the left side of the door a chamber constructed of masonry, which is used as a divan by the Mohammedan guard, placed there to keep the keys and put down any tumults that may arise in the building. The presence of these men not unfrequently hurts the feelings of the Christian pilgrim, who is indignant at finding Mohammedans in possession of the Holy Sepulchre, and is the more offended by seeing them sitting there at their ease, gossiping, smoking, and drinking the coffee supplied to them by the various religious communities occupying the church. To the stranger, who is unacquainted with the real state of affairs, it must, I allow, appear most unseemly; but a longer residence in the country would shew him that it is in reality wisely ordered, because these men do not enter into the disputes which so frequently arise between the different sects of Christians, and thus are able to appease strifes, and act with a moderation and forbearance, which would be impossible to any member of the contending parties. Indeed, there is much need of these at the Easter season, when the pilgrims are thronging to or from the different services. Formerly these guards demanded a considerable fee for admission into the Sepulchre; and not only the religious communities resident in the city, but also strangers who came to visit the Holy Places, were obliged to pay a certain sum. The whole of the money thus received was applied to the support of the poor in the Hospital of S. Helena (of which I shall presently speak). The charge is however no longer made, but they are glad to receive a small present from any one who enters the church at an unusual time. This they never refuse, provided they can obtain the consent of one of the religious communities on the spot.

On the right of the entrance is a staircase leading up to the Calvary, built against the door which is walled up from the outside: it belongs to the Latins, but they have no power to prevent any one from using it.

A little further on is the entrance of the so-called Chapel of Adam (belonging to the Greeks), which, as I have already said, is situated under the north wing of the Calvary, and shews, at its east end, the fissure in the rock rent at our Saviour's death. Zuallardus, who visited Jerusalem A.D. 1586, states that this place was dedicated to S. John, but no one at the present day knows when the change was made. An altar, built of masonry, stands in the middle of the chamber at the east end. On its south side is a small hole, into which the pilgrim inserts his hand to touch the rock enclosing the skull of Adam, while a Greek monk relates to him that it was brought there by Noah, before the Flood began. The whole chamber is worth notice, because before the conflagration of 1808 it contained the tombs, which covered the dust of Godfrey of Bouillon and his brother Baldwin[408]. These[Pg 114] monuments were removed by the Greeks, with the intention of destroying a conspicuous and obvious proof that the Sepulchre had once belonged to the Latins alone. The remains of the Latin kings however were not profaned, but were deposited, (as I was informed,) in a recess in the chamber on the south of the chapel under the south wing of the Calvary, where now the Greek guardian of the Sepulchre sits to receive the offerings of the pilgrims, and present them in return with trifles blessed within the walls of the Sanctuary. It is to be hoped that when Russia and France have completed the restoration of the dome, the Greeks will bring them forth from their hiding-place, and erect over them new monuments bearing the old inscriptions.

On quitting the Chapel of Adam we find, at a short distance, a slab rising about six inches above the ground, called the Stone of Unction, because it is believed that on it the body of our Saviour was wrapt up with spices for burial. According to the monks, the actual stone cannot be seen, as it has been covered up to preserve it from the pilgrims, who would have carried it away piecemeal for relics. The account is plausible; but it is hard to understand how the spot could have been identified after the great changes wrought by the savage vandalism of Hadrian. Sanutus[409], who wrote in the fourteenth century, mentions this stone, but places it in the middle of the choir belonging to the Greeks. It is the joint property of the Latins, Greeks, and Armenians, who keep lamps and tapers constantly burning, that bear the devices of the community to which they belong.

Passing over some unimportant objects, which are sufficiently described by their titles on the Plan, we enter the western part of the church, in which is the rotunda supporting the great dome[410]. This, as I have already said, is an example of the usual bad taste of the Greeks at Jerusalem. Its heavy and clumsy architectural features are not worth a description, and it is to be hoped that at the next restoration of the church, this structure will be replaced by one more worthy to cover the Holy Sepulchre. On the ground-floor of the rotunda are some chambers occupied by the monks of the different communities to which they belong, together with three passages leading up to the lower gallery, and another going to the so-called tombs of Joseph and Nicodemus. The two galleries above are divided among the different religious communities. The whole of the lower one, except the three central arches on the west, belongs to the Greeks, and the greater part of the upper to the Latins; the Armenians possessing the last six arches towards the east on the south side. The property of each party is marked by pictures attached to the pillars. Above the upper gallery are windows, some grated, the rest built up. The former look upon the terrace-roof, which belongs to the Greeks, and are employed by them;[Pg 115] the latter used to communicate with a chamber in the building called the Hospice of Saladin; these were closed not many years ago. The dome is surrounded by a gallery belonging, as I have said, to the Greeks, and at the top, in the middle, is a circular opening enclosed by an iron grating, to prevent the Mohammedans who occupy the neighbouring houses from throwing anything into the building. However, the miracle-mongers relate that Jesus Christ was recalled to life from this place, and that no human power can ever close it up. Certain it is, that if the architect at the forthcoming restoration does not find some other means of admitting air and light into the dome, (no difficult task,) he will be obliged to leave an opening there, at any rate not less than the present; and the rain will continue to flood the pavement below, and injure the health of the Priests and acolytes who pass their time there. In the middle of the rotunda is the monument of the Holy Sepulchre[411], also an ugly Greek edifice of the date 1810. It is cased with Palestine breccia of a yellowish and reddish colour, which is found abundantly in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem; it takes as good a polish and produces the same effect as marble. A small rude chapel, belonging to the Abyssinians, rests against the west end of the building; it was erected between the years 1537 and 1540, when the Franciscan fathers, then the sole guardians of the Sanctuary, were prisoners at Damascus. At the east ends of the north and south walls of the monument are two oval openings; these are chiefly used in distributing the Holy Fire on Easter Eve; that famous and scandalous ceremony by which the Greeks and Armenians profane the Redeemer's Tomb. The upper part of the monument is a flat terrace-roof, and at the west end of it is a small tasteless dome, covering an opening that communicates with the lower chamber of the Sepulchre; this, as well as the other at the east end, has doubtless been made for ventilation and for the escape of the smoke from the lamps and tapers, which are kept constantly burning within: but, as every object in the church must have its legend, the monks relate that from the first Christ was raised, and by the second the angel departed, who had rolled away the stone from the Sepulchre. Round the terrace-roof are holes, by which the rain, falling from the opening above, runs off by drains into a cistern inside the Latin convent, to the north of the rotunda. Before the door are a number of standards for candles, belonging to the Latins, Greeks, and Armenians. In the upper part of the front at the centre, is a picture belonging to the Latins, who, as first, have the right of performing service inside the Tomb. The Greeks, as second, are on the right, and the Armenians on the left. On great solemnities the different communities adorn the space allotted to them with gold and silver lamps and flowers, so as nearly to cover the whole façade. A large awning is extended over the building, and[Pg 116] whenever a new one is necessary, as was the case in 1859, these three communities share the cost and divide the old one. With their portions the Greeks and Armenians recover the greater part of their contributions from the Oriental pilgrims, who are most anxious to possess a scrap.

We will now proceed to examine the interior of the Sepulchre. Directly on entering the door we see on either hand two staircases, constructed in the thickness of the east and side walls, and leading to the terrace-roof. That on the north belongs solely to the Latins; the other to the Greeks, who however are bound to allow the Armenians to use it on certain occasions. Within are two chambers; the eastern is called the Chapel of the Angel, the western is the actual Tomb in which our Lord's body was laid. The former of these two is undoubtedly built upon the rock, which I saw and touched immediately under the marble pavement, when some slight repairs were being made. Its walls, where they can be seen in the side staircases and the two apertures mentioned above, are of masonry, but the other parts are concealed by a casing of slabs of Palestine breccia. In the middle of this outer chamber is a small pedestal, which (according to tradition) marks the spot where the angel sat after rolling away the stone from the Sepulchre[412]. In the building are a great number of lamps, supplied by the Latins, the Greeks, and the Armenians; two only belong to the Copts. The upper part of the walls of the Tomb itself is also masonry, but the lower is formed by the native rock. I have been able to ascertain this for myself at two points; one at the small entrance-door, which is entirely hewn in the rock, and the other in the interior of the Chapel of the Abyssinians, in which, after purchasing the privilege, I was on several occasions shut up, so that I worked undisturbed, and was able to see the rock at a height of about four feet above the ground. As the interior of the building is covered with slabs of marble, it is at the present time quite impossible to succeed in discovering the rock from within; and I did not attempt it, being satisfied of its existence by the testimony of most trustworthy witnesses who had seen it during the repairs in 1808 and 1810. One of these was the Franciscan father Tryphon, who died at Jerusalem in 1857, at the age of 86; another was an aged Greek monk, an Archimandrite, of the great convent of S. Constantine. From the information supplied by them, and from my own observations, I have drawn the line of the rock in the section-plan of the present tomb. In confirmation of the accuracy of my informants, themselves men of education, I can bring forward the following extracts from the accounts of various authors and pilgrims in former times. Arculf[413], who saw it in the seventh century, thus describes it: "It was a small round room, hewn out of the solid rock, which could contain nine men standing in prayer side by side. The[Pg 117] roof was about a foot and a half above the head of a tall man; on the east side was a small door. The tomb, properly speaking, was hewn in the north wall of the room. It was formed by a bed seven feet long, large enough to hold a man stretched upon his back, placed under a low recess hewn in the rock. It might be termed a sarcophagus open on one side, or a small grotto with the opening to the south; the lower edge of the bed was three palms above the ground. The rock was red veined with white, and still bore the marks of the tools by which it had been hewn out." From the numerous notices of it during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, I select that of Willibrand of Oldenburg[414]. "The rock ... which, still uninjured, and cased with marble, is exposed in three places to the touch and kisses of pilgrims." It was visited during the fifteenth century by Breydenbach, who writes as follows[415]: "The cave, in which is the Lord's Sepulchre, is wholly cased with marble on the outside, but inside is the native rock, just as it was at the time of the burial." In the beginning of the present century it was seen by Abbé Mariti, before the fire of 1808; his account[416] agrees with those just quoted, and confirms the testimony given me by eye-witnesses.

It seems then impossible to deny that the Tomb of Christ still exists upon the traditionary site, and that it in all respects resembles one of those sepulchral chambers, hewn in the rock, which can be seen at the present day in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem[417]; in which the corpse is extended upon a shelf, under an arched niche, excavated in one of the side walls of the tomb, some little distance above the ground. The arch above the shelf is indeed no longer to be seen, because it has been destroyed, perhaps during Hakem's reign: but the two side walls, which supported it at the head and foot of the shelf, still remain, and, encased with white marble, form the altar at which the Priests celebrate mass. It would be more satisfactory to the incredulous if this covering were removed, but if this were done the rock itself would not long remain. Each traveller and pilgrim would practise every possible device in order to obtain a fragment as a relic; and it would be a hard matter to persuade the Eastern pilgrims, and above all others, the Americans, to keep their hands off it.

But still, although the rock is concealed, a strong proof of the existence of a tomb is afforded by the shape of the entrance, which has every appearance of the doorway of a sepulchral chamber, and closely corresponds with that leading to the Tombs of the Kings, which was closed with a large elliptical stone, still to be seen on the spot[418]. I consider however that its height has been since increased, in order to make a more convenient entrance; because it is now higher on the east than on the west, while in all the ancient sepulchres still existing the interior is[Pg 118] higher than the exterior. We may then observe with what rigorous exactness the words of the Evangelists are verified by the appearance of the Tomb. S. Matthew[419] relates that an angel "rolled back the stone from the door," using the precise word which would express the way in which the stone now at the Tombs of the Kings would have to be handled. S. Mark[420] relates that when Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James were on their way to the Sepulchre to embalm the Lord's body, they asked among themselves, "Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the Sepulchre?" and that, "when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away, for it was very great; and entering into the Sepulchre they saw a young man sitting on the right side," who shewed them the place where Jesus of Nazareth had been laid. The stone certainly would be very great, if it resembled that at the Tombs of the Kings; and without entering the sepulchral chamber they would be unable to see the angel and the place where the Lord had been laid, (on the right side of the Sepulchre where it is now shewn,) both by reason of the thickness of the wall, in which the doorway was made, and because the niche was rather on one side of it. S. Luke[421] also speaks of the rolling away of the stone, and the necessity of entering the chamber before they could see that the Lord's body was not there. S. John[422] also mentions that the stone was removed, and describes the manner in which S. Peter and the other disciple looked into and entered the Sepulchre; just as would still have to be done, if the door had not been enlarged. Had not a pious vandalism been allowed to work its will from the age of Constantine to the present day, no one would be able to deny the existence of the Sepulchre; for all objections would be met by the presence of the outer chamber, which was also excavated in the rock, as in many examples still remaining in the neighbourhood of the city: but unhappily those parts of it which had escaped the injuries done by Hadrian, were completely swept away at the time when the first basilica was built, in order to isolate the Tomb itself, and exhibit it as an object of veneration in the centre of the rotunda. This can be inferred from the words of Eusebius[423]: "Is it not surprising to see this rock standing alone in the centre of a level space, with a cavern inside it?" S. Cyril, in the fourth century, writes more expressly; "For 'the cleft of the rock' he calls the cleft which was then at the door of the Salutary Sepulchre, and was hewn out of the rock itself, as it is customary here in the front of sepulchres. For now it appears not, the outer case having been hewn away for the sake of the present adornment; for before the Sepulchre was decorated by royal zeal there was a cave in the face of the rock[424]." Therefore, from the above evidence, we may draw[Pg 119] the following conclusions: that an ancient Jewish sepulchre exists at this place, that over it Hadrian erected a temple to Venus, and that consequently this is the identical tomb in which the body of our Redeemer was laid.

Within the Sepulchre itself, above the shelf, are three paintings; that in the centre belongs to the Latins, that on the right to the Greeks, and that on the left to the Armenians. In front of these the three communities place a certain number of tapers, vases of flowers, crosses, and other objects; and when they differ about the arrangement of these things, or of the numerous lamps which hang in the middle of the vault, that is to say, whenever one of the parties transgresses in the slightest degree the limit assigned to it by the Sultan's firman, or the agreements between the Convents, a quarrel soon breaks out; clamour, yells, and threats, are heard in the Sanctuary itself; and the combatants sometimes do not separate without broken bones. These scenes, however, are now becoming more unfrequent.

In the middle of the west side of the rotunda is the entrance of a chapel belonging to the Syrians, and through the south wall of this we pass into a small grotto, hewn in the rock, in which are some tombs said to have been made by Joseph of Arimathea, after he had given up his own; in these he and Nicodemus are said to have been buried. On the truth of the tradition I express no opinion; but certainly the existence of the rock above the level of the ground, and still more the presence of the tombs, is a strong proof of the genuineness of the Holy Sepulchre. Both here[425], and in the neighbouring chapel, the rock on rising from the floor mounts towards the west; thus indicating the lower level of the excavations round the Sepulchre. The tombs shew that the place must have been outside the walls before Agrippa traced out his new line on the north, because, as I have already observed, the Jewish law did not allow them to be among dwelling-houses. The antiquity of these tombs is placed beyond question by their shape, and by the marks left by the tools of the workmen who excavated them, which perfectly correspond with those that may still be examined in the numerous burying-places in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem. I must not omit to mention that two of the above-named tombs are very small; these have been begun, and left unfinished before reaching their full size; and any one who will take the trouble to visit the Tombs of the Judges[426] will see that they were excavated and completed in the same manner as these so-called Sepulchres of Joseph and Nicodemus, and that the same kind of instruments were used, of which I shall presently speak more particularly. I mention the Tombs of the Judges, because sepulchres may there be seen in different stages, finished and unfinished, of which there is no other example near Jerusalem.[Pg 120]

To the east of the rotunda is the Chapel of the Greeks[427], forming the great nave of the church, in which the rock is found immediately below the marble pavement. Its most remarkable feature is its regularity and uniformity. On the east is the Iconostasis, dividing the 'Holy of Holies' from the rest of the church. This, together with the side walls, is profusely gilded and covered with pictures and other ornaments, producing at first a striking effect, which however is soon effaced by the bad taste, evident not only in them, but also in the two Patriarchal thrones made of Palestine breccia. Above the choir rises a dome supported by four massive piers; a rude iron gallery runs round the drum, and it is lighted by four windows on the level of the Greeks' terrace-roof. The exterior of the drum is crowned by a cornice, apparently supported by little corbels ornamented with various incised carvings, for which many have sought symbolical interpretations; but, in reality, they are only fanciful Græco-Saracenic decorations. All the outer surface of the dome is covered with strong plaster to render it weather-proof; and a small spiral staircase winds outside to the summit, whence a fine panoramic view may be obtained, which gives the visitor a good idea of the topography of the ancient city. Inside the church a small pedestal rises from the middle of the pavement containing a stone ball encircled by crossing hoops, which is believed by the Eastern Christians to be the centre of the world. The idea that Jerusalem was at the centre of the universe has long prevailed among both Jews and Christians, founded, perhaps, on the words of Ezekiel[428], "Thus saith the Lord God, This is Jerusalem: I have set it in the midst of the nations and countries that are round about her." It is alluded to by Dante[429]:

Now that horizon had the sun attained,
By the high point of whose meridian clear
Jerusalem with golden light is stained.

The Greeks, undoubtedly, placed the pedestal to mark the centre of the Church of the Resurrection.

Returning into the rotunda, and going out of it towards the north, we find the Latin Chapel, at the place where our Lord is said to have appeared to Mary after his Resurrection. It stands above the general level of the church; and the rock is found below its pavement, extending northward under the Latin Convent, where it rises toward the west; so that if the buildings were removed, it would be seen united to that at the tombs of Joseph and Nicodemus; thus affording another proof of the levelling made around the Sepulchre by Constantine. Inside the chapel an altar is pointed out, containing a fragment of the column, to which, according to tradition, our Lord was bound when He was scourged. By a door on the north we enter the Convent of the Franciscans, the guardians of the Holy Places. It can[Pg 121] accommodate twelve monks and some pilgrims; but is unhealthy, being damp and ill ventilated.

Leaving this chapel, and passing along the north aisle of the church, we find on the east, behind the Greek Church, a staircase leading down into the Chapel of S. Helena[430], belonging to the Armenians, the south side of which is partly formed by the rock. From the middle of it rises a dome, supported by four columns (of Egyptian granite) with Byzantine capitals[431], and surrounded by a terrace-roof occupied by the huts of the Abyssinians. Near the north-east corner of the chapel is a wooden altar, concealing a doorway, now built up; it communicated with a building called the Prince's House, which I shall presently notice. In the south-east corner is a kind of little balcony (erected by the Armenians in the 17th century), where, according to a false tradition, S. Helena stood while the workmen were seeking for the cross in the neighbouring cistern. This chapel was united to the main building by the Crusaders. In the south wall is a staircase, the steps of which are hewn out of the rock, though they are now covered up with stone slabs; it leads into a vault in which the Saviour's cross is believed to have been found, together with those of the two thieves, after lying hid there for 293 years. The legend is strongly supported by very ancient Eastern traditions. The interior, entirely excavated in the solid rock, corresponds in form with the cisterns so abundant in Jerusalem, and the holes still remain by which the water entered or was drawn out. The rock is a soft limestone, and differs from the fragment on the top of Golgotha; therefore I am inclined to believe that there is no connexion between the latter and this in the Chapel of the Invention of the Cross.

The rough rock in this chamber, untouched and unaltered, appeals to my heart at least, far more than all the other places, buried as they are beneath marble and decorations; and I cannot but think that it would be a noble work to sweep away all obstructions in the present Church of the Holy Sepulchre, to clear the ground, and again expose the bare rock over the whole area; and, defending the Sepulchre itself against the elements with a dome, to enclose the whole with a cloister in a solemn and appropriate style of architecture. If this were done, the original appearance of the ground would be in some measure restored, and the Golgotha and the Sepulchre, the true trophies of Christianity, would be visible to all; unbelievers would be convinced by the evidence of their senses; and while all would be obliged to admit the genuineness of the sites, each one would be free to meditate in his own way upon the teachings of the very place consecrated by the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of his Redeemer. Will this hope ever be realized? Never, I fear; for then the present Church would cease to be the source of a large revenue, derived from the[Pg 122] purses of ignorant and credulous pilgrims, who pay to obtain a blessing, or to secure a place at the distribution of the Holy Fire, or at some other ceremony, or to pass a night in the Sanctuary[432].

I now pause to consider and describe, more fully than I have hitherto done, the present appearance of the Calvary. The Golgotha is a platform supported by vaulted arches of masonry, reached by two flights of steps, one close to the entrance of the church, the other near the Stone of Unction. The latter belongs to the Greeks, but they allow it to be open to all. The whole area is divided into two chapels, north and south: in the former, called 'The Adoration of the Cross,' is the place where the cross was erected (as I have already said); it belongs to the Greeks; the latter, belonging to the Latins, is called the Chapel of the Crucifixion, because it is generally believed that on that spot the Saviour was nailed to the cross. In this the altar is well worth notice, as it is ornamented with a casing of bronze, on which are sculptured in bas-relief eight different scenes from the Passion of our Saviour. Its original shape has been altered, though without injury to the general effect, for it was made four-sided, as it was intended to be placed as a kind of fence round the Stone of Unction; but the Greeks would not allow anything belonging to the Latins to be used in their possessions, lest it should give their rivals a footing there. It is therefore now arranged as three sides of an oblong. It was given by Ferdinand de Medici, as is shewn by the following inscription on a plate at the foot of the altar: "The gift of the piety of Ferdinand de Medici, Grand-duke of Tuscany, 1588." The same inscription also occurs on the cornice surmounting the upper part of the altar. The carving is admirably executed; it is the work of Domenico Portigiani, a Florentine friar of the convent of S. Mark, and a pupil of the famous sculptor John of Bologna; as is recorded by the following inscription, placed beneath the name of the donor: "Made by Fra Domenico Portigiani, a friar of the convent of S. Mark at Florence in the province of Rome, in the year 1588." The arms of the Medici are sculptured at the four corners, and on the shield is a Cardinal's hat, because Ferdinand was already invested with this dignity in the year 1588.

Having now finished the description of the interior of the church, I proceed to make some remarks upon the monks of the different communities who dwell there, and upon the pilgrims (especially the Orientals) who visit it. The monks of the Greek, Latin, Armenian, Coptic, Abyssinian, and Syrian communities have different chambers in the church, in which they live in order that they may keep constant watch over the Holy Places, and offer up continual prayer and praise to God. Though the space belonging to the Latins is roomy, it is nevertheless unhealthy[Pg 123] from the constant damp, caused by the rain-water falling through the ruinous terrace-roofs above, which they cannot repair, as these do not belong to them, but to some Mohammedans. The owners are very jealous of their property, which brings them in an easy and ample revenue from the sums paid by the Latin and Greek convents, in the hope of abating the nuisance of the water. The Greeks and Armenians are better housed in their upper chambers, as the terrace-roofs above them do not belong to Mohammedans, and can therefore be easily repaired; but in their lower rooms they suffer with the Latins. The three poorer communities are exposed to constant damp, both from the bad repair of the dome, and from the situation of the church itself, which stands on low ground, commanded on all sides by higher buildings. All this, however, does not hinder the monks from being very eager to enter the place, and from leaving it with great reluctance when they are succeeded by others; and the pilgrims eagerly seek permission to remain, if only for one or two nights. The Latins give a chamber and bed to each visitor inside their convent, but the same comforts cannot be obtained among the other communities, both from the numbers that throng together, their station in life, and also the Eastern custom, which allows men and women to be crowded together in the same place without distinction of sex. Hence it comes to pass that from the end of October to Easter the galleries round the great dome belonging to the different sects (with the exception of the Latins), though close to the Holy Sepulchre, are crowded, almost every night, with pilgrims, who, after fervent prayer, eat, drink, sleep, smoke, and make coffee there, as they would do in an inn; nay, impelled by deep ignorance and blind fanaticism, carry into effect certain vows, which I cannot more particularly describe without offending my readers' modesty. In this way the Eastern pilgrims behave, and would do still worse, did not their father confessors and the monks in charge of the place, who are furnished with sticks and whips, make frequent use of them to maintain order. It is a well-established fact, and one of daily recurrence, that the rude Eastern pilgrim prays in the interior of each Holy Place, and then when he has gone away a few yards, forgets the sanctity of the building, and acts as he pleases. He may therefore often be seen in any part of the church, talking and discussing his private affairs with his friends; especially if it be a rainy day, and he can enter without payment. But this is nothing, absolutely nothing, in comparison with the scenes at the services before and during the Easter festival; especially when all the religious communities coincide in keeping it on the same day. The noise, the clamour, and the confusion are inconceivable; in one corner they are praying, in another walking about, laughing, and jesting. Sometimes it happens that the Latins are performing a noiseless service around the Sepulchre, and the Armenians are yelling like madmen, as they sing in their chapels; while the nasal tones of the Greeks ring through the building,[Pg 124] and the frantic howls of the Copts and Abyssinians split the ears. If a procession takes place, it rather resembles a riot; the banners rise and fall, the tapers bespatter the spectators, the Turkish soldiers with fixed bayonets clear a way for the officiating Priests, the attendants belabour the noisier bystanders with sticks; some struggle for places and tumble over upon those below them; and all is a scene of pushing, struggling, and tumult, so that it is a lucky thing when quarrels do not ensue. Sometimes the jealousy of the rival sects breaks out around the very Sepulchre of Christ, and then occurs every frantic act that a senseless and barbarous people can commit. In times past it was not uncommon that lives were lost; either by suffocation in the dense crowd as it pressed to go out by the only door, at the conclusion of the services, or even by blows received in the fights. The clergy of Jerusalem know this by sad experience, and yet take no steps to put a stop to it, though it would not be difficult. The Greeks and Armenians will not abandon the ceremony of the Holy Fire[433] on Easter Eve, through fear that the number of pilgrims would decrease; since the greater part of them come to the city simply and solely to witness this so-called annual miracle. The Latins still continue to represent on the evening of every Good-Friday the descent from the Cross, and the interment of the Saviour's body; though, in Jerusalem, from the number and nature of the spectators of different religious sects, the scene is almost comic; when it is not rendered tragic by furious and sometimes fatal quarrels[434]. Whoever has visited the place at the Easter season will I am sure forgive me this description; and I venture to give the following advice to any one who has not, that if he is going there from a religious motive, he had better keep away at that time; but that if he is actuated simply by curiosity, he should not omit to go there; in which case he will admit the truth of my information. If during the last few years the services have gone off more quietly, and the quarrels been less violent, it is due to the careful oversight of Surraya Pasha, and the energy he has displayed in quelling the rising tumults. It is a thing much to be desired, that in this nineteenth century, the causes which excite the scandals and strifes around the sublimest of monuments, the Tomb of Christ, should be at last abolished.

I conclude this subject by pointing out what are the most frequent causes of these furious disputes between the monks who occupy the Sepulchre. Since the church is divided among the different communities, each guards his rights with the utmost jealousy, and quarrels about the smallest trifle. A nail driven a little too much on the one side or the other of the boundary line, a slight repair of a wall or pavement without the consent of all the parties interested, a candlestick knocked down or taken away from a Sanctuary, a sweeper trespassing with his broom on the property[Pg 125] of another sect, and dusting where he has no business, excites long and bitter recriminations, which are only put a stop to by the interference of the local authorities, and sometimes of the governments that protect the different religious bodies.

After this somewhat long digression we will go on to consider the neighbourhood of the Church of the Resurrection. On the east is the terrace-roof above the Church of S. Helena, the exclusive property of the Abyssinians; to the west of this are some houses belonging to the monks, who also possess some wretched dens on the south, abutting on an old wall, in which is an arcade of five arches, supported by four pillars with plain capitals; over this runs a cornice, above which are five pointed windows of the time of the Crusades. From some notices in Greek manuscripts preserved in the convent of S. Saba, it appears that a church was erected on this spot by S. Helena, in honour of the Holy Cross; but this present building, if standing at that time, could not have escaped the ravages of Chosroes II. of Persia and of Hakem; and we must therefore refer it to a later date. Accordingly I perfectly agree with the opinion expressed by M. de Vogüé in his chapter on the Hospital. This author thinks that the Church of S. Mary Latin occupied this position, a building with a single nave; and this is strongly corroborated by a passage in the Gesta Francorum[435], which asserts distinctly that the first Crusaders found it at the south of the Church of the Invention of the Cross, and a stone's throw from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. He therefore considers these ruins to belong to a building erected in the middle of the twelfth century, on the site of a church built by the merchants of Amalfi in the eleventh century; when it was found necessary to establish a church, with a convent and hospice to receive all the women who came as pilgrims, in order to keep them separate from the Hospice of S. Mary the Great, presided over by monks, at the south of this, which I shall presently notice[436].

The plot of land on which are the ruins of S. Mary Latin was acquired by the Russians in 1858. In 1860 they began to clear away a quantity of rubbish and earth, the accumulation of centuries, in order to lay the foundations of a house for the Consulate; and, in the course of the removal, fragments of walls and buildings were found of an earlier date than the Crusades. History informs us that some houses were erected on this spot by native labourers for the Amalfi merchants; and in accordance with this we do not find in these remains that precision and perfectness of execution which characterizes work executed with European aid. I endeavoured to connect the walls with the mutilated building; but I found it impossible to restore them sufficiently to draw out a plan of any sort; the ruin wrought by time and man is too complete. I have already mentioned that some remains of an ancient Jewish wall were found during the excavations in this same plot of land, and now[Pg 126] add that, below it, near to the street on the east, there seems to have been a portico, some fragments of columns of black granite having been found there. M. de Vogüé, who arrived at Jerusalem after my departure, and during the progress of the excavations, will no doubt have made further discoveries; and it is to be hoped that before long we shall have them described by so able and learned an explorer.

The 'House of the Prince' is a house to the north of S. Mary Latin, shewing on the exterior architectural features of a period before the Crusades; these, however, have all disappeared from the interior, where now nothing is to be seen but some party-walls of Arab workmanship, built at different periods, most of them not long ago, in order to divide it into small separate tenements. It belongs to the Franciscan convent, which gives free lodging there to the poorest of their nation. How and when it obtained its name I have not been able to ascertain: there is, however, a tradition that Godfrey of Bouillon occupied it during his short reign; this is not improbable in itself, but is unconfirmed by history; and William of Tyre[437] states that the palace of the Latin king was near the Temple on the south side; meaning by the Temple the present area of the Haram es-Sherîf. In a manuscript belonging to the Franciscans (preserved in the Convent of S. Saviour) we find that "from the House of the Prince to the Sepulchre was a subterranean passage, through which they went to the Church of the Sepulchre." From this I was led to examine the spot, and found, on the west side of the house, an aperture level with the ground leading into a subterranean passage, bearing the appearance of antiquity; but it was so filled up with rubbish that I was unable to examine it thoroughly; nevertheless I believe that it communicated with the Chapel of S. Helena, just at the doorway now walled up, and that its entrance is covered by the altar nearest to the north-east corner. On the west of the House of the Prince is a Coptic convent, built upon a part of the land formerly occupied by the Canons of the Holy Sepulchre; its chapel is worth a visit; it is of the twelfth century, and no doubt was originally either the refectory or the dormitory of the ecclesiastics. From the interior of this convent the open court in front of the Church of the Resurrection can be reached, by passing through a chapel at its north-west corner.

Returning through the entrance gate into the street (which I call Prince's Street) we come to the so-called cistern of S. Helena, on the left hand. We enter a chamber serving as a refuge to some poor Abyssinian families; the inner walls are ancient, together with the small doorway on the north, by which we begin to descend a dark and most ruinous staircase, that 'craves wary walking;' however, after going down thirty very awkward steps, we enter the vault, and the staircase at once becomes perfectly regular, so much so as to appear more like the way into a[Pg 127] comfortable house than into a cistern; for each step is 5 feet long, 1-1/2 wide, and about 8 inches deep. The staircase (including its vaulted roof) and the whole reservoir are excavated in the rock. The latter is about 86 feet long, 72 wide, and 52 high. I was able to examine it thoroughly in September, 1858, when it was dry. Holes are made in the vaulted roof and walls, through which it is supplied by rain-water from the terrace-roofs of the neighbouring houses and from the street to the north. This I ascertained by descending into it during a time of heavy rain. There are some small openings on the south-east to carry off superfluous water. The construction of this is attributed to S. Helena (like everything else in Palestine); but its magnitude induces me to consider it Jewish work of an earlier period. Besides, what motive could she have had for making it? It could not be for want of a reservoir; there were plenty of them at Jerusalem then as now; and it is not likely that she would have wasted money to no purpose, when there were so many works of benevolence and greater utility, on which she knew well how to spend it.

In the north-west corner of the Plan[438] is the mosque of Ibrahim, situated in the interior of the Kanki, called the Hospice of Saladin; because he richly endowed it to enable it to entertain the Mohammedan pilgrims to the Holy City; and at the same time erected the minaret, which is still standing, and restored the entrance-gate. During the time of the Crusaders it was the palace of the Patriarch of Jerusalem, whence the adjoining street is called Patriarch's Street. The lower parts of its walls on the north and west are ancient and strongly built; but the upper as well as the interior of the building, have greatly suffered from wretched Arab alterations, so that it is difficult to form any idea of its former internal plan. In the Christian bazaar on the west the wall throughout its whole height and the pilasters are unquestionably of the date of the Crusades, together with the chambers within on the ground-floor and story above; as is proved by their pointed arches, with the columns and capitals supporting them. They are now used as storehouses for the grain received by the governor: and as the Hospice has no longer any revenues, it will before long become the property of one of the Christian communities. The staircase inside at the north entrance is the only part of the building that retains its former grandeur uninjured.

Let us now turn our attention to the Hospital. The visitor, on quitting the court in front of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre by the door at the south-east corner, enters a small street[439], and passing along this to the east, comes, after a few yards, to a great doorway with a semicircular arch, standing on the south side of the way, and adorned with figures representing the twelve months of the year; above the arch[Pg 128] some traces of a lamb, the emblem of the Hospitalers of Jerusalem, can still be distinguished[440]. This gateway is now walled up, and very much hidden by the accumulated earth; and before the year 1858 it was impossible for any one to go along that way without suffering from nausea, besides wetting his feet with the foul mire, and encountering a pack of savage hungry dogs that haunted the place—nuisances caused by a tannery. The court within and the buildings round it were as bad as the street; so that the place was hardly fit to be visited, being covered with carcases of animals and the most abominable filth. The inhabitants of Jerusalem are indebted to Surraya Pasha for the removal of this pestiferous evil; and the Christians above all, who have thus obtained a decent approach to their principal Sanctuary; and can visit, not the prison of S. Peter, as the ignorant guides call it, but the remains of the time of the Amalfi merchants and the Knights Hospitaler of S. John; of which I will now give a brief account.

The amicable relations between Harûn er-Rashîd, Khalif of Bagdad, and Charlemagne, were of the utmost advantage to the Christians at Jerusalem, and induced the French Monarch to send large gifts thither, A.D. 810, in order to restore the churches, to build hospices, and purchase lands for their endowment. The monk Bernard, who visited Jerusalem in the year 870 A.D., writes as follows[441]: "On our arrival at Jerusalem we were entertained at the hospice of the glorious Emperor Charles, where all are welcomed who visit the place from a devout motive and speak the Latin language. To it is attached a church in honour of S. Mary, with a noble library, due to the care of the same Emperor, with twelve houses, fields, vineyards, and a garden in the valley of Jehoshaphat. In front of the hospice is the market, &c." This establishment was inhabited by Benedictine monks. In the year 1010 A.D., Hakem, Khalif of Egypt, destroyed this building, as it was near the Church of the Resurrection; but when it was rebuilt, another hospice, together with the Church of S. Mary, was also founded. William of Tyre states[442] that "certain merchants of Amalfi, who had obtained the favour of the Governors of the cities of Syria by importing useful and needful goods and by their quiet and peaceable conduct, obtained permission from Belfagar (Abu-'l-Giafar?), Sultan of Egypt, to rebuild a monastery in the Christian quarter to receive pilgrims, minister to the sick, and practise every kind of charity." To this building and the church, which they dedicated to the Virgin Mary, they attached offices for the inmates, together with a public market, in which any one could establish a shop on paying a rent of two pieces of gold to the Patriarch and his clergy. This was opposite to the Church of the Resurrection, and a stone's throw to the south of the Church of the Invention of the Cross,[Pg 129] as I have already said[443]. When the buildings were finished these merchants placed in them an Abbot with his attendant monks, and as these performed the service in Latin, while the rest of the clergy in the place followed the rites of the Greek Church, their church obtained the name of S. Mary Latin[444]. Afterwards the monks assigned to an order of nuns a convent which they had founded outside their property to the north, and dedicated to S. Mary Magdalene; giving it the name of S. Mary Latin the Less; but these institutions always bore the name of 'Latin[445].' In course of time the number of pilgrims became larger, so that the monks were obliged to increase their accommodation, and built a hospital and another church to the west, which they dedicated to S. John, Patriarch of Alexandria, called 'the Almsgiver,' from the noble liberality with which he had succoured the Christians who had taken refuge in Egypt, when Palestine was invaded by Chosroes II. This new foundation was supported by abundant alms, collected in Italy by the help of the Amalfi merchants. When the Crusaders made their triumphant and bloody entry into Jerusalem, they found the convents of S. Mary Latin in the above situation, and quite uninjured[446]. The hospital at that time was presided over by a monk named Gerald, and the nunnery by a noble Roman lady named Agnes[447]. When the Latin kingdom was established, Gerald found fellow-labourers in his works of benevolence; who, together with him, were distinguished by a black dress, relieved by a white cross on the breast, and devoted themselves to the relief of the sick, the poor, and the pilgrims. Such was the origin of the Fraternity of S. John. Agnes adopted the same rules, so far as concerned the ministrations among the poor, and the two communities chose S. John the Baptist as their joint protector[448]. So long as the brothers were poor and few in number, they remained under the rule of the Abbot; but when they found means, and had obtained powerful protectors on account of the eminent services they had rendered, they spurned his jurisdiction (about A.D. 1113), and between the years 1118 and 1159 formed themselves into an organized body, respected for their prowess in arms as champions of the Faith; and their white and black flag, an emblem of the faith they professed and the death they menaced to its enemies, waved over many a glorious field in Syria. The knights, being compelled to quit Jerusalem after its capture by Saladin, removed to Margat, then to S. Jean d'Acre, between the years 1187 and 1192; afterwards they remained about twenty years in the city of Limasol in Cyprus; thence they went to Rhodes (A.D. 1309-1522); and being driven from that island by the conquests of the Turks, they established themselves at Malta, and took the name of the country they had adopted.[Pg 130]

During the earlier part of my stay in Jerusalem (1855-6), a certain member of the order, a man of a chivalrous and philanthropic spirit, was desirous of re-establishing it upon its primitive footing; but the obstacles in the way of his project appeared so great, that the attempt was soon abandoned. His intention was to obtain possession of the property that had formerly belonged to the knights; a matter itself of the greatest difficulty, as the land was divided among several owners (the Greek convent having the largest part), who would not give up a foot without the fullest compensation.

It now remains for me to say a few words about the present condition of these buildings. The Plan[449] shews the positions of the Hospital of S. John, of S. Mary the Great, and S. Mary the Less, with reference to the Church of the Resurrection. All three in the present day are but heaps of ruins; only a few walls remain standing, the greater number being so completely buried under a mass of earth and rubbish, that little or nothing can be ascertained about their ancient arrangement. We will however examine their exterior and interior. On the north side, towards the north-west corner, are some regular Arab cottages; and going eastward from them, we come to a minaret, built in the fifteenth century, in memory of the spot whereon Omar offered up prayer, instead of entering the Church of the Resurrection. Before the erection of the minaret, Khahab-ed-Din, nephew of Saladin, built a mosque called Derkah[450] on an adjoining plot of land; this had so completely fallen to decay, that but a few fragments of its foundations were remaining in 1855; over which the Mohammedans, actuated rather by fanaticism than religious feeling, built the slight octagonal monument called the Mosque of Omar. Opposite to the Church of the Resurrection is the Greek convent of Gethsemane; in the lower part of its walls are some fragments of ancient work. After this all along the little street (except at the decorated entrance) are small ill-built shops, covered with a great heap of earth, which often slips down during the rainy season. Inside these shops a careful search will discover some poor fragments of antiquity; such as mutilated capitals, broken bases, and carefully worked stones, built into rough Arab masonry. The east side exhibits similar cottages from the north-east corner as far as the door leading into the bazaar, which, together with the others near it on the east (though all are in the most neglected and ruinous condition), shews signs of antiquity in the walls and vaulting. I consider them to be the work of the Amalfi merchants, restored at a later period by the Crusaders. In the shops occupied by the braziers, on the west side of the bazaar bounding this plot of land, are some old passages which communicated with the interior of the hospital; but now many of them are walled up or obstructed with ruins. I managed however to get through certain of them, after some trouble, in order to reach the building near them on the west.[Pg 131] At the eastern end of the south side are small houses and Arab shops; which however soon give place to the building now called from its use the Corn Bazaar; which in its well-laid walls, pointed arches, and solid vaults, shews plainly the work of the Hospitalers. I endeavoured to enter by the north side, where at the present time the stalls are placed, but was prevented by the accumulated earth; however I was able to ascertain that piers and vaulted roofs still remain in the northern part of the bazaar. The sentence of death is executed on criminals in this place. Going thence up the street westward, we see on the north side a row of fine columns, supporting grand pointed arches, now closed with Arab masonry. In the wall are doors opening into vaulted chambers like those in the bazaar. These were formerly the storehouses of the hospital; they now belong to different owners, the Greek convent possessing the largest share. The arcade towards the west is broken by a very high common Arab wall, enclosing the south side of the Greek convent of S. John Baptist; the entrance to which is in the Christian bazaar, which bounds the Hospital on the east. All the interior of the convent is modern Arab masonry, but some debased Corinthian capitals are built irregularly into the façade of the church; some more are to be seen in other parts, placed upon ancient bases of columns. These were discovered when the convent was enlarged towards the east. The crypt of the church, reached by an external staircase on the south side, is an uninjured building of the Hospitalers; in its east wall is a doorway with a pointed arch, closed to prevent the earth falling in. The rock lies about two feet below the pavement, and was discovered nearly at the same depth to the south of the convent, when the Prussian hospital was built; so that the correspondence of these levels proves the nonexistence of Dr Robinson's Tyropœon. Going northward along the Christian bazaar, we come to a Turkish bath on the east side, supplied during a large portion of the year from the pool commonly called the Pool of Hezekiah[451]. The refuse water is carried off by a conduit, emptying itself into that which runs along the Street of David. I have examined it at the two ends, and also in the interior of the convent, through the kindness of the Greek Prior. Its lower part is hewn in the rock; but the side walls and vaulting belong to the period of the Crusaders; it is too narrow to be traversed. From the bath up to the north-west corner are storehouses and wretched buildings, all of the commonest Arab work.

The present entrance into the precincts of the Hospital is near the western end of the northern side. Within, a spacious plateau meets the eye, formed by the earth which has accumulated at different periods; in the north-east corner is a very ruinous building; on the east it is bounded by the vaults of the bazaars below; these are very dilapidated and covered by a luxuriant vegetation of creeping plants,[Pg 132] which daily makes the ruin worse; on the south are the fallen terrace-roofs of the ancient halls mentioned above; in the south-west corner stand the walls of the Convent of S. John; on the west, the low walls dividing it from the little gardens, terraces, and Mohammedan houses; and on the north, what we have already described. The plateau itself, on which there are no houses, belongs to the Greek Convent of S. Constantine; the building on the north-east is the property of the Governor, and in 1858 would have been sold to the Greeks or the Armenians, if M. Edmond de Barrère, the French Consul, had not actively interposed to prevent it, in the hope that it might one day be restored, if not to the knights of Malta, at least to France. Let us then enter it.

Its plan is that of a poor convent with an inner court, round which still runs a cloister on the level of the ground; though it has been transformed by the tanners, who have made the space between each pair of pillars into shops. The upper floor of the cloister is perfect, with the cells within. Opening into it on the south side is a long hall, little injured, which was probably the refectory; and parallel to this are two smaller chambers, in a tottering condition[452]. On the north of the convent[453] are some ruins of a church, sufficiently perfect to give us an idea of its ancient form. It had three apses at the east end; the southern of these is still standing; the fragments of the others are nearly covered by heaps of earth, as are portions of the side walls. We can ascertain its original length from a part of the west wall, which is still standing, though enclosed in a mass of Arab cottages, against which are the remains of two piers with their bases perfect. From these ruins I can infer that the church was divided into a nave with two side aisles. I consider the remains, both of the convent and of the church, to be the work of the Amalfi merchants. Their architecture, proportions, and masonry are too contracted and insignificant to be of the period of the Crusaders, who however undoubtedly built the great entrance gateway, and perhaps restored the church; this latter point, however, cannot easily be determined, as the building is in such a ruined condition. Close to the apse still standing is a door, leading into a long dark chamber, which is exhibited as the prison in which S. Peter was confined by Herod Agrippa I. The tradition is worthless, and not so old as the time of the Crusaders; who, on their entry into Jerusalem, found on Mount Sion a church dedicated to the imprisonment of S. Peter, standing on the supposed site of the prison. The place may be considered to be the sacristy of the ancient church, which communicated with the convent. At the present time there are some richly ornamented capitals within it of excellent workmanship, together with some cornices; all however are out of their proper places, being either built into the walls or lying on the ground.[Pg 133]

These ruins belong to the church of S. Mary the Great. All authors previous to the fifteenth century are unanimous on this point. John of Würtzburg[454], who visited Jerusalem in the second half of the twelfth century, states that "near the Church of the Hospital of S. John is a nunnery in honour of the Virgin, almost close to the end of the church; it is called S. Mary the Great." This, formerly the monastery, was now inhabited by the Sisters Hospitaler under the charge of an Abbess, and was a dependency of the Grand Master of the Order. Agnes was the foundress, as I have already said; and she was succeeded by other ladies of rank: two of whom are mentioned by William of Tyre[455], one called Sibylla, the other Stephania, a daughter of Jocelin (Senior) Count of Edessa. The ruins of S. Mary the Great have been preserved because Saladin founded a hospital there, which he richly endowed; but its revenues are now exhausted. It is not fifty years, since a philanthropic Mohammedan of Jerusalem endeavoured to re-establish the charitable foundations of Saladin, but the managers have again squandered the property. It is now quite deserted and has become a receptacle of filth, waiting every day to be applied to some other purpose.

Let us now look for the position of the Hospital, which is well defined[456]. It occupied a piece of land bounded on the north by the court in front of the door of the Holy Sepulchre and by Palmers Street[457], formerly the Tan-yard Street; on the west by Patriarch Street, or the Christian bazaar; and on the east and south by a small street which, beginning from Palmers Street, opposite to the Sepulchre, ran southward between the convent of S. Mary the Great and the Hospital, and turning to the west led into Patriarch Street[458]. The principal buildings, with the church, were erected between A.D. 1130 and 1140, under the superintendence of Raymond of Puy, Grand Master of the Hospital. William of Tyre relates that they were so large, especially those opposite to the door of the Church of the Sepulchre, that they surpassed it in magnificence; besides which they had a large peal of bells, whose sound drowned the voice of the Patriarch when he was preaching on the Calvary. No part of these splendid buildings now remains perfect; all are a mass of ruins, or covered with earth and Arab cottages. Sir John Maundeville, who visited Jerusalem A.D. 1322, found the hospital still standing, and states that it was supported by 124 columns of stone and 54 pilasters built into the wall[459]. I was therefore very anxious to examine the ground in the hope of finding some remains of these. I carried on excavations for many days in various directions: I forced my way with great difficulty from vault to vault; but found neither fragments of columns nor capitals, only very many[Pg 134] pilasters. I discovered a large crypt by chance; for the ground gave way under my feet, and I fell into it; but it was so filled with earth that I could not explore it. When the Greeks remove the ruins in order to build upon this site, it may be possible to discover some remains of the ancient walls, and perhaps to make out something about its arrangement.

FOOTNOTES:

[372] Note I.

[373] S. John xix. 20.

[374] S. Luke xxiii. 27.

[375] S. John xix. 31.

[376] S. John xix. 14.

[377] S. Matt. xxvii. 45, 46.

[378] Mischna, 4th part, Bava-bathra, c. II., § 8.

[379] Page 30.

[380] S. John xix. 41.

[381] S. Matt. xxvii. 60, 61; S. Luke xxiii. 55; S. John xix. 38, 39, 41, 42.

[382] S. Matt. xxvii. 62-64.

[383] S. Matt. xxvii. 66; xxviii. 4.

[384] Treatise Sanhedrim, fol. 43 (Venet. edit.).

[385] Ant. XX. 9, § 1.

[386] Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. III. 5.

[387] Ibid. IV. 6.

[388] Note II.

[389] Euseb. Vita Constant. III. 26, 28.

[390] Note III.

[391] Histoire de l'État présent de Jer. ch. IV.

[392] Note IV.

[393] Eutychius, Ann. Tom. II. pp. 421-423.

[394] So William of Tyre reports, Lib. I. c. 3, but Cedrenus attributes their destruction to Azis, father of Hakem. I am inclined to credit the former, because, according to historians, Azis shewed kindness to the Christians, having married a wife from among them, the sister of John, Patriarch of Jerusalem, (Dositheus' History of the Patriarchs of Jerusalem); while all agree in depicting Hakem as a savage bloodthirsty tyrant; so that it is in the highest degree improbable that (as some assert) he restored the churches destroyed by Azis. Cedrenus betrays his own mistake when he says that Azis burnt the patriarch and the church together, A.D. 968; whereas he did not ascend the throne till A.D. 975.

[395] Note V.

[396] Note VI.

[397] Plate XXXI.

[398] Note VII.

[399] Plates XXX., XXXIV.

[400] Note VIII.

[401] As for example, Maria the Portuguese, a nun of the third order of S. Francis, A.D. 1578, and Cosimo of Granada, a Franciscan friar, A.D. 1559.

[402] For details of the capitals of the columns in it see Plate XXXVI.

[403] See M. de Vogüé's excellent description, Les Églises de la Terre Sainte, p. 199 et seq.

[404] Plates XXXII., XXXIII.

[405] Note IX.

[406] Note X.

[407] Plate XXXVI.

[408] Note XI.

[409] Liber Secretorum Fidelium Crucis, Lib. III. pars xiv. c. 8; Note XII.

[410] Plates XXXIV., XXXV.

[411] Plate XXXV.

[412] S. Matt. xxviii. 2.

[413] Mabillon, Acta Sanctorum, Sæc. 3, pars 2.

[414] Itinerarium Terræ Sanctæ in Leo Allatius, Symmikta, ed. 1653, p. 147.

[415] Itinerarium Hierosolymitanum, p. 40, ed. of 1486.

[416] Note XIII.

[417] Plates LVI., LIX.

[418] Plate LVI.

[419] S. Matt. xxviii. 2.

[420] S. Mark xvi. 1-6.

[421] S. Luke xxiv. 2, 3.

[422] S. John xx. 1, 4, 5, 6.

[423] Euseb. Theoph. See Lee's translation, p. 199, Camb. 1843.

[424] S. Cyril, Catechet. Lect. XIV. (Library of the Fathers, Vol. II. p. 169).

[425] Plate XXXIV. (section).

[426] Plate LIX.

[427] Plate XXXV.

[428] Ezek. v. 5.

[429] Inferno, II. 1 (Wright).

[430] Plate XXXV.

[431] Plate XXXVI.

[432] I except the Latins from this reproach.

[433] Note XIV.

[434] Note XV.

[435] Gesta Francorum expugnantium Hierusalem (Gesta Dei per Francos, Tom. I. p. 573, ed. 1611).

[436] Les Églises de la Terre Sainte. De Vogüé, pp. 249, 262 et seq.

[437] Lib. XII. c. 7 (Gesta Dei per Francos, Tom. II. pp. 819, 820, ed. 1611).

[438] Plate XXX.

[439] Note XVI.

[440] Plate XXXVII.

[441] Recueil de Voyages et de Mémoires publiés par la Société de Géographie. 4to. Vol. IV. p. 789.

[442] Lib. XVIII. c. 4 (Gesta Dei per Francos, Tom. II. pp. 933, 934, ed. 1611).

[443] Page 125.

[444] Note XVII.

[445] William of Tyre, Lib. IX. c. 18 (Gesta Dei per Francos, Tom. II. p. 773, ed. 1611).

[446] Albert of Aix, Lib. VI. c. 25 (Gesta Dei per Francos, Tom. I. p. 281, ed. 1611).

[447] William of Tyre, Lib. XVIII. c. 5 (Gesta Dei per Francos, Tom. II. p. 935, ed. 1611).

[448] See Sæwulf's description, Note V.

[449] Plate XXX.

[450] Mejir-ed-Din, p. 123.

[451] Plate XXXI.

[452] Plate XXX.

[453] Plate XXXVIII.

[454] Descriptio Terræ Sanctæ. Pez. thes. anecd. noviss. Vol. I. pt. 3, col. 526.

[455] William of Tyre, Lib. XIX. c. 4 (Gesta Dei, &c. Vol. II. p. 958).

[456] De Vogüé, Les Églises, &c. p. 251.

[457] Note XVI.

[458] Note XVIII.

[459] Early Travels in Palestine. Bohn's Ant. Libr. p. 168.


[Pg 135]

CHAPTER V.

INVESTIGATIONS IN THE VIA DOLOROSA (OR THE WAY OF THE CROSS). THE RELIGIOUS AND OTHER REMARKABLE BUILDINGS IN IT OR IN ITS NEIGHBOURHOOD AND IN THE REST OF THE CITY, TOGETHER WITH ALL THE CONVENTS OF THE DIFFERENT RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES.

The Via Dolorosa is the street our Saviour is supposed to have passed along on his road from the Prætorium to Calvary. The following is the course assigned to it by the only tradition which mentions it. It begins in the street which passes by the northern side of the barrack of the Haram[460], and goes westward till it meets the central valley (Tyropœon), which it follows for a short distance southward; it then turns along the first street to the west, and after going through the Judgement Gate, must have again turned to the south a short distance beyond it, (opposite to the little street running to the north,) in order to reach the Church of the Resurrection, just at the north-east angle inside the Chapel of S. Helena. The last part of its course, if this were its course, is now entirely covered by the buildings of the Greek Convent of S. Charalampes. The present Via Dolorosa is divided into fourteen stations: these are visited with religious care by pilgrims, because they are asserted to be the very places at which the last scenes of the Passion of Christ were enacted. They are as follows:

(i). Prætorium of Pilate (Barrack of the Haram); Jesus condemned to death.

(ii). Site of the 'scala sancta' (near to the north-east corner of the Barrack); Jesus given His Cross to bear.

(iii). A column lying on the ground south of the Austrian hospice (at the north-west corner of the Armenian Catholics' property); Jesus falls the first time[Pg 136].

(iv). South-west corner of the same property (a little street leading to the house of the Governor of the city); Jesus meets His mother.

(v). A stone built into the south wall of the street going up to the Judgement Gate; Simon the Cyrenian assists Jesus to bear the Cross.

(vi). The house of Veronica (in the above street); Veronica wipes the face of Jesus.

(vii). The Judgement Gate; Jesus falls the second time.

(viii). A small aperture in the wall of the Greek Convent of S. Charalampes (west of the above gate); marking the spot where Jesus beheld the women weeping.

(ix). A column lying on the ground by the Copts' convent (at the north-east corner of the Church of the Resurrection); Jesus falls the third time.

(x). A mark on the pavement at the south side of the platform of the Calvary (before the window opposite to the Chapel of the Agony); Jesus stripped of his garments.

(xi). A small square of mosaic work before the Latin altar (also in the south part); Jesus nailed to the Cross.

(xii). A hole at the east end of the north side of the platform of the Calvary, beneath the Greek altar; Place where the Cross was erected. Death of Jesus.

(xiii). In front of the last station (six feet from the Greek altar); Jesus taken down from the Cross.

(xiv). Sepulchre of Jesus Christ, under the middle of the great dome.

This is the description of the stations given by the Latins; but the Greeks and Armenians do not agree with them about all the places; and I attach importance to this fact, since the Greeks have lived in the city for the longest time; and this difference of opinion on their part very much diminishes the value of the tradition. I said that the sole authority for the Via Dolorosa was tradition; because neither the Bible, nor Josephus, nor the configuration of the ground, afford us any positive data to aid in identifying the present road with that trodden by our Saviour on His way to Calvary; and the tradition is of very little weight, as I will presently shew.

Let us then consider in detail the places mentioned above. The Prætorium of Pilate is noticed by the Evangelists, who, however, do not say exactly where it was[Pg 137] situated. However, with the help of Josephus I have been able to ascertain its position. In the third chapter[461] I shewed that the tower Antonia occupied the north-west corner of the Haram[462], and that the rock which rises high in the south wall of the barrack was the north side of that fortress. Hence the Prætorium, which was inside the tower[463], cannot be identified with the barrack, which stretches across the greater part of the valley that formerly defended the Temple on the north, and divided it from Bezetha[464]; and consequently is outside the Antonia, and so cannot be on the site of the Prætorium. This therefore I consider to have stood on the surface of rock now exposed at the north-west corner inside the Haram wall[465]. The tradition relating to the Prætorium is very ancient. The Pilgrim of Bordeaux, A.D. 333, says, in his description of the city: "As you go from Sion to the Neapolitan gate, on the right in the valley below are walls where was once the palace of Pontius Pilate." I think that these walls were founded, at least in part, on the rock exposed in the south side of the present barrack, or else he would not have been able to see them; and since this was the north side of the tower Antonia, it is quite possible that they belonged to the Prætorium, and perhaps the projecting rock was mistaken for walls; a thing which is not improbable, since S. Cyril[466] (in the fourth century) in mentioning the Prætorium states that 'it is now laid waste.' Antoninus of Piacenza found there (in the seventh century) a church dedicated to S. Sophia[467], but whether this was built by S. Helena or Justinian I do not know, since it is not mentioned by Eusebius or Procopius. It is more probably the work of the Emperor, who erected other buildings of this kind on Moriah, while the former paid no particular attention to the place. A historian of the first Crusade writes as follows[468]: "The Flagellation and the Coronation (with thorns) of Jesus Christ, within the city, receive the reverence of the faithful ... but it is now not easy to ascertain their true positions; because, above all other reasons, the whole city has been so often destroyed and even razed." It follows then from this passage that the Christians, about eight centuries ago, had doubts of the truth of the tradition. John of Würtzburg, and other authors of the twelfth century, place the Prætorium on Mount Sion, which shews that the traditions at that time were uncertain and confused. From the end of the twelfth century all have agreed in recognizing the barrack as its site. The author of the Citez de Jherusalem[469] clearly indicates its present position: "A little in advance of this street (that of Jehoshaphat, for so the street leading to S. Mary's Gate was then called) was the[Pg 138] house of Pilate. On the left hand in front of this house was a gate leading up to the Temple." Quaresmius[470] states that in his day the remains of a church built on the Prætorium were to be seen, consisting of the choir and some of the side-chapels with traces of paintings. Of this only a few fragments now remain in an inner court of the barrack.

From these data it follows that the site of the Prætorium has been known since the fourth century, and that no doubt by tradition; but as there was a great accumulation of ruins upon the place, the position could only be fixed by what remained uninjured, namely the rock; and it might very easily happen that in course of time it should be placed to the south instead of the north of this mark. My opinion as to the position is supported by Josephus, and is not contradicted by the expressions in the authors before the Crusades; for the 'standing walls' could only be on the rock, and the 'waste place' of S. Cyril within the north-west angle of the Haram.

An ancient chapel within the barrack is pointed out as the spot where Jesus was crowned with thorns; possibly it was originally dedicated to the Passion of the Redeemer. Its plan is a square, the length of a side being about 16 feet; above it rises an octagonal dome, supported by a drum of the same shape. Four sides (alternate) of the octagon are replaced in the lower part by small pointed arches, in order to adapt this form of the drum to the square plan of the building. A pointed doorway in the south wall leads into a small square chapel, with a niche on each side. The arrangement of the arches, the form, and the ornamentation of the building, resemble Roman architecture; but the work shews it to be of the period of the Crusades. Quaresmius[471] is the first to mention this chapel; no notice of it occurring in any author anterior to his time. It is now used as a storehouse of barley for the artillery-horses.

Turning to the east on leaving the barrack, we find in its north wall a doorway built up; half of which is Saracenic work in red and white stone. Through it our Lord is believed to have left the Prætorium; and the staircase which was transported to the Church of S. John Lateran at Rome is said to have been the very one by which he descended. When I examined this door at the end of 1854, its lowest part was two feet above the level of the street, having a semicircular step built into the pavement, which was pointed out as a fragment of the sacred staircase. I was surprised that the Christians had not taken care to remove it; especially as they had had an opportunity when the barrack was built by Ibrahim Pasha, who would have readily granted their request. In 1857 the military commandant constructed a raised footpath (one foot high) along by the barrack-wall, and the step was covered up without any one making the slightest attempt to preserve it. The tradition[Pg 139] about this place is very untrustworthy; the configuration of the ground does not confirm it, and the Bible does not mention that our Lord ascended or descended any staircase. The present street runs entirely over accumulated rubbish, which at this point is 16 feet thick above the old level of the valley, so that the door must at that time have had a flight of at least 28 steps to form a communication with the bottom of the valley; and the lowest part of the door itself is 15 feet below the level of the inner court of the barrack, which would require 25 steps more; so that altogether there must have been some 53 steps in all. This would not be an unlikely approach to a barrack, but it is most improbable that the Antonia would have had such a weak point in its defences on the most important side as this stone staircase would have been. The valley which divided Moriah from Bezetha has been entirely overlooked by the believers in the 'Scala sancta.' Again, it is well known that the Prætorium was in the interior of the Antonia; how then could this door be in the Prætorium? If the Antonia be placed outside the north-west corner of the Haram, then the Prætorium would have been in the valley, and the fortress could not have been defended on the north, in the way Josephus says it was; and if (as I think) it be placed inside the enclosure, then the gate and staircase could never have occupied the positions now assigned to them. Again, we are told that all this part of the city was utterly destroyed; therefore the Prætorium too must have been swept away, and its ruins have helped to fill up the valley. In fact, the door now shewn is only a fragment of some work of the time of Saladin or Solyman.

Nearly opposite to the door of the 'Scala sancta' is a little opening with an iron grate; this is the entrance to the Chapel of the Flagellation; and beneath the altar in the middle they point out the exact place where the Redeemer was bound to a column to be scourged. Here Quaresmius[472] saw a small but handsome and well-preserved chapel, which had been used as a stable by Mustafa Bey, son of the Governor of the city. Abbé Mariti, who visited it A.D. 1767, says[473], that he saw "a large square hall, covered by a high vaulted roof; the façade resembled that of a church or oratory, and though the walls were very black, traces of pictures could still be discerned on them. They assert that the Saviour was scourged on this spot, but I do not see on what grounds. As this building is in a way connected with the Prætorium, many have given credence to this tradition; though, as I believe, it is only founded on the reverence felt by the Christians for that chamber, which no doubt induced them to build there a chapel in memory of the Flagellation. Many miracles are said to have been performed here. The people of Jerusalem, both Christian and Mohammedan, relate stories about them, which remind us of the mediæval legends. The Mohammedans have converted the place into a stable." The above[Pg 140] shews that the tradition itself is not ancient. The Franciscan monks relate that the chapel and the adjoining land, occupied by the hospice, were given to them by Ibrahim Pasha, and that they restored and enlarged the chapel in 1839, aided by the liberality of Maximilian, Duke of Bavaria; but that the expense of laying the foundations was very great, as they were extremely deep, especially on the south side. The place therefore now pointed out beneath the altar cannot be the exact spot where our Saviour stood, because of the great quantity of earth above the rock. How, too, can this site for the Flagellation be reconciled with the position of the 'Scala sancta' or of the Prætorium? It is quite impossible that they can have been connected together in former times, because of the above-named valley. The size also of the tower Antonia is an obstacle, for each of its sides was only half a stadium, whereas, if we accept the traditional site for the Flagellation, the Prætorium alone must have been nearly of that size. The present chapel is dedicated to the Flagellation, and is in no way remarkable: the few remains of antiquity it possesses have been covered over with whitewash, excepting some capitals built into the side walls, which appear to be Roman work.

Quitting the above place and following the road westward, we arrive at the arch of the 'Ecce Homo,' called at the time of the Crusades the 'Porta Dolorosa[474].' It is so named because it is believed that from it our Lord was shewn to the people by Pilate[475]. I have already proved[476] that the arch is much too modern to admit of this being the case; and if it were so, it seems impossible that the place should have been passed over in silence by Eusebius at the time of the Empress Helena, and by other authors after him, like Antoninus of Piacenza, Willibald, and Bernard the Monk. How is it that the writers before the time of the Crusades do not mention it? Had there been any tradition of the kind, it would never have been omitted (at least if they believed in it): so that it seems certain that the belief sprung up during the Crusades, the origin of it, no doubt, being that the arch was at first regarded as dedicated to the Passion of Christ. I have already stated, and now repeat it, that, for military reasons, the Jews would never have allowed this arch to stand during the siege, and that if they had, it would not have escaped the Romans. An author of the present day has attempted to interpret the letters carved on two stones in the north pilaster on the west side; but with regard to that, I will quote the words of the Abbé Mariti[477]. "They have assured me that about sixty years ago (i.e. before 1767) these words were read TOL...TO..., and at a still earlier period TOLLE TOLLE CRUCIFIGE EUM. Others assert that they have read thus TO. C. X. For my own part I have only been able to make out a single O in a clear Roman character; but the stones on which the letters are carved are so much injured that they will soon[Pg 141] crumble away, and thus put a stop to all conjectures." As then only one letter could be deciphered at the time of Abbé Mariti, I hope to be believed when I say that even this is now indistinct. But even if the inscription was rightly read as above, that is no proof that the arch was standing in our Lord's life-time; it establishes no more than that some one carved the inscription in remembrance of an event which unquestionably happened in the vicinity.

On some high ground to the north of the arch of the 'Ecce Homo' are a ruinous mosque and a minaret, which are approached by the little street running along the east side of the new buildings of the Daughters of Sion; this, according to tradition, is the site of the palace of Herod Antipas, to which Pilate sent our Lord to be judged by the Tetrarch of Galilee[478]. I have carried on many excavations in order to examine this spot, and have discovered stones of the Herodian period in the lower parts of the walls, besides others scattered about among the ruins, or built into the masonry, and therefore think that this is really the site of the palace; and that it must be the place from which Antigonus went to visit his brother Aristobulus by the way of the subterranean passage, Strato's tower, in which he was murdered[479]. It appears probable that a church was erected here during the Latin kingdom, but it has been so much altered that now it can hardly be recognized. No writer before or after the Crusades mentions it, but the remains, and their position with reference to the subterranean passage and the Antonia, induce me to believe the tradition.

Returning to the arch, and going along the street westward as far as the central valley, we come on the south side to the Station of the First Fall of Christ. The Evangelists make no mention of any falls; but, from reading their narrative, we may well suppose that, worn by the sorrow and agony of that night, He fell many times: still to the faithful heart and thoughtful mind all additions to the sublimity of the Gospel narrative are offensive, while they cannot be instructive to the man in whom these qualities are wanting.

Some yards from this spot, rather to the west, are the ruins of a church, perhaps of the date of the Crusades; said to be on the spot where the Virgin Mary swooned at the sight of her Son's sufferings; to record which a chapel was erected, bearing the name Chapel of the Virgin's Swoon. This had already been destroyed in the time of Quaresmius; but it appears that afterwards the Mohammedans repaired it, converting it into a mosque. The upper part has again fallen to ruin; in the lower is the Agency of the Austrian Lloyd.

Following the street southward from the Station of the First Fall, we come to the spot pointed out as the place where the Virgin Mary met Jesus. There is no mention of this circumstance in the Evangelists; it is therefore only a tradition; and how can it be true of a place in a street which has only existed a few centuries[Pg 142] (as is shewn by the houses on each side), and runs over a mass of ruins? Moreover, in this direction the Roman armies under Pompeius, and again under Titus, made their attacks on the Temple; it is therefore very improbable that after the time of the latter there would be any traces of a street left. When Hadrian rebuilt the city he set up idols in the principal sacred places to insult the Jews and Christians; and we may therefore believe that, in laying out the streets afresh, he would have swept away every trace of the tradition, if any had then existed. Close to the station, on the south, is a great pointed arch with delicately executed details, supported by two well-built piers. It dates from the Crusades, and very probably was the entrance to some religious building, erected to commemorate one of the events of the Passion; or perhaps a convent may have been at this place. Arab houses are built on each side of it facing the street, so that nothing can be made out there. I entered these to see if I could ascertain anything, but my examination produced little result, because an Arab wall completely masks it; while a number of small longitudinal and transverse party-walls, all of Arab work, have entirely transformed the appearance of the place. However, in these I found some polished stones, and fragments of ornaments, with mutilated capitals and broken columns; all proofs of the existence of a building of the time of the Crusades. Perhaps a nunnery[480], dedicated to S. John, once stood on this spot, belonging to the Benedictines of Bethany, and used by them as a refuge in time of war. Here the guides not unfrequently point out the house of the beggar Lazarus, opposite to the arch; and also shew the palace of the wicked Dives, at a little distance to the south in the same street. This is a house built of different coloured stones. These 'Jerusalem antiquarians' have converted the parable into a historic fact, and so endeavoured to preserve the traces of the dwellings! I suppose they think that the poor men "full of sores" were of more importance in former times than now. There are still numbers of lepers, who, from morning to evening, wait outside the Jaffa Gate to beg; and many give them an alms, but who now ever bestows a second thought on them, or would remember where they lived? The 'palace of Dives' is a handsome building of the sixteenth century, erected by the liberality of Solyman for a hospital. It is still used for the same purpose by the soldiers belonging to the garrison; but if not soon repaired, it will share the usual fate of Mohammedan government property, and fall into ruins.

The Evangelists tell us that Simon the Cyrenian aided our Lord in bearing His Cross, but do not mention the place where he encountered Him[481]. It very probably was near the present Station, or a little to the south of it, as he no doubt entered the[Pg 143] city from the country by the North Gate or Gate of Ephraim (now the Damascus Gate). A small stone built into a modern Arab wall marks the place. We must, however, remember that this street runs upon a mass of rubbish 17 feet thick, as I discovered during the repairs of the sewer; so that the actual site of the meeting is covered up. This remark also applies to the next station. The Mohammedans and Jews are wont to throw dirt at the stone, when they see Christians kneeling before it, so that one frequently finds it necessary to make the fanatics undo their work, reminding the former that Isa (Jesus) was one of their prophets, and the latter that it is no longer the time to renew the ancient scenes of persecution. I mention this to shew how serious quarrels frequently arise in Jerusalem, which are not appeased without much difficulty.

The Evangelists make no mention of Veronica. Much has been written upon this point: some considering her to be the sick woman who was healed by touching the hem of the Saviour's garment[482]; others, a lady of noble birth named Berenice, whose name was changed to Veronica after she became a follower of Christ; deriving the word from Vera-icon (true image)! The tradition of Veronica and the Holy Napkin dates from a very early period in the history of Christianity; as do the different Holy Napkins, which are in existence in various places. In 1854 the walls (Arab work) of the House of Veronica were in a ruinous condition, and were entirely rebuilt by the Mohammedan owner. I then discovered that its foundations rested on made ground, so that they were of no very great age. On digging down for the rock, to lay the new foundations, the workmen came upon large stones, which I consider to be the remains of the second wall of the city, not of any former House of Veronica.

Further on the street is arched over, and in the side-walls are remains of ancient masonry. Here some place the House of the Wandering Jew! This tradition however (or rather legend) is not accepted by the Christians of Jerusalem. The number of stones of ancient Jewish workmanship in the lower parts of the wall and inside the buildings on each side, and the position in the line of the second wall, in its course from the Antonia across the Tyropœon, lead me to think that the Gate of Ephraim formerly stood exactly on this spot. The pointed arches in the doors half buried in the accumulated earth seem to shew that some building occupied this site in the time of the Crusades.

Tradition asserts that the sentence of death was affixed to the Judgement Gate, by which the condemned criminal went out on his way to execution, and that as our Lord passed by here He fell the second time. Adrichomius holds that the name is derived from its being the place where the Sanhedrim assembled to pronounce sentence, but he gives no reason for their meeting there rather than in[Pg 144] any other place. I consider that probably it was called the Gate of Ephraim[483] previous to the building of Herod's wall, and that the name was afterwards changed. The Evangelists make no mention either of it or of the second fall of Christ.

Our Lord's meeting with the 'daughters of Jerusalem' is mentioned by S. Luke[484], but, owing to the circumstance that Titus attacked the second line of walls from this side, it is obvious that, even if the event happened in this neighbourhood, all traces of the exact spot must have been swept away in the changes that the place has undergone; so that the tradition is valueless.

The station of the Third Fall needs no comment. With regard to the Calvary and Sepulchre I have already expressed my opinion in the fourth chapter. I believe the other stations to be in the neighbourhood of them, so that while I cannot undertake to fix their exact position, I do not absolutely refuse to give any credence to them.

I hold, therefore, that the present Via Dolorosa is only a representation of the true one; and regard it in the same way as I do the Stations in Churches; that is, as a useful agent in arousing religious feelings, and bringing to remembrance the solemn scenes of the Redeemer's Passion. The changes wrought in the city at its destruction by Titus and rebuilding by Hadrian, and the numerous alterations at other times, the accumulation of rubbish, and, above all, the impossibility of the position of one part of the street, lying, as it would do, in the north ditch of the Antonia, seem to me insuperable difficulties in the way of establishing the identity of this with the road trodden by our Saviour. That I believe to have commenced on the west side of the Antonia, and to have followed the line of the present street of S. Helena's Hospital up to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Along this, in my opinion, the Stations might more reasonably be placed; for, whatever theory be adopted about the tower Antonia, the difficulty of the valley cannot be explained away.

I now pass on to consider the other buildings, religious and civil, in the city; and with this view conduct my reader to S. Mary's Gate, from which point we will begin our examination. Near the gate is the Church of S. Ann, now belonging to France. When I first saw it in 1854 it was used as a shelter for the Governor's horse-soldiers, while the courtyard, all strewed with ruins, was frequented by camel-drivers, who tethered their beasts there, so that it had become covered with filth: and as the Mohammedans took no care of the fabric, it became more ruinous every day, without any attempt at repairing it, even so far as was necessary to keep it in use for a stable. Since the year 1761 it had been abandoned by the Mohammedans, because (as they said) shrieks and howls were[Pg 145] heard every time that they went there; and in 1767 they were so fully persuaded of this, that the Santon himself, who was in charge of the place, offered the keys to the Franciscans, by whom (after due consideration of the consequence of accepting them) they were refused. It was then entirely deserted, except that the monks, by permission of the Pasha, continued to celebrate mass in it on the Festival of the Conception, and on that of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, who (according to them) was born there. So matters went on until in 1856 M. de Barrère happily thought of endeavouring to obtain it for the Roman Church, and was so well seconded by his government at Constantinople, that his hopes were realized; for on October 19, 1856, the Sultan granted it to France, and on November 1, M. de Barrère took possession of the building with all formality, receiving the keys from Kiamil Pasha. The repairs were begun about a year ago, and soon Jerusalem will possess a new church, one of the finest in Palestine. Having given this preliminary account, let us examine into the history of its foundation and its vicissitudes.

Some think that it was founded (as usual) by S. Helena; but of this we cannot be certain, as it is not mentioned among the churches built by the Empress, which, according to Nicephorus, exceeded thirty in number. "Moreover this woman, the mother of the Emperor, most pleasing in God's sight, founded more than thirty churches in these Holy Places[485]." In the seventh century the pilgrims speak of a church of the Nativity of the Virgin near the pool 'Probatica.' S. John of Damascus[486] writes thus: "The Virgin was brought forth in the house of 'the Probatica,' of Joachim;" and again, in the First Oration on the Nativity of the Virgin[487]: "Happy be thou in all respects, O Probatica, ancient temple of the seed of Joachim, but now a church!" Phocas mentions it in his description of the remarkable places of Antioch and Jerusalem. Other authors, from Sæwulf to William of Tyre, name it, and all agree in placing it on the same spot, and repeating the tradition; but none of them give us any certain clue to the history of its foundation. As every one expresses his own opinion on this point, I will follow the general example[488]. That the church was in existence before the Crusaders entered Jerusalem is evident from the Arabian historians; for Abulfeda tells us that under the rule of the Khalifs, before the Franks gained possession of Jerusalem, the Church of S. Ann was converted into a college for public instruction[489]. Again, Sæwulf visited it A.D. 1103, that is, in the first four years of the Latin kingdom, when as yet they had not thought about building churches. William of Tyre[490] relates that three or four nuns inhabited the adjoining convent; which is also a proof of its existence previous to the[Pg 146] Crusades; because so small a number of sisters would not have had the means of building such a church. Now the remarkable edifices which were erected during the whole period of the Latin kingdom are recorded by several writers; and many manuscripts of this age have come down to us. Considering the importance of this Sanctuary (the supposed birthplace of the Virgin), and the station in life of those who there dedicated themselves to the monastic life under the rule of S. Benedict, we can draw but one conclusion from their silence; namely, that the present building is older than the Crusades. But further, Arda, wife of Baldwin I., being repudiated by her husband, entered the convent A.D. 1104, and liberally endowed it. William of Tyre[491] speaks of her munificence, and also of the unseemly manner in which she quitted the place. Why then does not he mention the church? Jueta or Gioeta, daughter of Baldwin II., in 1130, dedicated herself to the monastic life, and lived in the convent until that of S. Lazarus at Bethany was finished, which was built for her by her sister Milisendis. On this occasion also William of Tyre[492] mentions the buildings, but not the church.

M. de Vogüé[493] writes as follows: "Towards the middle of the twelfth century, John of Würtzburg expresses wonder at the number of the nuns (who followed the rule of S. Benedict), and at their devotion; and mentions the church; meaning, I think, on this occasion, the church now remaining." I cannot agree with this opinion, for the reason that, had the church been rebuilt, the author would not have omitted to mention it, since it would have been one of the first buildings erected under the Latin kingdom. If the plates be examined[494], I need not enter into details, as they will be found sufficiently clear; but will only call attention to the shape of the church (a trapezium)[495]; a plan which I think prevents us from attributing it to the time of the Crusaders. I am therefore induced to consider it as originally a Byzantine building, which was restored by them. From Plate LXIII. we see that the Church of S. Cross has the pointed arch like that of S. Ann, and is still plainer[496]. Now the former was standing when the Persians under Chosroes II. invaded the country; as is stated by Georgian manuscripts in the Greek convent of S. Constantine at Jerusalem. Hence the presence of pointed arches does not forbid us to suppose that S. Ann's Church was also built before the Crusades. M. de Vogüé[497] says "that the last two western piers (inside the church) are much more massive than the rest, and were intended to sustain bell-towers." With this I do not agree, because the difference in size is imperceptible; indeed, perhaps they are even smaller than the rest: and further, I do not find the walls at the north-west and south-west corners[Pg 147] sufficiently strong to support towers; on the contrary, through their weakness they have fallen greatly to ruin; and lastly, I find no traces of them on the roof. Until then stronger arguments are brought forward than have hitherto been, I retain the opinion expressed above; which is, I believe, sustained by history and the place itself.

In the church we must not omit to notice the dome as belonging to a date posterior to the original building, but a little prior to the minaret at the south-west corner, a large part of which is still standing.

When Saladin took Jerusalem, A.D. 1187, he established various institutions for the Mohammedans; and among others founded a school, A.D. 1192, in the Church of S. Ann, after repairing the injuries caused by the destruction of the neighbouring convent. The Arabic inscription on the entrance-gate on the west records this event. It runs as follows: "In the name of God, kind and merciful! All the blessings ye enjoy come from God! This sacred Medresse (School) has been founded by the victorious King, our Master, Salah-ed-Din, Sultan of Islam, and of the Mohammedans. Abul Muzafar Yusef, son of Eyub, son of Sciasi, has given life to the empire of the Head of the Faithful. May God bless his victories, and pour out His bounty upon him, in this world and in the next. This institution has been founded for the doctors of the rite of Imam Abu-Abdallah Mohammed, son of Edris-es-Shafei. May God grant him mercy. The year five hundred and eighty-eight[498]." This school was deserted in the fifteenth century, owing to the want of means to carry it on, caused by malversation on the part of its managers. We have seen what its condition was in 1767. In 1842 Tayar Pasha entertained the design of re-opening the school, and with that view ordered the interior to be repaired, and the minaret to be built. The latter however was never finished, because the builders and stone-masons of Bethlehem (some of whom told me the circumstances) got on slowly with the work, and even threw many of the stones prepared for building into the cisterns; acting thus because they were unwilling to see a place sacred to Christians profaned by the Mohammedans. By examining the spot, I proved the truth of the workmen's story; for I found a quantity of prepared materials in a cistern on the west, and also in another on the south of the church. Into these I descended before the place was examined by the three French architects who were sent, one after the other, to Jerusalem to begin the repairs; which are now progressing well under the superintendence of M. Mauss, a young man of distinction and great promise. Within the church, under the choir, is a crypt in which the rock is exposed. There, according to an old tradition, was the abode of S. Joachim and S. Ann; and there the Virgin Mary was born. It was already known in the seventh century, and the first who mentions it is S. John Damascenus[499]. It is difficult to see what authority[Pg 148] can be found to establish the truth of the tradition. It is doubtful whether the Virgin was born at Jerusalem or Nazareth; but even supposing she was born at the former place, why did S. Ann live in a crypt? Surely there were houses in Jerusalem! I think that the church was simply dedicated to S. Ann. We find in a manuscript, preserved in the Latin Convent of S. Saviour, that a passage formerly ran from this church to the Tomb of Mary in the Kidron Valley; but all my attempts to discover its opening into the interior of the church were unavailing; perhaps it may be buried under the ruins of the Convent. In the Tomb of Mary, at the extremity of the western arm of the cross, there is a doorway closed with masonry, which cannot be seen from the outside, because of the accumulation of earth. In 1858 a Greek monk was working in a plot of land on the western bank of the Kidron Valley, at no great distance from the tomb, and found a cistern, very long from east to west, hollowed out in the rock, its walls being covered with a strong cement. When I heard of this I went to examine it, and by striking the walls inferred the existence of two openings, one on the east, the other on the west. Perhaps they communicated with the subterranean passage; and the reason why they are in these positions, may be that the cistern was made by widening the passage which was already on the spot. I trust that the architect in charge of the restoration at S. Ann's Church may be able to discover these subterranean passages. I do not describe the insignificant remains of the Convent of Benedictine nuns, because they possess nothing of interest. Not a capital nor a shaft of a column is to be found among the shapeless fragments of ruins, which reveal nothing of their former splendour, nay, not so much as whether they could have been ever beautiful.

The Church of the Magdalene (called Maïmonieh by the Arabs) is situated to the north-west of the Church of S. Ann, and to the south-east of Herod's Gate. According to tradition it stands on the site of the house of Simon the Pharisee, where the penitent sinner washed the Saviour's feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. S. Luke[500] does not mention the place at which this circumstance occurred. The three other Evangelists[501] state that it happened at Bethany, so that I cannot admit the truth of the tradition without denying that of the Bible; consequently I consider the church as only dedicated to the memory of the penitent Magdalene. All that now remains of this building is the porch, part of the choir, and the side walls, which are left standing at irregular heights above the ground; everything else is a heap of ruins, overgrown with creeping plants; and in the middle a potter carries on his craft of making pipes, water-pots, and the like. It is commonly said to be the property of the Greek Convent, but I am not certain whether this is true. I removed the rubbish from the interior to search for the[Pg 149] remains of pillars, in the hope of being able to ascertain the plan of the building; but my labours were fruitless, and I must therefore refer my reader to M. de Vogüé's work[502], only observing that the Church of the Magdalene does not (as he asserts) belong to the same class of churches as that of S. Ann, for the former is a rectangle in plan, the latter a trapezium. For the rest I highly appreciate the labour he has bestowed upon the subject; but, as I have not been fortunate enough to verify his discoveries in my subsequent visits to the spot, I cannot say whether the church belongs to the era of the Crusades, or to an earlier period. I cannot however admit that it can be called a French work[503], because the Crusaders were not French alone, but of many different nations. The same author writes, "The only contemporaneous documents which we possess relating to the Magdalene Church are in the account of John of Würtzburg, and in the Cartulary. He tells us that it was served by the Jacobite monks. 'Near the city-wall, not far from S. Ann's on the north, is the Church of S. Mary Magdalene, occupied by the Jacobite monks. These assert that it stands on the site of the house of Simon the Leper.... A cross marked on the pavement of the church indicates (according to the same monks) the spot where Mary knelt at the feet of Jesus[504].' The Cartulary contains the title of an agreement[505] between the Latin Canons of the Holy Sepulchre and the Jacobite monks of S. Mary Magdalene. The document is not dated, but from the signatures it must have been written about A.D. 1160. After Jerusalem had been taken by the Saracens the church was converted into a school, and was called Maïmonieh, the name it still bears among the Mohammedans. 'The school of Maimun' (writes Mejir-ed-Din) 'near to the gate of the city called Sahera, was formerly a Greek church (i.e. Christian): it was endowed in 593 (A.D. 1197) by the Emir Faris-ed-Din-Abu-Said-Maimun, son of Abdallah-el-Kasri, treasurer of King Salah-ed-Din.'" Let us now consider the testimony quoted above. John of Würtzburg undertook his journey after the middle of the twelfth century, and found the Jacobites already established in the Magdalene Church. Now if the church had been built by the Crusaders, the pilgrim would have been sure to mention it, nor would they have been likely to give it up to the Jacobites. I believe that the Canons allowed it to remain the property of the Jacobites, because it had originally belonged to them. It also appears to me that the names of the Canons must be exactly known before it can be proved, on the evidence of the signatures alone, that the agreement was made in A.D. 1160. Again, why are the words of Mejir-ed-Din[506], 'a Greek church,' necessarily to be taken as equivalent to a Christian church? I maintain that Saladin and his followers were[Pg 150] too well acquainted with the difference between the Latins and the Greeks to make this slip in a public document. I am therefore inclined to believe that the church had been built before the arrival of the Crusaders, and that possibly it might have been injured during the siege, and repaired afterwards by the Jacobites, who were for that reason allowed to retain it. I cannot adopt any other theory, because I am unable to understand the Crusaders giving a church to the Jacobites, who were considered heretical after A.D. 541, because they maintained that there was but one (the divine) nature in Christ, and were therefore called Monophysites.

On the east of the Chapel of the Flagellation is an ancient chapel, called Deïr Addas by the Mohammedans, and by the Christians, the Chapel of the Nativity of the Virgin. It is now used as a warehouse. There is no mention of it in any ancient documents; and it is very small, being not more than 16 feet wide, with a dome about 10 feet in diameter. Perhaps it is owing to its insignificance that there is no dispute about the founders. Its masonry shews that it is older than the time of the Crusades.

On the north of the Austrian hospice is the ancient Church of S. Peter, now converted into a mosque, and kept by the dancing Dervishes. Its plan consists of a nave with two side aisles of equal length, terminated by semicircular apses; they are divided by two perfectly plain piers on each side, sustaining a vaulted roof, with sharp groins, and supported by pointed arches. The total length of the building (inside) is 40 feet 2 inches, the nave is 10 feet wide from pier to pier, while the north aisle is 5-1/2 feet, and that on the south, owing to an irregularity in the wall, is a little narrower, being about 5-1/4 feet. It is difficult to assign a date to this church, because it is not mentioned by ancient authors, and is built in a mixture of several styles. Some think that it belonged to the order of the Knights of S. Lazarus, whose mission was to succour and cure, if possible, the lepers. From this order has arisen that of S. Maurice and S. Lazarus of the kingdom of Italy.

On returning to the central valley we find, exactly at the vaulted passage under the house of Dives, a street rising westward (which I consider to have been the true way of the Cross,) and on the south side of it is a building (several centuries old), of Saracenic architecture, having doorways elegantly ornamented with arabesques and mosaics, and with white, red, and black stones found in Palestine[507]. This is considered, by the Christians, to be the hospital built by the Empress Helena; and it is said by tradition to have been erected before the church of the Resurrection, in order to accommodate the labourers engaged upon it, and to have been afterwards devoted to the reception of poor pilgrims. I admit the truth of the tradition, but not that the present building is of that date, for it is entirely Saracenic work.[Pg 151] The Mohammedans call it Tekhiyeh el-Khasseki-Sultane (Convent of the favourite Sultana), and from documents which they possess in the Mekhemeh concerning the registers of landed property, it is clear that it was built by the Sultana Rossellane, the favourite consort of Solyman the Magnificent, who established there a hospice for the poor and the pilgrims. It is shewn by the same authorities that the Sultana had obtained large revenues from the Sultan for the support of this charity, consisting of an annual tax paid by the villagers of Bethlehem, Bethany, and Beitjala, together with the fees paid by the Christians on entering the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This fact is also confirmed by an Arabic inscription on a stone built into the wall near the entrance to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, at a height of 8 or 9 feet above the ground. This charitable foundation is still daily at work, but on a reduced scale, owing to its diminished income. I think, then, that this charity may have been commenced by S. Helena (whence its name); then continued by the Latins after her death, and during the Crusades; and kept up by the Mohammedans after their conquest of Jerusalem, till it was finally enlarged and enriched by Rossellane; who also built large rooms there, and resided in it herself to minister to the poor and destitute; as is stated in the Mohammedan traditions, and in the chronicles preserved in the mosque Kubbet es-Sakharah.

We will now take a survey of its exterior and interior. At the first glance the negligence of its managers is evident; for a grand and magnificent building, the finest in the city, which, if in good order, would be very useful to the Governor of the place, is becoming every day more ruinous, without any attempt being made to repair it. In 1859 Surraya Pasha was desirous of restoring it, and commissioned me to make a plan, which he afterwards forwarded to Constantinople; but he was not seconded by the higher authorities, and in course of time the place will fall down, unless (as is much to be desired) it be purchased by one of the wealthier Christian communities. During my investigations in the interior I found the rock, which in one part forms a slope rising westward, in which place steps are to be seen four feet wide, but not more than two inches high. These, I think, may be the remains of the street that went up to Golgotha; because it is in the direction of the south-west corner of the tower Antonia (as placed by me). The north façade is built of well-wrought stones of different colours, skilfully laid with even joints, especially in the door-posts, where lead is employed instead of mortar. By this side the guides generally conduct the visitor into the building. On the ground-floor on the east are shewn several chambers, where the food, distributed among the poor, is prepared. One, of great size, has a well constructed vaulted roof supported by piers: it is occupied by horse-mills, which grind the corn for the establishment; but the millstones are almost useless, the fittings broken, and the horses only are excellent, as they belong to the managers, and therefore work little, and feed well. In another place the bread is[Pg 152] made and baked, and is by no means bad. The chamber next the oven is used as a granary; in this are two large brass caldrons 6 feet in diameter and 5-1/2 deep, which are no longer used, being too large. The place which serves as a kitchen is remarkable for its architecture and its central dome; and I believe that originally it was a bath-room; it is now all begrimed with dirt, the pavement is broken, and only one caldron (5 feet in diameter and 4 deep) over a large furnace is in use; four others are seen as a reproach to the managers, who keep them unworked, and leave them to be destroyed by the damp, so that they may then sell them as worthless. In the one in use a quantity of wheat is boiled, and after being seasoned with good oil, is distributed among the poor, each of whom also receives from two to four loaves. This dole is given to all who apply for it, without regard to their religion. On the great Mohammedan festivals a good piece of meat is also given to each, with plenty of rice and honey, which are furnished by the wealthy proprietors, who have made their fortunes out of the hospital. As this building is assigned to S. Helena by the Christians, so also are the caldrons. What excellent brass they must be to have lasted in use from A.D. 326 to the present time! In order to mount to the upper story it is necessary to leave these rooms and go to the door opening into the street, more to the west. Let the visitor now beware where he sets his foot, for a heap of filth covers up several steps of the stairs, which are flooded in winter with rain-water from the ruined terrace-roofs, and infested by vermin in summer. It is therefore better to go round by the central valley to the south gate, and so avoid the nuisance. I speak from experience.

On the south is a fine pointed doorway, with well-carved ornaments in good relief, leading into a spacious hall, in which are medallions containing good arabesques. Beyond this is a very large court surrounded by a cloister with pointed arches, which also have arabesques in their details. The hall, the cloister, and the court, are now only used to shelter the camels and horses of the first comers; consequently they are in a filthy state, and their ornaments are daily being destroyed. A spiral staircase in the north-east corner of the hall leads to the upper floor, where is a Gothic window of two lights, with a marble column as mullion, crowned by an elegant arabesque capital. After going over this floor and mounting to the roof, we see the remains of a splendid apartment with all the requisites of a Mohammedan Harem[508]; but here care is necessary to avoid a fall. The view from the summit of the terrace is far from uninteresting; the whole Haram es-Sherîf is well seen, with a considerable extent of the central valley, the hill Acra (as placed by me) full in view, and also Bezetha, separated from Moriah, and rising above it. Here the student and the archæologist will form a good idea of the topography of the ancient[Pg 153] city; and the descriptions of Josephus, especially with reference to Acra and Bezetha, will be readily understood.

Opposite to S. Helena's Hospital on the north is a Saracenic house, apparently of the same date, which is in a very unsafe state. In the south façade is a great number of delicately wrought and interesting arabesques. It is used by certain Mohammedans, who meet there for prayer. They belong to an order of Dervishes, who are very free from fanaticism, and employed in doing good. When I speak of the convents belonging to the different sects, I will give a fuller account of them.

To the south of the House of Dives is seen on the east side of the road the front of a Saracenic fountain[509], which (as is stated by an inscription) belongs to the age of Solyman. To avoid repetition, I may mention that all the fountains in Jerusalem, so far as regards their ornamentation, belong to the same epoch. It is now dry, because the revenues, destined to supply it with water and repair its conduit, have been absorbed by their former managers.

Keeping along the valley towards the south we come to a street leading up to Temple Street; following this westward, we find on the left, after a few yards, a Saracenic doorway, the ornamental details of which are elegant and well executed[510]. It was the entrance to a boys' school for Mohammedans, founded by Omar, and afterwards enriched by Saladin; but a mass of ruins is the only memorial remaining of their liberality. Near this gate on the west is a street; and at the beginning of this, an opening in the ground covered with a large slab, giving admission into a passage leading to the Fountain of the Virgin in the Kidron valley; of which I shall speak again at greater length.

Opposite to the above-named gate is an ancient edifice, which, from the masonry, may be attributed to Saladin or Solyman; it is called by the Mohammedan chronicle the Hospital of Omar. I have examined the interior, and it appears to me, from the arrangement of some of the principal walls, to have been a church in the days of the Latin kingdom, most probably the Church of S. Giles, mentioned by various writers of the time of the Crusades[511]. The Saracenic architecture in its façade may have been the addition of one of the two above-named Sultans, and shews how rich the neighbourhood of Jerusalem is in fine coloured stones, which take a polish like marble. Many of these are fastened together with lead without mortar. This building might be thoroughly restored for a small sum of money; but it is involved in the same destiny as all the other ancient buildings belonging to the Mohammedans in Jerusalem, and unless it be sold will soon be a heap of ruins.[Pg 154]

In a small street on the west of the above is an ancient edifice, which shews the hand of a skilful architect in the regularity of its façade, and the arrangement of its inner walls. The wall of the former consists of small stones with deeply-cut rustic-work up to the level of the first floor; along which runs a very plain cornice beneath a row of square-headed windows, also crowned with a projecting cornice. The remainder of the façade is constructed of polished stones accurately laid. In the ground-floor rooms, now converted into offices, are the shafts and capitals of columns, and from the general appearance of the building we may infer that it has been a chapel. Local traditions state that it once belonged to the Germans; and it is not impossible that it may have been a dependency of the establishment that afterwards gave birth to the Teutonic order of knights. Returning to the Hospital of Omar, and following the small street opposite to it, we arrive, after crossing the central valley, at the spot on the western wall of the Haram, where the Jews (as we have already mentioned[512]) come to bewail the calamities of their nation. The stranger who visits the place when the unhappy sons of Israel are gathered together there, returns saddened by the sight of their grief. Ceaselessly swaying their bodies from side to side, they utter their prayers in a wailing chant, broken by sighs and sobs, as they kneel among the ruins of their departed grandeur, a feeble and waning remnant in their fatherland. This continual motion, as I was informed, is in memory of the wandering of their ancestors, during the forty years that elapsed between their exodus from Egypt and their entry into Canaan. Having easy access to the Haram, and the power of introducing any person with me, I several times offered to take various Jews into the place, and shew them the true remains of the Temple of Solomon and of Herod; but they always refused for the following reason. When the Temple was destroyed a great number of holy vessels were buried in the ruins; therefore every Jew in the Holy City refrains from visiting the sacred enclosure, for fear of treading upon their dust, and so confines himself to lamenting outside the wall. If one of them enters the Haram (so they told me), he is excommunicated by the chief Rabbi, and expelled by the whole body as a sacrilegious person. All rules, however, have their exceptions, and so has this; for Baron de Rothschild and Sir M. Montefiore, on the occasion of their visit to Jerusalem, obtained permission from the authorities and entered the Haram. This greatly displeased many of their brethren, who grumbled loudly at it in secret; but the excommunication was not fulminated; perhaps because they remembered that these gentlemen had liberally aided in supporting them in times past, and were likely to do so for the future; and consequently thought it would be very foolish to offend them by an act of ignorant fanaticism.[Pg 155]

Returning by the same street, we will now enter the Jewish Quarter and visit the synagogues. The great ancient synagogue may be compared to a vaulted cave; the way into which is down a badly constructed and worse kept staircase. Some piers which were formerly ornamented with wood-carvings and gilding (of which some slight traces still remain) sustain the roof of these subterranean chambers, many parts of which threaten to fall down. They are lighted by the feeble rays that struggle through the broken panes of the closely grated windows. The place is always damp, both from its low situation, and from the water which runs into it during the winter-rains by the staircase, the windows, and the leaky vaulted roof. Round the upper part of the chamber latticed wooden galleries are built; but these are so separated one from another, and so patched from repeated repairs, that they look more fit to be fowl-pens than seats for the women, who seem to me to occupy a very dangerous position. Below are shattered, rotten, worm-eaten benches, haunted by swarms of voracious fleas, which are occupied by the men. At the end of each chamber is a kind of wooden cupboard, with more or less tasteless ornament about it, in the middle of which is the tabernacle, usually covered with a torn curtain, which on festival days only is replaced by another, given by some European benefactress. The tabernacle contains nothing but a copy of the Scriptures, written on parchment rolls. The tables of the law are kept with a holy veneration in the principal of these chambers, wrapped up in a purple cloth embroidered with gold. While the services are going on, each Israelite has upon his head a piece of striped blue and white woollen cloth, edged with a cord, which hangs down from each corner. Many also wear a little box on their foreheads in which a copy of the ten commandments or of some other passages of Scripture is enclosed[513]. When the Rabbins unroll the parchment before the worshippers, each draws near to touch it reverently with the end of one of the cords of his veil. The sad and solemn psalmody of the Doctors of the law, answered by verses of the Bible recited by all the people, with sighs and every manifestation of profound grief, produces a feeling of compassion for this unhappy remnant of Israel, whose constancy and resignation under so long and heavy a burden seem to deserve a better fate.

What I have said of this synagogue may also be applied to the rest, which, as they are smaller, so are they more inconvenient, and in a still more ruinous condition. During my stay in the city a new synagogue was built on the eastern slope of Sion, called the Polish. It rises majestically, and its dome dominates over a large portion of the city, but I know too well that it will not last long, as its foundations are bad; because the master-mason who directed the work had not sufficiently examined the ground, and so mistook its nature. They were laid in a great measure on ancient[Pg 156] walls, which, not so much from ignorance of their existence, as from a mistaken economy, were not properly examined. Therefore when the new walls were finished, and the greater part of the dome completed, cracks, caused by a settlement, appeared all along the building. Consequently it became necessary to strengthen the foundations and to modify the design of the façade by closing up arches and windows, and using iron tie-rods. At present it seems likely to stand for some years; but not for a long period, as its materials and masonry are not very strong.

A German synagogue on the east of the Polish, reached by threading a labyrinth of dirty lanes, is now being repaired. Those in charge of the work have begun to restore the façade, over which they have wasted a great quantity of money in loading it with useless ornament; and have paid no attention to the interior, which, in my opinion, should be the first consideration: consequently they are now at a standstill for want of funds. There are other small synagogues in the Jewish Quarter, but these are not worth notice, being only rooms used for that purpose.

Quitting the Jewish Quarter by its south side in order to reach the Sion Gate, we come upon the Armenian property, and stop a little to examine their churches. In the outer wall of the Convent, close to the Gate of David, is a small chapel, said to occupy the site of the house of Annas the High-Priest, father-in-law to Caiaphas[514], whither our Saviour was brought after he had been made prisoner at Gethsemane. The tradition is not very old, and is of little value, because, after so large a part of the city towards the south has been destroyed, and the whole greatly changed by the ravages of Titus's army and other causes, it is highly improbable that the site of a house can be exactly fixed. Adrichomius[515] says of this chapel, "the house of Annas, father-in-law to Caiaphas, where afterwards the Church of the Holy Angels was built." It is small, but divided into a nave and two side aisles by two pillars, which sustain the vaulted roof.

Outside this chapel, near the wall, is a very old olive-tree, which gives rise to the Arab name Deir-Zeitun (Convent of the Olive). It certainly is not so old as the time of our Saviour, as it could not have escaped the ravages of the Roman troops, and besides, is growing upon a thick mass of rubbish. The Armenian monks relate that the Saviour was tied to it when he was brought to the High-Priest's house; and in consequence of this legend, the Christians (especially those of the East) hold the tree in great veneration, and think themselves happy if they can procure a little piece of it. On this point I may adopt the words of the Abbé Mariti[516]. "In order to check the rush of devotees upon this tree, and to preserve the advantages resulting from it, the Armenians have surrounded it with a wall to prevent the faithful from approaching near to it. Of its fruit they make rosaries, which they[Pg 157] present to pilgrims, who requite the donors with large gifts. In order to increase the fervour of devotion they keep a lamp burning near the tree, the oil of which is said by the monks to have worked miracles;" and therefore has a ready sale among the credulous.

The Church of S. James the Great, one of the best in Palestine, belongs to the Armenians. Its founder is not positively known, but it was certainly built after the departure of the Crusaders from Jerusalem. It is generally thought that it was one of the Spanish Kings, probably Peter of Arragon, who in 1362, being on terms of amity with the Sultan, gave large gifts to the Holy Land. The name of the church (after the patron Saint of Spain), and tradition, are in favour of this supposition. After the Mohammedan conquest of the city, the Armenians doubtless occupied it and the adjoining convents, but it is stated in Jerusalem (by the Franciscans) that in the time of Ibrahim Pasha, A.D. 1837, when the Armenians were obliged to prove their title to certain parts of the convent and church by producing documents, they had none in their archives, and, under false pretences, came to the Franciscans to see if they had preserved any. This would shew that they had some doubt themselves to their right to the property they enjoy. However, one of their members (a respectable Armenian from Constantinople) to whom I mentioned this, asking him whether it were true, asserted that they had, besides firmans of Omar Kotab, of Saladin, and others, one from Mohammed himself. This he affirmed with shouts and gesticulations, and with every sign which an Oriental uses to impress his hearer with a belief in his veracity. He promised to shew me this document, but some how or other never found an opportunity, although, unquestionably, the monks do exhibit it to credulous pilgrims. The church is well worth notice. It is said to stand on the spot where the Saint was martyred[517], but it would be difficult to prove the truth of the tradition. The façade[518] is very plain, and of later date than the rest of the building. It has a porch where the Easterns leave their shoes before entering the doors; both from reverence, and to avoid injuring the marble pavement and rich Persian carpets. In the upper part of the porch is a gallery, occupied by the women during service, so that they are separated from the men. The interior is divided into a nave and two side aisles, of different dimensions, by four large piers, and is lighted by a graceful dome. On the walls are pictures, which are very remarkable both from the subjects and style of painting; for example, in depicting the souls in purgatory, the artist seems to have had before his mind one of Dante's divisions of Hell. There is a profusion of gilding and mosaic work; the latter is admirable, being composed of the different breccias abundant in the country. The design of the inlaid work of mother-of-pearl and tortoise-shell is remarkably[Pg 158] good; and, in a word, the whole church is kept in such excellent order, that it is an honour to its owners. On the right hand we find, on entering, a small chapel richly ornamented with marble and inlaid work, where the supposed spot of the Saint's martyrdom is shewn. The Latin monks are permitted by the Armenians to celebrate mass here on the festival of the Saint. On the same side, but nearer the entrance, is the treasury, which is worth a visit, not so much for the gems it contains as for certain Armenian antiquities, among which the most remarkable are some sceptres of the ancient kings, and a staff made of a single piece of amber 3-1/2 feet long. A piece of the true Cross, three inches long and as thick as the third finger, enclosed in a casket enriched with precious stones, is preserved among the numerous relics. The Latins assert that it belongs to them, and was appropriated by the Armenians when they were exposed to persecution. In the Chapel of S. Miazim is a box containing three large stones, which the monks exhibit with great reverence, stating that one came from Mount Horeb, another from the Jordan, and the third from Mount Tabor. Thus far I can believe them; but, in order to render them more marvellous, they say that they formed part of the twelve stones which the children of Israel set up in the Jordan[519]. The Armenians had discovered this fact before A.D. 1628, because it was related to and believed by a certain Alberto Follesi, a Florentine of that date. They have the property of foretelling rain and wind.

On leaving the Church of S. James, and following the street to the north, we find, on the right, a small arch opening on to a street running eastward; and going some little distance along this, we see, on the left, a ruined chapel, which, at the time of the Crusades, was the traditional site of S. Peter's prison[520].

Keeping along the street which turns to the north we reach the Syrian convent, in which is a church said to stand upon the site of the House of S. Mark, whither S. Peter went on his release from prison[521]. Here a font is shewn, which is asserted to be the one used for the Virgin Mary. Besides this there is nothing else remarkable within. It is really surprising how the Christians at Jerusalem have preserved all the traditions of the most ordinary localities, and been able to discover the exact spots after all the changes and injuries the city has undergone! Behind the English church and near the English hospital is the small Church of S. James the Less; its plan is an oblong of 32 feet by 19. The choir, with a cornice running round it on the inside, is still to be seen. It is said to occupy the site of the ancient House of S. James.

The English church was built in 1841. It is a cruciform Gothic building, which style (in my opinion) is altogether out of place in Jerusalem. The interior is not remarkable. The services are performed with propriety, and it is the only[Pg 159] church free from the insect-plagues of Jerusalem, and in which the visitor can pray undisturbed by noise or laughter; because the number of worshippers is small, and the Eastern Christians are not attracted there by any pomp or ceremony. I may venture to add, that perhaps this latter circumstance is the reason why the number of proselytes does not increase in proportion to the benevolent exertions of the Jews' Society. Both its members, and the zealous missionaries who from time to time sojourn in the country, should not be ignorant of the nature of the spirit with which they daily have to deal in the East, and should know that the greatest obstacle to their success is the severe form of their religion. The Oriental dislikes reading, and is averse to hearing sermons, which he either does not understand or is wearied by. He is more gained over by the eye than by the ear, and is with difficulty persuaded that a priest in a black gown or plain white surplice can be as important a person as one of his 'Papas,' who wears a magnificent vestment in the church, shouts and chants loudly, and makes a thousand signs of the cross, and as many genuflexions. More ceremony and a more elaborate ritual would contribute greatly to the success of the English missionaries, whose excellent organization and conduct deserves all praise.

Nearly opposite to the above is the citadel of Jerusalem, called the Castle of David, or of the Pisans. I have already spoken[522] of all the objects of antiquarian interest which are to be seen there; and have nothing to add beyond expressing my surprise at the carelessness of the government in suffering every part of it to fall into decay. The garrison of the city is not quartered there, but only a guard is posted at the entrance, to prevent any one from going inside who is not furnished with an order from the Commandant of the place. The reason of this strictness is that part of it is used as a powder magazine; and besides, some cannon are kept there, most of which are useless, as they have been spiked or battered. Formerly various pieces of armour of the time of the Crusades, which had been found in the neighbourhood of the city and in other parts of Palestine, were preserved here, but the collection has been dispersed. Some of the principal officers of the garrison thought fit to represent to the department of artillery at Constantinople, that it would be a good plan to dispose of them, as they were articles of no value. The requisite order was quickly given, and then, according to the usual custom of the government, the money was kept back from the exchequer and used for private purposes. The traveller who mounts to the top of the tower will be well repaid by the general view of the surrounding country. The scenery is unattractive and almost saddening; ranges of arid hills enclose the city, white with bare faces of heated rock, whereon no herbage grows. Both near and far[Pg 160] these are dotted over with ruined Arab cottages, with little mosques and tombs; and when the eye turns aside to range over the intervening fields, it finds nothing more pleasing on which to repose. Everywhere is barrenness, everywhere desolation; below there seems to lie a city of the dead rather than of the living; around, a land of tombs rather than of men.

Going from the citadel along the street toward the north-west we arrive at the Latin Convent of S. Saviour, within which is the parish-church of the same title. On each side two pillars supporting the very low vaulted roof divide the nave from the two side aisles. In front of the high altar rises a little slightly-depressed dome, and opposite to it is the choir with well-carved stalls. The size of the building in length and breadth is also very small in comparison with the number of people frequenting it. For many years past the monks have had a plan for enlarging it; but they have always been prevented from carrying their design into effect by the prohibition of the authorities; and so the Latins have to suffer from heat or damp according to the season of the year. It is therefore to be hoped that the place will soon be made more commodious.

Besides the churches and chapels which I have already noticed, many others are indicated either by ruins, or tradition, or history (especially by the chronicles of the time of the Crusades[523]); but as they are now destroyed, or at least no longer used for worship, and their remains are not of any interest, I pass them over in silence. It is stated[524] that at the time of the Crusades the Christians possessed as many as three hundred and sixty-five churches and monasteries in Jerusalem. I now proceed to mention those convents which still belong to the different religious communities, the number of which is far below that just mentioned.

The Latin Convent of S. Saviour is the chief and greatest of those belonging to the Guardians of the Holy Land. Here dwell the Superiors of the Friars Minor of the Order of S. Francis; and consequently from it orders and instructions are issued to all the rest of the convents, which are dependencies of the Holy Guardianship, in Constantinople, Egypt, Cyprus, Syria, and Palestine. The site of the building is one of the best in Jerusalem, as it stands on the highest part of Mount Gareb, near the north-west corner of the city-wall, and there looks down upon the greater part of the city. It resembles a castle rather than a convent; but this is due to the additions made by the monks during the three centuries it has been in their hands, rather than to its original design. The first abode of the Franciscans was on Mount Sion (which I will describe in speaking of the 'Cœnaculum'), but being dispossessed by the Mohammedans A.D. 1550, they were obliged to occupy[Pg 161] a place on the same hill, called from its smallness the 'Oven.' In course of time, being assisted by contributions from Europe, they hired from the Georgians the Convent of S. Saviour (then called Deir 'Amud, Convent of the Column), where they established themselves on a surer footing inside the city. This they afterwards purchased from the proprietors, A.D. 1559, by the favour of the Sublime Porte, who imposed on them hard conditions[525]. The price of the ground was 1000 sultanins (about £120), and that of the buildings 1200 Venetian sequins; but as the property was much too small they obtained permission to increase it, A.D. 1561, and again on other occasions, and so gradually brought it to its present condition. The earliest part of the convent is that which is round the church. There are two entrances, a large door on the south side, and a small one on the west; both are strengthened and defended with iron, a necessary precaution in a country where the power of self-defence is requisite in case of popular tumults; which now, however, very rarely occur. By entering the great door we can visit the ground-floor of the convent, in which we find many large cisterns, hewn in the rock, and supplied by the rains. When there is a drought in the country, the poor Latins, and not seldom the Mohammedans, draw their supplies of water from these. Here we see all the offices required by a great convent that entertains and supports a large number of pilgrims, such as gardens and courts, stables, extensive cellars, storehouses for food, wood, and charcoal, horse-mills, ovens, and forges; shops for carpenters, turners, shoemakers, and wax-candles; a dispensary well supplied with medicines, and zealously and efficiently served, always liberally open to all comers; and lastly, a printing-press, which though small is admirably managed, and annually publishes books on religious subjects in Arabic, Latin, Italian, and other languages; the type being cast on the premises. In the upper story are the monks' cells, the apartment of the Guardian of the Holy Land, and that of the Procurer General, an infirmary, reserved for the brethren, workshops, in some of which the vestments are made, in others the clothing of the monks; a shop where the manufactures of the Holy Land are sold, such as rosaries, shell-work, crosses, and the like[526]; a library containing some most valuable manuscripts and many excellent books; and finally, the Church of S. Saviour (mentioned above), with the adjoining sacristy. In this a very great number of objects are preserved, valuable not only for the intrinsic worth of the precious metals and jewels which they contain, but also for the work of the artists who made them. These are but rarely shewn, and the more splendid have not seen the light for years. They are the gifts of many of the European courts in past and present times, and of countries which have had a love for the Holy Land. The convent ordinarily contains about fifty inmates, clerics and laics; but can hold a much greater number; as in fact it does at the Easter festivals.[Pg 162]

The Latin Patriarchate is a house belonging to the Franciscans, which was intended for a hospice. In 1859 the foundations of the new Patriarchate were laid near the north-west corner of the city. It is not yet finished, but before long Jerusalem will possess a good new house, which, while convenience is not sacrificed to vain show, will be internally well arranged. M. Valerga himself drew the plan.

Opposite to the Latin Convent of S. Saviour on the south, is that of the Sisters of S. Joseph, who have been lodged in two native houses, altered to receive them. The interior is very confined and damp, and in consequence unhealthy. The poor nuns, in number fourteen, suffer with resignation, waiting until it please Heaven to grant them a better abode, and with that a wider field for their benevolent labours in the instruction of poor girls.

To the north of the arch of the 'Ecce Homo' is the Convent of the Daughters of Sion, which I have already mentioned[527]. It is a new building, the interior of which might have been very well arranged, but the plans of the architect were continually altered by the changeableness of a person who had that power. We, however, must not deny to him the merit of having introduced into Palestine this excellent order, whose members came thither with the object of converting the Jews, but at present are occupied in educating orphans.

The Greek Catholic Convent is near the Jaffa Gate, and is inhabited by two or three 'Papas,' whose Bishop usually resides at S. Jean d'Acre. Internally it is in no respect worth notice. The church is a very large modern room; and on its south wall is a singular picture representing the Last Judgement, Paradise and Hell; angels are contending fiercely with devils, and the condemned struggling with the righteous on the banks of a river, whereon Charon is rowing his boat. The seven mortal sins are also unmistakeably represented. The painting is not fitted for the walls of a church.

The Armenian Catholics have at present only a single monk in Jerusalem, a good and energetic man. As the representative of his co-religionists he purchased in 1856 a plot of land containing the third station of the Via Dolorosa, and bounded on the south by the fourth station. This he would not have been able to acquire, had he not been aided by the alms of his party and the support of M. de Barrère, the French consul, who, as usual, earnestly pressed his cause with the local authorities. The property was utterly neglected by the Mohammedans so long as it was in their possession, and considered to be the ruin of an ancient bath; the eastern part was used as the Pasha's stable. A church, convent, and hospice for pilgrims, will soon rise upon the spot; and I trust that in removing the ruins they will discover some traces of the second line of walls, which I believe to have passed over this ground.[Pg 163]

The central Convent of the orthodox Greeks is that of S. Constantine, which is situated on the west of the Church of the Resurrection. Attached to it, on the north side, is the Patriarch's house, which has no architectural merit, but is well arranged and comfortable, with a good garden. The convent itself, though very large, is no better than a labyrinth of cottages of different sizes and heights, which have been bought from time to time and joined together as best they could. It is therefore full of court-yards, large and small, lanes, passages, and flights of steps; and has also a small but well-kept garden, near the sacristy. Inside is an excellent dispensary, and all the offices and workshops, which this Royal Convent requires, not only for its own purposes, but also for the use of all its dependencies, especially those in Jerusalem. The chapel is dedicated to S. Constantine; it abuts against the rotunda of the Holy Sepulchre, and is of great antiquity. It is adorned as well with pavements of valuable marbles, as with original pictures, curious specimens of Byzantine art; and possesses a great number of sacred silver vessels and magnificent vestments. There is also a very ill-arranged and dusty library, rich in Greek, Arabic, and Georgian manuscripts, and in ancient Byzantine books; but they are rarely examined, consequently the rats and worms are more attentive to them than the monks. They cannot be seen without the permission of the Patriarch or his deputy; nor can the treasury, which is full of ancient works of Byzantine art, given by Russia and every other country in which the members of the Greek church are found, and the cry of Jerusalem is heard. I have never seen it, nor am I aware of any other traveller who has. In the lower parts of the buildings, on the east, the native rock appears, which is a continuation upwards of that seen inside the Church of the Resurrection, at the tombs of Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea. The parts of the convent near the Holy Sepulchre, and to the east and south, enable us to understand the words of William of Tyre[528] concerning the Hospitalers, "That during the disputes between the Canons and the Knights, the latter shot arrows out of their own convent into that of their adversaries." In fact, the Canons then inhabited the south-east part of the present Greek convent, as well as the church, and the part behind to the north of it. There are fifty monks in the convent, and six Bishops, besides Archimandrites, Priests, and laics; about eighty in all. They are distinguished by the title of Monks of the Sepulchre. Besides these is a large number of boys who attend upon the Papas and the church, and wear the monastic dress; and many servants taken from the people of the city.

In addition to the convent of S. Constantine, the Greeks possess many other convents in Jerusalem. These are, S. Demetrius, S. George of the Hospital, S. Michael the Archangel[529], S. John the Fore-runner, S. George of the Hebrews (in whose[Pg 164] church is an ancient Byzantine mosaic pavement), S. Charalampes, S. Abraham, S. Nicholas (where an ancient Georgian church is worth a visit, as well as the printing-office, which publishes good reprints of books in excellent type), the succursal of Gethsemane, and a new convent by the Damascus Gate. Each of these is under the government of a Prior, who performs service in their respective chapels, and, at the season of pilgrimages, entertains strangers sent to him from the great convents; by whom, as I will explain presently, his revenues are chiefly supplied.

The nunneries are, Megala Panagia (Great S. Mary's), S. Theodore, S. Basil (near the position I assign to the tower Psephinus; the Dead Sea is visible from its terrace-roofs); S. Catharine, Micra Panagia (Little S. Mary's), and S. Euthymius[530]. The females who come on pilgrimage to the Holy City are entertained in these. The Prioresses and the sisters are taken from the lower orders, and many of them act as servants in the convents of the Priors and Papas.

The principal Armenian convent, to which the Patriarchate is attached, is on Mount Sion. Its great extent, its situation, its many advantages, its excellent masonry, and, above all, its admirable internal arrangements, render it unquestionably the best establishment in the city. It may be compared to a fortress, without ditches indeed, yet strong enough to defend itself against an attack of the populace or of the peasants in case of a riot. Its terrace-roofs command an extensive panorama, and would supply an ample space for exercise to the monks, even without the large courts and gardens enclosed within its walls. The latter are the best in the city, and contain some majestic cypress-trees, and some cedars, which the vivid fancy of the Easterns attributes to the age of David. This belief is shared by the pilgrims, and slips of them never fail to fetch a high price. The west front of the convent is European work, of the same date as the church. The Armenians assert that it was erected by Spain for a hospital or hospice; but nothing certain is known on this point. The Patriarch's apartment is most comfortable and well appointed. The library is well kept. Many of the books are of no great value; but there are some important manuscripts and rare liturgies. The printing-press is well managed: they print in Armenian, Arabic, and sometimes Turkish characters, and publish reprints of ancient liturgies and tales, but no books of any size. The full complement of monks, including the laics, together with the Patriarch and two Bishops, is from forty to fifty. This number is necessary in order to supply the services of the Church of the Resurrection, the Sepulchre of the Virgin, and the Convent of Caiaphas outside the Sion Gate.

The interior of the Syrian convent is not remarkable. It is a plain ordinary Arab building, but outside it on the north is a great pointed arch entirely built up, called[Pg 165] by the Orientals the Gate of S. Mark's House, at which S. Peter knocked. As the arch and its foundations are of the date of the Crusades, I of course do not believe the legend. The Syrian Bishop has two or three monks, who assist him in performing the church services and in receiving pilgrims.

Some houses near the church belong to the English mission, and are inhabited by the missionaries and other persons attached to it. They are neat, but do not call for special mention.

The Prussian mission possesses a house near the Judgement Gate, occupied by the Pastor who has the spiritual charge of the mission, and another, near the English church, inhabited by deaconesses, who are engaged in the instruction of girls (as I shall presently explain), and in rendering charitable aid to the sick.

The Coptic convent is on the north of and near to the Pool of Hezekiah; it is a plain Arab house. Its inmates are far from clean, and the visitor generally carries away unpleasant reminiscences of their dwelling; they also possess another house near the north-east corner of the Church of the Resurrection, of which I have already spoken[531]; as well as of the miserable dens that shelter the Abyssinians.

The convent of the Kusbeck Dervishes stands against the south end of the arch of the Ecce Homo. With the exception of their chief, they are engaged in work in Jerusalem, and spend the money thus earned in pilgrimages to the Mohammedan sanctuaries. They are sober, prayerful, peaceable men, free from the vice of fanaticism. When I was superintending the buildings of the Daughters of Sion I had good opportunity of learning their character. Even at the time of the massacres of Lebanon I never saw them shewing signs of joy. Their chief is an intelligent and very moderate man.

The convent of the Dancing Dervishes is on the summit of Bezetha (as I call it), next to the ancient Church of S. Peter, which I have already mentioned. Inside and outside, especially in the lower part, we see remains of the Crusaders' work. At the present time there are only two inmates, who are more disposed to good than evil. Its minaret commands a view of Jerusalem, and of the whole length of the Tyropœon valley, from which the topography of the ancient city is far more readily understood than from any description or plan.

The Howling or Lancer Dervishes, as I call them, do not live in a community, but very frequently assemble in a house opposite to the Hospital of S. Helena, which may be considered as their convent. Many of the principal Effendis of the city belong to this order. The badge of membership is a necklace of wooden beads round the neck, and a long staff with an iron lance-head in the hand. They were founded by an old Mohammedan santon, an inhabitant of the neighbourhood of S. Jean[Pg 166] d'Acre, who came to Jerusalem in 1856 to preach a course of sermons. When these dervishes hold their meetings, or are coming from them, they sing at the top of their voices in the streets, from which practice I have given them their name. Their distinctive marks might lead us to mistrust them, but in difficult circumstances they have proved themselves worthy of confidence; so perhaps I did wrong when I was hard-hearted enough to break the lance-handle of a country dervish, who met me on the Jaffa road, and demanded a bakshish rather in the tone of a soldier than of a monk. I made him amends by repairing his lance, and gave it back to him, comforting him with the assurance that it would be as good as ever for the next traveller he met.

The Jews have no establishments where the Doctors and Rabbins live in common, so that I pass over in silence their dwellings, which are destitute of everything except neatness.

I believe that I have now gone through all the buildings in the interior of Jerusalem without exception, and have only to speak of the waters; but these I shall leave for another chapter, and consider them after I have described the neighbourhood.

FOOTNOTES:

[460] Plate II.

[461] Page 64.

[462] Jewish War, V. 5, § 8.

[463] Ibid. V. 5, § 8.

[464] Ibid. V. 4, § 2.

[465] Plate XI.

[466] S. Cyril. Catech. Lect. XIII. (Libr. of Fathers, Vol. II. p. 163).

[467] Holy City, Vol. II. p. 375.

[468] De Vogüé, Les Églises de la Terre Sainte, p. 299, quoting from Gesta Francorum expugn. Hierus. Bongars. p. 573.

[469] Quoted by De Vogüé, p. 299.

[470] Elucidatio Terræ Sanctæ, Lib. IV. Pereg. 6, c. 2, Vol. II. p. 181, col. 2, ed. 1639.

[471] Ibid.

[472] Elucidatio Terræ Sanctæ, Lib. IV. Pereg. 6, c. 5, Vol. II. p. 196, col. 2, ed. 1639.

[473] Hist. de l'état présent de Jérus. Ch. XIII.

[474] Note I; Plates XII., XIII.

[475] S. John xix. 5.

[476] Ch. III. page 60.

[477] Histoire de l'état présent de Jésus. Ch. XIII.

[478] S. Luke xxiii. 7-11.

[479] Jewish War, I. 3, § 3.

[480] M. de Vogüé (Les Églises de la Terre Sainte, p. 304) states that it is mentioned in the Citez de Jherusalem.

[481] S. Matt. xxvii. 32; S. Mark xv. 21; S. Luke xxiii. 26.

[482] S. Matt. ix. 20.

[483] Nehem. xii. 39.

[484] S. Luke xxiii. 28.

[485] Nicephorus, H. E. Lib. VIII. c. 30.

[486] De Fide Orth. Lib. IV. 14. Quoted by Quaresm. E. T. S. Lib. IV. Pereg. 3, c. 12., Tom. II. p. 103, col. 2, ed. 1639.

[487] C. 11 (cf. c. 6), also quoted by Quaresm. Ibid.

[488] See De Vogüé, Les Églises, pp. 233, et seq.

[489] Note II.

[490] Lib. XI. c. 1. Gesta Dei, Vol. II. p. 795 (ed. 1611).

[491] Lib. XI. c. 1. Gesta Dei, Vol. II. p. 795 (ed. 1611).

[492] Lib. XV. c. 26. Gesta Dei, Vol. II. p. 887 (ed 1611).

[493] Les Églises, &c. pp. 242, 243.

[494] Plates XL., XLI., XLII.

[495] I was the first person who made a plan of it before it came into the possession of France.

[496] Note III.

[497] Les Églises, &c. p. 235.

[498] i.e. of the Hejra, corresponding with A.D. 1192.

[499] De Fide Orthodoxa, Lib. VI. c. 5.

[500] S. Luke vii. 37, 38.

[501] S. Matt. xxvi. 6, 7;S. Mark xiv. 3; S. John xii. 1.

[502] Les Églises de la Terre Sainte, p. 292.

[503] Ibid. p. 294.

[504] John of Würtzburg, c. VII.

[505] Cartulary, p. 221: "Between the Latin Canons of the most glorious Sepulchre and the Jacobite monks of S. Mary Magdalene."

[506] Mejir-ed-Din, p. 123.

[507] Plate XLIII.

[508] The part of a house assigned to the females of a family.

[509] Plate XLIV.

[510] Plate XLIV.

[511] La Citez de Jherusalem: see De Vogüé, Les Églises, &c. pp. 303, 439. Furnus S. Egidii in vico Templi. Cart. p. 331.

[512] Ch. III. page 72.

[513] A custom derived from a literal interpretation of Deut. vi. 8. See also Prov. vi. 21; vii. 3.

[514] S. John xviii. 13.

[515] Adric. No. VIII. (Quaresm. E. T. S. Lib. IV. pereg. 5, c. 14, Tom. II. p. 172, col. 2, ed. 1639).

[516] Mariti, p. 82.

[517] Acts xii. 2.

[518] Plate XXXIX.

[519] Josh. iv. 9, 20.

[520] M. de Vogüé, Les Églises, &c. p. 304.

[521] Acts xii. 12.

[522] Ch. II. p. 29. See also Note VIII. to the same chapter.

[523] See De Vogüé, Les Églises, &c. pp. 303, 304.

[524] By an anonymous Greek writer in Scriptt. Hist. Byzant. XXV. c. 12. Ed. Venet. 1733.

[525] Note IV.

[526] Note V.

[527] Ch. III. p. 60.

[528] Lib. XVII. c. 3 (Gesta Dei, &c. Tom. II. p. 933).

[529] Note VI.

[530] Note VI.

[531] Ch. IV. page 126.


[Pg 167]

CHAPTER VI.

EXCURSIONS IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD OF THE CITY ON THE EAST, SOUTH, AND SOUTH-WEST—THE VALLEY OF KIDRON, CALLED ALSO THE VALLEY OF JEHOSHAPHAT, WITH ITS MONUMENTS AND REMARKABLE PLACES—THE MOUNT OF OLIVES—BETHPHAGE—BETHANY—THE VALLEY OF HINNOM—THE MOUNT OF EVIL COUNSEL—SOUTH-WESTERN PART OF THE VALLEY OF GIHON—MOUNT SION—CHRISTIAN CEMETERIES—TOMB OF DAVID, AND SUBTERRANEAN VAULTS—THE CŒNACULUM—THE HOUSE OF CAIAPHAS—THE GROTTO OF S. PETER—THE LEPERS.

As we go out of the eastern gate, called S. Mary's and also S. Stephen's Gate, we see on the left-hand a pool, by name Birket-Hammam Sitti-Mariam (the Pool of the Bath of our Lady Mary). The origin of this name is that it receives the waters of the ditch outside the eastern wall, and then by a conduit supplies a bath inside the city, near the Church of S. Ann. This bath is a favourite with the women of Jerusalem, who attribute to it miraculous virtues; but unfortunately they can only profit by them for a few days in the year, as the neighbouring cisterns and the pool, instead of retaining the water, allow it to escape; since the reservoir and conduits are in a ruinous condition, and the proprietor of the bath is too blind to his own interest to repair them.

On the right of the gate, as we go out, we see a Saracenic monument, which is daily falling to ruin[532]. Some of the Arabs believe that it was built over a sepulchre; others, that it is a monument to mark the spot where the Khalif Omar pitched his tent after traversing the Valley of Jehoshaphat. Whichever be the true account, it ought to be preserved. But the Mohammedan makes no effort to arrest the ravages of time.

Hence a large portion of the Kidron valley is seen at a glance, especially that part which is called the Valley of Jehoshaphat[533], a name derived from the tomb attributed to that king, which is covered with earth on the east of that of[Pg 168] Absalom. Adamnanus, the historian of Arculf's travels, is the first to mention the Valley of Jehoshaphat, and his description agrees with that given by Willibald, another author of the eighth century[534]. The celebrity of this valley is due to a belief, widely spread among both Christians and Mohammedans, that it will be the scene of the Last Judgement. This has arisen from the words of the prophet Joel, "I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land"[535]; and again, "Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat, for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about[536]." In this same valley many of the ancient Jews, both high and low, have been interred, and the custom still continues; for they possess a cemetery extending along the eastern bank of the valley, while the two on the western belong to the Mohammedans. It appears that the Christians have also used the place for the same purpose, since, in November 1856, when the Greeks were cultivating a plot of ground on the western bank of the valley, a short distance from the tomb of Mary, they found a well-executed slab of Palestine breccia, on which a cross and the following words were carved: "The monument which contains Stephen and Juliana." On its removal the two skeletons were found. As the work went on, fragments of stone, stone crosses, and human bones were found, unquestionable proofs that it was the site of an ancient Christian cemetery. It is then certain that this valley has long been used for the cemetery of the city, as it is at the present day. In the reign of Josiah mention is made of the "graves of the children of the people[537]." Urijah, who was slain by Jehoiakim, was "cast into the graves of the common people[538]." Adrichomius[539] says that "it received the corpses of the common people and of the great." I believe that the ancients had a reason in selecting this place rather than any other for their graves, which was that the winds do not usually blow strongly from this quarter in Palestine, and therefore the effluvia from the cemetery would not be borne into the city, but would be confined to the lower parts of the valley.

It is then to this, also called the Kidron Valley, from the Arab name Wady Kedron, that I conduct the reader, in order that we may examine it thoroughly. After descending by the road nearly to the bottom of the slope, we come to a bare patch of yellow limestone-rock, said to be the spot were S. Stephen was stoned. The tradition however does not rest upon a probable foundation, and is more recent than the time of the Crusades; and as no mention is made in the Bible[Pg 169][540] of either the gate or the direction of the place where the Proto-martyr suffered, I must be allowed to doubt its truth. It however is so firmly implanted in the minds of the pilgrims of the different sects who visit the place, that their eyes are able to discover the Saint's effigy on the rock itself; and they forget that even if it had been sculptured there, it would have long ago disappeared under the hammers of the devout believers, who have for some centuries made a practice of breaking off fragments as relics. Several writers have demonstrated the worthlessness of the tradition, by shewing that from the fifth century to the close of the Latin kingdom at Jerusalem, the place of the Saint's martyrdom was believed to be outside the present Damascus Gate, which then bore S. Stephen's name[541]. It is not known for what reason this name was in the fourteenth century transferred to the east gate, which, during the Crusades, had always been called the Gate of Jehoshaphat.

Near this pretended site of the Saint's martyrdom is the opening of a cave, which some consider to have been the entrance into the vaults of a church, erected by the Empress Eudoxia. I endeavoured to clear it out, but was prevented by the quantity of stones and earth it contained; however, I was able to ascertain that it had been an ancient cistern, and did not present any indications of the presence of tombs. I think that the letters at the opening, now scarcely visible, are the work of pilgrims. Eudoxia's church was a little distance from the Damascus Gate (as I will presently explain); and the steepness of the rocks and the unevenness of the surface here precludes us from believing that this can have ever been the site of a church, and there are no traces of ancient walls, nor hewn stones lying about, to shew that any building has been erected here.

Following the road eastward from this point, we arrive at the dry bed of the Kidron torrent, crossed by a small stone bridge, the lower part of which is evidently very ancient. Above this is some masonry of the time of the Crusades, and the rest, including the arch, is old Arab work. In the present day the Kidron is only full of water after a heavy fall of rain, and quickly becomes dry again as soon as this ceases. Kidron is a Hebrew word, meaning 'darkness;' derived either from the former depth of the valley down which it flowed, or from the circumstance that its ancient bed was narrow and choked with projecting rocks, or from the cedar-groves, which some believe to have once flourished upon the slopes of the valley[542]. This torrent is famous in both the Old and New Testament. David crossed it in his flight from his rebellious son Absalom[543]; Asa burnt and destroyed an idol here[544]; Hezekiah and Josiah, in restoring the worship of God, cast down here the uncleanness from the Temple and the broken idol altars[545]. Our Saviour frequently crossed it on his way from the Mount[Pg 170] of Olives and Bethany; especially it is mentioned on that night when he went to the garden of Gethsemane[546]. At the present day the Kidron is a means of discovering antiquities, in the following way. In the spring of 1855, after a heavy rain-fall, I noticed that some peasants of Siloam were examining the mud which had been brought down by the torrent. I approached them, and learnt that they were searching for old coins. I at once determined to imitate them, and every year at the time of the heavy rains went to the Kidron with a couple of men, and constructed small dykes to retain the mud; and when the water had fallen, I riddled the soil thus deposited, and always found coins; sometimes of considerable value, such as shekels, medals of Alexander and Antiochus, and of others[547]. The reason that these things are found in the Kidron is that the rubbish from the city, and especially from Mount Moriah, was from the earliest periods thrown down the western bank of the valley; consequently all the ground on that side is artificial and not well consolidated; so that the heavy rains wash down the earth into the torrent, together with the objects hidden in it. There is no difficulty in the process, and the supply is by no means exhausted; so that any collector of Jewish coins may profit by the above description.

After crossing the bridge just mentioned, we see, immediately on our left hand, a cubical building, three of whose sides are buried in the ground, while the façade[548] (on the south) is uncovered. Before this is a little open platform reached by some steps[549]. It is said to cover the tomb of the Virgin Mary, but we have no evidence which enables us to fix the date of its erection. An examination of the tomb itself would lead us to suppose that the buildings around it were contemporaneous with S. Helena: for it is a small chamber hewn in the rock, which I have seen on the inside and outside of the eastern wall, in the lower parts (close to the ground), and underneath the marble slabs covering the Greek altar, which has been constructed upon a shelf along the chamber-wall, originally made to support a corpse, exactly like that in the Sepulchre of Christ. It is, then, beyond all question, an ancient Jewish tomb; and at the erection of the church the rock was hewn away all round, in order to detach it from the main mass (which is seen close by), and isolate it in the middle of the building; just as was done at the Holy Sepulchre. We may therefore infer that this work was contemporaneous with that at the Church of the Resurrection, and that it was executed by order of S. Helena[550], as is stated by Nicephorus Callistus, an author of the fourteenth century. I hold that S. Helena began the work, but did not complete it, because at this time not only was the traditionary site of the tomb a matter of dispute, but also the question of the Assumption of the Virgin was as yet undecided by the learned; a point which was[Pg 171] not settled till after A.D. 431, when it was declared by the third General Council, held at Ephesus, that the tombs of the Virgin and S. John were in that city. Besides, if S. Helena had erected a building over the tomb, I cannot account for the silence of Eusebius, the historian of that Empress and her son Constantine, upon that point. I am confirmed in my opinion, that S. Helena did not do more than commence this work, by the fact that neither S. Jerome nor S. Epiphanius, who visited and described Jerusalem, make any mention of this as a sanctuary. Had it then existed, they would not have omitted to name it; especially since, in the fourth century, the belief was widely spread that the Virgin had not died, but had been borne away by the Angels into heaven in her bodily form; and therefore these authors would not have neglected so important a matter as her tomb. Consequently I do not assign the building to the time of Helena.

In course of time, when all questions concerning the Assumption were settled, the Sepulchre of Gethsemane rose in importance; and in the fifth century a church was standing there, which we find mentioned for the first time by S. John of Damascus[551], in connexion with the following incident. The Empress Pulcheria, wife of the Emperor Marcian, was anxious to obtain the corpse of the Virgin to be the chief treasure of the church, which she and her husband together had erected in honour of the Mater Dei, in the district Blachernæ (Constantinople)[552]. Juvenal, Patriarch of Jerusalem, arrived at the capital of the Empire on the occasion of the Council of Chalcedon, held A.D. 451, and had an interview with the Empress, who asked him to search in the church at Gethsemane, which was erected over the spot where the Virgin was buried; and if he discovered the sacred relics, to transport them to Constantinople[553]. The Patriarch, however, answered that the tomb was empty, and that the place was regarded with veneration, because the body of the Virgin had been deposited there for a few days. Indeed, at that time it was commonly believed that she had lain three days in the grave like her Son[554]. We have therefore to enquire who founded this church mentioned by Pulcheria. The authors of the eighth and ninth centuries are silent upon this point, and one only of the tenth, Sayd-Ebn-Batrik (an Arabian) says, that it was the Emperor Theodosius II. Hence Quaresmius[555] conjectures that the monument was built between the years A.D. 429 and 457. This would explain the silence of S. Jerome, who died A.D. 420. Antoninus of Piacenza[556], A.D. 600, speaks of the Holy Virgin's house, whence, he says, she was taken up into heaven. A short time after, A.D. 614, it was plundered by the Persians under Chosroes II.[557] The Khalif Omar, A.D. 636, found the church built over the Sepulchre, and twice visited it[Pg 172] for prayer. It was still standing at the end of the seventh century, when it was seen by Arculf, who gives the following description of it: "The lower part, beneath a wonderful stone flooring, is a rotunda. The altar is on the eastern side, and to the right of it there is the hollow Sepulchre of S. Mary in the rock in which she once rested after her burial.... In the upper and round Church of S. Mary four altars are shewn." These words clearly prove that the present church is not the one seen by Arculf: since in that there were two rotundas, which have now disappeared. This is also proved by the following fact, that, in the seventh century, when the Khalif Abd-el-Melik was erecting the great mosque of the Kaaba at Mecca, he commanded the columns to be cut away from the Church of Gethsemane, but rescinded the order owing to the prayers of certain Christians of high rank, who promised some other marbles; so that the church was preserved for that time[558]. In the eighth century it was seen by Willibald[559], who mentions, but does not describe it; and says that the tomb did not contain the corpse of the Virgin Mary, but was dedicated to her burial. He states distinctly that it was in the valley of Jehoshaphat. Bernard the Wise[560], A.D. 870, saw the rotunda, and the tomb within it, and says,—"Besides, in that very village (Gethsemane) is the round Church of S. Mary, where is her sepulchre; which, though unprotected by a roof, is never wetted by the rain." The account shews that it was then in a very ruinous condition. From this time until the arrival of the Crusaders we have no further mention of this monument; and the first to notice it again is Sæwulf, A.D. 1103. At that time service was performed by monks wearing a black habit, of the order of Cluny[561]. "These," according to M. de Vogüé[562], "gave to the church in the valley of Jehoshaphat the form which it has retained up to the present day." But, I ask, did the church of Sæwulf contain the same rotundas as that which Arculf visited, and Bernard saw in ruins? The want of evidence makes the question a difficult one, because in such an interval of time they might have fallen to the ground, or have been altered during the persecutions of Hakem, A.D. 1010. We may then suppose that it might have been repaired, or entirely rebuilt, and its plan changed at that time. If the Khalif had found it standing, he would probably have respected it, on account of the reverence felt for it by the Mohammedan women; which protected it in the days of Saladin, and continues to do so at the present day. Again, Sæwulf relates that, during the siege, A.D. 1099[563], all the churches without the city were completely destroyed. How then did he find it standing in 1103? Were the monks of Cluny installed there at once and enriched by Godfrey[564], so that they were able to rebuild it in four years? Had this been the case, surely Sæwulf would have mentioned it. "The anonymous author of the Gesta Francorum expugnantium Hierusalem,[Pg 173] who wrote in 1106," M. de Vogüé goes on to say[565], "also states that in his time the church built over the Virgin's tomb by the early Christians was quite in ruins." Now if we are to believe this author, we cannot accept the statement of Sæwulf as exact, that all the churches were destroyed. Consequently, I hold that the monks of Cluny rebuilt it after, not before this time.

I think that the plan of the church in the fifth century was not very different from the present one, because I believe that the great work of making the stairs was executed when the first building was erected, in order to reach the tomb which was situated, as we have seen, low down, being covered, by the lower rotunda, mentioned by Arculf, with the other above it. In confirmation of this, we find mention made of a platform before the building in the year 1100, (perhaps the present one, though it might be somewhat larger,) which was enclosed by a cloister, where were buried Werner de Gray, cousin of Godfrey, who died at Jerusalem in the month of May, A.D. 1100, and the Knight Arnulph, Prince of Oudenarde, who was slain by the people of Ascalon in 1107[566]. Therefore, I consider this platform to be the only natural entrance into the subterranean church, as it still is. With regard to the building of the present walls, and particularly of the vaults, and to the alterations in the plan with reference to the tomb, I agree with M. de Vogüé, that the monks of Cluny rebuilt the church early in the twelfth century, availing themselves (at least in my opinion) of the ancient foundations. Since that period it has been noticed by many authors; and from their remarks it is evident that the work of the monks has not been changed. Indeed Edrisi, A.D. 1154, describes the church under the name of Gethsemane; stating that it was a mile distant from the Gate of Jehoshaphat, and was a very large and handsome edifice. Here M. de Vogüé very justly remarks, that this expression could not have been applied to the ruins seen by the author of the Gesta Francorum. John of Würtzburg[567] minutely describes the interior of the church as it was during the twelfth century. The Sepulchre of Mary, he says, was situated in the middle of a cave, with a 'ciborium' over the sacred remains. He also tells us very clearly how the monument was isolated, and in what way this had been effected; and that it was covered with marble, and with many ornaments in gold and silver. He also mentions some inscriptions that were in the church, with many other points of detail. The description of the church given by John Phocas, A.D. 1185, is not less distinct, and is equally applicable to the present monument[568]. "The church, which stands about the tomb of the Mater Dei, is beneath the ground; it has a vaulted stone roof, is prolonged, and rounded at its extremity. The Sepulchre is placed like a tribune, in the middle. It is excavated out[Pg 174] of the rock in the form of a rectangle, and the vaulting is with sharp groins. Inside a kind of bench is hewn out of the eastern wall, of the same rock as the monument; on this the Virgin's body was laid, being brought hither from Mount Sion by the Apostles."

In the time of the Latin kingdom a monastery was erected close to the church for the monks who officiated therein. This is frequently mentioned by the historians of the time of the Crusades, in the Cartulary of the Holy Sepulchre, and by Sebastian Pauli, who gives the names of the different Abbots, with dates. One of them, Julduinus, in 1126, was a witness to a deed of gift from Hugo Lord of Joppa (Jaffa) to the Hospital of S. John, in which he is called Abbot of S. Mary's in the Valley of Jehoshaphat[569]. When Saladin took Jerusalem, A.D. 1187, the Saracens utterly destroyed the convent, and used the stones to repair the city-walls[570]; but they spared the church, owing to the reverence with which the Mohammedans (especially the women) regarded the mother of Isa (Jesus). The church then from the time of the Crusades, up to the present day, has not been altered; as is proved by the descriptions of Willibrand, Brocardus[571], Marinus Sanutus, and others, in the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth centuries, who all agree on this point. Sanutus[572] states that it was only lighted by an aperture in the vaulted roof, on the side of the Mount (of Olives), and by the staircase; as all the other openings were closed up. Therefore for the last five centuries it has remained in its present condition. After A.D. 1187, the church was for a long time abandoned; and the Christian pilgrims, who desired to visit it, were obliged to obtain the keys from its Mohammedan owners; but, in the year A.D. 1363, it was ceded to the Friars Minors of the Observance[573] by the Sultan of Egypt, at the request of Joan, Queen of Naples. At the same time they obtained permission to rebuild a convent; which is a strong proof that the convent of the monks of Cluny no longer existed. This design, however, was not carried into execution for want of funds. Owing to various difficulties the Franciscans were unable to take possession of their sanctuary before the 30th of March, 1392. The only effect of this concession was to give them the right of performing service in the church, for the Mohammedans were still its owners. This privilege excited the jealousy of the Eastern Christians, who strove by intrigues, backed by large bribes to the authorities in Constantinople, to deprive the Latins of the sanctuary; to whom it rightly belonged, not only by the treaty of 1362, but also as it had been built by the Crusaders. Eventually all the Eastern Christian sects obtained the right of using the place; the Latins, however, retaining the exclusive privilege of performing service in the tomb itself. This also was abrogated by the artifices of the Greeks in[Pg 175] 1740; but afterwards the Sultan restored it by a firman to its former owners. Thereupon their enemies, by the aid of calumnies and bribes to the ministers of the Sublime Porte, not only succeeded in retaining possession of the tomb, but also in obtaining the keys of the whole building; which they now hold, enduring with resignation the presence of the Syrians, Armenians, and Copts, who occupy small chapels in the interior of the church. The Latin monks retain the right[574] of performing service during certain days of the year, especially on the Assumption of the Virgin; but they do not avail themselves of it, and justly protest, whenever they have a good opportunity, against the iniquitous usurpation to which they have been subjected.

Let us now proceed to examine the exterior and interior of the building; noticing those parts that are of greater importance, and leaving the explanation of the rest to the Plates[575] and their descriptions. The church has unquestionably been buried by the accumulation of the soil around it; which has partly been deposited by the water running down the slopes of the hill, and by the Kidron torrent; and partly raised by the quantity of rubbish cast down here from the city. I have already said that the church was originally built in a low situation, as is shewn by the great staircase, the platform in front of it, and the windows and doors in it; which prove that it was formerly lighted from without. It was enclosed by an outer wall, whose remains may still be seen projecting from the surrounding earth. This was no doubt erected chiefly with a view of protecting the building against streams of rain-water and land-slips, and preventing its windows from being obstructed. It has however proved an inadequate barrier. The terrace-roof is apparently in the usual style of the country, being nearly flat. It is covered with a strong cement, but this is not sufficient to keep the damp out of the vaults, because it is so overgrown with vegetation, that it resembles a field more than what it really is.

In the interior of the church we see, on the right hand, a door, now closed up, which, in the days when the Latins had possession of the place, communicated with the Grotto of the Agony by an outside passage, which was not, as many assert, subterranean. I am convinced of this, because I have carefully examined the grotto, and found that it has no other entrance than the one still in use, which is now reached by a passage leading from the north-east corner of the platform. This passage is much later than the church, as it was made by the Franciscans about the middle of the eighteenth century, when they were wrongfully compelled to give up the tomb to the Greeks[576]. After descending some steps we come to two chapels; the one on the right dedicated to the tombs of S. Joachim and S. Ann, the other on the left in honour of the tomb of S. Joseph. Most of the monks of all the sects and the ignorant guides inform the stranger that the saints them[Pg 176]selves are buried here. On this point neither the Bible nor history give us the slightest clue, either to the time, place, or manner of their deaths, or to the spot where they are buried. The tradition is worthless, as it only dates from the fifteenth century, and has never been mentioned by any author of importance before or since; but only by those who, for the sake of making a book, and acquainting the world that they have been at Jerusalem, publish all that they hear without any inquiry into its truth or falsehood. I maintain that it is impossible these can be the tombs of the parents of the Virgin, because there is not an atom of rock in any part of the place where they stand, not even in the ground; and the tombs themselves are constructed of masonry. Besides, the shape of the two chapels shews that they were built to contain sarcophagi, in which probably (as Abbé Mariti and M. de Vogüé assert) the bodies of members of the families of the Latin kings were deposited. This opinion is confirmed by the testimony of William of Tyre[577], who says: "The Lady Milisendis of blessed memory, who will be a member of the angelic host, lies buried in the Valley of Jehoshaphat on the right hand of the descent to the tombs of the blessed and undefiled mother of the Lord, the Virgin Mary, in a stone crypt guarded with iron gates, and near to an altar; whereon acceptable daily sacrifices are offered to the Creator, for the repose of her soul, and for the spirits of the faithful departed." This description is as plain as it can be, and does not say one word about the parents of the Virgin Mary. In this chapel the staples and hooks can still be seen by which the iron gratings were hung, until no doubt they were carried off by the Mohammedans. Descending still lower almost to the bottom of the steps, we find on the left hand a small doorway leading into a chamber quite dark, with walls of masonry, which is now used by the Armenians as a sacristy. It has a tesselated pavement, and was, I believe, formerly used as a mortuary chapel. Quitting it we enter the transverse arm of the cross, which lies east and west. In the eastern arm[578] the tomb of the Virgin stands by itself, as I have already described it. Near it on the south is a small niche, especially allotted to the Mohammedans, who visit the place for prayer, as I have often seen. This is the only Christian church in Jerusalem in which the Mohammedans abstain from smoking, or from using it, if needful, as a place for conversation; a mark of respect which they do not pay to the Sepulchre of Christ. Inside the north wall, near the tomb, is the grotto, from which water falls down in drops; this is carefully caught by the Greeks, and sold to visitors with the reputation of possessing many virtues. I tasted it in 1857, when I was making a plan of the building, and found it very good[579]. Opposite to the great staircase is the northern arm of the cross. This has been divided by the Greeks into two stories by[Pg 177] means of a wooden floor; the lower serving for a sacristy, the upper for the chamber of the lay-brother who takes care of the place. Here also we find a window, closed with masonry, because it is blocked up on the outside with the accumulated earth. At the extremity of the western arm is the walled-up doorway, which I mentioned[580] in speaking of the subterranean passage, said to exist between the Church of S. Ann and this place. The description annexed to the Plan will shew the places where the different religious sects perform their services, and the other points of detail; therefore I pass on at once to the Grotto of the Agony[581], which came into the keeping of the Franciscans A.D. 1392, together with the Tomb of the Virgin, and is still held exclusively by them.

This is said to be the scene of the Agony of Christ on the night before He suffered[582]. It is true that the Evangelists make no mention of a grotto; but tradition and its situation are in favour of this place. Its situation, I say, because it is a stone's throw (according to S. Luke) from the place (also traditional) where the three Apostles awaited him. The tradition is very ancient, and I firmly believe that the Apostles themselves informed the first converts both of this spot and of that where our Lord was betrayed to those who came to take Him prisoner. It seems impossible that His followers would forget the incidents of that night. Gethsemane was outside the city on the slopes of the Mount of Olives, across the Kidron; and its position is clearly defined[583]. We must also remember that there have never been at Gethsemane the same materials for the enemy to lay waste and destroy as there were within the city; so that the spot would not here, as elsewhere, be concealed under ruins and earth.

There was a church at the Grotto of the Agony (perhaps built by S. Helena) which is mentioned by S. Jerome[584], as follows: "Gethsemane is the place where the Saviour prayed before His Passion; it is on the spurs of Mount Olivet; a church is now built over it." Not a vestige of this church now remains. In the seventh century Arculf[585] saw the Grotto, and thus describes it: "In the side of Mount Olivet is a certain cave, not far from the Church of S. Mary.... In it are four stone tables, one of which near the entrance of the cave in the interior is the Lord Jesu's. To which little table His seat is fixed, where He was sometimes wont to recline, together with the Apostles, who sat together at other tables." Epiphanius Hagiopolita, towards the middle of the eleventh century, states that "near the Tomb of the Virgin, is the holy grotto to which Christ retired with His disciples[586]." Now though these two authors do not mention that our Lord withdrew to this place to pray, still that does not contradict the fact, and we may naturally suppose that the Saviour selected a spot[Pg 178] which was already well known, and where perhaps he had been wont to teach. Therefore I identify their grotto with that of S. Jerome, which I consider to be the Grotto of the Agony. Sæwulf tells us that it was known by this name before the arrival of the Crusaders; and during the Latin kingdom there was a church there dedicated to S. Saviour, as we find stated in the Citez de Jherusalem[587]: "In front of this church at the foot of the Mount of Olives is a church in a rock, which men call Gethsemane—there was Jesus Christ taken. On another part of the way, as one goes up towards the Mount of Olives as far as a stone's throw, is the church called S. Saviour. There did Jesus Christ pass the night in prayer before He was taken, and there did He let fall the blood-drops from His body as though it had been sweat." All these testimonies, then, go to prove that this is really the Grotto of the Agony. The Plan and Section will make clear its interior, which is excavated from a limestone rock. The Abbé Mariti, who visited it April 30, 1767, endeavoured to discover the inscription mentioned by Quaresmius[588], which Father Nau[589] asserts that he read above the larger altar on the north; but as he could only find some illegible traces of letters, he extracts the inscription from the works of Quaresmius; it ran as follows:

HIC REX (SAN)CTUS SUDAVIT SANGUINEM...
SEPE MORABATUR DU C...
MI PATER SI VIS TRANSFER
CALICEM ISTU A ME.

Quaresmius also states that the Crusaders adorned the vaulted roof with paintings, traces of which he saw. These were also seen by Mariti, but were then nearly obliterated by the action of time and damp. They have now been destroyed by the repairs effected by the Franciscans.

Let us now visit the Garden of Gethsemane[590], which is exactly a stone's throw distant from the Grotto towards the south-east. The entrance-gate is at the south end of the east wall. Gethsemane was a little village, with a garden close to it, to which Jesus was wont to retire[591]. The name is interpreted to mean 'rich earth,' from Get (earth) and sman (rich): by others it is rendered 'olive-mill.' Either of these explanations is appropriate; for the land is very good, and especially suited to olive-trees, which are planted all about the neighbourhood. I cannot say they are cultivated, because the Arabs take no trouble with them after the first planting. The garden belongs to the Franciscans, and a few years ago was enclosed with a wall, in order to preserve its eight old olive-trees from the injuries of ignorant vandalism or mistaken piety. These are highly valued, because their stumps, or at any rate their[Pg 179] roots, are believed to have been there at the time of our Saviour's Passion. I do not think this can be said of their trunks, because I think that they could not have escaped at the time when all the wood for a considerable distance round Jerusalem was cut down by the Roman army during the siege, A.D. 70[592]. They are even respected by the Mohammedans, as is shewn by their exemption from the tax, which every fruit-tree pays to the Government[593]: their owners being charged only eight bushels for all the trees. The monks to whom they belong satisfy ordinary pilgrims with flowers grown in the garden, with a few leaves or little slips of the olive, but give to their benefactors and to persons of distinction rosaries made with the fruits, and oil extracted from them.

Outside the south-east corner of the garden-wall a rock is pointed out as the place where the Apostles, Peter, James, and John, fell asleep[594], and where Judas betrayed his Master. The tradition attached to this spot is very ancient; it is mentioned by the Pilgrim of Bordeaux[595], A.D. 333. Sæwulf also mentions it, A.D. 1103, but without alluding to any buildings in connexion with it. The Crusaders, however, certainly erected some memorial there, which is noticed by Brocardus[596], A.D. 1230, under the name of the Chapel of Gethsemane, "placed on a rock on the side of the Mount of Olives, under which the Apostles were overcome by sleep." At a later period Phocas calls it 'the sleep of the Apostles.' Some slight ruins are now seen there, consisting of dressed stones, shafts of columns, and jambs of a door; unmistakeable indications of a chapel. The original one indeed may have been destroyed in 1187, but it must have been rebuilt, because an old Bethlehemite (aged 86) assured me in 1856 that he remembered to have seen there the remains of a small building, inside of which was a stone stained with blood. This I have no doubt was a piece of yellow Palestine breccia with red veins, which abounds in the country. I do not, however, pretend to fix the exact spots in this locality at which the different circumstances of the Agony happened, but simply follow the tradition which in this instance is of great weight.

We will now proceed southward along the east bank of the Kidron, down the so-called Valley of Jehoshaphat. No other spot is better fitted than this to excite high and solemn thoughts in the hearts of even the most indifferent. It is in truth the valley of meditation, of tears, and of death. No living creature disturbs the visitor who comes to muse in its mournful solitude. A city buried under its own ruins, a torrent-bed without water, a few trees with bare branches or but a scanty foliage, naked rocks, barren mountains, mounds of rubbish formed by fallen buildings, graves all around, broken tombs, monuments of martyrs or of prophets, and lastly, the place of the Agony of the Son of God, make up a scene that overpowers the mind with emotion and compels it to solemn reflexion.[Pg 180]

The eye, at its first glance towards the slope of the mountain, is arrested by a large space of ground full of graves, each of which is covered by a single stone. Here is the Jewish cemetery. To fill a little trench in this spot numbers of Jews leave their country, and, regardless alike of the toils and costs of the journey, and of the hardships they have to undergo, flock eagerly to Jerusalem to end their days within its walls, and sleep their last sleep in the land of their fathers. Each stone bears an inscription; and among them are some of considerable antiquity, dating from the year 1296. This field of the dead was enlarged in 1858 by the Jews, with the assistance of their European brethren: it therefore stretches away for some distance eastward, rising up the southern slopes of Olivet. Each year they do some work in order to prepare the ground for burials; and by this means, in 1859 and 1860, they found bases, shafts, and capitals of columns, and a considerable number of large dressed stones, on the eastern summit of the mountain. These are, undoubtedly, the remains of some Christian memorials, which were destroyed by the Mohammedans in their successful attacks. When Abbé Mariti visited the Holy City in 1767, the Jews paid a sequin per diem to the Governor as rent for the ground, and in addition each grave was purchased separately. The tax to the Pasha is now no longer exacted, but a payment is made to the Sheikh of the village of Siloam, who nominally takes care of the ground: the graves, however, are still bought, but the price is paid to the Jewish administration, who ask more or less according to the rank of the deceased and to the position chosen.

On the slope above the Kidron, to the west of the cemetery, are four ancient monuments, called the tombs of Jehoshaphat, Absalom, S. James (also called the Retreat of the Apostles), and Zacharias. We will visit these one by one.

First is the tomb of Jehoshaphat, standing at the north-east corner of the vestibule excavated in the rock, which surrounds the tomb of Absalom[597]. The Bible[598] tells us that King Jehoshaphat was buried with his fathers in the city of David, consequently his name has been wrongly given to this tomb. It is indeed possible that he may have caused it to be made, but there is no evidence to prove this. In 1858 only a very small portion of its frontispiece was visible, owing to the accumulation of earth brought down by the rains, and to the heaps of stones, placed there by the Jews to prevent any one from entering it; because they sometimes bury therein the corpses of those who have paid a high price for a place of such distinction, and left enough property to satisfy the greed of the Sheikh of Siloam, who otherwise would not allow them to fulfil the wishes of the deceased. Accordingly I gained over the Sheikh, and during the night, with the aid of some of his peasants, not only laid bare the whole frontispiece, but also opened a small passage[Pg 181] to the interior, into which I made my way. However, I was soon driven out again by the insupportable stench from the corpses. Nevertheless, I was determined not to be conquered; I bought permission to enlarge the hole, and some hours later entered again; and though two corpses, in the last stage of decomposition, lay almost across the doorway, I made a sketch of its plan, which will be found sufficiently exact, measurements excepted. These I had not time to take; the reeking mud of bones, rotted by the infiltrated water, emitted an overpowering odour; besides the day was at hand, and before it came the passage must be closed again. The frontispiece, however, was left exposed. The tomb is entirely excavated in the rock, and its frontispiece, 10-1/2 feet long, is in the same style as that at the Sepulchre of the Judges[599]. I will reserve my opinion of its ornamentation till I have described the three other monuments. Dr Isambert[600], of Paris, states that a Roman Catholic missionary, who entered it in 1842, found there a very ancient copy of the Pentateuch. Surely he forgets that the Jews have been in the habit of burying in this place for some centuries, so that his 'very ancient Pentateuch' would not have escaped them! Besides, this book was probably only a Synagogue roll, imperfect copies of which are often buried near the corpses of the Rabbins[601]. Mr Finn, then Her Britannic Majesty's Consul at Jerusalem, informed me that he had learnt from some Jewish traditions that the true position of the tomb of Jehoshaphat was 20 feet to the west, and nearly in front of that of Absalom. Being desirous to verify this statement, I took some labourers, and explored all that part; but found everywhere nothing but solid rock, without the slightest trace of any work.

Let us now proceed to examine the Tomb of Absalom, the most elegant and magnificent of those in the neighbourhood of the city. It is a cubical monolith, each side being about 20-1/2 feet. The tapering columns of the lower part support a Doric entablature, consisting of an architrave, a fillet, and a frieze ornamented with triglyphs (with guttæ) and pateræ on the metopes, above is an Egyptian cornice. All this lower part is hewn out of the solid rock; the rest is masonry[602]. The total height of the monument is 52-1/4 feet, and that of the monolith about 20 feet. These measurements are only approximate, owing to the quantity of small stones, which have raised the general level of the ground, and are difficult to clear away. On the east side is the opening through which the corpses were introduced[603]. It is very small, and was in all probability formerly closed by a stone in the manner usual with the Jews; but I have not been able to determine this point, because the monument is almost buried on that side, and I was reluctant to encounter the expense of removing the earth, and the vexations to be undergone in obtaining the permission. There is a breach in each face of the cube. I entered by that on the north, and found[Pg 182] myself in a small chamber, 8 feet square, containing many stones that have been thrown in from without. In the northern wall is a sepulchral niche, and another in the western. In the southern is the opening to a staircase, which would no doubt have led me, had I been able to enter it, to the Tomb of Jehoshaphat. The heaps of small stones, round about the outside of the monument, increase daily, because the Jews, Christians, and Mohammedans, who pass by, hurl a stone at it to mark their abhorrence of David's rebel son. This custom has prevailed for a long time; for Surius[604] relates that it was in force in his days, and that every one on throwing his stone cried out, "At the villain, at the barbarian, at the murderer, who made war against his father!" I believe that the origin of this was, as we are told in the Bible[605] and Josephus[606], that the servants of Joab took the body of Absalom down from the tree, and casting it into a deep dark crevice, covered it up with so great a heap of stones, that they formed a kind of sepulchral mound. This took place in the wood of Ephraim, on the other side of Jordan[607]; it is therefore evident that Absalom was not buried in the present monument. The monolithic portion may indeed date from his time, but the upper story is much later; for we read[608], "Now Absalom in his life-time had taken and reared up for himself a pillar, which is in the King's dale: for he said, I have no son to keep my name in remembrance: and he called the pillar after his own name: and it is called unto this day Absalom's place." There can be no doubt that this part of the Kidron valley was called the 'King's dale,' because we find the 'King's garden[609]' here, which establishes this point. With regard to the monument, Josephus[610] fixes its site by saying that "Absalom had erected for himself a white marble pillar in the King's dale, two stadia distant from Jerusalem, which he named Absalom's Hand, saying, that if his children were killed, his name would remain by that pillar." The white marble is the breccia of Palestine, which can be worked and polished like marble. The monolith supporting the pillar is left, but the rest is gone, perhaps having been destroyed by Joab, when he returned to Jerusalem with his victorious army. I therefore believe this to be the pillar of Absalom mentioned in the Bible, especially as it is two stadia distant from the city.

To the west, and almost opposite to the monument just described, is a little bridge over the Kidron. An uncertain tradition points out this as the place where Jesus crossed the stream on His way to the house of Caiaphas, and also shews on a rock close by the impression made by His knees as He fell. There is no mention of this in the Bible; it is named by Quaresmius[611]. This road, from the garden to[Pg 183] the so-called house of Caiaphas (on Sion), is commonly called the 'road of the Capture.' The topography of the ancient city is unfavourable to the story. A few yards to the south of the Tomb of Absalom is the Retreat of the Apostles, or, according to some, the Tomb of S. James[612]. The Arabs call it Diwan Faroon (Divan of Pharaoh); but they cannot tell for what reason. The outer porch is supported by two columns and two pilasters, sculptured from the rock in which the whole monument is excavated. The porch is about 31 feet wide and 9 deep. In the northern wall is a door, leading by a staircase up into the rock above the sepulchral chamber. In the eastern wall is another door leading into the principal room, a square of 13 feet, into which three smaller chambers open, containing each a niche for a corpse. In the south wall of the vestibule is a square door, leading into a corridor connected with the monument on the south. Tradition relates that S. James and the ten other disciples concealed themselves here on the night when our Saviour was taken prisoner in the garden of Gethsemane, and that they remained here until the day of the Resurrection, when He appeared to S. James[613]. Hegesippus[614] says that S. James was buried near the Temple, and that a monument was raised to his memory, which remained until Hadrian rebuilt the city. The Roman martyrology tells the same story. M. Mislin observes, that this site is not opposed to the tradition, because it may be said to be near the Temple; since, at the time of the Saint's death, they did not bury within the walls of the city. On this point I leave the reader to form his own opinion. I myself do not vouch for the tradition; although the Saint may possibly have been interred here, even if the tomb was not originally constructed for him.

The Tomb of Zacharias is a monolith, hewn out of the mountain; so excavated that there is a passage five feet wide round all the sides, except of course the western. Each of its faces is 17-1/2 feet long, decorated with two columns in the middle, and two half-columns each attached to pilasters at the corners, all forming part of the same block[615]. Around it is a number of Jewish graves, which make it impossible to determine its true elevation; but the height of the portion visible above them is 19 feet. The decoration is not completed in every part. On the eastern side the columns are only rough-hewn, and not finished off as on the three other sides. Inside the monolith is a sepulchral chamber connected with the corridor from the Tomb of S. James. This Zacharias is thought to be the son of Jehoiada, who was slain by king Joash between the temple and the altar[616]; with whose death the Jews are reproached by Christ[617]. So the Jews at the present time believe, consequently they hold the place in great veneration, and pay very highly to be interred[Pg 184] after death anywhere near it; which is the cause of the accumulation of stones round it. The Pilgrim of Bordeaux calls it the Tomb of Isaiah, and Benjamin of Tudela the Tomb of Hosea.

To the south of this is another tomb almost buried, on which however two columns can be distinguished. By partially uncovering it I ascertained that it was an ancient monument. It might be supposed to be that of Hosea, but I will not undertake to prove it. I am very much disposed to think that the piece of ground containing these four monuments may be the garden of Uzza, in which Manasseh and Amon were buried[618]; or, at any rate, that they were tombs intended to receive the remains of members of the royal family, or of men of distinction in the country. I refer my readers to the excellent description of the four monuments in M. de Saulcy's work[619]. I think that when they were first constructed they were without decorations, and that they were elaborated at a much later period; because on them we find the Greek and Egyptian styles of architecture; consequently I attribute this part to the time of Herod. Dr Robinson[620], struck with the similarity between these and the rock sepulchres of Petra, in the mixture of Grecian and Egyptian architecture, considered the decorations to be perhaps contemporaneous with the Herods, who were of Idumæan origin, or possibly to belong even to the era of Hadrian.

Following the road southward along the Kidron we arrive at the Fountain of the Virgin, on the west bank of the torrent. This is highly esteemed by both Christians and Mohammedans, who believe (according to an ancient tradition) that the Virgin Mary used to frequent it to draw water and wash the clothes of her Divine Son. The latter have an oratory, where, after ablutions in the fountain, they offer up their prayers to the mother of Isa (Jesus). A small mosque stood here in the sixteenth and seventeenth century, but even its ruins have now disappeared. The Arabs call the place Aïn Sitti Mariam (Fountain of our Lady Mary), and also Aïn um-el-Deraj (Fountain of our Lady near the steps). It is at the extremity of an excavation in the rock, reached by 28 steps, which, as I have already said[621], have been constructed owing to the rise of the ground. These are divided into two flights by a chamber with a pointed vaulting (Crusaders' work), which is 9-1/2 feet wide and 10-1/4 high. The lower grotto is 26 feet deep, the water flows into a basin 16 feet long, 6 wide, and 7 deep; and from this to the upper pool of Siloam through a subterranean conduit. I shall consider this conduit and the intermittent flow of the fountain in the chapter on the waters. Popular superstition attributes the interruption of the stream to a dragon, that lives concealed at the source, and arrests its course in quenching his thirst. It is also commonly believed that the water is supplied by[Pg 185] reservoirs under the Haram, which is not far from the truth, as we shall see. On our way from the fountain to the Pool of Siloam we follow the bed of the torrent for a little way, and then take the road skirting the western bank of the valley. This leads us to a small pond adjoining the western corner of the pool situated almost at the south extremity of Ophel, at the end of the Tyropœon Valley. This pool is frequently mentioned in the Scriptures. Isaiah speaks of its 'waters that go softly[622];' Nehemiah[623], of the wall of the Pool of Siloam; S. John[624], of the man born blind, who was sent to 'wash in the Pool of Siloam.' Josephus frequently names it, especially in one of his addresses to the besieged Jews, when he tells them, as a sign of God's anger, that the Fountain of Siloam, which before the siege had ceased to supply them with water, now gave forth plenty to the Romans. He tells them also that the same thing took place during the siege by Nebuchadnezzar[625]. On the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles the people went with great solemnity to draw the water of Siloam, and brought it to the altar, where it was mingled with the wine of the sacrifices; in remembrance of the water which God had given them in the desert by the rod of Moses, and to entreat Him to send down rain on the new-sown seed. At this festival our Lord was present when he cried, "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink[626]." The Talmud[627] asserts, "whoever has not seen the joy of that day has never seen joy." In the evening those who were the wisest and most highly cultivated of the nation assembled together in the vestibule of the Temple, and sang to the music of instruments before all the people; they danced, clapped their hands, and jumped about in a disorderly manner, and the applause was tremendous. This was done in remembrance of the dance of David[628]. From this we see in what esteem the waters of Siloam were always held; and it did not diminish after the prevalence of Christianity. The Bordeaux Pilgrim, A.D. 333, writes thus, "At the bottom of the valley on the left-hand, near the wall, is a pool, which is called Siloa. It has a portico of four bays, and there is another large pool without." S. Jerome[629] mentions the intermittent flow of the water: "But we, above all, who live in this province, cannot doubt that the Fountain of Siloam is by the lower slopes of Mount Sion, which flows not steadily, but bubbles forth at uncertain intervals, and comes with a loud roar through the hollow parts of the earth to the caves of very hard rock." This description appears at first sight to contradict the words of the Prophet Isaiah, who speaks of 'the waters of Siloah that go softly.' The two, however, may be easily reconciled; for the waters ordinarily flow quietly into the pool; but when the peasants dam up the outlet in order to retain the stream for irrigating their gardens, the current rolls along[Pg 186] noisily. I made the experiment in 1861, when an Arab Effendi, Jusef Bachatip, requested me to examine whether there was a sufficient supply of water to work a corn-mill.

Nicephorus Callistus[630] states that "S. Helena constructed wonderful works at the pool which is called Siloe." I doubt this; the stones still remaining there, and the inner walls, indicate a higher antiquity than the time of her visit to the city; moreover, I think that if she had built anything, the Bordeaux Pilgrim would have mentioned it; and we know that the place was highly regarded by the Jews. It is also remarkable that he says nothing of a church, while, in A.D. 600, Antoninus of Piacenza[631] relates, "There is a basilica there, within which are latticed enclosures, in one of which men bathe in order to receive a blessing, in the other women; and in front of the door is a great pool, made by the hand of man, in which the people bathe at certain hours." S. Boniface[632] adds, that the basilica was dedicated to S. Saviour the Illuminator. In the beginning of the eleventh century Albert of Aix[633] writes, "At that place, where there is a square walled building like a cloister, in the middle of which a little stream is received." He, however, does not mention a church, nor does John Phocas, who confines himself to saying, that he saw the columns and the vaulted roofs which adorned and surrounded the source, without mentioning the basilica; and afterwards adds, "It would be easy to repair the ruins of the sacred fountain, but no one touches or puts his hand to them, and so they are going day by day to ruin, like the buildings at the other Holy Places[634]." Certain eminent authors of the present day assert that in the fourth or fifth century the pool was covered by a church. This I cannot admit, because I find no mention of it in S. Jerome and Phocas. Antoninus of Piacenza must have mistaken the porches for a basilica; and we know from his other descriptions that he is by no means to be trusted; while those who have followed him have been misled by his words, and by the shafts of columns and other ruins in the neighbourhood.

During the siege of Jerusalem, A.D. 1099, Raymond d'Agiles[635] gives the following account of what happened at the fountain of Siloam: "Whenever the fountain began to flow, the Christians flung themselves into it one on the other, and very often perished along with their cattle. It was thus choked with the bodies of men and animals who had fallen into it." This does not prove the goodness of the waters[636]; for we know from Tudebode[637], that water was so scarce during the siege, that the pilgrims went a distance of six miles to fetch some though bad and offensive, in little leathern vessels which they had made of the hides of oxen and other animals (after the custom of the country). This water, corrupted though it was, was sold at such[Pg 187] a high price, that a crown would not buy enough to quench a single man's thirst. If, then, men were in such want as to drink this water, they would be very glad to get that of Siloam. Saladin compared this stream to the rivers of Paradise; but as it is the only naturally flowing stream to be seen in Jerusalem, and as it irrigates the luxuriant gardens of Siloam, and also in times of drought is valuable to the city for many purposes, we can understand the feeling that produced this Oriental exaggeration. In his time a small mosque was built near the pool.

Let me now describe its present appearance. It is an oblong pool, exhibiting everywhere signs of neglect. Earth and stones slip down into it from the higher ground all round, and partly fill it. The peasants of Siloam, whose gardens are irrigated by its waters, are sometimes obliged to clear it out, but the work is done carelessly. Its dimensions are 52 feet in length, 19-1/2 in breadth, and 20-1/4 in depth. The revêtement is a modern restoration, and in it are incorporated shafts of grey granite columns, the fragments of the above-named portico. At the north-east corner of the reservoir is a small arch with a flight of steps, which are in a ruinous state. This leads down into a little basin, into which the conduit (3 feet wide and about 12 high) from the Fountain of the Virgin empties itself. This explains why the stream in the Pool of Siloam is intermittent, like that at the Fountain, and also the etymology of the word, which signifies 'sent[638].' There is an opening at the north-east corner, by which the water flows to the gardens of Siloam through a conduit excavated in the rock, opposite to the south end of Ophel. An examination of the interior of the pool disclosed to me the ancient passage by which the water ran down into the lower pool. The latter I have already stated to be, in my opinion, the Pool of Solomon, mentioned by Josephus[639] in his description of the first wall of the city. Here, according to the Pilgrim of Bordeaux and Antoninus of Piacenza, the Christians resorted to bathe at certain times. It is now a cultivated garden; for the earth brought down by the rains from the higher ground has completely filled it up. The Arabs now call it Birket el-Hamra. Coins are frequently found by the peasants among the earth in the interior; which have been brought down and deposited there by the conduits flowing from the city.

At the south-east corner of Solomon's Pool are some ruins, consisting of shafts and broken capitals of columns, walls and dressed stones of Jewish workmanship. In the middle stands a very old forked mulberry-tree, said to mark the spot where the prophet Isaiah was sawn asunder. According to a tradition received by both the Jews and the Christians, Isaiah was put to death in the early part of Manasseh's reign, and his body was buried under an oak near to the Well Rogel[640].[Pg 188] I do not admit the identity of Siloam and Rogel, which Abbé Mariti[641] tries to establish; but consider it improbable that the mulberry should mark the place of the martyrdom, and the oak indicate the tomb. The position of the latter I do not attempt to fix, as there are many burial-places near Rogel, but none with the proper tree. The Mohammedans hold the site of the martyrdom in great veneration, and go there to pray. It also serves as a place of assembly for the villagers of Siloam, when they want to discuss any matter of interest.

From this point we see at one glance the gardens of Siloam, which I have already identified[642] with the King's gardens of former times[643]. The inhabitants are indebted to the little stream flowing from the upper pool for the rich crops of vegetables produced by the plots of land, once the favourite haunts of Solomon's wives. Then they must have been more abundantly irrigated than they now are; and very probably the King constructed the lower pool for this purpose. His humble successors still reap large profits from the ground, though with a diminished supply of water; all of which they bestow on the plants, reserving none for their own persons.

Following the course of the valley, we leave the mouth of the Valley of Hinnom, on the right, and before long arrive at the Well of Joab or Job, called by the Arabs Bir Eyub, and still known by the name of the Well of Nehemiah, or of the Sacred Fire[644]. No one knows what connexion this well has with Joab or Job; but a tradition relates that when Nebuchadnezzar took Jerusalem, the Priests concealed the sacred fire here in order to save it from profanation; and that, on their return from the Captivity, it miraculously blazed forth, at the prayer of Nehemiah, from the mud which had been found in the hiding-place[645]. When the truth of this story was proved to the satisfaction of the King of Persia, he enclosed the place, and made it holy. Nehemiah "called this thing Naphthar, which is as much as to say, a cleansing, but many men call it Nephi[646]." This I believe to be the ancient En-Rogel, which was on the frontier of Judah and Benjamin[647]. Here David's spies, Jonathan and Ahimaaz, stayed to watch the progress of Absalom's rebellion[648]; and here again the partisans of Adonijah assembled, under the pretext of a banquet[649]. Josephus, in his account of this conspiracy, tells us that the fountain was in the King's garden. At a distance Bir Eyub appears like a ruined house; but, on approaching it, we find a quadrangular basin and some ruins, with a frail structure over the well, and a Mohammedan oratory. In summer it contains little water, but during the winter-rains it is not only full, but even overflows into the Kidron. If this do[Pg 189] not happen, it is considered by the inhabitants a bad omen for the coming season; but when it does, a fertile year is expected, and the whole country rejoices. The water escapes from the well by a conduit in its east wall, which disappears in the ground after a distance of 60 feet. The description of its interior, of the supposed phenomenon of intermittence, and of my investigation on this point, I leave to the Chapter on the Waters; contenting myself at present with stating, that I have examined the well to the bottom without finding any trace of a spring. On the first appearance of the desired prognostic of prosperity, the peasants of Siloam, who, as nearest to the spot, consider themselves its owners, fill earthen vessels from the overflowing stream, and bear them to the conventual bodies and persons of distinction in the city, receiving in return the omnipotent Bakshish. Then the townspeople flock together there; tents are pitched, and little refreshment booths improvised; parties of pleasure are made up; pipes and coffee circulate briskly, while Arab music and dances enliven the festive scene. Infirm men and women are carried thither, and dip the soles of their feet in the water; mothers bathe their babes in it, to restore them to health; horsemen exhibit their own skill in riding and the activity of their fine steeds, in the swollen waters of the Kidron: and when the rains are abundant, the merriment is kept up for 15 days. This is the only occasion on which the melancholy inhabitants of Jerusalem give way to rejoicing; and even that is in the midst of tombs and tokens of sorrow, in the supposed Valley of Jehoshaphat, because they see the waters of the Kidron flowing, which then, and then only, is in reality a torrent.

Here ends the Valley of Jehoshaphat, or, as it may be called, from the Fountain of the Virgin to this well, the Valley of Siloam. Let us then follow the path on the north of Bir Eyub, and ascend the Mount of Offence[650]. This is only the southernmost part of the Mount of Olives, separated from the main mass by the road from Jerusalem to Bethany. Its summit is supposed to have been the scene of the idolatrous rites of the concubines of Solomon, and of the King himself, and some of his successors. Here are a few fragments of ruins, possibly the remains of the heathen temples; but beyond these there is nothing worthy of notice, except the fine view.

On the western slope of this hill, near the Kidron, is the wretched village inhabited by the Mohammedan peasants of Siloam, called Kefr Silwan, probably from the waters of that name in its vicinity. It is a strange combination of cottages, built on a vertical rock, and of great sepulchral caves, now used as dwelling-places or granaries. These caverns formerly afforded shelter to monks and hermits. John of Würtzburg[651] writes thus: "The same valley has more caverns on all sides, in which holy[Pg 190] men lead a solitary life." It has now a population of about 300, none of whom can strictly be termed poor, as they are employed in carrying into the city the water of Bir Eyub for domestic use, and that of the Fountain of the Virgin and of the Pool of Siloam for buildings. Some cultivate their gardens and plots of land on the eastern slopes of Sion, and many are hired as escorts for pilgrims to the plains of Jericho, when they are not otherwise engaged as thieves or robbers; professions in which the village has attained much celebrity. They also profit by the generosity or timidity of the Jews, extorting from them bakshish, when they come to bury a corpse, or visit the grave of a relation. At the north end of the village is a monolithic monument, whose architecture resembles the Egyptian[652]. It is a square in plan, and is entirely detached from the rock. Within are two chambers. M. de Saulcy considers it to be an Egyptian chapel, constructed by Solomon to receive the remains of his wife, Pharaoh's daughter. To this opinion I incline, as I cannot find any more satisfactory explanation of it. S. Luke mentions a tower in Siloam[653]; but whether this was near the pool or the village, we do not know; probably the latter, as it then would have served as a watch-tower and keep, or even as an ornament, seeing there were some other buildings on the Mount of Offence.

Leaving the village we will ascend the Mount of Olives, which we have already described[654]. In order to examine its chief points of interest more easily, we will return to the Garden of Gethsemane, whence two roads mount the western slope. The northern presents nothing worthy of remark, except that close to its outset is a rock, where the Virgin is said to have appeared from heaven to S. Thomas, who was sitting there lamenting that he had not been present at her assumption, and to have presented him with her girdle. We will therefore select the southern path, though it is more rugged and in worse repair than the other. As we ascend, we pass an Arab house in the form of a tower; but no traditions are attached to it. Beyond it, about half way up the mountain, is a mass of buildings wholly Arab, which are pointed out as marking the spot where Jesus wept over Jerusalem. I do not believe that the event occurred anywhere in this neighbourhood, because the Evangelist[655] tells us that our Lord was coming from Bethphage and Bethany; and therefore, in all probability, He had ascended the road leading from these places up the eastern slope of the mountain. Then, when first the city rose before them, I believe that the disciples and the multitude began to rejoice and praise God. It is said also that this happened when He was 'at the descent of the Mount of Olives[656],' and the place now shewn is a considerable distance below the summit. Some rely upon the words, 'when He was come near He beheld the city, and wept over it,'[Pg 191] to authenticate this locality; but though these words may possibly shew that the place of the weeping was in advance of the first-named spot, still I cannot admit that this would have happened on the southern road (which then, in all probability, did not exist, as it is rather a goat-track than a foot-path), or that our Saviour would have departed from the ordinary road. Surius relates that a church stood on this place, under the name 'Dominus flevit,' which was built by the early Christians, and destroyed by the Turks. I do not deny that a church may have been there, but that does not prove the authenticity of the spot. Godfrey of Bouillon is said to have pitched his tent there. Certainly, if this be true, he did not select so convenient a situation for examining the city as the summit to which I now conduct my reader.

The mountain has three summits in a line lying north and south. The northernmost, which joins on to Mount Scopus, is known by the name of Viri Galilæi; on it we find a large cistern and some ruins, apparently the remains of a watchtower. The guides call them the ruins of a convent, and not improbably one belonging to the Syrians stood here at the time of the Crusades, as is shewn by the following passages: "Near the Mount of Olives, on the left, is a monastery of the Syrians[657]," and "there is a place suited for a camp, and buildings seem to have been there. On the summit there is a cistern, and the whole place is delightsome[658]." The name of Viri Galilæi is given by the inhabitants of the country, who believe that the two men clothed in white stood there and addressed the Apostles, "Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven[659]?" The legend is obviously inadmissible, as the vision evidently occurred at the place of the Ascension[660]. The more probable reason, according to Quaresmius[661], is, that a house stood there bearing that name, which was so called because it was frequented by the Galilæans when they visited the city on the occasion of any festival.

The second and highest summit is the one traditionally pointed out as the place of the Ascension[662]; in accordance with the words of the Acts of the Apostles[663], "Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey." Some consider the account in S. Luke's Gospel[664] opposed to this belief, where it is said, "He led them out as far as Bethany." But as the Mount of Olives is in the district of Bethany, the Evangelist may very well have put the whole for the part; so that there is no reason why we should not accept the site at present known as the scene of the Ascension.

The third summit is the Mount of Offence, of which we have already spoken. The name of Olivet is derived from the olive-trees, which are still cultivated upon its slopes, though now in very small numbers. Mariti[665] says, "it is still known by the[Pg 192] name of the Celebrated and Holy Mountain[666]." Quaresmius and Ludolph[667] remark that in some ancient versions of the Acts of the Apostles, we find in ch. i. ver. 12, the 'Mount of the Three Lights' instead of the 'Mount of Olives.' Both of them explain the origin of this name to be that during the night these three summits were illuminated on the west by the light of the fire on the altar of the Lord, which was kept always burning, and in the morning on the east by the beams of the rising sun, before they fell upon Jerusalem. Reland asserts that from its three eminences it is called the Mount of the Three Summits.

By a chain of fire-signals from this mountain the Israelites used to communicate to their brethren in distant lands the appearance of the new moon before the Passover. On one occasion the Samaritans, in order to deceive the Jews, lighted similar fires at the wrong time, for which reason the Jews were afterwards obliged to send messengers. The Talmud relates the manner in which these fires were made. "How did they raise the flames on high? They took long wands of cedar and reeds and pitchy wood and tow, and bound them together with a thread. And one, after ascending the mountain, lights this, and tosses the flame hither and thither, and up and down, until he sees another doing the same on the next mountain; and so on to the third. But from what point did they first raise the fire on high? From the Mount of Olives to Sartaba; from Sartaba to Gryphena; from Gryphena to Hauran; from Hauran to Beth Baltin; and he who raised the flame on Beth Baltin did not retire from it, but tossed his torch hither and thither, and up and down, until he saw the whole Captivity blazing with fires[668]." "The Samaritans also once raised the fires at the wrong time, and so deceived Israel." (Gloss.)

Sozomen[669] relates that, on the seventh of May, A.D. 331, a remarkable prodigy manifested the glory of God to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. A luminous cross, far brighter than any comet, was seen above the Valley of Jehoshaphat, reaching from Golgotha to the Mount of Olives. This vision lasted for several hours, and was seen by all the people, who ran to the church to celebrate the praises of Him who had thus testified to the truth of the Christian faith.

Tancred, on the arrival of the Crusaders before Jerusalem, ascended this mountain alone to reconnoitre the place, and was attacked by five Mohammedans, whom he discomfited single-handed. Hither too the Crusaders came in procession to pray for victory from the Lord of Hosts, before they assaulted the walls.

In the reign of Baldwin II. the Mohammedan chiefs with their bands assembled here with their troops in order to assault the city; but the Christian warriors attacked and dispersed them, slaying a great number, and the rest were destroyed by a band who sallied forth from Nablous. During the reign of the Latin kings[Pg 193] the mountain was covered with churches, chapels, and cells for monks and hermits. Hence remains of these are constantly found.

Let us now examine the summit bearing the name of the Ascension; and relate the history of those monuments, of which some traces still remain, or the sites of which are known. The mountain is crowned by a small village, clustered round a mosque and minaret, and extending a little eastward. Its cottages are miserable dens, but in their walls, ordinary as they are, fragments are seen, generally mutilated, which appear to have belonged to buildings of a higher architectural character. In front of the village (called Jebel Tor), on the west, the Greeks and the Armenians possess a plot of ground, in which they have found, while working there, some pieces of ornamental work, such as cornices, capitals, and the like; together with some large cisterns, which are also common in other parts. On the Greek property towards the north, an ancient wall was found in 1860, which from its masonry appears to me to have formed part of a Roman intrenchment. I refer it to the epoch of Titus, when the tenth legion was encamped here, and the soldiers were ordered to fortify themselves[670]. On the western slope is a small plateau, occupied by a Mohammedan cemetery, from which there is a beautiful view; but in order to enjoy this thoroughly it is necessary to ascend the minaret. This marks the spot from which the Lord ascended into heaven. It is now covered by a small mosque, in which the Mohammedans come to pray, shewing thus how greatly they also reverence the place. Before examining it, we will notice the surprising panorama visible from the minaret. To the west the Holy City is spread out before us[671]. We look down the Valley of Jehoshaphat from its head on the north, to where it joins the Tyropœon and the Valley of Hinnom; we can distinguish the hills of Jerusalem itself, and so understand its ancient topography. What thoughts arise as the eye roams from the plateau of the Haram es-Sherîf to the Castle of David, from Golgotha to Sion, from Bezetha to Gareb! The scenes of the Old and New Testament, the histories of so many different nations, the punishment of the elect people, are brought home to mind and heart; while we feel moved to repeat the words of Jeremiah, "How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! how is she become as a widow! she that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary[672]!" "Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the Lord hath afflicted me in the day of His fierce anger[673]." To the north is mount Scopus, the village of Neby Samwîl (Prophet Samuel), and the mountains of the ancient land of Ephraim, combined with those of Samaria. Towards the east, the eye, after traversing the desert hills and mountains of Judah down to the plains of Jericho and the deep basin of[Pg 194] the Dead Sea, is arrested by the range of the Arabian mountains; the hills of the land of Gilead appear on the north, lower down those of Ammon, and still further to the south, Nebo rising above the other summits of Moab. Seen through the pure light their sides are tinged with colour too beautiful for description, and testing to the utmost the painter's skill. To the south rise the gloomy herbless slopes of the distant heights of Bethlehem. To the south-east is the Hill of Evil Counsel, the plain of Rephaim, and the Convent of S. Elias, across a nearly desert tract of country. The whole panorama is a picture of desolation.

Let us now visit one by one the spots connected with incidents in sacred history. First is the place occupied by the small mosque, called by the Mohammedans the Mosque of the Ascension[674]. Eusebius[675] relates that "the mother of Constantine, in order to do honour to the memory of our Lord's ascension, erected some magnificent edifices on the Mount of Olives. First she raised on the summit of the mountain a Sanctuary of the Church of God." Hence we see that the first basilica on this site was built by S. Helena; but of that no traces now remain, nor has any description of it come down to us. S. Jerome alone gives us to understand that it was circular in plan. "For the church, in the middle of which are the foot-marks, was built on a circular plan and most beautiful design[676]." He also, as well as many other fathers of the Church, relates that the upper part of the dome could not be closed, because our Lord rose from it, and that the marks of His footsteps on the ground could never be covered up with marble[677]. This basilica was no doubt destroyed, A.D. 614, during the invasion of Chosroes II., but was rebuilt during the first half of the seventh century by the Patriarch Modestus[678], and the original plan was retained. Arculf[679], who saw it in the same century, has left us a detailed notice of it. "On that Mount Olivet no place appears loftier than that from which the Saviour is said to have ascended into heaven, where stands a great circular church with three cloisters round it, with chambers above them. The interior chamber of this circular church is without a roof, and lies open to heaven under the air; in the eastern part of which is an altar protected by a narrow roof. Now the inner house has no chamber placed above it, in order that from the spot, where last He placed His sacred feet, before He was borne in a cloud to heaven, the way may be always open, and stretch away into heaven before the eyes of the worshippers.... Moreover, there is a continuing testimony that the dust was trodden by God, in that the traces of His steps may be seen ... and the earth retains the mark as though stamped with the impressions of feet. In the same place is a great brazen cylinder opening outward (ærea grandis per circuitum rota desuper explanata), the height of[Pg 195] it being up to a man's head; in the middle of which is a rather large hole, through which the prints of the Lord's feet may be plainly seen marked in the dust. In that cylinder also on the west side a kind of door is always open, and through it those who enter can easily approach the sacred dust, and, by stretching out their hands through the aperture of the covering, can take particles of the sacred dust. On the west side of the upper part of the aforesaid rotunda are eight windows with glass lights; and the same number of lamps is suspended by cords within over against them; each being hung neither above nor below, but as it were part and parcel of the window, directly behind which it is seen. The brightness of these lamps shining through the glass is so great, that not only is the western side of Olivet adjoining the church illuminated, but also the greater part of the city of Jerusalem from the bottom of the Valley of Jehoshaphat is lighted up in the same manner." Willibald's description confirms, in every respect, that of Arculf.

We do not know precisely what became of the building at the time of Hakem's persecution, A.D. 1010, but it seems probable that the Khalif destroyed a considerable part of it; because, when Sæwulf visited the place, A.D. 1103, he saw a small tower supported by columns, and surrounded by a court paved with marble. The altar was inside, placed on the rock; and there was another altar to the east in the choir a little distance from the columns, where the Patriarch celebrated mass on Ascension-Day. In the first half of the twelfth century the Crusaders rebuilt the church on this site, and added a convent occupied by Canons of the Augustinian order[680]. Their habit was white[681]. I only give the Plan of the present building, as there are not sufficient remains to enable me to reconstruct that of the Crusaders, and I but partially accept the conclusions which M. de Vogüé has drawn from the testimony of Quaresmius[682]: "The ancient church was a regular octagon in plan: all the bases of the corner pillars still remain; it is easy therefore to determine its perimeter. The octagon forming the base of the plan is inscribed in a circle 111-1/2 feet in diameter. The building has not been laid out with much accuracy, as the length of the sides of the octagon (measured on the outside) vary between 39-1/4 and 42-1/2 feet[683]. This fault proceeds from a want of exactness in the execution; since it was evidently the intention of the architects to construct a regular building, to recall by its polygonal form the ancient rotunda whose ruins it replaced. There is a similar want of regularity in the bases[684]; some are larger than others without any apparent motive.... The bases of the columns sustaining the inner rotunda have entirely disappeared; but they existed in the time of Quaresmius, who has placed them in his plan equidistant from the centre and[Pg 196] the inside wall ... a wall of rubble-work, no doubt pierced with windows, connected the corner piers. Nothing remains of this except some shapeless fragments of its substructure. The examination of these fragments induces us to suppose that the original wall did not run in straight lines, but was rather circular in form[685]. In this uncertainty I prefer to follow the indication of Quaresmius[686], who doubtless was able to see quite enough of the original building to ascertain its general plan. He says distinctly that was octagonal. 'The lower parts of the walls are left, as well as some bases of columns and foundations, from which we can infer how magnificent it was. Externally it was an octagon in form, and inside was an ambulatory, supported by one row of columns.'" From an examination of the spot I am induced to believe that Quaresmius could not have seen much more than now remains; and therefore cannot say whether he imagined or really saw the octagon. In the latter case I suppose that its ruins have perished since his time; and therefore M. de Vogüé cannot have seen the fragments of the 'wall of rubble-work connecting the piers.' I do not deny that his restoration of the church deserves careful consideration, and probably conveys a true idea of the building: but I believe that it cannot be restricted to the present dimensions, and that we can place no reliance upon the bases of columns and walls now remaining, because they have been arranged according to the caprice of the Mohammedans, as was most convenient. This I will presently explain; however, the Plan itself will shew it. The church erected by the Crusaders was destroyed by the Saracens, A.D. 1187. "Others indeed devastated the most holy Mount of Olives, where the Lord, as we read in the Gospels, was often wont to pray ... on which a church is built, on the spot where our Lord Jesus Christ was taken up into heaven on the fortieth day after His resurrection. In the middle of this a structure of wonderful roundness and beauty is erected, where the Lord placed His feet[687]."

The Mohammedans appear to have built the present mosque from the materials of the ancient church: the dome is now closed[688]. Willibrand of Oldenburg[689], who visited Olivet A.D. 1211, states that an infidel Saracen had erected an oratory in honour of Mohammed over the ruins of the Church of the Ascension. M. de Vogüé thinks that the Chronicler is mistaken in saying that this was in honour of the Prophet, and not of the Ascension, and that the date of the building is from 1200 to 1240. No Christian community has ever had exclusive possession of the place. A Mohammedan Santon is in charge, who for a present will open the doors to any one wishing to visit it. Consequently, on Ascension-day the monks of all the Christian sects resort[Pg 197] thither, each party celebrating mass on the spot marked on the Plan. The Greeks occupy the most distinguished position, after the site occupied by the mosque; for there, according to tradition, the Apostles stood as our Lord ascended.

Travellers have all spoken about the prints of our Saviour's feet (especially Abbé Mariti and Monsignor Mislin); with regard to these, as they are unsupported by the Bible and the decrees of the Church, I venture to declare that they are only representations of footsteps carved by some sculptor. The truth of miracles in the abstract I do not impugn, but for this there is no evidence. The Mohammedans preserve in the mosque el-Aksa one of the impressions, which also came from Olivet. I defy the keenest observer to say which is the mark of the right foot and which of the left. I do not believe in the instantaneous fusion of the rock; it is only an Oriental invention; and we find frequent instances of a similar kind among the different religious bodies in the East; such as the other foot-prints of the Saviour, those of the Virgin at Bethlehem, those of the Angel Gabriel, the impression of the body of the Prophet Elias, the turban of Mohammed and his foot-print, and a thousand similar stories. Therefore I say, with Mariti, 'Let him believe that wishes to believe;' and am sure that I offend not against God and religion in rejecting such old wives' tales.

Let us now glance at some other points of interest. At the south-west corner of the buildings surrounding the Church of the Ascension is the Grotto or Tomb of S. Pelagia; over which a church used to stand. She was a native of Alexandria, who went to Antioch in search of pleasure; and as she was graceful, fair, and frail, was soon noted among the gallants of that place, who called her 'the Pearl.' However, one day she listened to a sermon preached by Nonnus, Patriarch of Antioch, which so affected her, that, abandoning her former life, she went to inhabit the grotto on Mount Olivet, which still bears her name; and so completely disguised herself, that she was known to the hermits who lived in the other caves in the neighbourhood by the name of the monk Pelagius. Her sex was not discovered till she was laid out, before being buried beneath the spot where she had lived. The Jews call this place the Tomb of the Prophetess Huldah; for what reason they do not themselves know. The Plan[690] exhibits the interior, half of which is vaulted with masonry, the rest excavated in the rock. Tradition asserts that our Lord frequently retired to this grotto to instruct His disciples; accordingly a church, built by S. Helena in honour of this event, occupied this spot before that dedicated to S. Pelagia. So we are informed by Eusebius[691]. "And she also built a church lower down at that very cave, where (as the true and holy utterances of God testify) the Disciples and Apostles were initiated in all sacred mysteries." The Pilgrim of Bordeaux writes, A.D. 333, "Thence you ascend Mount Olivet, where the Lord taught His Apostles before His Passion. There a basilica has been built by order of Constan[Pg 198]tine[692]." Why does the Pilgrim pass unnoticed the Church of the Ascension, so plainly indicated by Eusebius? Possibly the church of the grotto, a kind of dependency of the place of the Ascension, may have been the only part of the works completed at the time.

Leaving the Grotto of S. Pelagia, and going towards the south-west, we find a cistern near to an olive-tree, which is shewn as the place where our Saviour taught the Apostles the Lord's Prayer. Formerly there was a church here, as the following passage tells us: "In which place (i.e. Olivet) the Lord was wont to instruct His disciples and all who flocked to Him out of the city. And there He is said to have taught His disciples the Lord's Prayer[693]." Not a trace of the church is now left; and I cannot accept the tradition, as it is contrary to S. Matthew's Gospel[694], which places the scene of this event in Galilee; S. Luke[695], indeed, says our Lord repeated the prayer 'in a certain place,' this may have been in Galilee or at Bethany, but not, I think, at Jerusalem.

A short distance from the above, to the east, is a cavern, wherein the Apostles are believed to have composed the Creed. Here formerly stood a church, dedicated to the twelve Apostles; as is shewn by the ruins still remaining, and those which are dug up there from time to time. The Rev. G. Williams[696], in 1842, saw twelve niches in the walls, six on each side: these I never found; for the barbarous peasants of Olivet have completely destroyed them, in order to use the stones in building their cottages, after first breaking them in pieces so as to remove them more easily. The tradition about the Creed is of no value. Adrichomius[697], indeed, says, "the most probable opinion is, that the Apostles met together in the Cœnaculum in Sion to compose the Creed."

On the summit, not far from the place where the Lord's Prayer is said to have been pronounced, the spot is pointed out where our Lord stood when He predicted the Last Judgment[698]. This tradition is, like the others, worthless.

Descending towards the south in the direction of the Mount of Offence, we arrive, a few yards from a path leading to Bethany, at a field, in which is the so-called Tomb of the Prophets[699]. We enter this cave by a small aperture approached down a broken flight of steps. The Plan and Sections render it unnecessary for me to describe its internal arrangements. I will only mention that in certain parts, especially in the piers, we find masonry, which has been added in order to strengthen the piers of rock which had crumbled away, and so become incapable of supporting the vaulted roof. The place is called by the Arabs Kubur el-Umbia. Hither the Hebrew pilgrims come to lament and pray, believing, according to a tradition com[Pg 199]monly received by them, that they are the burying-places of the Prophets. We will therefore see whether the Bible confirms this belief.

Though they are called the Tombs of the Prophets, the names of those who have been buried there are not known; for the greater number and more distinguished Prophets were not interred near Jerusalem. The difficulties attending on this tradition are well put by M. Nau[700]. "They point out the place where, as they say, the Prophets are buried. But what Prophets? Isaiah is buried elsewhere, under Mount Sion; Jeremiah at Alexandria, whither his remains were removed by Alexander the Great from Tahpanhes in Egypt; Baruch, his secretary, went to Babylon to console his countrymen in their captivity, and lies there. Ezekiel, after being cruelly martyred by being dashed against rocks over which he was dragged by the Jews, or (as others say) by horses, to which he had been fastened, was buried in the sepulchre of Shem and Arphaxad. Daniel ended his days at Babylon, either by a natural death (according to the common opinion), or (according to an ancient manuscript of the Emperor Basil, preserved in the Vatican) by decapitation, together with his three holy companions, at the hand of a certain Attalus. His remains were removed from Babylon to Alexandria, and thence to Venice. Hosea was buried at Behemot in the tribe of Issachar, Joel at Bethor, Amos at Tekoah, Obadiah and Elisha at Sebaste, Jonah at Geth, Micah and Habakkuk near Eleutheropolis, Nahum at Begabar. Thus the burial-places of the greater number of the prophets are elsewhere: but still we may suppose that some of the others may have been interred in these tombs; for example, Zephaniah, Haggai, Malachi, and many others of the Messengers of God, mentioned in Holy Scripture, who have not left any writings, as Gad, Nathan, Ahijah the Shilonite, and others. It is enough for some of these to be buried here, in order to give the place a claim to its name. It is also possible that the Jews may have collected the remains of their more distinguished Prophets, and placed them in these tombs on the Mount of Olives." No more need be said to shew how slight are the grounds for the traditional name. It is indeed possible that the words of our Lord may refer to these tombs: "Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the Prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous[701]." "Woe unto you! for ye build the sepulchres of the Prophets, and your fathers killed them[702]." Certainly I do not consider these tombs to be as ancient as many others in the Valley of Kidron and Hinnom and on the north of the city, which we shall presently examine.

Quitting the Mount of Olives, let us take the path running eastward, which will lead us to the ancient village of Bethphage, so well known in connexion with the Redeemer's entry into Jerusalem. It formerly belonged to the Levites employed in[Pg 200] the Temple. Origen, in his treatise on S. Matthew[703], explains the word to mean House of the Jaws. S. Jerome[704] speaks of it as follows: "When He had come to Bethphage, to the House of the Jaws, which is a village belonging to the Priests, and a type of (Christian) confession, situated on the Mount of Olives." Again, in the account of S. Paula's journey[705], he says, "After she had entered the Tomb of Lazarus, Mary and Martha, she saw the hospice and Bethphage, the 'Village of the Jaws,' which were the priests' portion." Others interpret the word 'House of Figs,' and the Easterns assert that it means 'House of the Rock in the Valley.' The position of the place is certainly in favour of this last signification, as just there the valley is divided into two branches by a rocky hill.

At the present day there are no traces of the church, which is said to have stood there, or even of the village itself; nothing is seen but bare rock, broken here and there by patches of badly tilled ground. Quaresmius[706] gives an account of the long procession which used in his time to be made on Palm Sunday, "When the Guardian of the Holy Land, with his attendant monks, had reached the spot, he preached to the people: then a deacon chanted the Gospel for the day. At the words, 'Jesus sent two disciples, saying unto them,' two monks fell on their knees in front of the reader, who continued, 'Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her; loose them and bring them unto me.' Then the two departed and brought an ass, on which the Guardian mounted, while the bystanders spread their garments and olive-branches in the way, and so the procession started for Jerusalem, chanting as they went, 'The sons of the Hebrews brought branches of olive,' and proceeded to the city." Even in the time of Quaresmius nothing remained of either the church or the village. I could wish that some of the ceremonies still performed in the Holy Sepulchre, had, like this, fallen into disuse.

After descending from Bethphage for about half a mile by a very steep and stony path, we come to the village of Bethany. It may perhaps be asserted, that this way going from the Mount of Olives through Bethphage and Bethany was not in existence in former times, and is rather a cattle-track than a road, but it is mentioned by S. Epiphanius[707]: "Then he (Marcion) does not give any account of His journey from Jericho until He arrives at Bethany and Bethphage. But there was an ancient road which led from Jerusalem by Mount Olivet, which those who traverse these regions are acquainted with." Therefore it is evident that this road was more ancient than that which went from Jerusalem to Bethany by the Mount of Offence. The former is the one which we suppose our Lord to have traversed on His trium[Pg 201]phal entry into Jerusalem, and on other occasions. Bethany was a Jewish fortress on the eastern slope of Olivet: it was the home of Lazarus and his sisters[708], and is frequently mentioned in the Gospels[709], being the favourite resort of Jesus and His disciples. The position of the village is incontestably fixed by history, tradition, and the locality itself.

We are told by S. John[710] that Bethany was about 15 stadia, or nearly 2 Roman miles, from Jerusalem, and the present village is that distance. We may fairly suppose that the house of Lazarus must have been of considerable size from the allusions to it in the Gospels[711], and consequently it and the village could hardly have been destroyed without leaving some ruins to mark the spot; and therefore the tradition would be preserved until the fourth century, when monuments were erected by the Christians on the sites connected with the life of Christ. It is then only necessary to examine into the accuracy of the tradition during the first three centuries; but here the same arguments that we used in the case of the Sepulchre of Christ may be applied to Bethany, and especially to the Tomb of Lazarus. The present condition of the place may also persuade those who distrust tradition, for there are still very many ruins there, and consequently must have been more in the first ages of Christianity. If it be urged that they are the effects of the ravages of the Saracens on the work of the Crusaders, I admit the objection to be partly true, but reply that the eye can readily distinguish these from the more ancient Jewish remains. In a word, there is no other place on the eastern slope of Olivet, which so perfectly fulfils all the requisite conditions, as the present village of Bethany: and even its Arab name El-Azirieh still retains that of Lazarus. The Mohammedans themselves so fully believe that this is the scene of the raising of Lazarus, that they come as pilgrims from distant countries to supplicate health for themselves and their sick children, in faith that if they touch the rock of the tomb their prayers will be granted by God. In 1859 some labourers discovered, at the distance of a few yards from the village, to the east, near the road going to the Jordan, a wall which had all the characteristics of ancient Jewish work of the age of the Herods. Its shape and position seem to indicate that it had formed part of an enclosure; the continuation of which was observed a little to the south, and also to the north-west of the Arab houses. Near it a great quantity of materials of the Herodian epoch were discovered, scattered about in the ground, with several deep cisterns entirely excavated and vaulted in the rock, full of fragments of ancient masonry. These also occur in other parts of the village. After carefully examining the boundary wall, wherever it could be found, I have arrived at the conclusion that the traditional House and Tomb of Lazarus are outside it. Thus the objection often brought against them, that they[Pg 202] are inside the village, in opposition to the Jewish law, does not apply. For a long time past the peasants of Bethany have been accustomed to find dressed stones in their fields, which they have either broken up, in order to carry them away easily into the city, or have burnt for lime. If, then, we do not suppose the ancient village to have been there, I do not see how we can explain the presence of these remains. The eastern part of the present village occupies a portion of the old site, and the western was built when memorials were erected by the Christians over the Holy Places. Bethany is now a wretched spot, consisting of about forty cottages, built on ruins and heaps of rubbish. A short distance from the entrance to the village, on the west, is a splendid ruin, the remains of a building of considerable size, which is shewn as the House of Lazarus. To the east of this, among the houses, is the mosque[712], and near it the Tomb of Lazarus. The houses of Martha, Mary, and Simon the Leper, are also shewn by the natives; but as these exhibit no signs of antiquity, and the first two are obviously improbable, I pass them by without further notice, to consider the Tomb of Lazarus. This, like most of the Jewish sepulchres, consists of two underground chambers, namely, a vestibule and a tomb properly so called. The latter is entirely excavated in the rock, while the former is of masonry, together with the walls of the staircase leading down to it, which dates (according to Mariti[713]) from the beginning of the seventeenth century; that is, from 1612 to 1615, when Father Angelo of Messina was Guardian of the holy mountain of Sion, and built this approach to the tomb. Mariti adds, that it was made because the ancient one was in the adjoining mosque, formerly a Christian church. With this I cannot agree, because, after examining the interior of the mosque, I have been unable to find any trace of a communication with the inside of the tomb; and in the interior of the latter there are no signs of a walled-up door, to give access to this supposed passage. The locality has undergone so many alterations, that it is now impossible to fix the relative positions of the church and the tomb; but the former must have been different in plan and in dimensions from the small mosque, which, as I believe, retains few, if any, remains of the ancient Christian church. The tradition indicating this spot as the scene of the miracle is as early as that of Bethany itself. The Pilgrim of Bordeaux, A.D. 333, writes, "There is a crypt there, where Lazarus, whom the Lord raised, was laid." He does not allude to any building erected there by S. Helena, therefore I doubt the truth of the following statement of Nicephorus Callistus[714]: "Thence having gone on to Bethany, she erected a noble temple to Lazarus the friend of Christ. That place is two miles from Jerusalem." S. Jerome[715] (who died A.D. 420) speaks of this tomb and of a church there, but[Pg 203] does not say that it was built by the Empress Helena[716]. At a later period the tomb and church were seen by Antoninus of Piacenza and Arculf; the latter of whom "visited at Bethany a certain small field surrounded by a great olive-grove, on which stands a large monastery, and a large church built over the cave, from which our Lord raised up Lazarus after he had lain dead four days[717]." Bernard, the Wise[718], writes thus: "Thence we proceeded to Bethany on the descent of Mount Olivet, where is a monastery whose church marks the Tomb of Lazarus." This place is also mentioned by Sæwulf, so that tradition and local evidence bring it down to the epoch of the Latin kingdom. The tomb must have been altered by the Crusaders, whose work we recognize in the vestibule leading into the sepulchre; but we have no record of the general appearance of the exterior of the church after their restoration. We see, therefore, that an unbroken tradition has been attached to this tomb from the beginning of the Christian era to the present day.

Let us now visit the ruins of the so-called House of Lazarus, which are a short distance to the west of the tomb. All that we can distinguish here with certainty is the ruin of a square tower, the masonry of which is of the time of the Crusades. The presence of a quantity of small white tesseræ encouraged me to excavate inside its walls, when I found in its foundations stones with rude rustic-work; and in removing the rubbish, saw some other stones in which were holes, apparently made to receive lead or iron clamps, to bind them together. Hence I consider that the Crusaders' building partly rests upon ancient Jewish foundations; and that it is not by any means improbable that this is the actual site of the House of Lazarus. The walls and portion of the tower now remaining are the ruins of a hospice, which was rebuilt by Queen Milisendis[719] in the first half of the twelfth century; the original building (dating from the sixth century and visited by Antoninus of Piacenza) having been destroyed by the Saracens. Milisendis obtained for this purpose the church of Bethany, and all the land belonging to it, from the Canons of the Holy Sepulchre, giving them in exchange the town of Tekoa, near Bethlehem. The deed of exchange, dated on the nones of February 1138, is preserved in the Cartulary of the Holy Sepulchre[720], and also the bull of Celestine II., A.D. 1143, confirming it[721]. The queen considering that the convent, being in a lonely situation and a considerable distance from the city, would be in danger of attack in case of war, built there with squared and dressed stones a very strong tower, containing the necessary offices, as a refuge for the nuns, until succours arrived from Jerusalem[722]. This it is whose ruins we now see. She also amply[Pg 204] endowed the convent, assigning to it the revenues of Jericho and its dependencies, with many other gifts, recorded by William of Tyre in the passage just cited. The same author goes on to inform us that when the work was finished, Milisendis established there a community of Benedictine nuns, presided over by an abbess, "an aged and venerable matron, of approved piety," after whose death, "returning to her (original) purpose, she placed her own sister, with the consent of the Lord Patriarch and assent of the sisterhood, at the head of the nunnery;" giving at the same time yet more gifts, such as chalices, books, and other ornaments used for ecclesiastical purposes; nor did she cease all her life according to the desire of her heart, and for the sake of her sister, whom she specially loved, to shew kindness to the place. The name of the first abbess was Matilda[723]. Juveta is mentioned as abbess of the nunnery of S. Lazarus at Bethany, in a contract for the exchange of some rents between her and the nuns of the Hospital of S. Lazarus at Jerusalem. It bears the date A.D. 1157, in the reign of Baldwin III. After the witnesses' signatures we find written, "All these things were confirmed in the presence of Queen Milisendis." To the document a seal is attached mentioned by Paoli[724]. In the middle of it is the figure of a lady, partially effaced, holding against her breast a book bearing a cross. The legend is JUDITTA ABBATISSH. On the reverse is our Saviour recalling Lazarus to life, with the legend RESUCTATIO LAZARI. On the invasion of Saladin the nuns retired to S. Jean d'Acre, and the convent was destroyed, since which period it has remained in ruins.

Thus, having completed our examination of Bethany, let us return by the road passing on the south of the Mount of Olives. This was the ancient military way from Jerusalem to Jericho and the left bank of the Jordan, and is still the usual route to the same places. Traces of the old paving are yet to be seen at certain points. Near the Mount of Offence the local guide stops the visitor to shew him the fig-tree which withered away at our Lord's command[725]; and, if he is well up to his work, will not forget to point out the tree on which Judas hanged himself. But let us enter the Valley of Hinnom.

This was the boundary-line between Judah on the south and Benjamin on the north[726]. The Arabic name is Wady er-Rabab, the Hebrew, Ge-Hinnom or Ben-Hinnom (the valley of the son of Hinnom). The bloody rites of Moloch[727] and Baal gave it its evil fame, which were celebrated more especially in the place called Tophet[728]; this was, according to Jerome, the lower (eastern) part of Hinnom. S. Jerome[729] asserts that Christ was the first to use this word in the sense 'hell;' an[Pg 205] application which the abominable idolatrous rites that had been enacted there rendered most appropriate. The Prophet Jeremiah frequently mentions Tophet, but one passage is very remarkable from the manner in which its fulfilment is evident at the present day. "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall be no more called Tophet, nor the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of slaughter: for they shall bury in Tophet till there be no place[730]." Now, whichever way we turn, our eyes rest on tombs, many broken as the nation that once profaned this spot: so that no one can tread these rocks heedless and unmoved.

To the south of the Valley of Hinnom is the hill, called by the Christians the Hill of Evil Counsel, because of a legend, that in a village on its western side, all trace of which has now disappeared, was a house belonging to Caiaphas; where the Priests and Pharisees assembled to compass the capture and death of Christ. Pompeius encamped upon its summit after he had taken Jerusalem[731]. The Arabs call it Jebel el-Kubur (Mount of the Tombs); a most appropriate name, as it is in reality one great necropolis; now, however, inhabited by many peasants of Siloam, who have housed themselves and their crops in some of the sepulchral chambers, and converted others into cisterns. We will visit all the more interesting objects which we meet as we ascend from the Well of Job. At the bottom of a narrow trench, sloping steeply downwards, is a frontispiece[732], decorated with a triangular pediment, with a trefoil as finial, above a small doorway. On each side of this is a pilaster; these are still visible, though partly covered with soil. The interior[733] has this peculiarity, that the arches forming the roofs of the sepulchral niches are not very nearly semicircular, but extremely depressed; and a trough-shaped cavity or sarcophagus takes the place of the shelf for the corpse; an arrangement which does not occur in the tombs on the north of the city, or in the Kidron Valley. While I was engaged in making my Plan, I found a great number of bones in the interior; and in the chamber furthest to the east four perfect skeletons, which I discovered must have been placed there a few months before. I consider these tombs, as well as the others so common in the vicinity, to be more recent than those which are found elsewhere in the neighbourhood of the city; certainly they did not exist in the time of the Jewish kings, when Tophet was considered an accursed place. I think that they were excavated during the Asmonæan period, as the prejudice against the site might by that time have diminished. The simple but careful ornamentation of these tombs, the whiteness of the surface, and the absence of certain marks on the stone, characteristic of the instruments of the earlier period, all lead me to the same conclusion.[Pg 206]

A few yards to the west of the last tomb is another remarkable for its elaborate façade[734]. This is of the Doric order. The frieze is divided by triglyphs, having eight metopes, each charged with a patera of a different pattern. Some traces of fresco painting are still seen on the soffit of the vestibule and in the inner chambers, which induce me to think that it has been used as a chapel. According to tradition the Apostles concealed themselves here also after our Saviour was taken prisoner; and at a later period S. Onuphrius lived and died here in retirement. For this cause it was converted into a chapel dedicated to this Saint, and it is still visited by the Greeks once a year to offer up prayers. Schultz considers it to be the monument of Ananus the High-priest; a point in the wall of circumvallation constructed by Titus[735]. As its decoration is probably of the Herodian age, I agree with him.

On the west of this we find, after passing Aceldama, a tomb[736], which gives us a good idea of what the Sepulchre of Jesus was formerly like. When Constantine embraced Christianity, this hill, as well as the others, was occupied by anchorites, who lived in the tombs and caverns. So we are told by Antoninus of Piacenza[737]. "Within the very sepulchres are the cells of the servants of God, wherein many virtues are displayed." So again we find in the Geography of Edrisi: "Near this are a number of houses excavated in the rock, inhabited by pious hermits[738]."

Almost half way up the hill is a building which has retained the name Aceldama (Price of Blood[739]). An uninterrupted tradition identifies this with the Potter's field, bought as the burial-place of strangers[740]. This place recalls to the mind one of the most sublime prophecies of Jeremiah[741], of which it may have been the scene; when he broke the potter's earthen vessel before the ancients of Israel, crying, "Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Even so will I break this people and this city as one breaketh a potter's vessel that cannot be made whole again"—words which still are fulfilled by Jerusalem and the Jews.

In the field is a great subterranean chamber, excavated in the rock, enclosed by a wall supporting a vaulted roof, and pierced by holes, through which the corpses were let down. In the lower part of the west side is an aperture formed in the rock, perhaps to admit servants to gather together the ashes after the corpses were consumed; but of these no traces can now be found. In the interior on the south side is a great pier made out of the rock, and strengthened with masonry, which divides the chamber into two on that side. Nicephorus Callistus attributes this monument to S. Helena[742]. After examining the walls I have come to the conclusion[Pg 207] that they are of two periods, the first that of S. Helena, to which I refer the inside wall, especially in the lower parts; and the second that of the Crusades, which is the date of the part above ground and the vaulting. At that time the Hospitalers interred here those who died in the Hospital, as we learn from the following passage: "On the left hand the valley had a charnel-house called Chaudemar. Therein they cast the pilgrims who died in the Hospital at Jerusalem. This piece of land, where the charnel-house lay, was bought with the money for which Judas sold the dear Jesus Christ, as saith the Evangelist[743]." A church also stood on this spot, as is shewn by a document entitled, "Archives of the Hospitalers in the year 1143," in which we find, "I William, by the Grace of God, Patriarch of Holy Jerusalem ... proclaim that I have granted for ever to the Hospital which is in Jerusalem, a certain church, situated in the field called Achel-demach, where the bodies of strangers are buried; together with all the land, divided by the ancient Syrians in our presence." No trace now remains of this church, but it was probably built over the vault, and was only a consecrated room to be used as a mortuary-chapel. Popular superstition attributes to the soil of Aceldama the property of consuming the corpses buried there in twenty-four hours; for which reason it was carried away to be used in Christian burial-places. S. Helena transported 270 ship-loads to Rome. The Pisan Crusaders on their return from Syria brought back a great quantity of it, which was deposited on their Campo Santo, A.D. 1218. I was anxious to test the truth of the belief, and so buried at a depth of four feet the body, not indeed of a human being, but of a lamb. After eight days I disinterred it, and unfortunately for my sense of smell, found that although I had carefully selected a piece of natural ground free from rubbish, the experiment was unsuccessful; I am therefore driven to conclude that the soil has lost its former virtue. I also filled a box with the soil, and placed therein birds, small quadrupeds, and reptiles; but in all cases the flesh was consumed slowly. I also planted flowers in some of it, at my own house, and found that they flourished perfectly.

Many persons have laid much stress on the fact that a great quantity of broken earthenware vases has been found about Aceldama, which they have considered to be of great age, and proofs of its former use; but in what part of the neighbourhood of Jerusalem, and indeed of all the towns and villages of Palestine are not similar remains found? Hewers of stone, labourers, shepherds and many others, pass whole days away from their houses, especially in places where there are tombs, and always bring with them vessels of water, many of which get broken from time to time; a circumstance which accounts for these fragments being found especially in the neighbourhood of the more populous cities.[Pg 208]

From Aceldama we can ascend to the top of the hill to visit the ruins of Deir-Kaddis-Modistus. This appears to have been an ancient convent, at the time when the anchorites inhabited the caverns. Now we see a Mohammedan tomb, and two Arab cottages, erected by the Greek Archimandrite, Nicoforus, who has purchased a large estate there; and in a few years the mountain-side, after so many centuries of sterility, will be again fertile. When these were being built, I often visited the place, and noticed that, as the rubbish was cleared away, some remains of ancient Jewish and Roman walls were discovered; the occurrence of which, renders it not at all improbable that a fortress occupied the position in the time of the Maccabees.

We descend the Hill of Evil Counsel to the Bethlehem road, and follow this northward till we reach the valley of Gihon on the north-west. On our left is a new mulberry plantation, in the middle of which stand a small tower and the beginning of a house, all the work of Nicoforus, who intends to establish here a spinning-mill for silk. This spot is Kasr el-Asfur or el-Ghazal (House of the young sparrow, or of the gazelle)[744]. Here we find many cisterns entirely excavated in the rock, and a quantity of hewn rock, still bearing marks characteristic of the ancient tools. Dressed stones and fragments of walls of the Jewish period are not unfrequently found here by the labourers, when digging deep to bring the ground under cultivation; but unfortunately the Archimandrite is not as fond of archæology as of farming; and these remains are blown up with gunpowder to gain two or three inches more soil for the roots of a tree, so that the traces of ancient works, of the highest importance in determining the former topography of the neighbourhood of the city, are thus obliterated.

A little to the north of Kasr el-Asfur is a large plot of land enclosed by a new Arab wall, on which stands a long building, certainly not remarkable for its good architecture and internal arrangement. It is a hospice for Jews, founded in 1858 by Sir Moses Montefiore of London, with the assistance of others professing the same creed. It has been erected to supply lodgings for the poor, where they may enjoy a purer air than they do in their own quarter of the city. Behind the principal building, to the west, Sir Moses Montefiore erected a wind-mill, which would be of the highest value to the whole country if only its advantages were understood; but the Arabs still prefer using their own miserable hand or horse-mills, which spoil their flour, to the trouble of carrying the grain this short distance from the city. In time, no doubt, they will perceive the obligation they are under to this philanthropic Israelite.

In the lower part of the valley, to the east of the above-named establishment,[Pg 209] is a very large pool excavated in the rock, except on the north and south side, where its waters are retained by walls. It is the largest in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem, and bears the name Birket es-Sultan (Prince's Pool). It is so called because the popular belief is that it was originally constructed by David or Solomon, and afterwards repaired by various sultans. An Arabic inscription on the frontispiece of a fountain (now dry) to the south, called Aïn el-Melik, informs us that it was restored by the Mamaluke Sultan el-Melik en-Naser-Mohammed, between the years 693 and 741 of the Hejra (from 1294 to 1340 A.D.). It was also repaired by Sultan Solyman I. in the sixteenth century. Owing to a mistake made by Bonifacius[745] it has been wrongly supposed to be the Pool of Bersabeë (Bathsheba), where the wife of Uriah the Hittite was bathing, when she was seen by David. This is however obviously contrary to the words in the Bible[746], that "David walked upon the roof of the King's house, and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself, &c." Besides, it is in the last degree improbable that a woman of good reputation would bathe in a pool by the side of a public road. It is more likely that it bears the name of Bethsabeë or Bersabeë, because it is at the beginning of the road leading to the city of Bersabeë[747]. I have no doubt that this is the 'lower pool' mentioned by the Prophet Isaiah[748]; but I shall discuss this question in the Chapter on the Waters, and give an account of the aqueduct, which runs along its western side, and then after turning eastward goes to Sion. In the middle ages it was repaired by one Germanus, as the following passage shews: "When they had descended the mount," it is told in our account of the thirteenth century, "they found a pool in the valley, called Germanus' Pool, because Germanus constructed it to catch the water that descended from the hills when it rained; there the horses of the city used to drink[749]." It is true that the above quotation asserts that Germanus made the pool, but I understand this only to mean repaired; because it is far too great a work to have been undertaken in the time of the Crusades, simply to form a watering-place for horses, when other ponds in the neighbourhood of the city would have served for this purpose. It is also mentioned in the Cartulary of the Holy Sepulchre in the year 1177. The pool is now dry, and even after rain the water does not remain in it, although it could be restored for a small sum. During the harvest the farmers dry and thresh out their crops in it.

Hence we return to the city by ascending the rough road leading up to that part of the wall enclosing Mount Sion, which bears the name of Abraj Ghazzah (towers of Gaza), and after passing the south-west corner of this, we arrive on the plateau of the hill, which is occupied by a cemetery, divided among the different[Pg 210] Christian communities in Jerusalem. At the south-east corner of this stands a group of buildings, known by the names of the Tomb of David and the Cœnaculum. A small dome, surmounted by a crescent, marks the position of the former[750]. That this is the site of the tomb of the Royal Psalmist and his successors, I trust to shew by the aid of the Bible, of history, of tradition, and of local evidence at the present time. We find the following passages in the Bible: "David took the stronghold of Sion, the same is the city of David.... So David dwelt in the fort, and called it the city of David[751]. So David slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David[752]." Again, after the death of the Psalmist, several of his successors are mentioned as being buried "with their fathers in the city of David[753]." But this is not all; in the Book of Nehemiah[754] we find "the gate of the fountain repaired Shallum ... and the wall of the pool of Siloah by the King's garden, and unto the stairs that go down from the city of David. After him repaired Nehemiah ... unto the place over against the sepulchres of David, and to the pool that was made, and unto the house of the mighty." From this it is clear that the wall, in coming from the direction of the King's garden and the pool of Siloam, mounted the eastern slope of Sion as far as the Tomb of David, and that the 'pool that was made' is Birket es-Sultan, and possibly the 'house of the mighty' may be the citadel. Hence the Tomb of David must have been well known to the Jews of later ages. Again, Josephus[755] states that Solomon buried great treasures in his father's tomb, and that Hyrcanus the High-priest broke open the tomb and took therefrom three thousand talents. This happened about 129 B.C. In another place[756] we find, "As for Herod, he had spent vast sums about the cities, both without and within his own kingdom, and as he had before heard that Hyrcanus, who had been king before him, had opened David's sepulchre, and had taken out of it three thousand talents of silver, and that there was a much greater number left behind, and indeed enough to suffice all his wants, he had a great while an intention to make the attempt; and at this time he opened the sepulchre by night and went into it, and endeavoured that it should not be at all known in the city, but took only his most faithful friends with him. As for money he found none, as Hyrcanus had done, but that furniture of gold and those precious stones that were laid up there, all which he took away. However, he had a great desire to make a more diligent search, and to go further in, even as far as the very bodies of David and Solomon; where two of his guards were slain by a flame that burst out upon those that went in, as the report was. So he was terribly affrighted, and[Pg 211] went out, and built a propitiatory monument of that fright he had been in, and this of white stone, at the mouth of the sepulchre, and at a great expense also." This took place about the year 12 B.C. Had the tomb been outside the walls, it is less likely that it would have escaped destruction in the various sieges of Jerusalem; and the account just cited produces the impression that it was within the city. S. Peter[757], addressing the Jews, says, "Let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day." This brings us down to the year 34 A.D. Dio Cassius[758] states that part of the Tomb of David fell down of itself in the time of Hadrian, which was considered by the Jews to be an evil omen. S. Jerome[759] also informs us that it was visited by the Christians, when he says to S. Paula and S. Eustochium her daughter, "When shall we be allowed to enter the Sepulchre of the Redeemer, and to pray in the Tomb of David?" He does not indeed expressly say that it was within the city, but we may infer it from his mentioning it together with the Sepulchre of Christ, and not alluding to it when he describes the visits to the Sanctuaries in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem. This evidence brings us down to the fifth century. The Jewish tradition also on this point is of real weight, because it has never placed the tomb otherwise than on Sion, outside the present city-walls, though without fixing its exact position. Benjamin of Tudela[760], who wrote A.D. 1173, relates that about fifteen years before his arrival at Jerusalem one of the walls of the oratory on Mount Sion fell down, and that while it was being repaired two of the workmen went on with their labour while the rest were absent, and broke away a stone that formed the mouth of a cavern; into this they agreed to enter in search of treasure, "and they proceeded until they reached a large hall, supported by pillars of marble incrusted with gold and silver, before which stood a table with a golden sceptre and crown. This was the Sepulchre of David, King of Israel.... They further saw chests locked up, the contents of which nobody knew, and were on the point of entering the hall when a blast of wind like a storm issued forth from the mouth of the cavern, so strong that it threw them down almost lifeless on the ground. There they lay until evening, when another wind rushed forth, from which they heard a voice like that of a man calling aloud, Get up and go forth from this place." Now I do not attempt to deny that this story may be false or greatly exaggerated, but at any rate it proves that the Tomb of David was clearly pointed out by tradition at that time as being on Sion. A Florentine lady, Sophia degli Arcangeli, erected a hospice containing 200 beds near the Cœnaculum, in the year 1354, to entertain pilgrims to the Holy City, and then began to excavate[Pg 212] on Sion a subterranean chamber to bury the Latins who died during their visit. When the work was commenced in the Latin cemetery, near to the boundary of that belonging to the Armenians, the ground gave way, and a great underground cavern appeared. For this reason the attempt was abandoned lest it should lead to disputes with the neighbours. Now this fact does not give us any indication of the place of the Tomb of David, but it proves the existence of a cavern, such as is now seen, with its opening on the west side of Sion. This then especially occupied my attention, as I thought it would afford the means of determining the Tomb of David, which all the Jews now in Jerusalem unanimously assert to be on Sion. They do not indeed generally assign any exact position to it, not I believe from ignorance, but from religious scruple; some however less anxiously cautious, say that it is on the site usually pointed out, namely at Neby Daûd, which is the Arab name for the eastern part of the building attached to the Cœnaculum. Quaresmius[761], who was Guardian of the Holy Land in 1630, and visited the tomb with the interpreter of the Latin convent, assures us that nothing remains under the present place. I allude to this to shew that the tradition of the tomb being near the Cœnaculum was also current among the Franciscan monks.

Before bringing forward my own investigations, and the conclusions derived from them, I quote the words of M. Mislin[762]: "I visited the Tomb of David, April 1, 1855. It was three o'clock in the afternoon; Kiamil Pasha and the chief personages awaited us in a small court, the entrance to which is on the left-hand side of the great doorway. We at once descended by a staircase of only six or eight steps into a low vaulted chamber, which, so far as I can judge, is situated exactly under the Church of the Institution of the Eucharist, of which it is only the crypt. No doubt it was one of the three churches, placed one on the other, mentioned by Fabri[763]. 'It had consecrated places on three different levels, namely a crypt underground, a church above ground, and over that another decorated tabernacle.' After passing through the vestibule we arrived at the part corresponding with the single nave of the church above. Here however the nave is divided into two by a row of massive piers of rock in the middle, supporting the vaulted roof. The latter half, or rather part of this crypt, for it is smaller than the other, is separated by a transverse railing, and is itself divided by another railing at right angles to the former, so as to form two spaces at the southern end of the chamber. The entrance is by that on the right hand, and the tomb occupies almost the whole[Pg 213] of that on the left. When we had entered the former chamber, which I will call the Mihrab, because in it is the niche for prayers, ... the place in which we were was very dark, and the neighbouring chamber was worse; so that all that we could see on the other side of the railing separating us from it, was a carpet, which was not enough to satisfy our curiosity. Kiamil Pasha remarked to the Sheikh that we were come to see the tomb; he then opened the door with a very good grace. The Pasha kneeled down and pressed the fringe of the carpet covering the tomb to his mouth and forehead for a moment, and then allowed us to examine it at our pleasure. Before us was a sarcophagus about seven feet high, and twelve long. It was covered with seven very rich carpets. The upper was blue silk with large deeper coloured stripes; it was worked over with texts from the Koran. In the middle of the sarcophagus there is also a square piece of stuff richly embroidered, with a gold fringe; on it also are texts from the Koran, worked in gold thread. It was the gift of the Sultan Abdul-Medjid. The second carpet is bright blue with flowers worked in silver thread. The others are well worn and less rich than these. From the roof a canopy of silk is suspended, striped white and blue. The Sheikh who accompanied us raised a corner of the carpet, so that I was able to touch the sarcophagus; but owing to the many folds of the cloth, I had great difficulty in forming an opinion of its shape and material. Observing that I was not yet satisfied, he then took courage and raised the whole of the carpet from the part where there was the best light. By this means I saw the entire front of the sarcophagus, which appeared to me to be made of unpolished grey marble. In the middle was a medallion of darker colour, and I asked its meaning. The Sheikh informed me that it marked the position of the Prophet's navel. I examined the walls; they are covered with earthenware tiles with a blue pattern on a white ground. Bronze lamps are placed here and there around the tomb. Near the door, on the left hand on going out, is a chain suspended from the wall, with oblong links. The Sheikh told me it was a model of one made by David himself.... The Mohammedans act wisely in keeping this tomb concealed, in order to invest it with some importance." The last is an unfortunate remark; the Mohammedans, and especially the Sheikhs who are in charge of the place, know very well what they are about, as I will presently shew.

I visited the chamber described by M. Mislin in February 1859; having obtained admission from the same Santon in return for certain services I had rendered him, also by bribes and presents at various times, by the recommendation of Surraya Pasha, and by having won the good will of the Mohammedan families who occupy the houses about Neby Daûd; most of whom let out horses and beasts of burden for hire, and were under obligations to me for recommending them to travellers. For all these reasons, and after much expenditure of money and patience, I gained entrance into the Sepulchre of David, visited his pretended tomb, and made the[Pg 214] observations I am about to describe. The description of M. Mislin is very accurate, but I am able to make the following additions to it: (1) Under the earthenware tiles in the chamber of the sarcophagus, I discovered, by means of an examination made from the outside, the walls of an ancient Jewish building, combined, in the parts above the floor, with masonry of a later date, which has been introduced during repairs. This is to be found especially on the east and north sides. (2) The sarcophagus is not of unpolished grey marble, but of whitish Palestine breccia, called marble by the ancients, from its resemblance in working and polish. The greyish colour is due to its age, and perhaps also to the bad light or to the shade cast by the upraised carpets on the small part of it that was examined. (3) The medallion does not mark the position of the Prophet's navel, as the Sheikh said, but is a simple decoration attached to the sarcophagus; it is repeated on each of the other sides. Neither is it of darker marble, but as it is continually kissed by devotees its colour has been altered. (4) The form of the sarcophagus is a rectangular parallelepiped, formed of different blocks of breccia well fitted together without mortar. The lid is à dos d'âne[764], of several pieces of stone; at least so it appears at each end, but in the middle and on the top I have been unable to detect the divisions. All this shews that it is not a real sarcophagus, but only an imitation or cenotaph erected on the spot to conceal something below. (5) On lifting up the mats at the corners of the chamber and near the tomb, I found that the pavement is laid upon the rock, which corresponds in its nature with that exposed all about the upper part of Sion. I carefully examined the north side and the base of the monument, in the hope of discerning signs of an opening, but in vain. When I asked the Sheikh for information on the point, he appeared surprised at my question, and from that moment endeavoured to get me out of the place as quickly as possible; and under the circumstances I had no choice but to comply.

I did not, however, believe that I had visited the Tomb of David, but was convinced that there was below or on the north side of the chamber containing the sarcophagus, a communication with the true tomb, which must be excavated in the solid rock; and, like all the other very ancient sepulchres, consist of many chambers, in which were sarcophagi, differing in their arrangement from those at the Tombs of the Kings and Judges, on the north of Jerusalem[765]. I accordingly determined to descend into the vault, which I have already mentioned as having an opening on the western side of the hill[766]. After I had descended a steep sloping plot of land, I found some steps forming the commencement of a staircase cut in the rock; which, however, is now almost covered with soil, ashes, and bones. Below[Pg 215] was a huge vault, which I perceived to run under a large portion of the cemetery above; and so understood how it was that they came upon it in excavating a burial-place in 1354. It is now almost full of bones, which are thrown in whenever they are found in digging graves. As I unfortunately made the examination in the rainy season, it was not very successful; the water had soaked through and run down into the interior, so that I was impeded by mud composed of wet soil, ashes, and bones; and I do not know whether I should have been able to extricate myself from the fetid quagmire, if I had not had two men with me, and taken my usual precaution, when visiting an unexplored place, of fastening a rope round my body. Consequently I was obliged to wait for a better opportunity. At the same time I examined the ground in the neighbourhood of the opening, and not only found the rock all round it at a slight depth, but also ascertained that it had once been larger, and had been reduced in size by masonry, so that it could be closed with a stone. The rock, when uncovered, shewed traces of the iron tools with which it had been wrought, and also exhibited the small holes made to admit clamps of iron or lead to fasten down the stones that were laid upon it. These marks have brought me to the conclusion, that this must have been the entrance into the Tomb of the Jewish Kings, and that here Herod erected his monument in order to render the place secure. Hence the sarcophagus, which is called David's Tomb, is only a representation of it, after the usual custom of the Mohammedans, who indeed have another repetition of it in wood on the upper floor; which is placed there to content the believers who come to pray, and saves the Sheikh the trouble of conducting them down into the lower chamber. It may not be out of place to observe here, that I made a report to Surraya Pasha, that the principal causes of the constant fevers in Jerusalem were the shallowness of the graves on Sion, which were so dug to avoid coming upon this vault by going too deep; and the presence of this charnel-house. At the same time I proposed a plan by which, at a small expense, the sepulchres of Aceldama might be restored, and the remains of the corpses removed to them; a change which would have produced the best possible effect on the sanitary state of the city. The Pasha understood this, but unfortunately, owing to the number of previous formalities which were requisite, the execution of the design was almost impossible. I must confess that the public good was not my only motive on this occasion, as the opportunity it would have afforded me for making researches, and excavating inside the cavern, would probably have furnished me with most valuable information to aid in identifying this place with the Tombs of the Jewish Kings.

In the month of May in the same year I was able with much difficulty to examine, to some extent, the above-named cavern: not indeed as thoroughly as I could have wished, but as far as circumstances would allow. I was obliged to remove a[Pg 216] quantity of skulls, masses of bones, and other materials, and this with the help of only one European servant; as I was unable to find any other assistant, owing to the disgusting nature of the labour. It was further impossible to get help from the Arabs, who would not have aided me for any price that I could have offered, and who would very likely have embroiled me with the inhabitants of Neby Daûd. By little and little, on many days, I was able to make a Plan of the place[767]; I do not claim for this very strict accuracy as regards the measurements, but its shape and bearings are to be trusted, up to the part where it narrows on the east. Although I saw the beginning of the corridor on the east, I was unable to enter it, as it was quite filled with rubbish, and I have only inferred its junction with the chamber containing the sarcophagus which passes for David's Tomb. I found over a large part of the cavern the marks of the tools used in excavating it. At some places there appeared to be the upper parts of doorways; these perhaps might be entrances into other vaults; the mass of rubbish however made it impossible to determine this. I also thought that the vaulting was supported by piers; but was unable to satisfy myself on this point, as what I saw might have been caused by a settlement of the ground above that had brought the roof into contact with the rubbish accumulated inside, which was in such quantities, that I could not without great labour have distinguished the one from the other. As then I cannot conceive this great work undertaken for any other than an important purpose, I believe that it is the vestibule of the Tombs of the Jewish Kings; but of course to establish this we must wait until the rubbish is cleared out of it. It is in the fortress of Sion, the city wherein David dwelt, and no other place in Jerusalem agrees so well with the data of the Bible and Josephus, and with tradition, as this position, which has in its favour every argument derived from the configuration of the ground. I hope to be able to renew my investigations here; but if unhappily I am prevented from carrying my intention into effect, I recommend archæologists to devote themselves to the subject; trusting that in that case they will find that I have directed them to the real tombs of the Jewish Kings on Sion.

Let us now consider the 'Cœnaculum;' the name of which is derived from the belief that it is the place where our Saviour ate the last Paschal supper with His Apostles. The Bible[768] tells us no more than that it was a large upper-room, but the tradition is of very great antiquity. It asserts that here the Apostles met after the Resurrection, when the Saviour shewed them His wounds; that here He ate before them, and breathed on them that they might receive the Holy Ghost[769]; that here Thomas was convinced[770], and Matthias elected an Apostle[771]; that here[Pg 217] the Holy Ghost descended on the day of Pentecost[772], and the first converts were added to the Church by S. Peter[773]. A church must have been erected on this spot at a very early period, for S. Epiphanius[774] says, with reference to Hadrian's journey in Palestine: "He found Jerusalem levelled with the ground, the Temple itself destroyed and trodden under foot, save only a few houses, and a certain small Christian church which had been built upon that spot on which the disciples, after that the Saviour had ascended into heaven, assembled together in the Cœnaculum." We read in the Catechetical Lectures of S. Cyril[775]: "The Holy Ghost, who spake in the Prophets, and who on the day of Pentecost descended on the Apostles in the form of fiery tongues, here in Jerusalem in the Upper Church of the Apostles." This shews that the church was divided then, as it now is, into two floors. It is not known who built it. Nicephorus Callistus[776], an author of the fourteenth century, attributes it to S. Helena; but Eusebius does not mention it, and the Bordeaux Pilgrim only says: "Continuing along the same road up Mount Sion, you may see the place where was the house of Caiaphas the priest; and to this time the column still remains where they scourged Jesus." S. Jerome[777], in his Itinerary of Paula, writes thus: "The column was shewn there, supporting the portico of a church, stained with the Lord's blood, to which He is said to have been bound and scourged. The place is pointed out where the Holy Ghost descended upon one hundred and twenty believers." In the year 415, on Dec. 26th, the remains of the Proto-martyr S. Stephen were transported to the Apostles' Church, during the patriarchate of John[778]. Antoninus of Piacenza, Arculf, Willibald, and Bernard the Wise, in the sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth centuries respectively, mention the basilica on Sion[779]. Arculf describes its plan without details as a regular parallelogram of considerable length. We do not know whether the church, described by these authors, was the same as that spoken of by S. Cyril; but it is very probable that, owing to the persecutions suffered by the Christians, the fabric was destroyed and rebuilt more than once. At any rate, by the end of the eleventh century it had entirely fallen to ruin, as we find from the Gesta Francorum[780]. The Crusaders rebuilt it, and though their church no longer exists, we possess an accurate description of it by the authors of the twelfth century. I abbreviate this from the work of M. de Vogüé[781], who has derived it from the anonymous writers of the manuscripts of Vienna and of Paris, and from John of Würtzburg and John Phocas. "The church was composed of two parts: the lower, consisting of a nave and two aisles,[Pg 218] with barrel-vaults, was terminated, like most of the buildings of the period of the Crusades, by three apses at the east. In the apse most to the north was an altar, supposed to mark the place where the Virgin died.... That on the south was supposed to indicate where Christ appeared to His disciples after His Resurrection. In this lower church, sometimes called the crypt in the middle ages, they say that Our Saviour washed the Apostles' feet. The upper church had a groined roof, with a central dome. This was the Cœnaculum, properly so called, where tradition placed the scene of the Last Supper in the nave, and of the descent of the Holy Ghost in the principal apse. The two floors communicated one with another by means of an inner staircase of 61 steps (this number, given by Phocas, is evidently exaggerated), which opened from the ground-floor in the southern apse. The interior of these two churches, in the time of the Latin Kings, was covered with wall-paintings, representing the subjects of the traditions attached to the spot." After giving a list of these, M. de Vogüé goes on to say, that "on the left of the principal church was a small one dedicated to S. Stephen, in remembrance of a very ancient tradition, according to which the martyr's body was removed from its first resting-place at Caphar Gamala to this place. A convent had been built in the neighbourhood, occupied by a chapter of Augustinian Canons, who had the care of the Sanctuaries under the direction of an Abbot. The society bore the twofold name of S. Mary of Mount Sion and of the Holy Ghost." M. de Vogüé then describes the seal of the convent, and gives a list of the Abbots.

The buildings around the Cœnaculum were not destroyed at the entrance of Saladin, A.D. 1187. Willibrand of Oldenburg, A.D. 1219, found them inhabited by Syrians, who paid tribute to the conquerors; but in the thirteenth century they were in ruins. In 1336, in consequence of the treaty (A.D. 1333) concerning the restoration of the Holy Places to the Friars Minor, between the Sultan of Egypt on one side, and Robert King of Sicily and his wife Sancia on the other, it was agreed to re-establish the church and monastery on Sion. After a heavy expenditure this was done, and the Franciscans took up their quarters there; as is proved by a bull of Clement V., dated at Avignon, November 21, 1342. Queen Sancia erected a convent enclosing the Cœnaculum on Sion, and richly endowed it for the support of twelve monks and some lay brothers. An idea of it may be obtained from the present buildings, allowing for some modifications. Besides the church and the monks' cells, it included a large hospital, founded A.D. 1354, by a Florentine lady, Sophia degli Arcangeli. This was placed under the care of the Fathers by Pope Innocent in the following year[782]. They were unable to enjoy the advantages bestowed upon them, owing to the persecution of the Mohammedans, who not only plundered them by their[Pg 219] heavy exactions, but also put them to death. Indeed, in 1368 all of them were massacred; in 1391, four out of the nine who had succeeded these martyrs; in 1432, one, John of Calabria; in 1537, all of them were seized, and part imprisoned in the Tower of the Pisans, while the rest were sent to Damascus[783]. I have already observed, that, at this time, the Latins being anxious to preserve certain articles, valuable both from their sacred nature and intrinsic worth, entrusted them to the Armenians, who afterwards refused to restore them. The possession of the Sanctuaries on Sion was confirmed to the Franciscans by several Sultans of Egypt and Constantinople; this, however, did not prevent their being driven from the place in 1561; under the twofold pretext, that Sion was fortified, and so might at any time aid the Christians in making themselves masters of Jerusalem, and also that it was unbecoming that infidels should possess the Tomb of David. The monks thereupon retired into a small house, until they purchased from the Georgians the Convent of the Column, as I have already mentioned[784]. The Mohammedan Santons occupied their place; and those who live there at the present time, according to an order of the Pasha, Governor of the city, countersigned by the Effendis of his Council, allow the Fathers, or certain pilgrim priests, to celebrate mass in the building; they also, for a small sum, permit pilgrims to see the Franciscan Church[785], with the upper part of the Tomb of David. This, however, probably only occupies a portion of the earlier church. Like its predecessors, it is divided into two floors; the lower of which is formed by the substructure of the ancient building, and consists of two chambers, one of which has a vaulted roof supported by two piers, and is called the Hall of the Washing the Feet; the other (and smaller) is also vaulted, and bears the name of the Tomb of David. The upper story is given on my Plan. The chamber on the east above the Tomb of David is not always opened to the Christians; this is shewn as the place of the Descent of the Holy Ghost: the other, on the west, is the Cœnaculum, a Gothic building in the style of the fourteenth century, erected by the Franciscans. It is divided down the middle by two granite columns, and half-columns project from the side walls to correspond with them. I conclude this subject by observing, that in the buildings on the south and on the west large pieces of masonry of the time of the Crusades still remain; and that the stables on the west are the work of Ibrahim Pasha, who, with his attendants, occupied the whole of the Cœnaculum.

Outside the building of Neby Daûd, and a little to the north, is the site of a house, where the Virgin Mary is said to have passed the last years of her life. Some large stones, on one of which a cross is carved, mark the spot, in which I[Pg 220] have no great belief. Sanutus[786] thus speaks of it: "Near this spot, a stone's throw to the south, is the place where the blessed Virgin dwelt after her Son's Ascension into heaven, and the cell wherein she departed this life." In the neighbourhood was a chapel dedicated to S. John the Evangelist, which was seen by Sanutus, who goes on to say, "There also is the Church of the Blessed John the Evangelist, which was, as it is said, the first of all the churches; in it this Apostle was wont to offer mass to that most blessed Queen while he lived in this world."

We have now only to visit the walled enclosure to the south of the Sion Gate. This is a small Armenian convent, which is said to occupy the site of the house of Caiaphas: the tradition dates from the fourth century. I have already said that the Pilgrim of Bordeaux mentions it, without however stating that a church stood there. We find in the writings of Nicephorus Callistus[787], that S. Helena built a church there, and dedicated it to S. Peter; but this is not confirmed by any one besides. None of the authors, contemporary with or posterior to S. Helena, allude to it; and we cannot suppose that this Sanctuary would be omitted in the Itinerary of S. Paula, which names all the others that were then in existence. It was unknown at the time of the Crusades, as it is not recorded by Edrisi, who wrote A.D. 1151, nor by Phocas, in his journey in Palestine, A.D. 1185. Marinus Sanutus, in the fourteenth century, is the first writer who mentions it. He calls it the Church of S. Saviour; the name it still bears[788]. Hence I infer that the church and the convent adjoining were erected at the end of the thirteenth century, or at the beginning of the fourteenth. Although the tradition concerning the House of Caiaphas goes back as far as the fourth century, I believe it would be difficult to maintain its correctness, as we have no data whatever from the Bible to assist us in fixing the position of the High-priest's dwelling. The entrance is by a small door on the north, near the north-west corner. The church is oblong in plan (50 feet long by 25 wide), without any architectural features worthy of notice. The pictures on the walls are ugly and grotesque. In the central altar at the east end two large pieces of stone are exhibited, which are said to have formed part of the mass that closed the door of the Sepulchre of Christ. Their genuineness would be difficult to establish; but, be that as it may, the Armenians ought to be ashamed of shewing them, as they were entrusted to them by the Franciscans in 1570, at the time of the war with Cyprus, and afterwards dishonourably appropriated. There is neither history nor tradition to support the claims of these stones, and the Latin Fathers suffer their loss with patience, since their thickness would not correspond with the size men[Pg 221]tioned by the Evangelist[789], and the little that can be seen of them is enough to shew that they cannot have belonged to a stone of the right shape. On the south of the altar is a very small square-headed door leading into a narrow chamber, in which two persons can scarcely stand. This is said to be the prison where Jesus was kept during the remainder of the night after he was brought to Caiaphas. The walls shew no signs of antiquity; the pavement rests upon a mass of rubbish; the tradition is unfounded, and the place perhaps was formerly only a closet. In the courts before the church they point out the spot on which S. Peter stood when he denied his Master, and where the cock crew! In the interior of the convent the Armenian Patriarchs and Bishops are buried. I must not forget to observe that a great number of stones are to be seen in the outer wall and on the ground, which have been used in monuments; on them are some ancient Armenian inscriptions. This is an easy way of employing tombstones, when they lie too close on the ground of a cemetery.

Before entering the city we descend the eastern slope of Sion by a foot-path leading to Siloam, and arrive at a small cave, surrounded by some ruins, which are the remains of the Church of S. Peter at the Cock-crow, destroyed since the thirteenth century. Tradition reports that S. Peter retired to this spot to lament his sin after denying his Redeemer. The church was standing in the ninth century; for Bernard the Wise writes: "Towards the east is a church in honour of S. Peter, on the spot where he denied his Lord[790]." John of Würtzburg informs us that it belonged to the Greeks in the twelfth century. We read in La Citez de Jherusalem[791]: "There was a church called S. Peter at the Cock-crow. In this church was a deep ditch, wherein S. Peter hid himself when he had denied Jesus Christ, and there he heard the cock crow, and bewailed his sin." We read also in Edrisi[792]: "From the Sion Gate the road descends into a ravine called the Valley of Hell, at the end of which is a church in honour of S. Peter." A few yards to the east of this is a small Jewish cemetery, now abandoned. Turning back northward from this, we reach the road which, passing along under the city-wall, leads to the Sion Gate.

On entering this we see by the side of the wall to the east some poor dwellings, built on a level plot of ground, composed of stones and clay. These are the abodes of the lepers of Jerusalem, where these unhappy beings live until released by death from their misery. They are called by the Arabs Beiût el-Masakîm (Houses of the Unfortunate), and are occupied by men, women, and children. Most of them are Mohammedans, but there are some Christians among them. This leprosy is not white,[Pg 222] like that described in the Bible[793], but is the kind called Elephantiasis. The skin of the afflicted persons assumes a violet or reddish-grey tint, and tumours are formed in it, which turn into ulcers of the most horrible appearance; little by little the extremities of the limbs drop off, leaving only shapeless stumps behind; the roof of the palate becomes inflamed and then ulcerates, so that the voice grows harsh, and at last guttural; and the face and limbs are swollen. This terrible calamity, which refuses to yield to the efforts of science, is not contagious, but hereditary. The lepers are not, however, so poor as they are usually supposed to be. We will not dwell further upon this miserable sight, but will continue our observations in another chapter.

FOOTNOTES:

[532] Plate XVII.

[533] Plate XLIX.

[534] Early Travels, Bohn's Ant. Lib. pp. 4, 19.

[535] Joel iii. 2.

[536] Joel iii. 12; Note I.

[537] 2 Kings xxiii. 6.

[538] Jer. xxvi. 23.

[539] Adric. Theat. Terræ Sanctæ. De Vall. Jehosh.

[540] Acts vii. 58.

[541] Dr Robinson, Biblioth. Sac. III. p. 639. Williams' Holy City, II. p. 432 (2nd Ed.). Les Églises, &c. pp. 332, 333.

[542] Note II.

[543] 2 Sam. xv. 23.

[544] 1 Kings xv. 13.

[545] 2 Chron. xxix. 16; xxx. 14.

[546] S. John xviii. 1.

[547] Some of these are now in the collection of the Rev. Churchill Babington, B.D. Fellow of S. John's College, Cambridge, a distinguished numismatist.

[548] Plate L.

[549] Plate LI.

[550] Niceph. Hist. Eccl. VIII. 30; Note III.

[551] Orat. II. De Assumpt. Quoted by Quaresmius, E. T. S. Lib. IV. Pereg. 7, c. 2, Vol. II. pp. 241, 242, ed. 1639.

[552] Theophanes, Chron. ann. 443.

[553] Note IV.

[554] See Euthymius, Lib. III. ch. 40.

[555] E. T. S. Lib. IV. Pereg. 7, c. 2, Vol. II. p. 242.

[556] Ant. Piac. XVII.

[557] Seb. Pauli, Codex Diplomaticus, S. Mil. ord. Jerusal. Said Ibn Batrik, II. 212; Note V.

[558] See Theophanes, Chron. ann. 683.

[559] Early Travels, &c. Bohn's Ant. Lib. p. 19.

[560] Ibid. p. 28.

[561] Note VI.

[562] Les Églises, &c. p. 308.

[563] Ibid. p. 307.

[564] Note VI.

[565] Les Églises, &c. p. 307; Note VII.

[566] Alb. Aquens. Lib. VII. c. 21; Lib. IX. c. 52. Gesta Dei, &c. Vol. I. pp. 299, 344.

[567] C. X. Pez. Thes. Anec. Nov. Tom. I. p. 523.

[568] De Vogüé, Les Églises, &c. p. 309.

[569] Cod. Dipl. Vol. I. p. 10.

[570] Citez de Jherusalem.

[571] Note VIII.

[572] Liber Secretorum Fidelium Crucis, Lib. III. pars 14, c. 9, p. 256 (ed. 1611).

[573] Note IX.

[574] Note X.

[575] Plates L., LI.

[576] Note XI.

[577] Lib. XVIII. c. 32, Gesta Dei, &c. Tom. II. p. 953 (ed. 1611).

[578] See Plate LI. (Plan).

[579] Note XII.

[580] Page 148.

[581] Plate LI.

[582] S. Matt. xxvi. 39; S. Luke xxii. 44.

[583] S. Matt. xxvi. 36; S. Mark xiv. 32; S. John xviii. 1.

[584] Liber de Situ et Nom. Loc. Heb. (Gethsemane).

[585] Early Travels, &c. Bohn's Ant. Lib. p. 4.

[586] Leo Allat. Sym., p. 57.

[587] Quoted by M. de Vogüé, Les Églises, &c. p. 314.

[588] Eluc. T. S. Lib. IV. pereg. 5, c. 9, Tom. II. p. 160.

[589] Voyage nouveau de la T. S. 1679, I. III. c. 3.

[590] Plate LII.

[591] S. Luke xxi. 37; xxii. 29.

[592] Jewish War, VI. 1, § 1.

[593] Note XIII.

[594] S. Matt. xxvi. 38, 40; S. Luke xxii. 45.

[595] See his description of the city, Note XI, Ch. II.

[596] Loc. Terræ Sanctæ Descriptio, Ch. XLIII.

[597] See Plates LV., LX., which shew the Plan and Elevation.

[598] 1 Kings xxii. 50.

[599] Plate LVIII.

[600] Guide D'Orient, p. 805.

[601] Holy City, Vol. II. pp. 451, 452 (2nd Ed.).

[602] See the elevation and details to Plates LX., LXI.

[603] Mariti, p. 152.

[604] Le Pieux Pélerin, p. 404.

[605] 2 Sam. xviii. 17.

[606] Ant. VII. 10, § 2.

[607] 2 Sam. xviii. 6.

[608] 2 Sam. xviii. 18.

[609] 2 Kings xxv. 4.

[610] Ant. VII. 10, § 3.

[611] E. T. S. Lib. IV. pereg. 5, c. 13, Tom. II. p. 169.

[612] Plate LX.

[613] 1 Cor. xv. 7; S. Jerome, de vir. ill. c. 2, from the Gospel of the Nazarenes; Quaresmius, E. T. S. Lib. IV. pereg. 7, c. 10.

[614] Ap. Euseb. H. E. II. 23, § 12.

[615] Plates LX., LXI.

[616] 2 Chron. xxiv. 20, 21.

[617] S. Matt. xxiii. 35.

[618] 2 Kings xxi. 18, 26.

[619] Narrative of a Journey round the Red Sea, &c. Vol. II. pp. 223-244 (edited by Count E. de Warren).

[620] Biblical Researches, Vol. I. p. 521 (First Ed.).

[621] Chap. III. p. 94.

[622] Isai. viii. 6.

[623] Nehem. iii. 15.

[624] S. John ix. 7.

[625] Jewish War, II. 16, § 2; V. 4, §§ 1, 2; V. 9, § 4.

[626] S. John vii. 37, 38.

[627] Succah, v.

[628] Jennings, Jewish Antiquities, Book 3, c. 6.

[629] Comment in Is. Lib. III. c. 8.

[630] Hist. Eccl. Book VIII. c. 30.

[631] Itiner. Chap. XX.

[632] De Perenni Cultu T. S. Lib. II.

[633] Hist. Hieros. VI. 6. G. D. p. 276.

[634] Fabri, I. 420.

[635] Historia Francorum qui ceperunt Hierusalem.

[636] See the chapter on the Waters.

[637] Histor. de Hierosolymitano itinere. Duchesne, Hist. Franc. Script. Vol. IV.

[638] S. John ix. 7.

[639] Jewish War, V. 4, § 2. See also p. 31.

[640] See Origen, Comment. in Matt. Tom. X. c. 18, and Ep. ad Africanum, c. 9, also Homil. in Isa. I. c. 5 (ed. 1740); also Tertull. de Patientia, c. 14; and Jerome Comment. in Isaiam, Lib. XVI. c. 57 (ad fin.).

[641] Histoire de l'État présent de Jer. p. 206.

[642] Ch. II. p. 26.

[643] 2 Kings xxv. 4; Jer. xxxix. 4; lii. 7.

[644] Plate XLVIII.

[645] 2 Maccab. i. 19, 22.

[646] 2 Maccab. i. 33-36. For Nephi the Greek text has Nephthaei.

[647] Josh. xv. 7, 8; xviii. 16.

[648] 2 Sam. xvii. 17.

[649] 1 Kings i. 9.

[650] See Chapter II. p. 21.

[651] Descrip. T. S. Pez. Thes. Anec. Nov. Tom. I. pars 3, p. 509.

[652] Plate LXI.

[653] S. Luke xiii. 4.

[654] Ch. II. p. 21; Plate LII.

[655] S. Luke xix. 37-41.

[656] S. Luke xix. 37.

[657] Fetell. de Situ Jherusalem, 236.

[658] Fabri, I. 387.

[659] Acts i. 11.

[660] Acts i. 9-11.

[661] E. T. S. Lib. IV. pereg. 9, c. 11, Tom. II. p. 320.

[662] Note XIV.

[663] Acts i. 12.

[664] S. Luke xxiv. 50, 51.

[665] Histoire de l'État présent de Jer. p. 157.

[666] Dan. xi. 45.

[667] De Vita Christi, Pars II. c. lxxxii.

[668] Rosh Hashanah, c. II. hal. 2, 3.

[669] Hist. Eccl. Lib. IV. c. 5. Mentioned also by Socrates, Hist. Eccl. Lib. II. c. 28, as seen at Antioch.

[670] Jewish War, V. 2, §§ 3, 4.

[671] Plate I.

[672] Lament, i. 1.

[673] Lament, i. 12.

[674] Plate LIII.

[675] Vita Const. III. 43.

[676] Liber nom. loc. ex Actis 'Mons Oliveti.'

[677] Jerome, Ibid. Cf. Epit. Paulæ. Euseb. Vita Const. III. 40. Paulinus, De Cruce Christi.

[678] Baron. Ann. Eccl. 616.

[679] Adamn. de Loc. Sanct. Lib. I. c. 17. Quoted by Quaresm. E. T. S. Lib. IV. pereg. 9, c. 6, Vol. II. p. 310. Abridged in Early Travels, Bohn's Ant. Lib. p. 5, cf. p. 19.

[680] James de Vitry, c. LVIII. Gesta Dei &c. Vol. II. p. 1078.

[681] Citez de Jherusalem; Les Églises &c. p. 444.

[682] Les Églises &c. p. 316.

[683] The building is certainly not accurate: the range of variation of the sides is rather more than M. de Vogüé represents it to be.

[684] Very great want, they are all different.

[685] None of the ancient wall remains; all that is there is common Arab work, therefore I attach no weight to this argument.

[686] Eluc. T. S. Lib. IV. pereg. 9, c. 8, Tom. II. p. 313.

[687] Radulph. Coggesh. Chron. T. S. apud Martene et Durand. Tom. V. pp. 566, 567.

[688] For details, see Plate LIII.

[689] Itiner. in Symmik. Leo Allatius (p. 150, ed. 1653).

[690] Plate LX.

[691] Vita Const. Lib. III. c. 43.

[692] Cf. Citez de Jherusalem, De Vogüé, p. 444.

[693] Gesta Francorum expugnantium Hierosol. 25.

[694] S. Matt. v. 1; vi. 9.

[695] S. Luke xi. 1.

[696] The Holy City, Vol. II. p. 446 (2nd Ed.).

[697] Quoted by Quaresmius, Lib. II. pereg. 9, c. 1, Tom. II. p. 302.

[698] S. Mark xiii. 3.

[699] Plate LIV.

[700] Voyage nouveau de la Terre Sainte, III. c. 4.

[701] S. Matt. xxiii. 29.

[702] S. Luke xi. 47.

[703] Comment in c. xxi. p. 435, ed. 1685.

[704] Comment in c. xxi. Evang. Matt. Lib. III.

[705] Ep. CVIII. Ad Eustochium Virginem (Vol. I. p. 837, Ed. Migue).

[706] E. T. S. Lib. IV. pereg. 10, c. 11, Tom. II. pp. 333, 334; S. Matth. xxi. 1, 2.

[707] Epiph. adv. Hæret. Lib. I. Tom. III. Refut. 53 (p. 340, ed. 1622).

[708] S. John xi. 1-40.

[709] S. Matt. xxvi. 6-9; S. John xii. 3.

[710] S. John xi. 18.

[711] S. John xi. 19; xii. 1-3.

[712] Plate LIV.

[713] Mariti, c. XV. § 8.

[714] Hist. Eccl. Lib. VIII. c. 30.

[715] Jerome, Epitaph. Paulæ, Ep. CVIII. (Ad Eustochium Virginem).

[716] Jerome, Onomastic. ad vocem Bethan., Ep. CVIII. (Ad Eustochium Virginem).

[717] Acta Sanct. ord. Bened. sæc. iii. p. 2. Early Travels, p. 6. Bohn's Ant. Lib.

[718] Itinerarium in Loc. S. (Acta Sanct. ord. Bened. sæc. iii. p. 2). See also E. T. p. 28.

[719] See Ch. V. page 146.

[720] Cartul., p. 61.

[721] Cartul., p. 27.

[722] William of Tyre, Lib. XV. c. 26 (G. D. p. 887).

[723] Cartul. H. S., p. 61 (A.D. 1144).

[724] No. 20, Cod. Dipl. Tom. I.

[725] S. Matt. xxi. 18, 19.

[726] Josh. xv. 8; xviii. 16.

[727] Note XV.

[728] Isai. xxx. 33.

[729] Jerome, Comment. in S. Matth. c. x. v. 28.

[730] Jer. vii. 32; cf. xix. 6, 11.

[731] Jewish War, V. 12, § 2.

[732] Plate LX. (Fig. 6).

[733] Plate XLVII.

[734] Plate LX. fig. 8. Plate XLVII.

[735] Jewish War, V. 12, § 2.

[736] Plate LV. fig. 5.

[737] Anton. Piac. XXV.

[738] Universal Geography of Edrisi, Climate, III. § 5, Tom. I. p. 345, Paris, A.D. 1836.

[739] Acts i. 19.

[740] S. Matth. xxvii. 7, 8.

[741] Jer. xix. 11.

[742] Hist. Eccl. Lib. VIII. c. 30.

[743] La Citez de Jherusalem, De Vogüé, p. 442.

[744] Ch. II. p. 41.

[745] De Perenni Cultu Terræ Sanctæ, Lib. II. Quoted by Quaresm. E. T. S. Lib. VI. pereg. 1, c. 3, Vol. II. p. 596.

[746] 2 Sam. xi. 2.

[747] Beersheba, E. V.; Gen. xxvi. 33; Βηρσαβεε in LXX; Josh. xv. 28, and afterwards.

[748] Isai. xxii. 9.

[749] La Citez de Jherusalem, De Vogüé, p. 442.

[750] Plate XLV.

[751] 2 Sam. v. 7, 9.

[752] 1 Kings ii. 10.

[753] Note XVI.

[754] Nehem. iii. 15, 16.

[755] Ant. XIII. 8, § 4.

[756] Ant. XVI. 7, § 1.

[757] Acts ii. 29.

[758] Dio Cassius in Hadriani Vita.

[759] Jerome, Epist. ad Marcellam.

[760] The Travels of Rabbi Benjamin of Tudela. 'Early Travels in Palestine,' Bohn's Ant. Lib. p. 85.

[761] Pineda, de Rebus Salomonis, Lib. VIII. c. 3.

[762] Les Saints Lieux, Tom. II. c. xxvi. p. 361, Paris, 1858. He should have mentioned that it was in the company of the Duke of Brabant, otherwise neither would the Pasha have troubled himself about the matter, nor the Santon have allowed him to enter the court.

[763] F. Fabri, Eigentliche Beschreybung der Hin und Widerfarth zu dem heil. Land gen Jerusalem, Tom. I. p. 225, 1556.

[764] Plate XLVI.

[765] Plates LVI., LIX.

[766] Plate XLVI.

[767] Plate XLVI.

[768] S. Mark xiv. 15; S. Luke xxii. 12.

[769] S. Luke xxiv. 36, 39-43, 45; S. John xx. 19-22.

[770] S. John xx. 26, 27.

[771] Acts i. 26.

[772] Acts ii. 1-4.

[773] Acts ii. 14-41.

[774] De Mensuris et Ponderibus, c. 14; Quaresm. E. T. S. Lib. IV. pereg. 4, c. 4, Tom. II. p. 122.

[775] Catech. Lect. XVI. 'The Library of the Fathers,' Vol. II. p. 205.

[776] Lib. VIII. c. 30.

[777] Epitaphium Paulæ.

[778] Le Quien, Oriens Christ. Vol. III. p. 162, col. 2.

[779] Note XVII.

[780] Gesta Francorum Expugn. Hieros. c. XXVI. G. D. p. 573.

[781] Les Églises de la Terre Sainte, p. 324.

[782] The bulls are given by Quaresmius, Elucidatio T. S. Lib. II., c. 18, Vol. I. pp. 404, 405.

[783] So it is stated in the Chronicles preserved in the Convent of S. Saviour at Jerusalem.

[784] Page 160.

[785] Plate XLVI.

[786] Liber Secretorum fidelium Crucis, Lib. III. pars 14, c. 8, p. 255 (ed. 1611).

[787] Hist. Eccl. Lib. VIII. c. 30.

[788] Liber Secretorum fidelium Crucis, Lib. III. pars 14, c. 8, p. 254.

[789] S. Mark xvi. 3, 4.

[790] Early Travels, p. 28. The author is at variance with the ordinary tradition on this point. The denial must have taken place at the house of Caiaphas.

[791] Quoted in De Vogüé, Les Églises, &c. p. 442.

[792] Geographie Univ. par. v. clim. 3, p. 444.

[793] Lev. xiii.


[Pg 223]

CHAPTER VII.

EXCURSIONS IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD OF THE CITY ON THE NORTH AND WEST—THE MONUMENT OF HELENA OF ADIABENE, AND THE CHURCH DEDICATED TO S. STEPHEN—ROYAL CAVERNS—GROTTO OF JEREMIAH—HOUSE OF THE VINE—TOMBS OF THE KINGS—SHEIKH JERRAH—ANCIENT SYNAGOGUE—TOMB OF SIMON THE JUST—TOMBS AT THE HEAD OF THE KIDRON VALLEY—KIDRON POOL—VARIOUS TOMBS ON THE NORTH-WEST—TOMBS OF THE JUDGES—SHEIKH AYMAR—RUSSIAN BUILDINGS—VALLEY OF GIHON—BIRKET MAMILLAH—MONUMENT OF HEROD, AND RUINS OF THE CHURCH OF S. BABYLAS—GREEK CONVENT OF THE HOLY CROSS—PROPERTY OF THE ARCHIMANDRITE NICOFERUS.

Let us return to the picturesque Damascus Gate[794], and begin our examination from this point. In the first chapter[795] I mentioned that there was a Cufic inscription under the archway on the west side; this contains the Mohammedan confession of faith, namely, "There is no God but God, and Mohammed is his Prophet." Outside the gate, on either hand, is a mound, formed by the continual accumulation of rubbish and soil which have been brought and cast down here for many centuries; the last addition being on the building of the Austrian hospice in 1857. These render it impossible to see the full extent of the ditch, which was made in the reign of Agrippa to defend the city-walls[796]. Following the road northward, some chiselled rocks are seen on the left hand, which I have already[797] stated to be, in my opinion, the remains of the monument of Helena of Adiabene. We must now consider the claims of this place to be the scene of S. Stephen's martyrdom; since we saw[798] that the present site, near S. Mary's church, was inadmissible. The Bible[799] tells us no more than that the Saint was "cast out of the city;" and as S. Paul witnessed the martyr's death, he may not improbably have pointed out the place to the Christians. In the fourth century this was said by tradition to be on the north of the city,[Pg 224] as we gather from a letter of the Priest Lucian, preserved by Quaresmius[800]: "He was stoned outside the north gate, which leads to Kedar." In the fifth century a magnificent church was erected here by the Empress Eudoxia, in honour of S. Stephen. This must have been built between the years A.D. 450 and A.D. 461, as she resided at Jerusalem during that period, having retired there on the death of her husband, Theodosius II., and died in 461; that is, in the fourth year of the reign of Leo I., Emperor of the East[801]. She was buried in this church[802]. From Evagrius[803] we also learn that "she built a church in memory of S. Stephen, Proto-deacon and Proto-martyr, of remarkable magnificence and beauty, which is not a stadium distant from Jerusalem." This place is about a stadium from the Damascus Gate. Nicephorus Callistus[804] also informs us that the church was the above distance from the city, and was of great size and beauty. This church is also celebrated for the synod which assembled there, A.D. 518, at the instigation of S. Saba, to maintain the decisions of the Council of Chalcedon, at which a great number of monks was present; and we learn incidentally from the author of S. Saba's life[805], that the church was "able to hold a very large multitude." Antoninus of Piacenza, in the sixth century, calls the present Damascus gate the Gate of S. Stephen, and expressly states that through it was the way to Cæsarea and Diospolis, so that there can be no doubt of his meaning. This name was retained until the walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt by Solyman I., A.D. 1536, when it was changed, for what reason history does not tell us; but we may conjecture that the church had by this time disappeared, and the tradition was misinterpreted by the Christians. The church built by Eudoxia can scarcely have escaped destruction during the persecutions of Chosroes II. in 614, and Hakem in 1010; but it was probably rebuilt on a smaller scale, for we learn from Robert the Monk[806], an author of the time of the first Crusade, who describes the details of the siege, that "the Counts of Normandy and Flanders encamped on the north of the city, near the church of S. Stephen the Proto-martyr, on the spot where he was stoned by the Jews." Again, Sæwulf[807] informs us that "the stoning of S. Stephen took place about two or three arbalist-shots without the wall, to the north, where a very handsome church was built, which was entirely destroyed by the Pagans." Again, we find the following allusion in Albert of Aix[808]: "But Robert, Prince of the Normans, and the British Count, pitched their tents near the walls, where is the oratory of the Proto-martyr Stephen." Hence it is evident that up to the eleventh[Pg 225] century, the traditional site of the Saint's martyrdom was always on the north of the city; and that the ruined church of Eudoxia was replaced by an oratory, which was also destroyed by the Mohammedans on the approach of the first Crusaders. The church was rebuilt in the earlier part of the twelfth century under the Latin kingdom, for it is marked on the Plan of the Brussels manuscript with this title, 'Monasterium S. Stephani[809],' and is by the side of the north gate, there called 'Porta S. Stephani Septentrionalis.' It was served by the monks of a convent, which, however, is not mentioned in any history; but its seal has been published by Sebastian Pauli. Before its doors ran the Royal road[810], along which all the pilgrims from beyond the sea travelled to Jerusalem. On the other side of the road, on the left hand going to the city, "was a great house in front of this church, which was called the asnerie; there they were wont to keep the asses and beasts of burden of the house of the Hospital, whence its name asnerie. The Christians of Jerusalem destroyed this church of S. Stephen before they were besieged, because it was near the walls. The asnerie however was not demolished, as it was used by the pilgrims who came to Jerusalem in time of truce[811]." Indeed, on the east of the road leading to Jerusalem, opposite to the rocks marking the site of the church of Eudoxia, are some cisterns; and traces of walls are found when the labourers are digging in the fields, the sole remains of the buildings that once stood here. The Church of S. Stephen was, as we have said, destroyed by the Crusaders, A.D. 1187, to prevent its covering the advance of Saladin's troops towards the walls. Willibrand of Oldenburg[812] saw its ruins in 1211, and must have occupied the asnerie, for he speaks of "a certain house situated near the walls. At this place S. Stephen was martyred, in whose honour our faithful, as still appears, founded a church and archiepiscopate, where now the Sultan's asses are kept ... with the materials of the church a dunghill has been formed." The ruins of this church and asnerie have disappeared in the course of time; the tradition itself has been transplanted to another locality, as we have seen, and would now pass for correct, were it not for the historic documents which have preserved for us the probable position of S. Stephen's martyrdom.

Between the Church of S. Stephen and the north-west corner of the city, near the bastions of the walls, was the men's lazaretto, with a church dedicated to S. Lazarus. By the side of it was the small gate of S. Ladro, where the Royal road from the north came to an end by joining that which went from S. Stephen's Gate[813].[Pg 226]

Going back from the place of S. Stephen's martyrdom towards the Damascus Gate, we find on the left a road leading eastward; and on the right of this is an aperture, under the city-walls, which stand on a high rock; and close to the aperture a deep excavation. These are the Royal Caverns, and opposite to them, on the north, is the so-called Grotto of Jeremiah[814]. I have already mentioned[815], in speaking of the third line of walls, that I consider these two spots, now separated, to have been formerly united; and now, in giving a more minute account of them, I trust to shew that I am right in my opinion, and that the first-named place has been properly identified with the Royal Caverns of Josephus. It is not unfrequently stated in Jerusalem, that Dr Barclay discovered these great caves, which I call the Royal Caverns: and perhaps he was the first European in this century to describe them, but they were not unknown to the inhabitants of the country. They are called by the Arabs Megharet el-Kotton (the Cotton Grotto), and were known to Mejir-ed-Din, who thus writes of them: "Opposite to and to the south of the Zahara" (a Mohammedan cemetery situated above the Grotto of Jeremiah), "and below the northern gate of the city, is a great oblong excavation, called the Cotton Grotto, and some say that it even extends below the Sakharah." The notion, indeed, was common in the country, that from these caverns it was possible to penetrate into the Haram es-Sherîf: so that the adherents of the government would not allow any one to enter them. The Bedouins, however, and the Arabs of the country, took possession of them during the insurrection, and threatened to blow them up if their demands were not satisfied. I claim the merit of having rendered the passage practicable, and contributed to prove that there is no communication between them and the Haram. I have also made a correct plan of them, and conducted many persons thither, acting as their guide; among others, His Excellency Surraya Pasha, M. de Barrère, Consul of France and M. Gérardy Saintine, who in his book 'Trois ans en Judée' has entirely availed himself of my discoveries, which I shewed him, without acknowledging his obligation to me for them, and for the two Plans of ancient and modern Jerusalem annexed to his book, which were furnished by me.

Nothing can be more surprising than these caverns, which seem to have been excavated by the generations of old, as a challenge to posterity. Immense halls, with their roofs supported by piers of natural rock, exhibit in their sides openings leading into long dark galleries, terminating in other chambers of large dimensions. On the left hand is a disordered heap of accumulated fragments of rock, a pile of enormous limestone blocks, lying in confusion one on the other; the spaces between which have been filled up by the soil falling down from above, so that on one side it rises like a rugged hill, on another presents a gentle slope; but any one who[Pg 227] incautiously attempts to traverse it has reason to repent of his undertaking. At the south end of the first excavation is a kind of fountain, surrounded by stalactites of the strangest shape, which have arranged themselves so as to form a sort of lengthened dome. The water, which falls in drops from above into the little basin, is not good to drink. It is brackish, and from my investigations I have come to the conclusion that it is not supplied by a spring, but filters through from the cisterns excavated in the rock above: in fact, in the rainy season there is an abundant supply, but in summer it is dried up. It becomes brackish in passing through the rock, which contains many saline and ferruginous particles. Going eastward from this fountain, we pass along a cliff on the right hand, while on the left high white walls of rock shew the cavities from which the large stones have been extracted. At last we arrive at the deepest part, where is a chamber about 260 feet long, where we can examine in detail the manner in which the ancients quarried the monolithic columns, the great building stones, and large paving slabs. I think that the monolith in the vaults of el-Aksa, in the inner chamber of the Gate of Huldah, was taken from these caves; for here we find a place where a column of stone still hangs down from the roof, like a great stalactite. On comparing with this the measurements of the monolith, they were found to correspond in width and height; and the conjecture is still further confirmed by the colour and character of the stone. The process by which the blocks were extracted can be examined in the side walls. The masses were separated from the rock by vertical grooves nearly four inches wide, the inner boundary of which is a quadrant of a circle. These I believe to have been cut with a circular disk, worked with a handle, which moved it backwards and forwards through a half-revolution. At the present time the Arab masons use an instrument of the same kind in making a groove in a wall. When the groove was made of a sufficient depth to give a stone of the required thickness, they detached it with a pick, or raised the hinder face which adhered to the rock; this explains the great width of the vertical groove: consequently in the process of quarrying the stone was cut smooth on three faces. I have frequently measured the cavities from which blocks have been removed, and also the stones themselves which have been left partially attached to the rock, or which are lying on the ground, and found them correspond perfectly with many large blocks built into the east side of the Haram wall, more especially in its lower parts. Moreover, the mineral character of the stones is the same; so that I am fully persuaded that these caverns were made by Solomon, when he built the Temple, and were afterward enlarged by Herod for the same purpose, and by Agrippa for the new or third lines of walls, which he was obliged to leave unfinished. The stones quarried here well deserve the term applied to them by Josephus[816], that they were 'exceeding white.' Before[Pg 228] leaving these caverns I should warn the traveller that he ought not to visit them alone, relying simply on his own powers and his map for finding his way out again, but should take a guide, or at least a companion, and leave another trusty friend at the entrance. Of late years the place has become a haunt of ill-disposed persons, who retire here, not to lie in wait for travellers, but to celebrate their orgies; and therefore the stranger may, if alone, be pelted, without knowing where his assailant is. Besides, the road is not very safe in parts, and not easy to find by the light of a single candle. In winter, during the rainy season, let no one risk a journey in them; the falls of stone which happen at that time are sometimes not only alarming, but even fatal. In 1857 a large rock detached itself, and fell with a loud crash, while I was measuring at the eastern end of the cavern. I felt far from comfortable until I found that the way back was still open, and I speedily availed myself of it, carrying out, with the help of my European servant, an Arab youth, whom the noise had frightened out of his senses. The pure air outside is refreshing, for the small opening which forms the entrance is insufficient for proper ventilation, and the close dense atmosphere within often causes faintness. This opening is only the upper part of the ancient one; formerly the caverns were entered through a large gap, which is now built up, and in a great measure buried in the soil. From this place the blocks of stone were transported into the city through the ancient North Gate, as I have already mentioned[817].

Let us now visit the Grotto of Jeremiah, where, according to tradition, the Prophet composed the Book of Lamentations. At the first glance we recognize it as the continuation of the caverns we have just quitted; and noticing the horizontal strata of limestone, from which the great blocks in the city-wall have been extracted, can readily conceive that those huge masses, mentioned by Josephus[818], may have been quarried here, although we cannot now find any traces of them. To enter this grotto we must obtain permission of a dervish, the keeper of the place; who, however, never refuses, as he not only hopes to receive a present, which he applies to adorn his retreat, but also is a man of a kind and courteous nature.

On passing the entrance we find, on the right hand, a large rectangular chamber, the walls of which at first sight appear to be entirely Arab masonry; but a careful examination detects large blocks of Roman workmanship, especially in the lower parts, and a piece of wall of the date of S. Helena. I am confirmed in my opinion on this point by the words of Nicephorus Callistus[819], who informs us that this Empress built a church near the grotto; therefore it is not improbable that these may be the remains of that edifice. To the east of the above chamber is a little irregular court, on the north of which is a very deep cistern excavated in the rock; and[Pg 229] on the south is a cavern of great size, which has been converted into a cistern. This is perhaps the origin of the tradition that here was the dungeon in which the prophet was placed[820]. The tradition is inadmissible, whatever system be adopted for the line of the third wall; for in any case this place would be outside the second wall, and therefore a palace and a prison[821] would not occupy this position. Beneath the vaulting formed by the rock is the tomb of a Mohammedan santon, and a court enclosed by a low wall, in which the followers of the Prophet come to pray; where also the good-natured dervish has sometimes allowed the parties of distinguished travellers to lunch after a long excursion round the city-walls. The interior of the grotto in every part affords unquestionable signs of its having been a stone-quarry; for the cavities left by the blocks are still visible, and the holes on which the workmen have been engaged. I think therefore that this place was separated from the Royal Caverns[822] in quarrying stone, and may, strictly speaking, be called a part of them. Dr Schultz[823] has endeavoured to identify the grotto with the monument of Alexander Jannæus, because of the statement in Josephus[824], "that John and his party defended the tower Antonia, and the northern cloister of the Temple, and fought the Romans before the monuments of King Alexander." As these posts were held by John, after Titus had taken the outer line of walls, this position is of course inadmissible according to my theory; but putting that out of the question, it seems to me very improbable that Alexander, whom we know to have been honoured with a magnificent funeral[825], would have been buried in a place like this; and after the most careful examination of the interior, I have not been able to discover the slightest trace of sepulchral chambers; nothing beyond the chiselled faces of the limestone rock and heaps of rubbish.

Quitting the grotto we mount above it to the Mohammedan cemetery, called by the Arabs Turbet ez-Zahara, whence a view of the city is obtained; which, though limited, will, I think, shew the correctness of the position I assign to Bezetha.

Proceeding hence towards the north-east corner of the city, we find the Pilgrims' Pool, Birket el-Hijah, close to the Gate of Herod on the east, as I have already remarked[826]. This reservoir was unquestionably at first constructed to receive the waters of the narrow valley above, which I call the North Valley; whence they were conducted by a subterranean conduit across the city to the Pool of Bethesda. Its walls are formed of ancient blocks, perhaps of the date of Herod, or even of an earlier period; but have been greatly modified afterwards in the construction of a vault (now in ruins) which covers the greater part of it. The Christian tradition concerning this pool differs so much from the Mohammedan, that I transcribe it,[Pg 230] without however in any way asserting its truth. It says that, when the Empress Helena arrived at Jerusalem, she chose to enter it with all humility; and so without pomp, clad in a mean dress and barefoot, she entered the Gate of Herod; and that this circumstance gave the pool its name. From this point to the north-east corner the city-wall rises but slightly above the general level of the ground; consequently this is the weakest part of the defences, although it is strengthened by a ditch. Here it was that Godfrey of Bouillon scaled the wall and captured the city.

North of the pool is a plateau, on which stands an ancient Arab house, overshadowed by an old pine-tree, and surrounded by an olive-grove. This is called Kerm es-Sheikh (the farm or vineyard of the chief). The Mohammedan authorities of the highest rank who come to the Holy City, either as its governors or as pilgrims, are accustomed to pass the night here before their entry, and prepare themselves (as they say) by prayer to visit Jerusalem. There is a curious Mohammedan tradition attached to the place which may interest the reader; it is as follows: "When the potent and valorous Nebuchadnezzar, Sultan of Babylon, came to Jerusalem by the Divine command to punish the Jews who had abandoned the laws given them by God, he despoiled the Temple of all its valuables; reserving for himself the throne of Solomon, with its two golden lions which spoke by the power of magic, and distributing the rest of the booty to the other Kings who had joined him in the expedition. The King of Roum had the coat of Adam and the rod of Moses; the King of Antioch received the throne of Belkis and the miraculous peacock, whose tail, all studded with gems, formed a rich back to the throne; the King of Andalusia had the Prophet's golden table. A smaller coffer of common stone, containing the Law (Torat), lay in the middle of all these rich prizes, and no one heeded it; though it was the most precious of all treasures. It was consequently abandoned, and disappeared in the confusion that reigned during the sack of the city. Forty years afterwards God determined to re-establish the children of Israel in their old fatherland, and raised up the Prophet Euzer (Ezra); who, destined by Heaven for a glorious mission, had spent his youth in prayers and meditation, despising human knowledge in order to devote himself to the contemplation of the Eternal. He had lived in one of the grottoes that surround the Holy City[827]; but now came forth from his retreat, and went among the children of Israel to shew them how they ought to rebuild the Temple, and again worship God befittingly, according to the ancient rites. But the people, having little faith in the Prophet's mission, declared that they would not submit to the laws, but would rather leave off rebuilding the Temple and emigrate to another country,[Pg 231] if the book were not produced in which Moses had written the Law given to him by God on Mount Sinai. This book, as we have seen, had disappeared, and all endeavours to discover it were vain. In this difficulty Euzer with earnest prayers entreated God to interfere, and hinder the people from persisting in their blindness. He was seated in a vineyard, on the spot where the pine-tree now stands, regarding with sorrow the ruins of the Temple, around which the tumultuous populace was assembled. Suddenly a voice from heaven commanded him to write; and though he had never before taken a pen in his hand, he obeyed at once: From the hour of mid-day prayer to the same time on the morrow, without eating or washing, he wrote down all that the heavenly voice dictated; and stopped not for the darkness of night, for a supernatural light illumined his spirit, and an Angel guided his hand. All the Jews beheld with amazement this manifestation of the Divine Power; but when the Prophet had finished his miraculous writing, the Priests, jealous of the special favour shewn to him, asserted that the new book was an invention of the devil, and did not in any respect resemble the former one. Euzer again betook himself to prayer, and, yielding to a sudden inspiration, directed his steps to the fountain of Siloam, followed by all the people. When he arrived before it he raised his hands to heaven, and offered up a prayer to the Almighty, while the multitude knelt around. Suddenly a square stone rose above the surface of the water, and glided along as if supported by an invisible hand; in which the Priests recognized with terror the long-missing sacred coffer. Euzer received it reverently, and opened it with his own hands: the Torat of Moses sprang out as though endowed with life; and the new copy, quitting the Prophet's bosom, took its place. All doubt was now at an end; nevertheless the holy man bade the Priests compare the two copies. They, despite of their confusion, did so; and, after a long examination, lifted up their voices and proclaimed that the two books did not differ by so much as a word or an accent. After they had rendered this homage to truth, they were struck with a life-long blindness, as a punishment for their former crimes." Though the whole of this story is but an Oriental fantasy, it is curious for its mention of the Law, and the circumstances and persons it records.

On the north, a few yards from the Kerm es-Sheikh, is an old Mohammedan cemetery, in which are some tombstones with ancient dates; none, however, earlier than the time of Saladin.

Going on northward over cultivated land planted with olives, we arrive at the Tombs of the Kings. I may observe, that during all this walk nothing is seen but a reddish clayey soil with a rich vegetation, or bare rocks without any marks of chiselling; nor are there traces of walls nor any dressed stones; all which proves, in my opinion, that this ground never formed part of the city; which must[Pg 232] in that case, have had its houses and walls built of shapeless fragments and clay, of which there is no lack.

To visit the Tombs of the Kings[828], called by the Arabs Kubur el-Maluk, we descend a slope, from west to east, which originally was a staircase with wide steps hewn in the rock; but its form has been completely hidden by the quantity of soil mixed with fragments of stone, which have been accumulated by the rain, the wind, and the hand of man. However, I ascertained that it once existed by an excavation at the top of the slope on the west, where I discovered three steps. At the lower end is an aperture of irregular shape, formed in the rock, through which I entered into a cave, after much trouble in clearing away the rubbish that blocked it up, and was able to determine, notwithstanding the accumulation of earth within, that it had never contained sepulchral chambers, but had been a cistern, large though not deep. Towards the eastern end of the wall, on the left hand as we descend, is a round-headed doorway hewn out of the rock, and ornamented with a small incised fillet. It is buried up to the spring of the arch, so that it is necessary to stoop in order to enter it. I began to make an excavation to examine its full height, but the large stones which I found below the surface would have rendered the completion of the undertaking so expensive that I abandoned it. However, I uncovered the door to a height of 8-1/2 feet including the arch. It leads into a rectangular court, open to the air, and surrounded by vertical walls hewn in the rock, as is the floor, which is buried under rubbish formed of the earth brought down by the rains from the fields above, and broken stones thrown in by the Arabs; who, barbarians as they are, exhibit the most provoking indifference to the preservation of ancient monuments, and view with a jealous eye everything that interests visitors, often mutilating what they cannot entirely destroy.

In the west wall of this court a vestibule is excavated with remarkable skill, the roof of which was formerly supported by two columns, also hewn out of the rock: these have now disappeared, owing to the effects of individual Vandalism, and the injuries of the earthquake in 1837. M. de Saulcy[829] has given the following excellent description of this monument: "Above the porch, on the face of the rock itself, runs a long frieze, carved with exquisite taste and delicacy. The centre of the frieze is occupied by a bunch of grapes, an emblem of the promised land, and the habitual type of the Asmonæan coinage. To the right and left of this bunch are placed symmetrically a triple palm, carved with the greatest elegance, a crown and triglyphs, alternating with pateræ, or round shields, three times repeated[830]. Below this runs a rich garland of foliage and fruit, falling down at right angles on each side of the opening of the porch. The left-hand portion of this garland has been much[Pg 233] more injured by time than that on the right. Above the line of the triglyphs a fine cornice begins, formed of elegant mouldings, unfortunately much damaged, and rising up to the top of the rock, that is to say, nearly to the level of the surrounding country." The left-hand portion of this cornice is almost destroyed, not only by the Arabs, but also by the Americans; among whom a certain Mr Jones has especially distinguished himself by breaking off all the ornaments that could be carried away. Beyrout and Jaffa have been the chief centres of his destructive industry, so that he has destroyed the few monuments of Phœnicia and of Palestine that remained in their original positions. Hammer in hand, and dead to every sense of artistic beauty, he chops off fragments from the inscriptions of Sesostris, from the columns of Baalbek, and from the monuments of Jerusalem. The Tombs of the Kings have suffered more at his hands than from all the hostile invasions that have devastated Palestine.

On descending into the vestibule, we see in its south wall a small low door, which can only be passed by creeping on the ground. Here, though the result of my observations[831] will be found to differ from those of M. de Saulcy, I take this opportunity of expressing my respect for him, as one of the first persons to investigate with technical precision the monuments of Palestine. We come, then, to the entrance of the sepulchral chambers, by descending six steps hewn in the rock, which start from a circular hollow about two feet deeper than the general level of the floor of the vestibule, in which, no doubt, the funeral ceremonies were completed. I removed all the stones from this place in order to be able to give an exact account of it. On the left-hand side of the door in a kind of narrow gutter, which joins the steps again by a course of three sides of an oblong, is a large stone of an ellipsoidal form, the outline near the extremities of the shorter axis being flat instead of curved. On the right hand is a hollow in the wall, into which one of the apses of this stone was inserted. This arrangement enables us to form an accurate idea of the manner in which the Tomb of Christ was closed. The stone now rests with one of its apses on the ground, so that its longer axis is perpendicular to the level of the floor. The upper segment of the stone corresponds with the cavity in the rock on the right hand; and the square, formed by the flattened edges of the stone and two lines joining their extremities, is larger than the doorway by rather more than an inch each way. It is therefore evident that it was not necessary to roll this stone, but simply to lower it from left to right, so as to turn the axes through a right angle and bring the shorter axis perpendicular to the ground; when the apse fitted into the above-mentioned cavity, and the stone, resting upon the lowest step, effectually closed the doorway. The means employed to raise and lower this stone was no doubt a chain,[Pg 234] passing over two pulleys, with vertical axes, which a person drew towards himself to raise the stone from its place. The two right-angled elbows in the above-mentioned channel were to apply the force to the chain more conveniently. The channel in which the stone lies was covered by a long slab, and we can still see the points on which this rested.

This is not the only way in which the aperture was closed, for, after passing this, we see the jambs which must have supported another stone door, moving on two pivots, the holes for which still remain above and below. When it was hung it must have yielded to the slightest push from without. Through this we enter a square antechamber, in which are three doors, one in the middle of the western wall, and the other two in the southern, one near each corner. Entering the western door, we come to a room with three smaller chambers opening out of the middle of each wall, each of which contains three sepulchral niches[832], consisting of a stone bier or slab under an arch; these three chambers are flanked on each side by casemate vaults, each having a channel cut in the rock in the middle of the floor; to each of which, with one exception, a small recess is attached to receive articles which had been valued by the deceased. Out of the central room a narrow sloping gallery in the north wall leads into a lower chamber, with a sepulchral niche in the west wall, and two steps against the north, the lower of which is larger than the upper. On one of these lay the sarcophagus[833], which M. de Saulcy has deposited in the Museum of the Louvre at Paris; a similar one, broken in pieces, was found near. He considers the former to be the sarcophagus of David; but with this opinion I am unable to agree. Here there are places for three corpses. Returning into the antechamber we enter the door on the south-east, and find ourselves in a room with the openings of three casemate vaults in the south wall, and three in the east; two of these are provided with channels, and one with the recess in its wall; the other four are narrower than the rest; which have been completely finished off by their excavators, as is proved by their correspondence one with another in length, breadth, and height, by the regularity of their angles, and by the jambs supporting the doors which closed them. M. de Saulcy thinks that the latter were never finished, perhaps because they are not so wide as the others, and have no channel in the floor; but, in my opinion, this was only made to catch the moisture that dripped from the corpse during putrefaction, and by draining it off to allow the body to become dry more rapidly. Therefore I[Pg 235] consider that in the narrower vaults bodies which had been previously dried up were placed. Let us now return again into the antechamber and visit the room on the west of that just described. In the south wall of this are three finished casemate vaults, and the same number in the west, five of which have the channel, while the sixth belongs to the narrower class already mentioned. Two of the five have also the attached recess. In the north wall is a small door leading by a narrow descending passage into a small chamber containing three sepulchral niches. Thus there are altogether thirty-three biers, including among these the two steps on which the sarcophagi were found. Round each of the three rooms communicating with the vaults runs a small foot-path, raised above the general level of the floor, so that a kind of basin is formed at the bottom of the chamber. Into this I suppose the moisture escaping from the bodies during putrefaction flowed; perhaps there were holes in the sides to admit water, or allow of the escape of fluids; but this I could not ascertain, as the floor was covered with rubbish. Each chamber was closed by a stone door, which worked on pivots fixed in two holes. At the present time the doors lie on the ground broken to pieces, and though every one must admire their workmanship, no one has attempted to preserve them from total ruin by conveying them away to some European museum. Many authors have endeavoured to explain how they were made[834]; but I think they were brought from some other place, when completed, and then set up. I am led to this conclusion by observing that they are of a different kind of stone to that seen in the walls of the chambers; that is, of a more compact limestone without veins. All the workmanship in the excavation is admirable, and the angles are formed with the greatest accuracy. Chisels, hooks, and the revolving cutters, appear to have been the instruments used. There have been many controversies about the origin and use of these tombs: some consider them to have been the monument of Helena of Adiabene; but in that case it would be difficult to explain for what purpose the thirty-three receptacles were made, as Josephus says that she and her son alone were buried there. M. de Saulcy endeavours to prove them to be the Tombs of the Kings; but I have already shewn[835] that this is contrary to the Bible, Josephus, and tradition. From the Books of Maccabees and Josephus, we are enabled to determine the Tombs of many Asmonæan princes. With regard to the family of Herod, we know that Herod the Ascalonite was buried in Herodium; his sons, Alexander, Aristobulus, and others, in Alexandrium near to Shiloh; Agrippa in the valley of Gihon; Antipas died in Gaul; consequently none of these can lie here. We know that when Aristobulus was poisoned by the partizans of Pompeius, his body was preserved in honey, and sent to Jerusalem by Antonius[836]. He may therefore be one of those who were[Pg 236] buried in these tombs, in which other members of the royal family, especially women and children, may have been interred. The monument being of the Doric order does not allow us to assign it to an earlier period. The Jews visit these tombs with reverence, and the Arabs exact from them a payment on entrance, to which they patiently submit. They do not, however, consider these to be the burial-places of their first Kings, but of the last; so that here tradition agrees with the architectural evidence furnished by the monument.

About a hundred yards from the Tombs of the Kings, to the south-west, in a field planted with olives, is a sepulchre, excavated vertically in the rock[837]. It is almost the only example of its kind in the open country in Palestine, and is the more remarkable because the Tombs of the Patriarchs in the cave of Machpelah at Hebron, that of Rachel near Bethlehem Ephrata, and of Samuel at Ramah (Neby-Samwîl) are of the same kind. Round the edge of the oblong grave runs a step, into which a stone is fitted so as to close the hole firmly, and on this was placed a sarcophagus. This I have ascertained by a careful examination of those at Ephrata and Ramah.

Hence we return to the road running to the north, and, after passing the Tombs of the Kings, find on the left an Arab building called Sheikh Jerrah; a place in much veneration among the Mohammedans, especially those of the country; since it contains the tomb of a santon, who, as they believe, has the power of granting them prosperous expeditions, abundant harvests, and good luck, especially with their fowls and eggs; of which articles a small tribute is paid to a live dervish, who acts as go-between for them in their petitions to the dead santon.

Keeping along the road to the right leading to the open country on the north-east, we come to a spot on the southern bank of the Kidron Valley, where there are signs of excavations, if not of tombs. One of these is remarkable for its large dimensions; it is entirely excavated with the chisel, and shews some trace of a gallery hewn out of the solid rock in its upper part. This is Jadagat el-Ahel, which I have already mentioned[838]. All the Jews assert that during the persecutions their race underwent, in the times of Hadrian and of the Byzantine emperors, this place was used as a synagogue by those, who, despising the perils of the journey, came from far that they might behold their ancient capital, if only from a distance. I have already mentioned the explanation of the name; but another tradition is current among the more ignorant and prejudiced Jews, which is given by Saintine[839]: "When Titus was besieging Jerusalem, and had completely blockaded the town with his legions, in the month Bûl (November) provisions began to fail the inhabitants. Then[Pg 237] universal misery prevailed in the city, and the famine slew more than the Romans. In this extremity, even the women and children were killed to nourish the combatants; but these sufferings, terrible as they were, did not appease the wrath of Heaven, and the city was taken and sacked with every atrocity of war. At this time there lived at Jerusalem a very wealthy Jew, who had been educated at Rome, and for this reason was allowed to retain his riches. But what good were they now to him? His wife and boys had been sacrificed to the horrible cravings of hunger. This fearful scene was ever present to his mind, and banished repose. He could only find one solace: he determined to give a portion of his property to his wretched fellow-citizens; and further, he made a vow to distribute corn, meat, and wine, among them at this place, every year at the feast of Purim; so that they might be able to share in the general joy, and celebrate the festival in a proper manner. So sped the years; the evils of the war were beginning to be less felt, when the new generation, seduced by a false Messiah named Cosiba, again endeavoured to shake off the Roman yoke. The aged man still remembered too well the miseries of the former siege; he implored his brethren to abandon their fatal determination, relating to them what he had seen and suffered; but his efforts were fruitless. At length it was revealed to him from heaven that soon the city would again be destroyed by the armies of Hadrian. For the last time he tried to induce the rebels to submit, but in vain; then, preferring to die rather than witness the misfortunes of his country, he prayed to God to remove him from the earth; the roof of the cavern fell in, and buried him in its ruins under the heap which still lies before its mouth. Still however, every year, at the feast of Purim, the dead man takes a piece of money from his hidden treasures, and places it on the rock in order to continue the 'alms of food' to the poor." Before 1857 there was an isolated mass of rock in the middle of this monument, to which the Rabbins and a great number of people came on their feast of Pentecost to pray and read the Pentateuch, but it has now disappeared, because, in building the Austrian hospice, this place was used as a stone quarry, and greatly mutilated. It is to be hoped that what remains will not be destroyed by a repetition of this vandalism, when another work of charity is executed for a European nation.

On ascending the Kidron Valley we find, on its northern bank, a place, commonly called the Tomb of Simon the Just. A few years ago a Mohammedan, seeing that it was frequented by the Jews, affixed a door to it, expecting that he would be able to extract money from those who wished to visit it. He has not been disappointed in his hopes, and reaps large gains. Whether the name is rightly given, I do not know; but it is not contrary to any tradition. The interior is not remarkable; only there is a small cistern, well constructed, on the side of the casemate vault. The Jews visit this spot for prayer at all seasons, but especially when rain[Pg 238] is needed for the country, after it has been parched during nine months by a blazing sun.

Further up the valley, after crossing the road to Samaria, we find, still on the northern side, an ancient tomb[840], the exterior of which is completely mutilated. In the front court is a fragment of the western end of a wall, hewn out of the solid rock; all the rest of it has been destroyed. In the piece which remains we find a conduit and small basin; these clearly prove that water must have been supplied from some higher ground on the north; but I have not been able to discover whence it came. Against the north wall is a heap of soil, nearly covering up an aperture; through the part still open, though overgrown with creepers, it is possible to crawl into the interior[841]. Here we find a rectangular vestibule which evidently has been converted into a cistern, as its walls have been covered with strong cement, and a hole made in the roof, through which soil and broken stones are brought down from the hill-side above, in the rainy season. A small door in the middle of the north wall leads into an antechamber in good preservation, in the east wall of which is the passage into a chamber with eight biers, one of them being a sepulchral niche, and the rest casemate vaults, without channels, but sloping slightly downwards towards the floor of the chamber, round which runs a kind of footpath, above the general level of the floor, as in the Tombs of the Kings. At the end of one of these vaults is the small recess. As the dimensions and finish of these correspond with those of the small vaults in the above-named tombs, they would be considered unfinished by M. de Saulcy. Returning into the antechamber, we find in its western wall a small door leading into a single casemate vault, which is much larger than any other of its kind in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem. This monument does not bear any special name, but must have belonged to a wealthy family, because, although it is not so large as the other great tombs, its execution is not inferior to theirs.

Descending from this point to the bed of the Kidron Valley, we find a nearly square pool. Though this is now almost filled with earth, yet in the rainy season the waters flow into it from the slopes above, and form a sort of little lake, which is then the source, so to say, of the Kidron. I have investigated carefully the ground above, endeavouring to discover some proof of the existence of a spring, but in vain. By excavating I found that the depth of the Pool was fifteen feet.

From this position we ascend in a north-westerly direction, and then turn southward towards an ash-coloured mound. All along our course we observe numbers of ruined and broken tombs, and can readily comprehend the account given by Jose[Pg 239]phus[842] of the levelling executed by Titus' army, between Scopus and the city. The small mound mentioned above has been examined by Liebig, who considers it to be composed of the ashes of bones and animal remains. This might be true of the specimen submitted to him, but I am of opinion that it chiefly consists of ashes from the soap-works of Jerusalem, mingled with soil and broken stones, with bones of dogs and other carrion, that have been cast out there. I have arrived at this conclusion, after making large excavations in the heap, and availing myself of its materials to mix with lime in making a strong cement, which I used in building and repairing terrace-roofs, and in conduits and cisterns. The inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the proprietors of the soap-works themselves, have assured me that the greater part of this deposit was formed during the time of Ibrahim Pasha, by whose orders the refuse of their manufactories was conveyed outside the city.

By following the road, which leads in a north-westerly direction to Gibeon, we find on the left-hand side, at a distance of about two hundred yards from the above mound, a tomb which differs in form from all those already described. It has an antechamber, and from it three doors lead into three small chambers, in which there are no biers. At the first glance I was inclined to consider it as an incomplete work, but from the perfect execution of its interior and its frontispiece[843], I came to a different conclusion after I had had many opportunities of examining both finished and unfinished sepulchres.

Keeping along the road, we see before reaching the Tombs of the Judges, numbers of tombs dispersed about the ground on our right hand, some partly destroyed, some converted into cisterns, and others still uninjured. All this land was a large field of the dead, where the ancient Jews excavated sepulchres suitable to their wealth and station. One among them is remarkable as giving us a correct idea of that in which our Lord was laid; for it consists of an antechamber, and a burial chamber, in which is a single niche to receive a corpse, on the right hand of the entrance[844]. A few yards further on, we come, after turning to the right, to the Tombs of the Judges[845], called by the Arabs Kubur el-Godka. There does not appear to be any reason for the name. Eight of the fifteen Judges who ruled the people between the death of Joshua and the accession of Saul were certainly buried elsewhere: and it is far more likely that the rest would sleep with their fathers among their own tribes, after the usual custom of the Israelites. It seems to me much more probable that certain members of the Sanhedrim were buried here, according to the traditional belief of the Jews now in Jerusalem, who visit this spot from no other motive than curiosity. The exterior of the vestibule is decorated with a frontispiece resembling that in the Tomb of Jehoshaphat, consisting of a cornice and pediment, the tympanum of which is richly carved with palm-leaves[Pg 240] and foliage, with three acroteria, perhaps intended for funeral emblems (torches), one on the summit (effaced), and the other two at each end. Under the cornice is a row of small modillons. Beneath the cornice, and on each side of the opening, runs an ornamental group of mouldings. A low narrow door similarly decorated is placed in the middle of the vestibule, and gives admission to the sepulchral chambers, six in number, and containing altogether sixty-three biers. Sixty of these are narrow casemate vaults, of the class which M. de Saulcy considers as incomplete receptacles, and three are sepulchral niches. The execution displayed in these tombs is not inferior to that at the Tombs of the Kings, nor do they yield to them in elegance or arrangement, especially in the interior. At the south-west corner of the first chamber is a narrow staircase, which I found blocked up with enormous stones, fitted together in order to close the entrance. After removing them with no small trouble I understood the reason why they were so placed. In the entrance below lay a corpse, not yet reduced to a skeleton; the head and right hand of which had been severed from the body; signs of a cruel vengeance, of which I discovered other instances in my researches in the country. This unfinished sepulchral chamber fully supplies us with the means of studying the construction of these receptacles of the dead. In it are the beginnings of nine casemate vaults, and the instruments used have evidently been the chisel and the revolving cutter which I have already described[846]. The limestone from which the whole of the monument is hewn resembles in quality that at the Tombs of the Kings; but it is of a yellowish colour veined with red, and takes a polish like marble. It is easily quarried at first, but becomes hard when exposed to the atmosphere.

Returning from the Tombs of the Judges, by the field-path southward, we reach the road to the village of Lifta, which we follow westward, in order to visit the little Mohammedan mosque, wherein repose the ashes of a santon called Sheikh Aymar, who fell in battle against the Christians. The place is not worth a visit for the sake of its architecture, but there is a curious legend connected with it. Over the entrance-gate is a large architrave of finely polished red granite. The story is, that an Arab devoted to the saint found this block in some distant country, and was enabled to bear it on his back to ornament the tomb of his patron, although from its natural weight eight men at least would have been required to move it. They say also that Ibrahim Pasha, struck with the beauty of the stone, tried to take it away, but the invisible hand of the saint kept it fixed in the wall; so that the Pasha himself became his devotee. Returning towards the city, we can visit the buildings which Russia has erected at great cost in a short time, for the use of the mission of its Church at Jerusalem, and to receive pilgrims who visit the Holy Places. I have already spoken of them[847], and the description of the Plan[848] will[Pg 241] explain their arrangements. Though Russia began her work the last, she will in a short time surpass all the other religious communities. It was also upon this spot, and as far as up to the convent of S. Saviour, that Sennacherib encamped his troops. Titus at a later period fixed his head-quarters here, when he was preparing to attack the third line of walls; here also he reviewed his army, in the hope that the sight of his power and resources might terrify the Jews into submission. As the troops would extend from the north-west angle of the present wall towards the east, the citizens would be able to see them very well[849]. The Crusaders also occupied the ground belonging to Russia, and all their positions may be seen at a glance from here. Godfrey of Bouillon attacked the north-east corner of the wall; Robert Duke of Normandy the part by the Grotto of Jeremiah; Robert Count of Flanders, that opposite to the rock where I place the tomb of Helena of Adiabene; Tancred from this position stormed the castle of Goliath (Kâsr Jalûd), the tower Psephinus in my opinion; Raymond Count of Toulouse pitched his camp on the west, where the small Greek convent of S. George now stands, and directed part of his troops, commanded by the Count of S. Gilles, against Sion: these, after many valiant deeds, gained the south wall, above the present Christian cemetery.

We now descend into the Valley of Gihon, to visit the Pool of Mamillah and the surrounding Mohammedan cemetery; but before reaching it we observe a large and level boulevard leading to the city. I proposed to Surraya Pasha to make this in order to give a promenade to the inhabitants; and though the plan was not carried out as I desired, still I think that I have done a service to the citizens in giving them one good road for walking, instead of stony paths or rugged tracks on the hill-sides. Entering the cemetery, from the western end of this promenade, we come to the Pool of Mamillah, which I identify with the 'Upper Pool[850].' From this started the deep canal by which Hezekiah brought the waters of Gihon within the western part of the city, when he closed up the fountains on the approach of Sennacherib's army. The subterranean conduit still exists, though it is now exposed and devastated in places, and is used to convey the rain-water from the Upper Pool to that of Amygdalon within the city; for which reason the latter is still called the Pool of Hezekiah. Josephus[851] gives to the Upper Pool the name of 'The Serpent's Pool,' and the Arabs call it Birket Mamillah. The derivation of the name I have already explained[852]. S. Jerome[853] calls it the 'Fuller's Pool;' perhaps founding the name on the passages in the Bible[854], which shew that the Fuller's field was in its neighbourhood. In the middle ages it was called 'The Patriarch's Pool.' The passage in which it is men[Pg 242]tioned is as follows[855]: "Outside the David Gate was a pool towards the setting sun, called the Patriarch's Pool, where the waters of the surrounding country were collected for watering the horses. Near this pool was a charnel-house, called the Lion's Charnel-house. Now I will tell you why it is called the Lion's Charnel-house. One day, as they say, there was a battle between the Christians and the Saracens, betwixt this charnel-house and Jerusalem, in which many Christians were slain, and the Saracens were intending next day to defile the bodies. So it happened that a lion came by night, and carried them all into this ditch, as they said. Above this charnel-house was a church, where people sang services every day." Perhaps this church was dedicated to S. Babylas, of which now only a mass of ruins remains, also covering sepulchral caves. Here I place the monument of Herod, mentioned in the account of Titus' wall of circumvallation[856]. The Mohammedan cemetery surrounding the pool dates from the age of Saladin; for here are found some ancient sarcophagi, and epitaphs bearing the names of certain of his generals. All this spot is highly esteemed by the Mohammedans, and their chief men are usually buried here.

We will now take the road to the west, leading to S. John in the Mountains (Ain Karim), and visit the Greek convent of S. Cross, called by the Arabs Deir el-Mar-sullabi, which we reach in about twenty minutes. Its name is derived from the tradition that the tree grew here from which the Cross of Christ was made. Quaresmius[857] informs us that the Empress Helena built a church here to mark the spot. Dositheus, Greek Patriarch of Jerusalem towards the close of the seventeenth century, who wrote the history of his predecessors in that office, is of opinion that the monastery of S. Cross was built by Justinian I. at the prayer of S. Saba, who had gone to Constantinople to refute some calumnies which had been promulgated by the Samaritan, Arsenius, in order to bring the people of Palestine into bad repute with the Emperor. He supposes also that the Georgians, who occupied it for a long time, were the builders. The Persian invaders under Chosroes II. utterly destroyed the monastery, but spared a part of the church; murdering, nevertheless, all the monks who had fled there for refuge, so that the tesselated pavement, of great antiquity, still preserves the stains of their blood. The Reverend Dionysius Cleopas, a most courteous and learned man, the director of the school of S. Cross, pointed out these stains to me, informing me of the tradition concerning them. Though I am far from yielding a blind assent to it, I cannot but remember how long the stain of blood remains upon marble or stone, if it has lain and dried up there. In this case the blood of more than a hundred victims must have been shed and left there.[Pg 243] At the same time it must be remarked that the stains, which extend below the surface of the tesseræ in the pavement, are not red but of a blackish colour.

When the Greeks purchased the convent from the Georgians it was wholly in ruins; now, however, it is one of the finest establishments in Palestine. Though rather an irregular building, it stands in a great measure on the ancient site. In it are the schools where poor youths of the Greek faith are maintained without charge, together with a library, and a fine apartment for the use of the Patriarch when he visits the place. The church[858] deserves a visit. Four large piers, from which spring pointed arches, divide it into a nave with two side aisles. It is also adorned with a pointed dome. The walls are decorated with ancient frescoes, and on these are Georgian inscriptions shewing that the church and convent were restored two hundred years ago. In the apses are curious pictures representing the whole history of the sacred tree; the hole, in which it is said to have grown, is exhibited behind the great altar. Michael Glycas reports in his annals[859] the tradition from which the name of the church is derived. Though it is a thorough Arab story, I relate it, as it explains the pictures. "When Abraham became aware of the sin which Lot had committed when overcome by wine, he ordered him to go to the banks of the river Nile in Egypt, and bring thence three boughs of different trees, in the expectation that he would be devoured on the journey by the wild beasts, and would thus expiate his crime. Lot, guided by heaven, accomplished the dangerous task, and returned unhurt with the three boughs, one of cypress, another of pine, and the third of cedar. Abraham not being contented with this, ascended this hill and planted the three boughs in the form of a triangle, ordering Lot to fetch water for them every day from the Jordan, a distance of twenty-four miles." (This is the distance of the river from the convent.) "Lot obeyed this command also, and after three months the boughs united and budded, but their roots were always separated one from the other. Therefore Abraham prophesied that by means of their wood sinful men were one day to be redeemed. In the days of Solomon the tree had grown to a great size, and was cut down by that King to be used in building the Temple. But by the decree of Heaven its trunk remained forgotten till the Saviour's Passion, when the Jews used it to make the Cross. The hill, on which Abraham is said to have planted the three boughs, is to the south-west of the convent, and is still called by the Arabs 'The place of the boughs.'" Heraclius is said to have stayed in this convent on his return from his expedition against the Persians to recover the Holy Cross.

On our return to Jerusalem from the monastery by the road to the east of that by which we came, we see the quarries from which perhaps were extracted the columns[Pg 244] of red breccia which adorn the mosque el-Aksa, and many churches in Palestine. On reaching the summit of the hill we regain our former road, and enter Jerusalem by the Jaffa Gate. During our return we notice with admiration the efforts made by the Archimandrite Nicoforus for the improvement of the country, and the energy and intelligence displayed in all his agricultural undertakings, especially in planting trees. It is to be hoped that his attempts will be crowned with success, and that the Arabs will avail themselves of the opportunity, and join in a work so calculated to advance the prosperity of the country.

FOOTNOTES:

[794] Plate VII.

[795] Page 6.

[796] Page 35.

[797] Page 37.

[798] Pages 168, 169.

[799] Acts vii. 58.

[800] Elucidatio Terræ Sanctæ, Lib. IV. pereg. 8, c. 2, Tom. II. p. 295, col. 2. See also, c. 3, p. 297, col. 1, ed. 1639.

[801] Nicephorus, Hist. Eccl. Lib. XIV. c. 50.

[802] Evagrius, Hist. Eccl. Lib. I. c. 22.

[803] Ibid.

[804] Hist. Eccl. Lib. XIV. c. 50.

[805] Vita Sabæ, c. lxxxii.

[806] Historia Hierosol. Lib. IX. (Gesta Dei, &c. Tom. I. p. 74, ed. 1611).

[807] Early Travels in Palestine. 'Bohn's Ant. Lib.' p. 43.

[808] Hist. Hierosol. Lib. V. c. 46 (G. D. &c. Tom. I. p. 274); cf. Lib. VI. c. 9, and William of Tyre, Lib. VIII. c. 12.

[809] De Vogüé, Les Églises, &c. p. 333.

[810] Cartulary of the Holy Sepulchre, p. 306.

[811] La Citez de Jherusalem, quoted by De Vogüé, p. 333.

[812] Leo Allatius, Sym. p. 146.

[813] La Citez de Jherusalem, quoted by De Vogüé, p. 441; Cartulary, p. 306.

[814] Plates VIII., IX.

[815] Page 38.

[816] Jewish War, V. 5, § 6.

[817] Page 38.

[818] Jewish War, V. 4, § 2.

[819] Hist. Eccl. Lib. VIII. c. 30.

[820] Jer. xxxviii. 6.

[821] Jer. xxxviii. 6, 28.

[822] Jewish War, V. 4, § 2.

[823] Jerusalem, p. 36.

[824] Jewish War, V. 7, § 3.

[825] Ant. XIII. 16, § 1.

[826] Page 14.

[827] This grotto is still called el-Oezerie, and is known to the Arabs as the Tomb of Lazarus.

[828] Plates LV., LVI.

[829] Narrative of a Journey round the Dead Sea, &c. (edited by Count E. de Warren, Vol. II. pp. 137, 138).

[830] Plate LX.

[831] My remarks may appear to resemble closely those made by M. Gérardy Saintine, Trois Ans en Judée, p. 224. As he has used information given to him by me, without any acknowledgment, I feel entitled to resume my own.

[832] The term 'sepulchral niche' is used to denote an arched recess excavated in the wall of a tomb; the body was laid on the slab beneath the arch, so that it resembled one of the monuments with recumbent figures, not very uncommon in the walls of churches. The term 'casemate vault' is used (in default of a better) to denote a narrow, deep, and rather low excavation, into which the body was thrust head foremost. Brick vaults are sometimes built on this pattern in the present day.

[833] Plate LVIII.

[834] Mariti, p. 216 seq.

[835] Page 210.

[836] Jewish War, I. 9, § 1.

[837] See Plate LVIII. for Plan and Section.

[838] Page 38; Plate LVII.

[839] Trois Ans en Judée, p. 214.

[840] Plate LIX.

[841] I advise the visitor to take with him an Arab to beat the ground, in order to make the reptiles conceal themselves, and frighten away the jackals which frequent it, before he enters the place.

[842] Jewish War, V. 3, § 2.

[843] See Plan, Plate LIX. Frontispiece, Plate LVIII.

[844] Plate LIX.

[845] Plates LVIII., LIX.

[846] Page 226.

[847] Page 13.

[848] Plate II.

[849] Jewish War, V. 7, § 3; V. 9, § 1.

[850] 2 Kings xviii. 17; 2 Chron. xxxii. 3, 4, 30; Isaiah vii. 3.

[851] Jewish War, V. 3, § 2.

[852] Page 24.

[853] De Locis Hebr. litt. T. (Tapheth).

[854] 2 Kings xviii. 17; Isaiah vii. 3.

[855] La Citez de Jherusalem, De Vogüé, Les Églises, &c. p. 442.

[856] Page 40.

[857] E. T. S. Lib. VI. pereg. 4, c. 7, Tom. II. p. 712, col. 2, ed. 1639.

[858] Plate LXIII.

[859] Pars II. p. 254, ed. Bonn, e cod. Claromont.


[Pg 245]

CHAPTER VIII.

ON THE WATERS, FIT OR UNFIT FOR DRINKING, IN JERUSALEM AND ITS NEIGHBOURHOOD.

In the seven preceding chapters I have several times mentioned the waters, drinkable and undrinkable, and the sewers, when we have come across them in the course of our investigations; but I have not always entered into details, reserving them for this chapter. Therefore I now proceed to treat the subject at length, with the view of shewing, as clearly as is possible, the means which the former inhabitants of Jerusalem possessed of obtaining an abundant supply of water, and removing the sewage of the city; and I shall also notice the carelessness exhibited by the Arabs with regard to every part of the works of their predecessors in the country, and how they rather employ themselves in accelerating than in arresting their destruction.

I am persuaded that there are some springs in Jerusalem and in its neighbourhood; but these have never been sufficient to supply the wants of the population without assistance; consequently the earlier Jewish Kings executed important hydraulic works to introduce an abundant supply into the city, and to preserve it there in reservoirs, to be used both for the wants of life and for purposes of purification; and, above all, for the requirements of the Temple-services, which were very considerable. I have no doubt that the most extensive works were commenced in David's reign, and carried still further in that of his son Solomon. These are yet in existence, and might even now be in operation, had they not fallen into the hands of an ignorant and almost barbarous race, who are perpetually endeavouring to destroy them, without ever thinking that they are thus aggravating the deficiency of water, and placing the town in danger of being entirely deprived of it, if at any time the rainfall is insufficient. The local government has several times con[Pg 246]sidered the mischief that may thus be caused, and has taken steps accordingly to prevent it; but, weak as it is, has never been able to make its orders respected. From this reproach, however, I except the provident rule of Surraya Pasha, which is now over.

According to my opinion, it was Solomon that ordered and executed the important work of bringing the water from Etham into Jerusalem by means of a conduit; which is indeed generally attributed to him, though it is called by a few that of Pontius Pilate. The primary design of this undertaking was unquestionably that the Temple and its precincts might not suffer from a lack of water. It is very remarkable that neither the Bible nor Josephus make express mention of this; but it is probable that all the pools, now existing at Etham, are referred to in Ecclesiastes[860]; and Josephus[861] informs us that the summer-palace of Solomon was at the town of Etham, in the neighbourhood of Bethlehem, fifty stadia from Jerusalem. Perhaps he did not describe the water-works, because he considered them well-known. However, it is certain that history does not afford us any positive data for ascribing these constructions to Solomon; but the magnitude of the work, and tradition, induce me to attribute them to him. As it was on these pools of Etham that the city mainly depended for its supply, I will describe them first of all.

Quitting the Jaffa Gate we take the direct road to Etham, passing the Tomb of Rachel, and leaving Bethlehem on the left; it is a ride of two hours and a half. Here is an old castle[862], called by the Arabs Kalat el-Burak (Castle of the Lightning), of which the outer walls, with battlements, remain perfect; but the interior is all in ruins, and only serves to harbour swarms of bees. History does not tell us when or by whom it was built, but from its architecture and masonry it must evidently be assigned to the twelfth or thirteenth century; the design being, no doubt, to accommodate a small garrison in order to secure the waters. It is not improbable that the Crusaders erected it to prevent the hostile tribes from cutting off the water-supply from Jerusalem, which would have been liable to this deprivation without such a precaution. To the south are the three reservoirs, situated in the middle of the Etham Valley, which slopes steeply down from west to east. These are filled by the rain-water drained from the slopes of the mountains on each side, and by an abundant supply from a spring on the west of the castle, in a straight line along the direction of its north side, at a distance of about 450 yards. I mention this, because its rudely circular opening, like the mouth of a cistern, is hidden in a field under a mass of stones thickly covered with creeping plants, and so is sometimes not easily found without a guide. Possibly this spring is mentioned in the Song of Solomon[863], in the words, "A garden enclosed is my sister,[Pg 247] my spouse, a spring shut up, a fountain sealed;" hence it is now called 'fons signatus' by the Christians, and Ras el-Ain (Head of the Fountain), and also Ain Saleh by the Arabs. Let us examine its interior by descending an inconvenient shaft, like those in cisterns; looking well where we set our feet, lest we come to the bottom in a single step, a depth of about 12 feet only, but a rough fall. On arriving below, we crawl a short distance, and then find ourselves in a rectangular chamber 18 feet long from north to south, 10 wide, and 20 high. The lower parts of the walls are formed of the great blocks characteristic of the era of Solomon; the upper contain some with rustic work in low relief, which diminishes towards the top of the vault, where the stones are dressed smooth and flat. Hence I consider that the chamber has been restored at different periods; an opinion confirmed by the barrel-vault formed of long oblong stones, skilfully laid with mortar. In the middle of the west wall is an opening leading into a narrow cave, at the western extremity of which a limpid, cool, and abundant spring issues from a natural channel in the rock, which cannot be followed up by reason of its narrowness and the breaks in its level. Where the water runs along the floor, we observe the remains of an ancient canal formed of hard cement, which still exhibits some fragments of earthenware pipes about ten inches in diameter. In the corners of this cave are two other crevices in the rock, from which issue small springs that unite with the former in the middle of the first chamber. In this there is a basin, originally intended to act as a filter, which is now out of repair, and receives the water on its way to the conduit running to the east. Owing to the injuries done by the hand of man, and the accumulation of extraneous substances, a large part of the stream escapes into the ground, and is lost. I have repeatedly visited this place at the various seasons of the year, and have found the fountain flowing most copiously in winter, but there is no deficiency in summer; so that if the reservoirs and conduits were properly kept up, Jerusalem would never be in want of spring-water, and the health and comfort of its inhabitants would be improved by the decrease of fevers, and the increase of cleanliness. The eastern conduit is mainly excavated in the solid rock, especially near its mouth; but the upper part, which is vaulted for the first 20 feet, is then covered with large slabs, as far as the south-west corner of the castle. At first it is 3 feet wide and 4 high, but it gradually becomes narrower and lower as it approaches this corner, and can therefore only be traversed for a distance of 86 feet, when the walls, hewn out of the rock, are replaced by others of masonry, although rock continues to form the bottom of the conduit. This aqueduct, running in a curve from the spring to the castle, empties part of its contents into a round basin, near the north-west corner of the first pool, whence it flows into the pool; so that there is usually water in this even in the height of summer, when the other two are generally dry. Before proceeding to describe the course of the water, both from the round basin and in[Pg 248] other directions, I call attention to the three large reservoirs, which are mainly excavated in the rock, the eastern side alone of each being formed of solid masonry, built in steps externally to resist the pressure of the water. In these walls, and especially in their lower parts, very ancient Jewish work is seen, which may be assigned to the reign of Solomon; not the slightest trace of mortar is visible, and where the wall has been wantonly injured, pieces of iron appear with the holes in the stones for clamps. The walls are now faced with Arab cement (the last was put on in 1857 and 1860); but in places fragments of an ancient compost still remain, so compact and hard that it has withstood the injuries of twenty-nine centuries. The Plan shews the arrangement and dimensions of these reservoirs, and the Section their inclination and respective depths, so that I need not enter into particulars on these points, but only remark that the eastern end of each is connected with a subterranean chamber, wherein we can observe the various channels which have been used, according to circumstances, to augment the outflow of the stream from the upper to the lower reservoir. In these the original vaulting still remains, circular in form and constructed of blocks, built together without mortar; that belonging to the last pool on the east is the largest, from which the conduit starts which goes to the castellum[864], and thence to Jerusalem. We will now return to the first-mentioned conduit. I have already said that the aqueduct from the 'Sealed Fountain' discharges a portion of its waters into the round basin; another portion flows along a covered canal, visible on the surface, which runs along by the side of the three pools, supplying a fountain near the north-east corner of the first of them, and then emptying itself into the castellum just mentioned. In case of too great a quantity of water flowing into the round basin, and being forced back by the first pool becoming full, the overplus is not lost, but escapes through a third aperture into a subterranean chamber, on the west of the basin, and almost united to it, where it joins the stream coming from a very deep spring (not before mentioned), whence it is conducted by a subterranean canal (whether this is artificial or natural I have not been able to decide) to the castellum on the east of the lowest pool. This point I have proved by stopping up the supply of water from the other quarters; an experiment which was witnessed by M. de Barrère and M. E. Meshullam. Another spring also supplies the latter castellum, the stream from which, rising at a distance of about 750 feet, comes down the valley, and runs parallel to the east end of the lowest pool; this is called by the Arabs Ain Atan, and is the best water in Palestine, but is not very abundant, from the way in which the neighbourhood of the source has been cleared of trees. The above-named fountains are not all of those which formerly supported the gardens of Solomon and Jerusalem; two conduits from the south[Pg 249] increased the supply; one of which came from the neighbourhood of Hebron (to the south of the village of Halhul), and flowed into the lowest pool: another, from the mountains near Etham, emptied itself into the first pool. The whole course of these conduits can be traced; but it is sad to see them becoming more and more ruinous every year, when, with little trouble and expense, they could be sufficiently repaired to be of immense benefit to the places through which they run. In case the three pools became full, and the great influx into the lower castellum produced a flood, the water escaped by a canal, following the course of the valley, and flowed into two pools, at some distance apart, smaller than those above: there, no doubt, it was kept to irrigate the gardens below, which may be identified with the 'garden inclosed[865]' of Solomon. The important remains of buildings and pools which M. Meshullam has discovered and laid open, while bringing (most successfully) the ground under cultivation, are proofs of this point. The shape of the lower pools and the materials employed in them shew that they are of the same age as the upper. It is impossible to suppose that these can be the work of any of the conquerors of Palestine, for none of them would have undertaken a work of such magnitude, especially as their mission has always been rather to destroy than to build; neither can we attribute them to Herod, on account of the silence of Josephus, who mentions all his chief works; so that we naturally assign them to the epoch of Solomon. The ability of the engineer who constructed these works is shewn even more in the aqueduct than in the pools, as it falls and rises, winding through valleys and hills on its way from the castellum, until, after a course of about 40,000 feet, it empties itself into the great reservoir in the Valley of Gihon, not far from, and on the north of, the Birket es-Sultan (the ancient Lower Pool), where its waters were allowed to settle. Here the aqueduct was formerly divided into two branches, whereof the one flowed into the pool below, and the other, after crossing the valley, still rises up the side of Sion, and having skirted the eastern slopes above the Tyropœon valley, crosses it and enters Moriah, as I have already described[866]. The whole course of this aqueduct still remains, and we can observe that a large portion of it is hewn in the rock, and covered up with large slabs, while in other parts it is formed of earthenware pipes eight inches in diameter, which are skilfully laid with strong cement between stones cut in a proper shape, and protected above with solid masonry. The various Arab restorations, at different periods, have considerably modified the form of the aqueduct, but nevertheless enough remains to enable us to study its construction. Josephus[867] mentions that Pilate spent the sacred treasure upon an aqueduct, and some have understood from this that he constructed the one of which we speak. I cannot however suppose that the Governor of a province would have been able to carry out[Pg 250] a work of such magnitude; and had it been done, the memory of it would have been preserved by tradition. Josephus, indeed, speaks of the length of the work as 400 stadia, but this, I think, must be a mistake in the manuscripts; 40 would be nearer to the proper amount. The Talmud[868] states that the aqueduct bringing the water into Moriah emptied itself into the 'sea of bronze,' and that the spring from which it was supplied was 23 cubits higher than the pavement of the Temple. This is the actual height of the 'fountain inclosed;' and this aqueduct does communicate, as we have shewn, with the supposed site of the 'sea.' The aqueduct has been restored at various times, since history informs us that Cathuba, Sultan of Egypt, expended large sums in bringing the waters from the vicinity of Hebron to the three pools at Etham; and in the thirteenth century, Sultan Mohammed Ibn-Kelaoun repaired the ancient works of Solomon to convey the water into Moriah, which had been diverted when Saladin broke down the aqueduct, in order to cut off the supply from the Crusaders[869]. The Mohammedan chronicles relate that Solyman the Magnificent went to great expense in restoring it. At a later period, under the government of Kiamil Pasha and Surraya Pasha, in 1856 and in 1860, the waters of Etham were brought into Jerusalem, on which occasion I co-operated with the Turkish engineer, Assad Effendi; but these last repairs have not been permanent, because the fellahîn divert the water for their private purposes, and those whose duty it is to guard the aqueduct are bribed to blindness by a present of a lamb or some money. Until the Governor adopts rigorous measures, the water will be used by the herdsmen, and will not reach the city.

I will now briefly indicate the advantages that the waters of Etham must have produced when they supplied Jerusalem. (1) They filled Birket es-Sultan, or the lower pool, at the southern end of the Valley of Gihon, then irrigated the gardens and fields in the Valley of Hinnom, and afterwards flowed into the Kidron, augmenting its volume and aiding in sweeping away the sewage from the Temple. I have found at certain places in the Valley of Hinnom remains of ancient walls, which I consider to have belonged to pools formed there to keep the water until it was wanted for the neighbouring fields. (2) When the water arrived at the western extremity of the bridge across the Tyropœon, a branch conduit, as I believe, carried a portion of it northward to supply the different fountains, which still exist in the valley, and also to aid in filling the Pool of Bethesda; which however was also supplied by the conduit from the northern valley, and by others from the pool outside S. Mary's Gate, which was filled from the ditch on the north-east outside the city. Hence it appears that the lower city was well provided with water. The works which I have hitherto described could still be restored with the greatest ease,[Pg 251] if the Government chose to expend £7200 in repairing them in different places, and to organize an effective police to guard the aqueduct from injury by any chance comer; a thing at present impossible, owing to the venality of the officials of the Government, and the barbarism of the Arabs. The former, however, is the more insurmountable evil. In 1860 I proposed a plan to Surraya Pasha for securing the water-supply from Etham, and shewed how the expenditure might be repaid by a rate on Jerusalem and Bethlehem (which is on the course of the conduit, and receives benefit from it); this rate would be a positive gain to the inhabitants of the former place, as it would save them from the capricious and exaggerated demands of those who bring water into the city, when the cisterns have failed in a season of drought. He at once perceived the advantages of my plan, but was unable to carry it into effect, as he could not secure the necessary co-operation. A short time since a European engineer proposed to bring the water from Etham to Jerusalem by cast-iron pipes, which were to start from the Tomb of Rachel, on the Bethlehem road, about four miles from Jerusalem, and bring it up to the summit of the tower, which I call Phasaëlus, in the Castle of David, from which the central valley was to be supplied. I am convinced that this plan is impracticable in Palestine, not only from the great expense, but also because the Government could never consent to turn into water-works a place which would be their chief stronghold in case of an insurrection of the Bedouins or fellahîn; besides, the pipes themselves would be eagerly sought after as booty. If it has not been, and is not possible to restore that which now exists, how can anything new be done? Circumstances will alter, and then we may hope that Palestine will advance as Europe is doing; but the good time has not yet come, and still seems to be far distant.

Etham was not the only place that supplied Jerusalem with water; for some came from the west, from the Upper Pool of Gihon (the present Birket Mamillah[870]). From the words of the Bible[871] we should expect that a fountain was in its neighbourhood; but as the ground near is now converted into a Mohammedan cemetery, it is impossible to make any excavations, and I must therefore content myself with explaining what can be seen above ground. The Pool Mamillah has been excavated in the rock; by whom history does not tell us, but it is certainly older than the time of Hezekiah, for Isaiah met Ahaz 'at the end of the conduit of the upper pool[872],' on the occasion of the prophecy, 'Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son.' This pool occupies a favourable position for collecting the water that drains from the slopes of the neighbouring hills in a rainy season. It formerly supplied not only the Pool Amygdalon in the city (as it still does), but also the lower pool in the valley or Birket es-Sultan.[Pg 252] Finding the Pool Mamillah dry in the summer-season, I made a careful examination of it, especially on the western side, to see if I could find any mouths of conduits, but could not discover the slightest trace; so that if there ever were any, they have entirely disappeared under the various restorations that the place has undergone. At the present time its waters are unfit to drink owing to the surrounding cemeteries; but this would not render them less useful to the city, if the pool were put in order so as to prevent the waters from being absorbed by the rubbish which thickly covers the bottom, and from escaping through the crevices in the sides, now unstopped with cement, and if the conduit were properly repaired and protected. Were all these works in good condition, the pool would be filled at the time of the rains, and would supply the Pool Amygdalon[873]; and in that case the two would annually furnish the water required by the bath in the Christian bazaar, and its proprietors be able to make money by selling what they did not require to the builders. It is surprising that the Arabs do not see the advantages that they would gain, especially as the cost of the repairs would not be more than £600.

In my opinion these two pools and their conduit answer to the descriptions given us in various passages of the Bible. We read[874] that when the officers of the king of Assyria arrived with a great host from Lachish, "they came and stood by the conduit of the upper pool, which is in the highway of the fuller's field." Their army must have encamped on the west, and extended as far as the present site of the Latin Convent of S. Saviour, as the position was commanding and well suited for marshalling troops before an attack, and the walls were unprotected by any natural defences. Again, we find[875] that during the conference between the general of Sennacherib and the chief men in Jerusalem, they were within hearing of the men on the wall. So when Sennacherib menaced Jerusalem, Hezekiah[876] "stopped the waters of the fountains which were without the city; repaired Millo in the city of David (the present Amygdalon), and stopped the upper watercourse of Gihon, and brought it straight down to the west side of the city of David." This I understand to mean that Hezekiah wished to deprive the enemy of water, and so enclosed Amygdalon with a wall on the west and north, thus bringing it inside the city, and at the same time constructed the existing conduit to divert the waters from the upper pool and leave it dry. These works must have been executed in haste, and I cannot conceive it possible that they could have been carried into effect in any other part of the environs of Jerusalem, as it would have been a colossal labour to bring a conduit to the western side of the City of David in any other direction, for the hills must have been pierced. It would also have been unnecessary, as the only purpose[Pg 253] was to conduct the water from the upper pool to that within the city. Josephus[877] in speaking of the gate by which the water came into the tower Hippicus, indicates the existence of another conduit. This I suppose to have been a branch of that of Hezekiah. When the foundations of the English church were dug, the remains of a conduit were discovered, which seems to shew that this was the site of one of Herod's palaces, probably that called the Cæsareum. It has been thought that this conduit went as far as Moriah, but I believe that I have found its mouth in the street of David, 'in the going down to Silla[878],' close to the Greek convent of S. John on the south, and that it was a sewer.

At the end of the Valley of Siloam is another means of providing for the wants of the city in the matter of water; that is the well Bir Eyub, the ancient En-rogel, the boundary between the tribes of Judah and Benjamin[879]. It is situated in a deep narrow cleft of the valley, with precipitous mountains on every side; and formerly furnished water to Jerusalem, as it still continues to do, the inhabitants of Siloam driving a brisk trade during the summer droughts. I have already mentioned this well[880], and now proceed to give a more detailed account of it. In the month of October, 1858, Bir Eyub was perfectly dry, and I availed myself of this event, unfortunate for Jerusalem, to descend into it. I reached the bottom, covered with fine sand, and there was able to examine a small cavity in the rock on the west, mentioned by Mejir ed-Din, from which the water flows in the rainy season. It was then completely dry, but I think that a spring formerly issued from it. I believe that the well (108 feet deep) is a cavity naturally worn by the constant flow of the water, but that it has afterwards been dressed with a chisel. It is now rectangular in plan, and gradually diminishes from the top to the bottom; the side walls are formed of large blocks in the lower part; as we ascend their size decreases; small holes occur among these at intervals, through which the rock can be seen, and the water runs into the well[881]. The stones recede, one behind the other, as we ascend, and they are perfectly united without any apparent trace of mortar, and must be bolted together with iron clamps or stone tenons to have enabled them to stand firm during so many centuries, and yet to seem likely to stand for many more. I have no doubt that the masonry is of the highest antiquity. The well is supplied by the rains which, sinking into the surrounding mountainous country, descend naturally to this vault at the lowest level. I have convinced myself of this by careful observation at the rainy seasons, and have ascertained that the well did not begin to fill until the rain had fallen for several days, and that the level of the water was not affected, unless the rain was heavy and continuous. I also found that the well[Pg 254] did not overflow into the Kidron, unless this rain lasted for several days, and that it ceased when the fine weather returned, and a dry wind sprang up. In 1861 the rain was so heavy that the overflow lasted for fifteen days, but during this time there was very little sunshine in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem. The above explanation will, I trust, be satisfactory to all, except the Arabs, who account for the wonder in the following manner[882]: "We all know that the Haram es-Sherîf is constantly guarded by sixty thousand angels. Now, by a decree of Heaven, while the heavenly host watch in prayer around the sacred rock (es-Sakharah), an equal number of evil spirits groan in the depths of the mountain, condemned to support upon their accursed foreheads the weight of the holy edifice, and of the vast plateau that encircles it. The weight is terrible, but the following circumstance is marvellous. Every time that a faithful Mohammedan, after due purification, places his foot upon the ground of the Haram, the weight of his body increases the burden borne by the demons seventy-fold. If the devotees are numerous, if they frequently go to implore the divine mercy in that favoured spot, the sufferings of the fiends are proportionately increased; they burst into tears of grief and rage. The more ardent is the zeal of the believers, the fuller is the reservoir, wherein, drop by drop, the tears of the enemies of God are collected. Hence the abundance or the deficiency of the water in Bir Eyub measures the bounty of the Creator to His creatures. It only depends then on our own prayers to have good harvests, and when drought comes, we ought to accuse ourselves of a lack of devotion." M. Saintine thinks that this account, when stripped of its marvels, denotes that all the water-courses in the city flow into the lower part of the Haram es-Sherîf, and thence are conducted by a conduit into this well. This I cannot admit, because the waters running down the western bank of the Tyropœon follow the course of that valley, and those which fall on the eastern are caught by the reservoirs constructed for that purpose, and the small quantity that escapes, falls, as I have already stated[883], into the Kidron Valley, opposite to the Tomb of Absalom.

Let us now pass on to consider the Fountain of the Virgin, the only useful spring in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem, of which I have already given an account[884], as well as of the upper pool of Siloam, which is supplied by the Fountain; but I have not yet described the phenomenon of its intermittence, the quality of its water, and the conduit connecting the two places. S. Jerome, as I have already observed, and the historians of the Crusades, noticed that the flow of the water was not regular, so that the occurrence is by no means novel. Dr Robinson[885] gives the following account of it: "As we were preparing to measure the basin of the[Pg 255] upper fountain and explore the passage leading from it, my companion was standing on the lower step near the water, with one foot on the step and the other on a loose stone lying in the basin. All at once he perceived the water coming into his shoe; and supposing the stone had rolled, he withdrew his foot to the step; which however was also now covered with water. This instantly excited our curiosity; and we now perceived the water rapidly bubbling up from under the lower step. In less than five minutes it had risen in the basin nearly or quite a foot; and we could hear it gurgling off through the interior passage. In ten minutes more it had ceased to flow; and the water in the basin was again reduced to its former level." I have repeatedly observed the same thing, and for some time was unable to explain it, and therefore questioned the villagers of Siloam, and so learnt, from the more ignorant, the story of the dragon, and from the wiser, that the spring had a flux and reflux like the sea; and they were prepared to instruct me on its periodicity. How I at last discovered the true cause I will relate in speaking of the Hammam es-Shefa. Meanwhile I only mention, as an unquestionable fact, that the phenomenon undoubtedly occurs both in the rainy and dry seasons, but that the supply is greater in the former than in the latter.

The water from the fountain flows into the upper pool of Siloam by means of a subterranean conduit, which follows a winding course in the rock, instead of going directly from north to south. In some places it is not more than 2-1/4 feet high; in others 4 or even 5 feet; and in some parts it is still higher, especially towards the Pool of Siloam. Its width in general is about three feet, but near the southern mouth it increases up to four. It has been hewn out of the rock in a very rude manner, so that I am disposed to attribute it to the age of Solomon; especially as it has been made to convey the water of the Fountain to a place where it was more accessible to the inhabitants of the city, and could be collected in the large reservoirs from which the gardens below, the King's Gardens, were irrigated. In the 17th century a monk, by name Julius, explored the whole of the dark damp passage. After him the Abbé Desmazures, then an Englishman named Hyde, and Drs Robinson and Smith, and also Tobler. I have traversed it several times, the last occasion being in the month of February 1861; but I cannot advise any one to follow my example, as the constant ruin continually increases the difficulty of the undertaking, and there is always danger of the earth falling in at any moment. This conduit explains why the intermittence is observed in Siloam. The general belief in the country is that the source springs from the lower cavities in Mount Moriah (as the river of Ezekiel's vision[886]). I am of the same opinion, but must reserve this point also for my description of the Hammam es-Shefa. The water of the Foun[Pg 256]tain is limpid and slightly brackish; it contains lime, magnesia, and sulphuric acid: its specific gravity is 1.0035: its temperature is usually from 61.25° to 65.75° Fahrenheit. It is only drunk by the inhabitants of Jerusalem when the supplies in their cisterns fail; however, the peasants of Siloam use it for all purposes. Still it is always a boon to the citizens, as it irrigates the gardens of Siloam, which are rendered wonderfully fruitful, besides supplying the tanners and washerwomen, and cattle of all kinds.

I have already identified the Lower Pool of Siloam with the Pool of Solomon, and stated that it now receives the sewage of the city; but it must have been filled from the Upper Pool, and used to regulate the supplies to the gardens, and increase the volume of the stream of the Kidron.

In the neighbourhood of the city, on the north and north-west, remains of conduits are found, by which perhaps water was brought into the city, but I have not been able to discover whence the supply came; and there are, besides, some reservoirs and cisterns, none of which date from a remote period. The most important work, as regards its size, is the pool at the head of the Kidron valley, which I believe to have been constructed solely to collect and preserve the waters for the wants of those who dwelt in the neighbourhood, and to prevent the streams, flowing from the adjoining hill-sides, from being absorbed in the ground. At one time I thought that a subterranean conduit took the water from the pool into the city; but after the most careful examination of the ground in the vicinity, I am able to declare that no such conduit exists. The reasons which have led me to this conclusion will appear in the following account of my investigations. The people of the country had informed me that at night, when the city was perfectly quiet, the noise of flowing water could be heard beneath the Damascus Gate by any one who placed his ear on the ground. I made the experiment several times, and found it to be the case. When I excavated the ancient North Gate (in the foundations of the present Damascus Gate), as I have already described in the second chapter[887], I descended into the cisterns just on the north of the gate, and repeated the experiment at the bottom of them, and here I perceived more distinctly the gurgling of water, which was still more audible after Said Pasha, Commandant of the garrison of Jerusalem, had emptied these two cisterns of the rubbish that encumbered them. It must also be observed that the noise is heard louder after rain than at other times. This, therefore, led me to believe that there was a conduit which transported the water into the city, and consequently I many times made careful investigations in the tract of land between the Kidron Pool and the Damascus Gate; but these all failed in producing the desired result; and after levelling the ground, penetrating into cisterns, and removing ruins, I came to the[Pg 257] conclusion that its existence was impossible; for, if it had been constructed, it must have run at a great depth underground, and been wholly excavated in the rock. A work of this kind, especially for such a distance, would have been too much for Jewish science; for all the other conduits in Palestine which can be assigned to an early period, if not covered with long slabs, as is common, are not much below the level of the ground, so that there are apertures at intervals to give them light. Nor is this the only reason against the existence of a conduit; for in examining the sewer in the Tyropœon valley inside the city, near the Damascus Gate, I obtained permission from the Pasha, when it was repaired, to deepen the excavation, and found no trace of a water-course in the place where it would naturally have run; unless indeed we suppose it to have been made at a greater depth in the rock itself, or to have crossed Bezetha, and come to an end either in Moriah or close to it on the north-west. Consequently I conclude that the gurgling heard at the Damascus Gate proceeds from the sewers in its neighbourhood, which descend from Gareb and Bezetha and unite in the Tyropœon valley.

I terminate the examination of the waters outside the city by observing that the Pilgrim's Pool[888], on the north (which I have already noticed), is insufficiently supplied from the little valley above it, and anciently discharged its waters into the Pool of Bethesda. I also mention again the water dropping from the rock inside the Royal Caverns, which some, who have only seen it in the rainy season and not in the summer when it is dried up, consider to be a spring. I do not think that these two sources contributed greatly in former time to augment the supply of water to the city.

Before the 12th of June, 1860, no other spring was known in Jerusalem than that which rises at the bottom of the well of the Hammam es-Shefa. With regard to this there have been many enquiries as to whence its waters come, by what way they enter Moriah, and whither they go. At the time just mentioned, I discovered the spring on the property of the Daughters of Sion, as I have already described[889]; but about two years previously, in the month of July, I had been called in to examine some water which appeared near Herod's Gate, when the foundations were dug for a large building belonging to Mustafa Bey, which now bears his name. Having premised this, I will state the conclusions at which I have arrived from my investigations at the three places just mentioned, and also give my explanation of the phenomenon of the intermittence of the water in the Fountain of the Virgin.

In the foundation, on the south side of Mustafa Bey's house, at a depth of 22 feet, a quantity of water had appeared during the night and filled the hole. The master-mason and the owner, the sole architects, believed that it had filtered through from[Pg 258] some cistern in the neighbourhood, and therefore set to work to bale it out. When this was done they were very much surprised to see that a thin stream of water, coming from the north-west, continued to fill the place; they therefore deepened the excavation a little, and widened the opening, but they were unable to account for the abundance of the water, which hindered their work. On arriving at the spot I suggested excavating, but the fear of the increased expenditure kept them from agreeing to this; so that, under the circumstances, I had no other means of ascertaining anything, than examining a number of cisterns which were in the neighbourhood; and after tasting the water in them, and comparing it with that in the hole, I found that the latter was of the same quality as that in the Hammam es-Shefa and the Fountain of the Virgin; and then I began to believe that it came from a spring. The owner of the place consented to suspend the works in this part for eight days, but I could not prevail on him to permit me to make any excavation near the place on the north-west; and during this time the water flowed through a canal which I had constructed for it. After building two massive piers on each side of the stream and turning a strong arch over it, the works proceeded; so that the stream ran away to the south, without our having found a solution of the problem; but I have no doubt that careful investigation would have revealed the spring-head close by on the north-west.

The discovery of June 12th, and the identity in taste and colour between the water then found and that of which I have spoken, caused me to examine the part of the city between the two points; and though the Arab houses in this district caused many difficulties, I succeeded in ascertaining that in this direction there were cisterns, into which water found its way, similar to that at the spring, and consequently not fit for all the purposes of life. From this I concluded that the two springs must be connected, and the upper supply the lower. But still there was the question, what became of all the water which issued from the spring at the Convent of the Daughters of Sion? At the first moment I was disposed to think that it flowed into the subterranean gallery, in the direction of the north-west corner of the Haram es-Sherîf; but my observations have brought me to the conclusion that it goes into the well of the Hammam es-Shefa, as I will now shew.

The stream flowed naturally to the south, therefore I carefully probed all the western wall on the inside of the gallery to see if the water passed along by it; but I found no signs, and so perceived that the conduit from the spring had turned away in another direction. Though the gallery was almost free from water in August, and quite dry in September and October, the stream still flowed abundantly; so that had it run along the gallery, it could not have escaped my observation. Still it might have been objected, that possibly the stream was absorbed and its course concealed by the earth at the bottom of the gallery, so I dammed up the waters until a kind of[Pg 259] pool was formed, and then set them free on a sudden; but not a drop appeared in the gallery; so that I thought that they must go into the Hammam es-Shefa. I consider the water in this well to be the same as that which supplies the Fountain of the Virgin, for the following reasons. The quality of the water is the same; and though that in the well is rather turbid and that in the Fountain is clear, I attribute this solely to the presence of rubbish in the well, the waters of which are afterwards filtered during their course. The water in the well has for a long time supplied a bath built over it, as it still does. Traditions point it out as ancient, and the Talmud[890] appears to confirm them, saying, that "the well was excavated by the children of the captivity, and the priests drew water from it by means of a pulley." We may therefore suppose that the Jews used to purify themselves here, before entering the Temple, as the Mohammedans still do on their festival days, before they go into the Haram es-Sherîf. This bath is the cause of the intermittence of the stream in the Fountain of the Virgin, for at certain periods of the day its keepers use the water for the purposes of the establishment, and consequently not only prevent it from rising high enough to reach the level of the conduit carrying it off to the Kidron Valley, but also empty the well, so that it requires some time to fill again. As this is done twice in every twenty-four hours, the phenomenon of intermittence occurs just as often. This I have proved by repeated observations and trials, and I recommend any one who seeks for a more marvellous cause to follow my example. The quantity of water in the well is hardly affected by the rains. The dirty water from the bath is carried by a conduit into the sewer in the Tyropœon valley, and aids in transporting the filth therein outside the city.

Let us now devote a few lines to the pools inside the city, which I have already mentioned. Near the Jaffa Gate, on the north, is a small pool, which many have supposed to be the one in which Bathsheba was bathing when she was seen by David[891]; but I believe the desire of assigning a legend to every spot to be the sole authority for the tradition. I have not been able to examine this reservoir, but the Greeks, to whom it belongs, and who have filled it with earth to prevent its becoming a receptacle of filth, have, with many other of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, assured me that it was very narrow, and that the workmanship in it did not correspond with that of the Jewish era, but with that of Saladin or Solyman; also that it had no connexion with the other ancient water-works.

With regard to the Pool Amygdalon, so often mentioned, I have to remark that many of the cisterns, excavated in the upper city, are filled from it, among which I may especially denote that which commonly bears S. Helena's name, near the north-east corner of the Church of the Resurrection. On this point there cannot be[Pg 260] any doubt, since before the Coptic hospice was erected on the northern side of Amygdalon, a large conduit was visible near its north-east corner, which had been observed by several of the older masons. Besides this, the waters of the pool were certainly directed into the different sewers in the upper city in order to cleanse them; as we may still see in part, for the water which has been used for the bath, is conveyed by a conduit into the sewer in the street of David.

The Cistern of S. Helena has, as I believe, been sometimes called the Cistern of Golgotha, and it has been said that anything light cast into it appeared again in Siloam. I do not believe that this was the case, but if the identification be correct, it might occur in the following manner; that if the water in the cistern rose above a certain height it might escape by a waste pipe, on the south-east of the cistern, into the central sewer in the Tyropœon, and thus, when there was a large surplus of water, might easily descend to Siloam, bearing any floating substance along with it. There are many other cisterns in the neighbourhood of the Holy Sepulchre which I have examined, but these do not help me to an explanation of the matter, as their waste pipes are but small.

I return to the Pool of Bethesda[892], to direct attention to the Herodian masonry, which was certainly either built or repaired at the erection of the Antonia. The stones which rest on the levelled rock are perfectly united together in the following way: on the outer surface of one stone is a rectangular mortise, into which fits a corresponding tenon, left projecting from a stone with all its faces regularly squared, and of somewhat smaller size than the first mentioned. Thus, when a row[893] was finished the outer stones were about two inches apart, and so the whole wall resembled a chess-board, all the squares being separated by channels running horizontally and vertically. These intervals were filled with very strong masonry; and in order that the water might not possibly find its way through the joinings of the inner stones, after the surface was thus made level, the whole was covered with a strong cement. The position of the pool shews that it was not only formed for the service of the Temple, but also for its defence. This work, which could so easily be made again fit for use, is, on the contrary, rapidly falling to ruin, being utterly neglected, like all the other works of antiquity.

There were some other pools inside the city—for example one, where the barrack of the Haram[894] now stands; another, on the south of the property of the Armenian Convent, which I myself have examined; but of these every trace has now disappeared; and I only mention them to shew how much better the city was supplied with water in former times by means of proper contrivances.

I have already explained[895] how the inhabitants now provide themselves with water,[Pg 261] and will only add that, of the 992 cisterns in Jerusalem and its vicinity, the greater number are ancient, and are excavated in the rock. In them the water would keep excellently, if proper attention were paid to them, so that the city would never fall short; but they too are neglected; and consequently there is in many years a want of water, a great quantity of which is either absorbed by the ground and lost, or runs into the sewers, which are in even worse repair, and, or lastly, floods the streets, to the inconvenience of passengers, and the injury of the public health.

I conclude by remarking that, although Jerusalem is situated in a position where limestone rocks abound, and where springs of drinkable water are not to be found, (there being but one which could be used, even in extremity,) the city has never suffered from thirst in all the numerous sieges which it has undergone. The besiegers, however, have almost always been reduced to great straits from this cause; for example, the armies of Pompeius, of Antiochus Eupator, and of the Crusaders. Josephus, indeed, says that the Roman troops under Titus did not want water, but this is in a speech addressed to his fellow-citizens, when he is exhorting them to submit in order to avoid a more miserable fate; and he brings forward this unwonted circumstance as a sign that heaven had abandoned them, just as had happened when the city was besieged by Nebuchadnezzar. Still great distress, according to Dio Cassius[896], did prevail among the Roman army. The inhabitants, however, never felt any such want; their miseries always arose from hunger; and William of Tyre[897] expressly states that when the army of Godfrey of Bouillon entered Jerusalem they found plenty of water. From the earliest period the supply appears to have been well maintained; and it is to be hoped that some person or other will before long restore the city to its former condition; and by repairing the ancient water-works render it no longer dependent on the rains. Woe betide Jerusalem if showers should fail during two years in succession!

FOOTNOTES:

[860] Eccl. ii. 4, 6.

[861] Ant. VIII. 7, § 3.

[862] Plate X.

[863] Cant. iv. 12.

[864] The reservoirs constructed at certain points along the course of an aqueduct to regulate the supply of water.

[865] Cant. iv. 12.

[866] Page 100.

[867] Ant. XVIII. 3, § 2; Jewish War, II. 9, § 4.

[868] Joma, fol. 31. 1.

[869] Greg. Abulpharagii seu Barhebræi Chronicum Syriacum, ed. G. G. Kirsch. Lips. 1789. 2 Vols. 4to.

[870] Plate LXII.

[871] 2 Chron. xxxii. 30.

[872] Isai. vii. 3.

[873] Plate XXXI.

[874] 2 Kings xviii. 17.

[875] 2 Kings xviii. 18, 26, 28.

[876] 2 Chron. xxxii. 3, 4, 5, 30.

[877] Jewish War, V. 7, § 3.

[878] 2 Kings xii. 20.

[879] Josh. xv. 7; Plate XLVIII.

[880] Page 188.

[881] Plate X.

[882] I avail myself of the words of M. Saintine (Trois ans en Judée, p. 132), as I was in his company when an old Sheikh told us the story.

[883] Page 92.

[884] Page 184.

[885] Biblical Researches, Vol. I. p. 506 (1st ed.).

[886] Ezek. xlvii.

[887] Page 36.

[888] Page 14.

[889] Page 63.

[890] Gloss. in Mishnajoth in Octav. in Midd. Perek. 5.

[891] 2 Sam. xi. 2-4.

[892] Plate XVI.

[893] See Plate X. fig. 6.

[894] Jewish War, V. 11, § 4.

[895] Page 14.

[896] Dio Cassius, LXIV. 4.

[897] Lib. VIII. c. 24, G. D. p. 761.


[Pg 262]

CHAPTER IX.

GENERAL REMARKS UPON THE PRESENT STATE OF THE CITY OF JERUSALEM.

In the previous chapters I have put forward the results of my researches upon the topography, antiquities, and principal edifices of Jerusalem. I now proceed to give a general idea of those things which a person intending to reside there, or even to visit it, would wish to know; and I commence by giving some information which may be useful to the traveller. Jaffa is the seaport at which most persons, who intend to visit Jerusalem, land. The distance between the two places is about 28-1/2 miles. The mournful aspect of the former city generally drives away visitors after they have made a short stay and hastily traversed a few filthy streets; but those who wish to spend a longer time and carefully examine the antiquities of the place, or repose after their voyage, will find two tolerably comfortable hotels. Besides these, the Latin convent of the Franciscans entertains gratuitously all who apply without regard to their religious opinions. Nor do the Greeks and Armenians refuse to receive strangers, though they are established especially for the members of their own communities. An inn or the Latin convent is most convenient for a European. Consular agents of different nations reside in the town, and shew the greatest courtesy and attention to travellers; and through their dragomans or cavas (consular guards), or through the servants of the convent, one can obtain horses without fear of being cheated. A three hours' ride along an excellent road takes the traveller to Ramleh, a town without any inns; but where he can pass the night in either the Latin, Greek, or Armenian convents, and on the morrow pursue his course with the same horse to Jerusalem, where he will arrive after a journey of eight or nine hours. I do not mention the price of the bridle, saddle, and other necessaries of the journey, as these vary with time and circumstances.[Pg 263]

In Jerusalem there are two inns kept by honest people; those, however, who prefer availing themselves of the hospitality of the convents can do so; but should of course make an offering before leaving, according to their circumstances. This, however, is never demanded; nor will the person who does not choose, or is unable to present it, be the less kindly treated on that account. From the instant of his arrival the traveller is pestered with interpreters and ciceroni. These it is imprudent to engage without previous enquiries at their Consulate, or from the Head of the religious community to which they belong; so too with those who offer themselves to take charge of a caravan, or act as escorts on journeys to the Jordan or Dead Sea, or other parts of Palestine. The bargain should be struck with responsible chiefs alone, at the Consulate, and all the conditions of the engagement should be clearly stated in writing, so that no disputes may afterwards arise. Persons who let out horses are not slow to offer themselves; but I recommend the traveller to make good use of his judgment before hiring a horse for a long period. After carefully examining it and its harness, it is necessary to put down on paper all the terms of the agreement, in the presence of two witnesses, to avoid having constant recourse to the Consul's office. Generally, however, oral evidence is more esteemed in the East than documentary, because the sense of words in a writing can be easily altered.

In case the traveller wishes to change money, let him beware of the petty money-changers in the bazaars, and go to the banks recommended by his Consul, or by the Head of his religious community. In buying anything from Arab dealers, unless accompanied by an honest guide, the stranger is always liable to be cheated, and to pay double the proper value, because it is usual for his conductor to receive a percentage on what his master spends. Most of all, distrust the itinerant dealers who call at private houses, or who are found in the lobbies of convents, hospices, and inns, or in the court before the Church of the Resurrection.

Any one who wishes to make a long stay at Jerusalem, and to hire a house, should not treat with a factotum, but with some person in whom he can place confidence. He will then get what he requires much more cheaply. Before signing the contract he should ascertain the state of the cisterns and their contents, the conduits, and the offices, unless he wishes to find himself without water, or with leaky drains that will make his house smell like a sewer. Let him also beware of foes, that lie hid by day, but issue forth by night to murder sleep. Take care that all defects observed in the scrutiny are at once repaired, for as soon as the rent is paid, the proprietor will hold himself free to do nothing, and will find a thousand pretexts to save himself from spending a farthing, even though he be ordered to do it by the authorities. The terrace-roofs are always in bad repair, so they must not be forgotten. Let not a mistaken notion of economy induce[Pg 264] the visitor to take an old house; for in that case it is necessary to be always erecting barriers against the rats and snakes, which the Arabs call the friends of the house, and many other invaders. No one should hire a servant without a character from a person of credit; and constant watchfulness is necessary, especially when the domestics have the purchase of provisions in their own hands: adu