Imágenes de página



more populous and extensive. The twelfth, fourteenth, and fifteenth sovereigns of the house of Judah occupied themselves in the extension of the walls to the south-east, to the north, and to the north-east. Jotham * built much on the wall of

Ophel.' Hezekiah built † another wall without.' Manasseh built a wall † ‘without the City of David on the west side of •Gihon in the valley, unto the entering in at the Fish Gate; • and compassed about Ophel, and raised it up, a very great height.' To these kings we must attribute the wall which has been traced for some 700 feet to the south of the southeast angle of the Haram, the wall in prolongation of the Haram wall to the north, the scarped ditch at the north-east angle of the city wall, and the prodigious rock-cut ditch which is described by Strabo as 250 feet wide and 60 feet deep; and which is traceable, in several places, without the existing northern wall of the city.

From the reign of Manasseh to the fall of Jerusalem before the Chaldeans, no extension of the area of the city is recorded, or, indeed, is likely to have taken place. The account of the wall which was rebuilt by the Governor Nehemiah agrees very exactly with the perimeter of that which we have indicated as completed by King Manasseh. In distinct points of this wall are to be found those unmistakeable signs of a hasty reconstruction upon ancient foundations, to which we shall presently refer. The demolitions and the reconstructions that took place during the rule of the Asamonean princes and high priests, and their predecessors of the house of Zadoc, were important and repeated; but the very account of the struggles of the time precludes the idea of extension of area. Simon the Just, the grandson of Jaddua, is referred to in the Book of Ecclesiasticus as rebuilding the fortress wall of the Temple. Jonathan, the 53rd high priest, built an interior wall to shut off Akra from Sion, the remains of which may yet be discovered. || But under the reign of the magnificent Herod, and his immediate successor, the population so far increased as to induce Agrippa to lay out the third wall, { which, including the fourth or northern hill, added a new quarter to the city.

To the forces of Titus, advancing, as military reasons rendered advisable, from the north, three walls were opposed.** They protected Antonia, the Temple, and the upper city.

* Par. II. xxvii. 3. | Par. II. xxxiv. 14. § Eccles. I. 2.

Ant. V. iv. 2.

† Par. II. xxxii. 5. Strabo, B. xvi. p. 763.

|| Ant. xiii. 5, 11. ** Bell. V. vii. 3, et seq.

[merged small][graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]

The first of these, the wall of Agrippa, was taken on the 15th day of the siege, and was then levelled with the ground; as were the buildings yet standing in the north quarter of the city. The second wall, corresponding to that erected in the 3rd and 4th centuries of the Jewish occupation of the site, was taken on the 20th day. The third wall was turned, and ceased to be a line of defence when, on the 92nd day, Titus became master of the courts of the Temple. On the 97th day, the Romans burnt the lower city, as far as Siloam. On the 102nd day they erected banks against the west side of the upper city, by the royal palace; and on the 7th of Elul, the 119th day of the siege, this western wall was overthrown, and resistance was at an end.

The exact course of the internal wall, which was turned by the capture of the Temple enclosure on which it abutted, has been more fiercely debated than almost any point in the topography of Jerusalem. In presence of the historic view of the gradual growth of the city, the position of this line is a matter of minor importance. But hopes have been expressed, by persons slenderly acquainted with either the local or the historic facts, that a line of wall might be discovered lying somewhere between the Temple and the Latin Church of the Holy Sepulchre, so as to admit of that site being considered in some way exterior to the city. Josephus, however, tells us that the third wall stretched from the tower Hippicus to the west cloister of the Temple, passing the Xystus.* Of this place of exercise we first hear as having been built by Jason, in the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes, † “under the tower itself;' and the gates which led to it from the mountain were to the west of the Inner Sanctuary, so that it must have been north of the northern causeway leading from the Temple to Acra.

Hippicus was situated at the junction of the walls of Solomon and of Agrippa.f The only part of the walls of the city which Titus left standing was that on the west. If this coincided, as can hardly be doubtful, with the line of the existing wall, the only point which fulfils the stratigraphical conditions stated by Josephus is the north-western salient of the city walls, north of the Jaffa Gate; where megalithic ruins exist. These facts seem to indicate that the line of the third wall ran somewhere between the Kalat al Jalud, and the Bab an Nazir. It must not be confounded with the wall built by Simon and Jonathan,ş during the high priesthood

[ocr errors]

* Bell. V. iv. 3. † Bell. V. iv. 3.

† Mac. II. iv. 9-12. § Ant. XIII. v. 14.

[ocr errors]

of the latter, in the midst of the city, to cut off the market• place from the garrison'—that is to say, between Sion and Akra, or possibly round the Greek citadel; since the wall built by David, as we have seen,* included the latter quarter.

From a bird's-eye view of the site of Jerusalem it is easy to recognise the four hills described by Josephus. Moriah, the mountain of the Temple, is at once unmistakeable; surrounded as it yet is by its colossal wall, and covering a space which, if it were quite rectangular, would measure some 320 yards from east to west, and 527 yards from north to south. The summit, the Sacred Rock, is 2,440 feet above the level of the Mediterranean. To the south-west of this Great Altar Mountain lies the elliptical Hill of Sion, with its scarped defences. Josephus speaks of its height as dominating Moriah; and the level gives it as 110 feet above the Sakrah. The contour of the third hill, Akra, west of the Temple and north of Sion, is much disguised by the enormous mass of rubbish which bas choked the ravines and city ditch. We are told by Josephus that its summit originally overlooked the Temple, but that it was reduced by Simon Maccabeus. It is at present 66 feet above the Sakrah, or 2,506 feet above the Mediterranean; but it is generally raised by débris, which, in the Tyropæon valley, fill a depth of from 60 to 90 feet. It may be noted that Dr. Lightfoot, whose very few errors have been implicitly adopted by writers who have neither his learning nor his candour, speaks of Sion as north of the Temple. But in the same breath he laments the want of a map; and admits that he draws the inference only from the second verse of the 48th Psalm; which, if it have any topographical reference at all, bears, with more propriety, an opposite sense.

On the site of Bezetha, the fourth and northernmost hill, little exploration has been attempted. Less rubbish is to be encountered here than in the other parts of the city; as the demolition effected by Pompey and by Titus had not here been preceded by the ruthless ravages of the Chaldeans. At the north-western angle of the area old foundations exist. It was at the north-west angle, the wall of Agrippa, that the tower Psephinus was situated, over against Hippicus. The level at this spot is 2,564 feet above the Mediterranean. At the parallel salient of the present wall it is 2,581 feet.

The identification of the four hills on which lay the Jerusalem of the Idumean kings leads to that of the gates mentioned in the Bible, the Talmud, and the works of Josephus. These gates form three distinct groups or categories; being those of the City, of the Mountain of the House, and of the Sanctuary, or inner courts of the Temple. Of the six existing gates of the city three only can be identified with as many out of the seven of Herodian Jerusalem. The Sheep Gate, the Fish Gate, and the Western Gate (whether it was the Porta Vetus or the Porta Ephraim), are now known as the St. Stephen's, the Damascus, and the Jaffa Gates. The Bab as Zahiré, or Gate of Herod, now closed, tells of its date by its title, but is not mentioned by the earlier writers. The two gates in the present south wall, which is built far within the limits of the ancient defence of Sion, serve the

* Ant. VII. ii. 1.

purpose of the Valley Gate, the Dung Gate, and the Gate of the Fountain, of the wall of Nehemiah; the exact sites of which will be, no doubt, fixed when funds are forthcoming to allow of the prosecution of the survey, according to the simple but exhaustive project drawn up by Lieutenant Conder. Eighteen gates or entrances, open or closed, exist in the outer wall of the Noble Sanctuary. Of these Gates of the Mountain of the House the Talmud specifies five. There is reason to believe that they are specially referred to as being approached by bridges. On the western side the only double gate is still thus approached. On the eastern side Maimonides * states that this was the

On the south and north the inclination of the ground is such as to have rendered some such expedient necessary. Through the eastern gate, over the arched causeway, the Talmud † describes the procession of the high priest to the Mount of Olives, for the sacrifice of the red heifer. There is no ground for hesitation in identifying the only eastern gate of the Haram, the Golden Gate. Its antiquity is proved by the exact interval it occupies in the wall, as well as by

egalithic remains; in spite of the later Roman work which has been visibly patched on to it. It is referred to in the Bible under different names; as the Gate Miphkad, the Gate of Judgment, and the Gate behind the Guard. It is the Porta Čustodiæ of Jerome; and has been an important feature of the Temple system from the very first.

On the south wall some of the original megalithic work of the two Huldah or · Weasel' Gates, one of which is triple and the other double, is yet in situ. Their level is that of the Great Course hereafter to be described. The adit from the triple gate leads to the Water Gate of the Inner Sanctuary;


* In Shekalim, iv. 8.

† Middoth, i. 3.

« AnteriorContinuar »