Imagens das páginas

occupies more than one half of the volume. The topics discussed under this division are the local features of the city and its environs, its various quarters as mentioned in the Bible and by Josephus, its walls, towers, gates, castles, citadels, fortresses, palaces, tombs and sepulchral monuments, the temple, the fountains, aqueducts and reservoirs, and the changeful fortunes of the city under Pagan, Moslem, and Christian domination. Dr. Barclay is, we believe, the only writer who has attempted to identify every locality of ancient Jerusalem upon the surface of the present city and its surrounding ruins. In his catalogue of names and his array of arguments and measurements, he exhibits an enthusiasm worthy of all praise; but his anxiety to make this identification complete, sometimes leads him to hasty assumptions and untenable positions, which impair the confidence of the reader in his conclusions.

This plan, moreover, compels the author to enter largely into minutia? that can interest only the scholar, while yet his work does not present the scholarly attractions of profound learning and cultivated style. Uncouth phrases, cumbersome sentences, an occasional grandiloquence of fancy or unseemly witticism, detract from the literary merit of a book, faultless in mechanical execution. But the preface of the author would disarm mere verbal criticism, if the greatness of his theme and the service he has rendered it, did not forbid this. Dr. Barclay's compendium of ancient writers upon Jerusalem will be found of value to the general reader; and his minute description of the city as it now is, will interest readers of every class. But we are chiefly concerned with those investigations and discoveries which relate to the topography of Jerusalem and the line of its defences in the time of our Saviour.

Before analyzing the contributions of Dr. Barclay towards a solution of this vexed question, it will be well to inquire what points in the topography of Jerusalem may be regarded as settled. As the ground-plan of our inquiry, we take the well known description of Josephus.1

[ocr errors]

"The city was fortified by three walls, except where it was encircled by impassable ravines; for in that part there was but one wall. It was built upon two hills, one part facing the other, (iunmpiaanoi, face to face,) separated by an intervening valley, at which, one upon another, (i.e.crowded together) the houses ended. Of these bills, tliat on which the upper city stood was much the higher, and straighter in its length. Accordingly, on account of its strength, it was called the fortress by King David, the father of Solomon, by whom the temple was originally built; but by us it is called the upper market place. The other hill, called Akra, which sustains the lower city, is curved on each side (in<piKupTos, gibbous). Over against this was a third hill, naturally lower than Akra, and formerly separated from it by another broad ravine. Afterwards, however, when the Asmoneans were in power, desiring to connect the city with the temple, they filled in this ravine, and cutting down the summit of Akra, they reduced its elevation, so that the temple might appear above it. The valley called Tyropa-on [the valley of the cheese-makers], which we have said separated the hill of the upper city from that of the lower, extends as far as Siloam; for so we call a fountain whose waters are both sweet and abundant. From without [i. e. exterior to the city] the two hills of the city were encom- passed by deep ravines, and because of the precipices on both sides there was nowhere any approach."

In the succeeding chapter of the same book, Josephus thus describes the hill upon which the temple was built: ,

"The temple, as I have said, was seated on a strong hill. Originally, the level space on its summit scarcely sufficed for the sanctuary and the altar, the ground about being abrupt and steep. But king Solomon, who built the sanctuary, having completely walled up the eastern side, a colonnade was built upon the embankment. On the other sides the sanctuary remained exposed. In process of time, however, as the people were constantly adding to the embankment, the hill became level and broader. They also threw down the northern wall, and enclosed as much ground as the circuit of the temple at large subsequently occupied. After having surrounded the hill from the base with a triple wall, and accomplished a work which surpassed all expectation—a work on which long ages were consumed, and all their sacred treasures exhausted, though replenished by the tributes offered to God from every region of the world, they built the upper boundary walls and the lower court of the temple.

"The lowest part of the latter they built up from a depth of three hundred cubits, and in some places more. The entire depth of the foundations, however, was not discernible; for with a view to level the streets of the town, they filled up the ravines to a considerable extent. There were stones used in the building which measured forty cubits; for so ample wa? the supply of money and such the zeal of the people, that incredible success attended the undertaking; and that of which hope itself could not anticipate the accomplishment, was by time and perseverence completed."

From the foregoing description it would seem that if we can identify any two of the hills named, we have the third. Thus, if we can identify Zion and the temple-hill, then the hill which directly faces Zion upon the north, and is divided from it by a ravine, and which also stands " over against" the temple-hill, but with traces of another intervening ravine, must of course be Acra, and no hill which does not at once face Zion and the temple-hill, as a natural prominence distinct from either, can properly claim that name. The geographical characteristics so clearly marked by Josephus, must be first sought for as the basis of all identification. If we except the theory of Schwartz and of some resident savans of Jerusalem, to be noticed presently, there is little diversity among writers on the topography of Jerusalem, as to the identity and the general boundaries of Zion. Williams makes Zion identical with the Armenian and Jewish quarters of the present city, together with the parts of the hill lying without the walls, to the south and east. He also regards the northwestern tower of the modern citadel at the Jaffa gate, as occupying the site of the tower of Hippicus, which stood "at the northwest angle of the wall of Zion."1

There is a like agreement as to the site of the temple. Indeed Mr. Williams observes that " this site has the singular good fortune to be the only one of all the sacred localities in Jerusalem whose identity has not been disputed in modern times. It is universally agreed that the hill now occupied by the mosque of Omar and its surrounding courts, is the mountain of the Lord's house." a

But Mr. Williams makes what Dr. Robinson and nearly all recent authorities regard as Bezetha, the Acra of Josephus, and the valley running down from the Damascus gate to the pool of Siloam, the Tyropceon.8 He does not however, with Schwartz, extend the area of Zion so as to include any part of the hill which Robinson regards as Acra,

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

but makes this only the termination of the rocky ridge sometimes called mount Gihon. The precise difference between Williams and Robinson—whom we select as the strongest representatives of two opposing theories — may be comprehended at a glarice upon any map of modern Jerusalem. Both agree that Zion, so far as it is enclosed within the present wall, is the area of the Armenian and Jewish quarters. Both also agree that the Temple-hill, sometimes called Moriah, is represented by the present enclosure of the Haram es-Sherif, or mosque of Omar. But Robinson identifies Acra mainly with the modern Christian quarter,while Williams makes Acra identical with the Mohammedan quarter — the Bezetha of Robinson, and leaves the Christian quarter entirely without the plot of the city as it stood in the time of Christ. But Williams's theory of Acra is disproved by the course given to the second wall, upon his own map, as compared with the testimony of the Jewish historian. Josephus states that " the city was built upon two hills, face to face (avTinrpoaayrros), separated by an intervening valley, at which, one upon another, the houses ended." This accords with the terse and graphic picture of Tacitus. "Duos colles, immensum editos, claudebant muri per artem obliqui, aut introrsus sinuati, ut latera oppugnantium ad ictus patescerent." >

The valley which separated the hill of the upper city (Zion) from that of the lower (Acra), Josephus calls the Tyropceon. But Mr. Williams, while he rejects Robinson's theory of Acra, yet runs his second wall across the slope of that same hill, and across what he calls the Tyropceon, so that his Tyropceon nowhere separates Zion from Acra, the "upper city" from the "lower," but divides the Lower. Neither do Zion and his Acra come, anywhere, face to face on opposite sides of his Tyropceon valley; only the northeastern corner of the upper city stands diagonally opposite to the south-western corner of the lower city, at a considerable distance from it. This cannot meet the bold outline sketched by Josephus. Mr. Williams denies that the ridge

1 Hist. V. 11.

directly north of Zion, lying between the Jaffa and Damascus gates was Acra. He maintains that the Tyropceon ran from the Damascus gate along the eastern side of that hill and the eastern side of Zion, down to the pool of Siloam. He avers that "during fourteen months' residence in Jerusalem, he could never find any traces of the valley which Dr. Robinson calls the Tyropceon," viz. a valley running eastward from the Jaffa gate between Zion and the present Christian quarter. And yet Williams draws his own line of the second wall midway across this very hill which he declares is not Acra, and carries it along on the western side of what he calls the Tyropceon, and thus throws that valley entirely within the Lower city, except where it separates Zion from Moriah. But Josephus describes this valley as between the Upper city and the Lower, which confronted each other across its chasm.

There are other points in which Mr. Williams is inconsistent with Josephus and with himself. When he wishes to locate the Tyropceon according to his theory, he asserts that there are "no traces of a valley" from the Jaffa gate eastward; but when his object is to locate the gate Gennath, according to his theory of the second wall, far to the east of Hippicus, he makes much of the statement of Josephus that "the northern brow of Zion was a rocky eminence thirty dibits high;" 1 which of course implies a depression beneath the brow of the hill. For another purpose he alludes to the fact that in making excavations for the foundation of the English church near the Jaffa gate, rubbish was removed to the depth of forty feet. This surely is one trace of a valley in that quarter. The old chapel of St. John, exhumed from a depth of thirty feet below the Jaffa-gate street, proves the same thing.

The conjecture which Mr. Williams makes as to the course of the second wall, is also at variance with Josephus. He says: "Let us suppose the gate Gennath in the northern wall of Zion somewhere near the entrance to the bazaars from the west, and the second wall commencing here

1 Holy City, p. 261.

« AnteriorContinuar »