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IDENTITY OF THE SACRED PLACES.
that fills the coffers of the convents. The Latins, or Roman Catholics, at present hold the ceremony in extreme contempt; but we must bear in mind that this mockery was originally their own invention, and the deception was practised by them with full force about four centuries ago. Since the occurrence of the catastrophe I have mentioned, there has been an open space left in the fan-light of the dome, and the doors of the church are not now closed as they were before, when the people have assembled.
Having now conducted my readers to what is, for many, one of the chief objects of attraction in the Holy Land; given the simple narrative of its present state and appearance; and stated some of the feelings that I experienced during my visits to it, it may be asked, has not this place called Calvary, and the Holy Sepulchre, been long since proved to be nothing more than a fable got up by the Empress Helena, and propagated by credulous travellers, and is after all but the imposition of ignorant and superstitious monks?
To discuss the varied and conflicting opinions upon this much mooted and warmly contested topic, would far exceed the limits of my narrative, or the extent of my reading ; nevertheless, I shall in the two next chapters offer a few remarks upon the objections brought against the validity or identity of Calvary and The Tomb, and which, though they may not possess the same argumentative force of others who have written on the subject, yet will have at least the value of having been formed from actual observation on the spot, unbiassed, I trust, by either the credulity of Sandys, the enthusiasm of Chateaubriand, the poetry of Lamartine, or the traditionary legends of modern monks and pilgrims.
Topography of Jerusalem— Mode of Constructing Maps-Opinions of Clarke and Buckingham
Plans of Mr. Catherwood-Description of the hills on which the city stands — The Streams and Valleys–Map of the Author-History of the several Cities on this Spot-Salem-Derivation of JerusalemSion---Building of the Temple--Destruction by Nebuchadnezzar-Rebuilt by Zerubbabel-Agrippa's Wall round Bezetha - Errors in Topography - Descriptions of Jose. phus-Acra and Moriah--The Three Walls—Tower of Hippicus-Circuit of the Ancient City -Tower of Antonia—Tower of Psephinus-The Royal Sepulchres-Walls of NehemiahDescription of the Gates and Fountains—Establishment of their Sites—The Armoury-Existing Remains of the Ancient City-Cyclopean Work— The Outer Enclosure of the TempleMourning Israelites-Berca Solymon-Bridge to the Xistus-Similarity of Architecture-Authority of Ancient Writers-Circumference of the Ancient and Modern City, Ælia Capitolina.
In considering the question proposed in the last chapter, regarding the identity of Calvary and the Holy Sepulchre, we find that so much depends upon the position which the ground now covered by the church of the sepulchre occupied in relation to the walls of the ancient city, that it necessarily becomes mixed up with the topography of Jerusalem at the time of the crucifixion. For this reason, the same arguments and observations that are applicable to the one case, become, if true, the proofs of the other. In order that we may enter upon this subject of the topography with advantage, we must first endeavour to trace out the original form of the ground before any city whatever was built upon it; and at the same time cast a rapid glance over the history of Jerusalem, from the earliest period that historic record bears upon the subject.
I may remark, by way of preface to the subsequent inquiry, that both these questions, of the topography of the ancient city, and of the identity of the Holy Sepulchre, are still undecided, and that the minds of many eminent scholars, travellers, and antiquaries are by no means made up upon them.
Up to the period of D'Anville's treatise, “Sur l'Ancienne
TOPOGRAPHY OF ANCIENT JERUSALEM.
Jerusalem,” in 1747,* the maps of the ancient city were for the most part constructed at home, by persons who had never seen the places to which they attempted to give a precise locality. Pococke and Chateaubriand have, however, fixed the localities of many of the places mentioned in Scripture. These, with the labours of Reland and D'Anville, give us a very tolerable outline of Jerusalem and its vicinity.
Several of these plans have since been called in question, and endeavoured to be upset by Dr. E. D. Clarke, in order to make the plan which he adopted agree with his ideas concerning the falsity or apocryphal site of the places called Calvary and the Holy Sepulchre. His views have in turn been questioned; but the opponents of Dr. Clarke, powerful and accurate in some respects though they be, have become liable to the objections urged against the map-makers, in that they had never visited these places themselves.
In later years, Mr. Buckingham has entered the field as a scientific inquirer respecting Jerusalem, its holy places, and its walls; but, independent of many inaccuracies, unwarranted assumptions, and self-contradictions, he too, in endeavouring to get rid of the objections urged against Clarke, has not only fallen into greater errors himself, but has taken up a position alike unauthorized by sacred and profane history, by analogy, and by a knowledge of the manners and customs of ancient nations, in placing the sites of the crucifixion and the burial within the walls of the ancient city.
Traveller after traveller, if they at all trouble their heads about the matter, simply state their opinions for or against the identity of Calvary, without advancing any reason for so doing, and these opinions are at variance up to the present hour. Again, all acknowledge that the modern city stands for the most part upon some of the space occupied by the ancient; and comparisons, both as to their relative positions and relative sizes, have been constantly drawn and speculated on—from what? The paces of one
See also his Dissertation on the Extent of Ancient Jerusalem in the Appendix to Chateaubriand's Travels, vol. ii. Since the first edition of this Narrative appeared, I have seen some plans of Jerusalem by German writers, but I believe they never came to England. The best of these was Sieber's. Geometrische Kart der Stadt Jerusalem. Prag. 1812.
TOPOGRAPHY OF JERUSALEM.
person, or the time occupied in riding round it by another! So that, up to a few years ago, no accurate map of modern Jerusalem was in existence. In 1835 this deficiency was supplied by Mr. Catherwood, who surreyed the place, and furnished a plan, of the accuracy of which there can be no manner of doubt. This plan I have adopted as the groundwork of the topography of the ancient city, some remains of which I hope to be able to show still exist in the modern, that will much assist us in our investigation. Since the first edition of this Narrative appeared, Dr. Robinson, of New York, published his valuable “Biblical Researches in Palestine,” the work of greatest research on this subject in modern times, and has also adopted the map of Mr. Catherwood.
So many works have been written upon the subject of the different hills, tombs, fountains, and sacred spots, genuine or traditionary, from the time of Quaresmius, Sandys, Pococke, and Shaw, and from the more modern work of Chateaubriand, down to the date of that interesting little book, “Three Weeks in Palestine," or the popular description of the Holy Land, by the editor of the Modern Traveller, that I presume most of my readers are acquainted with those places; and, moreorer, so many Englishmen have visited Judea within the last few years, that I feel I am addressing many who can test the accuracy of my opinions from their own personal observations, and whose recollections of the Holy City will enable them to go forward with me in this inquiry.
On the place where it is admitted that Jerusalem stood, there was originally a series of elevations of different heights, collected together in the form of a parallelogram. These were separated from the surrounding “ hill country” by deep valleys and ravines, that enclosed them upon three of their sides, the fourth merging into the neighbouring elevations. This collection of hills, besides the deep valleys by which (as a mass) they were encompassed, were separated from each other by minor hollows, following the natural position of the ground; these latter we may term the internal, the other the external, or the boundary valleys. The deepest and most extensive of these external ones ran nearly due north and south ; its eastern side rose gradually into a three-topt hill, called the Mount of Olives, while the opposite side was almost perpendicular, but not so high, and formed the eastern boundary to the series of hills which I have just described, the most south-eastern
THE HILLS AND VALLEYS.
of which is Mount Moriah. This valley is known by the name of the Valley of Jehoshaphat, the King's Dale, or simply, The Valley. Through it passed, during the rainy season, an inconsiderable stream called Kedron, which runs on through a continuation of this vale into the Dead Sea. The advantage of such a stream of water, and of so deep and sheltered a valley, would not be overlooked by those seeking the best situation whereon to erect a city.
The second valley was to the south, and at right angles to the latter, running nearly east and west; it joined the first at its eastern corner, and was called the Valley of Tophet, or the Valley of the Children of Hinnom. Its sides were also steep, and on its outer or southern aspect it had a hill, called by the moderns “ The Hill of Evil Counsel,” and by more ancient writers, “The Mount of Offence;" and a small stream or water-course ran through it, called Gihon. The third valley was the least considerable of any; it was a continuation of the second, that turned to the north, where it ended abruptly at a point, about midway opposite the centre of the Valley of Jehoshaphat. This was the Valley of Rephaim or Gihon, or the Valley of Giants; and the brook of Gihon flowed on through its centre.
The hills enclosed by these external valleys were, first-a conical eminence in the S. W. corner, sloping down to the S. E. It was of an oblong form, bounded on its two outer sides by the valleys of Hinnom and Rephaim, and part of that of Jehoshaphat ; this was Mount Sion, and its western point was the highest within the circuit of the valleys. To the N.N.E. of Sion was a lower hill, called in after days Acra ; it was of greater extent, but less elevation. It had a somewhat curved or lunated shape, the concavity looking towards the south-east. It was separated from Mount Sion by a deep but narrow valley, called by Josephus, Tyropæon, and afterwards the Valley of Cheesemongers. Situate to the east of both, and extending from the point where Sion and Acra separated, and partly filling up the concavity of the latter, was the third and smallest hill, called Moriah. It was bounded by the Valley of Jehoshaphat on the east; Acra on the north-west; and Sion on the south-west; but separated from it by a continuation of the Tyropæon, or the Valley of Millo, as it was sometimes called.
To the extreme north of all was a gradually sloping ground,