Topography of Jerusalem -- By: E. Robinson

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 003:12 (Nov 1846)
Article: Topography of Jerusalem
Author: E. Robinson


Topography of Jerusalem

E. Robinson

In a former Article, of which the present is a continuation, I endeavoured to bring out fully and clearly the testimony of Josephus respecting several points in the ancient topography of the Holy City. These were, particularly, the position of the hills Akra and Bezetha, the valley of the Tyropoeon, the true place of the gate Gennath, and the course of the ancient second wall; all which have a special importance at the present time, from their connection with and bearing upon the question as to the intrinsic authority of ecclesiastical and monastic tradition. I now proceed in like manner to adduce the testimony of the Jewish historian, and such further evidence as may exist, relative to some other points in the antiquities of the Holy City; which, although they may not possess the same degree of temporary interest, are yet in themselves of high archaeological importance.

V. The Southern Portion Of The Present Haram-Area Formed Part And Parcel Of The Ancient Temple-Enclosure; And Was Not First Built Up At A Later Period.

So far as I am aware, no doubt as to the fact here affirmed has ever been suggested, except by the English writer so often re-

ferred to; who chooses to assign this part of the area to the time of Justinian.1 The German author nowhere alludes to the topic, nor in general to the southern part of the area in any way; but the view he takes respecting the position of the fortress Antonia within the northern portion of the same enclosure,2 necessarily implies that he adopts the affirmative of the present proposition. It may nevertheless not be inappropriate, here to bring together the facts and testimony which bear upon the question.

I. On viewing the exterior of the elevated Haram-area, courses of immense stones near the ground immediately arrest the attention of the beholder, which are obviously the remains of the substructions of the ancient temple-enclosure. The lower courses of the masonry of ancient walls exist on the east, south and west sides of the great enclosure, for nearly its whole length and breadth.3 According to the English writer himself, these courses of large stones at the exterior of the eastern wall of the enclosure above the valley of Jehoshaphat, not improbably form part of one of those stupendous foundations [of the temple] mentioned with so much admiration by the Jewish historian.4 The immense blocks of the same character at and near the southeast corner, are to him an angle of th...

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