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THE HOUSE OF MARY AND MARTHA.
to the destruction of Jerusalem they are probably to be referred to the times of the Herods, who themselves were of Idumæan descent, and maintained an intercourse between Petra and Jerusalem. In that age too, as we know, other foreigners of rank repaired to Jerusalem and erected for themselves mansions and sepulchers. It would not, therefore, be difficult to account in this way for the resemblance between these monuments and those of Petra.
Or, if the entire silence of Josephus and other contemporary writers as to these tombs be regarded as an objection to this hypothesis, why may they not perhaps be referred to the tombs of Adrian? This emperor appears to have been a patron of Petra; 1 he also built up Jerusalem; and both these cities were called after his name. It would therefore not be unnatural that this period should be marked in both places by monuments possessing a similar
The view from the east side of Absalom's Tomb northward is an interesting one. It includes the northern section of the Kidron with the hill of Scopus on the far distant right. A portion of the wall surrounding the Garden of Gethsemane is also seen at the right, with the whole roadway reaching therefrom across the valley up to St. Stephen's Gate. Again, we see the entire eastern wall of Jerusalem detailed on the left, with the Golden Gate rising prominently just beyond the sky-line of the flower-like apex of the Tomb of Absalom. In the immediate foreground we again see quantities of flat, white, time-worn stones. 1 See the author's paper on Petra in THE CENTURY MAGAZINE, November, 1885.
Every one of them marks the last resting-place of some Hebrew who came to Jerusalem from a distant land that he might die in the country of his forefathers and be buried beneath the soil set apart for them by the divine fiat.
Now if the valley is crossed and the highest point of the Golden Gate is allowed to serve as his Nebo, the explorer, in fact or in imagination, may see almost all that has been described lying outspread at his feet. From that point, too, the best impression may be had of the historical valley lying between the sacred mountains which have held the interest of the world for thousands of years. A few points concerning this valley may not be without interest to the student. Help may be had in the beginning by referring to the excellent map on page 101 of THE CENTURY MAGAZINE for November, 1888. The Vale of Kidron is the bestknown name of this natural depression, yet it is often called the Valley of Jehoshaphat (Jehovah judgeth). Jews, Catholics, and Mohammedans alike believe that the last judgment will take place here. The valley rises, in fact, north-west of the city, a few minutes' walk beyond the true Site of Calvary. It varies in width and stretches along north of Jerusalem eastward until a turn is made to the south not far from St. Stephen's Gate. Here the depression is about one hundred feet deep, and a bridge crosses it on the road from the city to the Garden of Gethsemane. The entire roadway between the two places may be seen in the view on page 51. The valley at this point is nearly four hundred and fifty feet wide. After the bridge is passed, the way narrows somewhat and descends. Then its conformation changes continually until sometimes, as we have already seen, it becomes very narrow and winding in its course. Another bridge is located near the Tomb of Absalom, crossing to a point not far from the Golden Gate. As one descends, the points of interest on each side succeed one another so rapidly as to command constant attention. The enthusiasm increases as the exploration progresses. Once the topography of things is fixed in the mind, it is not readily forgotten. The engraved details which follow will serve to make it all quite familiar to those who are not privileged to go farther than our imaginary Nebo. After passing the gardens of Siloam the valley widens, and then continues its course, south and east, until the Dead Sea is reached.
all starting at the garden, and all leading up to the summit. The central one is very narrow, is lined with stone walls, and is used mainly by travelers on foot. The one on the left is the chief highway to the top of the mountain, and is in some parts very steep. The third, on the south, is the longest way up. The road to Bethany diverges from it. Some portions of the side of the mountain are dotted with olivetrees, and here and there grainfields are found, often inclosed by stone walls. Almost everything hereabouts is of stone. One seldom sees enough of wood to make a cupboard. Not only are there three pathways, but there are in fact three summits. The center height holds the most interest. Our itinerary will lead us to it presently.
area. It is called the "Court of Omar" by the Mohammedans, because of the splendid mosque which graces it near the center. Far in the distance is the dome and long-pointed roof of another mosque-the Mosque of El Aksa. A long line of cloisters is on the right. Between them and the Temple, scattered here and there about the area, are stone platforms and minor buildings. All these are occupied by the dervishes as praying-places, colleges, and public schools. Our photographic map, though showing only the north and the west sides of the mosque, gives the relative positions of the various buildings on Mount Moriah, south. The Golden Gate is on the left and the shoulder of Olivet is seen in the far distance. The portion of the area which lies in the immediate
foreground separates the Mosque of Omar from the site of the Tower of Antonia. The whole platform is four hundred and fifty feet east to west, and five hundred and fifty feet from north to south, and is paved with marble. It is supported by walls on every side. Its crowning beauty is the Mosque of Omar. The structure undoubtedly stands upon the highest point of Mount Moriah, for the "Holy Rock," sixty-five feet long and forty-five feet broad, is inside. A few details concerning this magnificent structure may be helpful. It stands in the center of the area and upon the supposed site of Solomon's Temple. It was three years in building, and its cost was the result of seven years' taxation of the Egyptians. Its eight sides are sixty-seven feet long. The magnificent dome is a masterpiece of Byzantine architecture, and was originally covered with gold. It is built of
marble and alabaster, decorated richly with terra-cotta of brilliant colors. Around it are three wide belts of color: the upper one green and white; the center blue, made of quotations in Arabic from the Koran; the lower dark green, picked out with white-all glistening terra-cotta. The barrel of the dome is striped alternately with green, white, and blue, dotted with yellow. As the mosque is some twenty feet higher than the area proper, it is reached on all sides by marble stairways, some of which we see on the west side, headed by rows of lofty pointed arches. The solemn, quiet interior is like a place of enchantment, so richly decorated is it. The columns are green and yellow porphyry, and the capitals burnished gold. The arches are black and white, and its fifty-six slender windows are decorated with stained glass of great splendor. The octagonal
divisions of the ceiling are green, with golden center, and the borders thereof are gold and green and red. The arches over the golden line are blue and gold. On all sides and in every available space there is a glory and a harmony of color not surpassed in the East.
In the extreme distance at the right of the picture on the preceding page is the graceful minaret of a mosque. It is located on the southern brow of Mount Zion. It is one of the landmarks of Jerusalem. The call of the muezzin sent forth from it goes sounding over the hills and tombs southward, until, when the atmosphere is clear, it can be heard at the Tomb of Rachel. A little group of buildings close to this old minaret is erected over the vault said to contain the tomb of David. An "upper room over the tomb of the renowned psalmist and king is called the "Coenaculum," because, tradition holds, the Passover Supper was eaten there by Jesus with his disciples. It is a large chamber, thirty feet wide by fifty feet long.
Although one must follow an Armenian monk some distance, and climb multitudinous steps, still, after passing the door, there is a descent of several steps before the well-paved floor is reached. The apartment is so clean and so well lighted that one doubts its Oriental character and questions its antiquity. Yet its appearance indicates great age, and its massive construction seems to guarantee its standing firm for many centuries to come. Underneath the first window on the right is a small niche where, it is said, Christ sat at the Passover Feast. The steps on the right lead to the Tomb of David. If all this is true, then this inclosure witnessed the assemblage of the apostles on the day of Pentecost, the miracle of the cloven tongues "like as of fire," the washing of the feet of his disciples by Jesus, the giving of the sop to Judas, and it is the place whence the sad company went down across the Vale of Kidron to Gethsemane on the night of the betrayal. The path which leads to and fro
between the city and the Garden of Gethsemane is one of the most authentic localities about Jerusalem, and cannot have changed materially since the first Easter morn. Along its way the brutal band went, led by the betrayer, startling the quiet of the night with the clash of their swords and the clanking of their staves. After the arrest the return was made by the same pathway to the palace of Caiaphas.
rounds the chapel. It is one of the prettiest spots in the Holy City. About two hundred and fifty feet from the iron gate of the garden, which opens towards Mount Zion, the reputed house of Caiaphas is shown. The massive masonry of the building is in strange contrast to the irregular and gaudy decorations. Scales of pearl and bits of porcelain seem to have been covered on one side with some adhesive material and then thrown at random against the But a short walk from the Tomb of David walls by hands guided more by a taste for and the Conaculum, and between them and tinsel than by artistic principles, judging from Zion's Gate, is the Church of St. James, with the rude arrangement on the walls. On one a chapel attached, commemorating the mar- side of the apartment is a little cell in which tyrdom, and covering the tomb of the beloved Christ is said to have been confined during apostle. A lovely the pride of the the last night of his life. In a niche is an altar Armenian monks charge, sur- with a statue of Christ bound to "the stake of