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Robinson's Arch, and the stones are similar to it in shape and size. It is semicircular and perfect, composed of twenty-five courses, or tiers, twelve on each side of the key-stone, and is, in a word, Robinson's Arch-rather, one similar to it completed—and the perfection of the work strikes the beholder with admiration and wonder. This arch is by far the most impressive specimen of Roman architecture yet discovered about Jerusalem. Major Wilson believes that there
never was more than one arch at that place, the remainder of the Tyropæon valley westwards having been filled up by a solid causeway; “but Captain Warren's excavations have since shown that there were a series of arches forming a viaduct which lead up towards the palace of Herod on the western hill.” The object of the arch, Major Wilson supposed, was to furnish a passage under the causeway which led across the valley to the Temple area.
CLOSED-UP GATES IN THE SOUTH WALL.
Dr. Barclay, who resided for years on the opposite side of the valley, and not far from this arch, seems actually to have penetrated to it, but, in the darkness, was led to believe that it was merely the vault of an ancient cistern, and, therefore, did not discover its true character and importance. Nor is this surprising, for it was only when illuminated by a magnesium light that we obtained an adequate idea of its dimensions. An inspection of it thus lit up showed that it was as old as the foundation-wall of the Haram area, since the lower tiers of the arch form part of that wall. It was probably built by Herod, and it is certainly the heaviest and most perfect specimen of the Roman arch I have yet seen. At what time it was converted into a cistern, by closing up the ends, is not known; but that work was also massive, and evidently not of modern origin.
From Robinson's Arch I passed out of the city through Bâb el Mughâribeh—Gate of the Moors, or western Africans—which is in the bed of the Tyropæon, a short distance farther south. It is a small entrance, without any pretensions to antiquity, and entirely destitute of architectural ornament. It is supposed to be the modern representative of the ancient Dung Gate referred to by Nehemiah. From there I followed the course of the south wall, and looked at its three gates, now closed up. The Double Gate is directly below the Mosk of el Aksa; the Triple Gate is about midway between it and the south-east angle of the wall; and the Single Gate, farther on, has behind it the great vaults called Solomon's Stables, and may have been the entrance to them. The original purpose of these walled-up gates can only be conjectured.
Passing round the south-eastern corner of the wall, and looking with increased respect at the great stones marking the ancient portions of it, I spent a few moments in examining the graves which extend from there on towards the Golden Gate and beyond ; but they did not interest me, and require no special description."
That narrow space between the wall and the valley of the Kidron, directly opposite to the Jews' burial-place on the side of Olivet, is crowded with Moslem tombs, which formed an invincible obstacle to Captain Warren's attempts to explore the foundations of the eastern wall of the Haram area. He partially succeeded, 1 Neh, iji. 13, 14 ; xii. 31.
? See illustration on page 504.
however, as you know, by driving a gallery beneath them, by which he reached the original foundation of the wall, and there discovered the marks of the Phænician builders. If he had been allowed to excavate along the wall itself, many other revelations would, no doubt, have rewarded his labors at that most interesting locality.
Captain Warren, in giving the results which his explorations had suggested, says: “Herod's Temple enclosure appears, then, to have consisted of the old enclosure of King Solomon's Temple, the old palace, and a piece built in at the south-west angle to make the whole a square of about nine hundred feet a side. And, besides this, there was the portion on which the towers protecting the side of the Temple rested, called by Josephus the Exhedra, and connected with the main castle of Antonia by a double set of cloisters.
“ The inference I draw from these walls is that the portion from Wilson's Arch to the Prophet's Gate is of the time of Solomon, being the west wall of his Temple enclosure, and that the portion from the Double Gate round by the south-east angle is also Solomonic, having formed the wall of his palace. The wall at the northeast angle I suppose to have been the work of the kings of Judah, the old wall to which Josephus' tells us the wall of Agrippa was joined."
On my way back to the tents I crossed over to the east side of the Kidron, to the celebrated tombs in the valley of Jehoshaphat, which deservedly attract the attention of all travellers.
They are in the steep rocky termination of that part of Olivet directly north of the village of Kefr Silwân, where the base of the mountain has been cut and hewn into perpendicular faces by Jerusalem's ancient quarriers. In these faces are sepulchres of the ordinary kind, but the tombs which merit special attention are, first, the monolith of Zechariah. It is a cubical block, about seventeen feet every way, surmounted by a flattened pyramid of at least twelve feet elevation, and the entire height is nearly thirty feet. It has no mason-work about it, but is one solid mass hewn out of the mountain, the adjacent rock being cut away, so that it stands entirely detached. Each of the sides has two columns and two demicolumns of the Ionic order, and the corners are finished off with 1 B. J. v. iv. 2.
2 Rec. of Jer. p. 252, 253.
TOMBS IN THE VALLEY OF JEHOSHAPHAT.
square pilasters. The capitals are plain Ionic, and a broad cornice, worked with acanthus leaves, runs round the top below the pyramid. There is no known entrance. It derives its name, according to the Jews, by whom it is held in great veneration, from Zechariah the priest, mentioned in 2 Chronicles,' and referred to by
Christ in his denunciation of the scribes and Pharisees: “That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.'
1 2 Chron. xxiv. 20, 21.
• Matt. xxiii. 35.
Second, the tomb of St. James, near to the north side of this monolith, and excavated in the solid rock. It has a porch eighteen feet by nine, and shows a fine front to the west, ornamented with two columns and two half columns of the Doric order. trance is not by these columns, but from a passage cut through the rock, in the north-east corner of the space around the tomb of Zechariah. The cave of St. James extends forty or fifty feet back into the mountain, and around it cluster many traditions concerning that apostle, of no value whatever. It is at times used as a sheepfold.
Some two hundred feet north of this is the tomb of Absalom. The lower part of this monument resembles that of Zechariah. The square is twenty-two feet on each side, and has a pilaster at each angle, and a quarter column attached to it, and also two half columns between these, having Ionic capitals, and sustaining an entablature of a singularly mixed character. Its frieze and architrave are Doric, and have triglyphs and guttæ. The metope is occupied by a circular disk or shield, but in lieu of the regular cornice there is one which resembles the Egyptian cornice, consisting of a deep and high corvetto, and a bold torus below it. Above this is a square attic rather more than seven feet in height. Upon this is a circular attic. The whole is finished off with what Dr. Robinson calls a small dome, running up into a low spire, which spreads a little at the top, like an opening flower. The square itself is of solid rock; the rest—the square and circular attics and the dome, to the top—are built of heavy stones. The entire height of this very striking tomb cannot be less than fifty feet, but the lower part is not a little encumbered with stones and rubbish. It is called Absa. lom's tomb from its supposed identity with the pillar mentioned in 2 Samuel : "Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and reared up for himself a pillar, which is in the king's dale: for he said, I have no son to keep my name in remembrance : and he called the pillar after his own name: and it is called unto this day, Absalom's place." Believing it to be Absalom's tomb, the Jews and natives throw stones against it and spit at it as they pass by. This tomb has been much broken on the north side, and an opening made into a sepulchral chamber within the solid part of it, probably in search
1 2 Sam. xviii. 18.