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The Historical Works Of Venerable Bede

THE city of Jerusalem is almost circular in its form, and the compass of its walls is by no means inconsiderable, and formerly included Mount Sion, which is close by, towards the south, and looks like the citadel of the town. The greater part of the city is lower than the mountain, and lies on the plain summit of one of the lower hills in the neighbourhood. After our Lord’s passion it was destroyed by the Emperor Titus; but was restored and enlarged by Ælius Hadrianus Cæsar, from whom it received the name of Ælia. This is the reason why the place where our Lord suffered and was buried is now within the walls, whereas it was at that time without. In the circumference of its walls, which is extensive, there are eighty-four towers and six gates. The first is David’s gate, to the west of Mount Sion: the second is the gate of the Fuller’s Valley: the third is St. Stephen’s gate: the fourth, Benjamin’s: the fifth is the Postern or little gate, through which we go down by steps to the Valley of Jehoshaphat: the sixth gate is called Thecuitis. The most celebrated of these are the three gates of egress; the first towards the west, the second towards the north, and the third towards the east. On the north-west, the brow of Mount Sion appears above the city; and this part of the walls, with the interposing towers, is proved to have had no gates; namely, from David’s gate above-mentioned, to that front of Mount Sion which looks with a rugged precipice towards the east. For the position of the city itself is this: it begins from the northern brow of Mount Sion, and falls with a gentle slope towards the walls on the north-east, where it is lower, so that the rain which falls runs in streams through the eastern gates, and carries with it all the filth of the streets into the brook Cedron, in the Valley of Jehoshaphat.








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