Imatges de pÓgina
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and Muallūkah (both names suggestive of "the horse-leech," which greatly abounds in this marsh of Zoar) appear on the northern ridge; and Bureikîeh, three miles distant in the same direction, is inhabited by the peasants who cultivate the land around these fountains of Miamās. The fountain near Subbarîn, which I pointed out to you yesterday, was in former times led down by Bureikîeh to the kúsr, where it was associated with the stream from Miamās, and the two united were carried along the perpendicular base of Mount Khủshm, across the swamp of Zoar, to the shore, and thence southward to the city. This was a remarkable work, and most of it is still quite perfect. Our road is now upon, or, rather, within this aqueduct until we get over the various brooks which, passing beneath it, are lost in the general marsh.

This is, indeed, a narrow and somewhat nervous pathway, especially as one sees on either side of him bogs of bottomless mud.

There is some danger, no doubt, but with nerves sufficiently steady we might follow on the top of this double aqueduct quite to the western side of the marsh; for, if I remember aright, there is not a broken arch in the entire line. I, however, have no fancy for such high ways, and the ground south of it is here sufficiently solid to justify the attempt to reach the sandy plain beyond. Safely through! Look back now at the long file of arches on columns which span the entire width of the Zoar. But the difficulties of our position are not yet ended. Here is a very suspicious-looking stream soaking its way through tall reeds and flags, and be. yond it is a second and a third, all pouring their blackish water into the marsh. The largest of these brooks, called Shukesūk and Shủkkauk, is said to rise in Wady Súfsáfy about two hours to the southeast. All these streams run northward into the swamp, and not to the sea, in consequence of that low rocky ridge which extends parallel to the coast and about half a mile from it. This formation is the same fossiliferous sandy limestone as that out of which nearly all the cities on the sea-board are built, and it has

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been hewn and cut up by quarriers in the most extraordinary manner; indeed, the cuttings and quarrying are more extensive than those of any other city on this coast. I once spent several hours searching among them for inscriptions, but found none; and the only important discovery was that such enormous quarryings were never made by the shortlived city of Cæsarea, and that this was merely the Roman name for a more ancient city. I had read this before, but I was convinced that the original name could not have been Strato's Tower, for that was Latin, and these quarries were opened long before they ever appeared in Syria. This primitive city, I suppose, was the frontier town in this direction of the Phænicians, and I leave to the lovers of antiquarian research the discovery of its name and history.

And there lie the ruins of all your three cities together, directly in front of us. What could have induced Herod to select this place for a harbor, as it is an open coast without projecting headland or protection of any kind?

The rich country back of it to Samaria and Nablûs probably furnishes the explanation. It is also in the centre of a long reach of coast entirely destitute of harbors, and this offers another reason; and, moreover, it is not quite true that there is no natural protection to serve as the basis for an artificial harbor. Several ledges of rock run out into the sea from the shore, and the king took advantage of two, between which the water was deepest, and there constructed great moles, inclosing a space larger than the Piræus : Josephus says so, not I. It never could have been sufficiently long to protect a single first-class Boston clipper.

Cæsarea has always been invested with a peculiar interest to my mind, not so much for its own eventful history, nor because it was the capital of Palestine, but chiefly on account of its honorable and most important connection with the Apostolic Church. It was here that the good Cornelius fasted, prayed, and gave alms, which came up before God as a memorial, until an angel of the Lord appeared, and directed him to send unto Joppa for Simon, whose surname is Peter. There another vision revealed to that apostle the great

fact that God is no respecter of persons, but that in every nation he that feareth him and worketh righteousness is accepted of him;' and thereby prepared this bearer of the "keys of the kingdom of heaven" to unlock the door to the Gentile world. Here the “ apostle of the circumcision” first learned that he must not call any man common or unclean;2 here the Holy Ghost was first granted to the heathen; and here took place the first Gentile baptism. Certainly we Gentiles have abundant reason to cherish the memory of Cæsarea. Paul, the apostle of the Gentiles, and greatest of foreign missionaries, often visited it, and was here held prisoner for two whole years. Standing in chains where some of these ruins now lie, he made his noble speeches before Felix, and Festus and Drusilla, Agrippa and Berenice, characters somewhat famous, and most of them not a little infamous in their day. Eusebius, the historian, was born and lived in Cæsarea, and here Origen studied and wrote commentaries. But we need not prolong the list of her honors. They do but exaggerate her present utter desolation.

These ruins remain precisely as they were twenty-five years ago, upon my first visit. The area inclosed by the wall extends along the shore about the fourth of a mile, and is some forty rods wide from east to west. The wall was built of small but well-cut stone, was strengthened by sixteen square towers, and protected by a broad ditch; but still it could not have been a place of much strength, nor is it celebrated for any great military events. We are not to suppose that its vast population, stated as high as 200,000, was confined within these narrow limits. On the contrary, there are abundant traces of suburbs scattered all over the plain, and the inclosed area was little more than the acropolis of the city. The harbor was at the southwest corner of this citadel, and we can trace its whole extent by the existing remains. Look at them, and then turn to Josephus, and see if you can discover any resemblance. Beyond all doubt, much of that description is magniloquent Josephian hyperbole. Who can read of the mole, two hundred feet broad, built of stones more than fifty feet long, eighteen

3

. Ant. xv. 9, 6.

1 Acts x. 34, 35,

? Acts x. 28.

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wide, and nine deep, without a smile? Why, the whole harbor inclosed by it is not much broader. But it is use

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less to criticise this extraordinary piece of exaggeration; I can not refrain, however, from remarking that the historian must have forgotten that there is no appreciable tide at the head of the Mediterranean when he says "the sea itself, upon the flux of the tide from without, came into the city and washed it all clean!" There is enough here, however, besides the name, to convince us that the historian is actually speaking of this place, though the exaggeration is so egregious that one seems to be walking in his sleep. It was doubtless this southwestern mole which Herod named

VOL. U.-L.

Procymatia-wave-breaker. Exactly where the tower of Drusus stood I am at a loss to decide.

In one respect, these remains of the first century of our era are extremely interesting and important. They present the best criterion by which to judge architecturally of other ruins, and show conclusively that many of them are far more ancient. A moment's examination will also prove that Herod built with materials furnished to his hands by ruins of a city older, and, I believe, much more magnificent than his own. This immense number of granite columns built into his moles speaks of an antecedent and wealthy metropolis, with splendid temples, which had been overthrown long before Herod began his work. Nor do I believe that Strato's Tower (as the place was then called, and which he changed to Cæsarea) was the original name. That is of foreign derivation, given by the Romans, while these columns and other relics speak of Greek or Phænician times and architects. Josephus says that Herod built a temple on this southern mole, and a splendid theatre near the harbor, and without the city, on the south side, an amphitheatre capable of holding a vast multitude of people. All have disappeared. These tall buttresses, which make the most show of any part of the present ruins, evidently belonged to a Christian church, possibly of Crusader times. Casarea has the misfortune to be inseparably associated with the incipient causes and first outbreaks of that dreadful war in which Jerusalem, the Temple, and the Jewish nation were destroyed. Herod, by erecting heathen temples and theatres, and placing idol statues in the city, greatly displeased the Jews, and the disputes between them and their idolatrous fellow-citizens finally became so bitter and exasperated that they rushed blindly into open revolt. One of the first acts of the bloody tragedy was the massacre of 20,000 Jews in this city by the Greeks. The whole Jewish nation then flew to arms, and ceased to fight only when they ceased to be a people.

How comes it that Cæsarea has for many ages been utterly deserted ? It is the only considerable city on the coast that has been thus absolutely forsaken.

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