Imágenes de páginas

this side. From here the colonnade runs E.S.E. for about a thousand feet, and then curves to the left, following the base of the hill. In the western part, about sixty limestone columns are still erect, most of them on ground recently ploughed ; and further east are some twenty more, standing irregularly, at various intervals. Many more than these lie prostrate, and we could trace whole columns or fragments nearly or quite to the village. The columns which we measured were sixteen feet high ... the capitals are gone; we could nowhere find a trace of them remaining. The width of the colonnade was fifty feet. We measured from the western end for more than 1900 feet, and were afterwards satisfied that it extended for a thousand feet or more further, making its whole length not much less than three thousand feet.

" This colonnade is doubtless to be referred to the time of Herod the Great, who rebuilt and adorned Samaria with splendid structures.

But the purpose

of the work, and the edifice it was intended to decorate, are alike unknown; and these columns now stand solitary and mournful in the midst of ploughed fields, the skeletons, as it were, of departed glory . . . There were said to be likewise columns on the north side of the hill, which, however, time did not permit us to seek out.”—Robinson's Researches, vol. iii. pp. 138—149.

“ The ruins of Sebaste, the ancient Samaria, stand upon a singularly bold and insulated mountain, crowned with ruins. The capital of the ten tribes of Israel, where Ahab built bis palace of ivory; where, in the days of Jeroboam, her citizens sat in the lap of luxury, saying to their masters, · Come, and let us drink; destroyed by the Assyrians, but re-built and restored to more than its original splendour by Herod, now lies in the state foretold by the prophet Amos; ' Her inhabitants and their posterity are taken away. The ancient Samaritans are all gone, and around the ruins of their palaces and temples are gathered the miserable

[ocr errors]

huts of the Arab Fellahs . . . On one side, towards the north-east, where are the ruins of a gate, there is a double range of Ionic columns. I counted more than sixty, and, from the fragments I was constantly meeting, it would seem as if a double colonnade had extended all round.

(The) summit of the hill (overlooks) every part of the surrounding country; and such were the exceeding softness and beauty of the scene, even under the wildness and waste of Arab cultivation, that the city seemed smiling in the midst of her desolation. All around was a beautiful valley, watered by running streams, and covered by a rich carpet of grass, sprinkled with wild flowers of every hue; and beyond, stretched like an open book before me, a boundary of fruitful mountains, the vine and the olive rising in terraces to their very summits; there, day after day, the haughty Herod had sat in his royal palace, and looking out upon all these beauties, his heart had become hardened with prosperity; here ... the proud monarch had made a supper “to his lords, and high captains, and chief estates of Galilee;' here the daughter of Herodias, Herod's brother's wife,

danced before him ;' and the proud king 'promised, with an oath, to give her whatever she should ask, even to the half of his kingdom.' And while the feast and dance went on, the head of John the Baptist was brought in a charger and given to the damsel.' And Herod has gone, and Herodias, Herod's brother's wife, has gone ; and 'the lords, and the high captains, and the chief estates of Galilee,' are gone; but the ruins of the palace in which they feasted are still here! the mountains and valleys which beheld their revels, are here ! And oh! what a comment upon the vanity of worldly greatness—a Fellah was turning his plough around one

? It seems very probable that Herod's palace occupied a commanding situation on the hill, and it is not improbable that some of the present ruins may have formed part of it, though the actual site cannot now be ascertained.

of the columns! I was sitting on a broken capital, under a figtree by its side, and I asked him what were the ruins that we saw ? and while his oxen were quietly cropping the grass that grew among the fragments of the marble floor, he told me that they were the ruins of the palace of a king—he believed, of the Christians; and while pilgrims from every quarter of the world turn aside from their path to do homage in the prison of his beheaded victim, the Arab, who was driving his plough among the columns of his palace, knew not the name of the haughty Herod. Even at this distance of time, I look back with a feeling of uncommon interest upon my ramble among those ruins, talking with the Arab ploughman of the king who built it, leaning against a column which, perhaps, had often supported the haughty Herod; and looking out from this scene of desolation and ruin upon the most beautiful country in the Holy Land.”—Incidents of Travel, vol. ii. pp. 301-315.

“ The present inhabitants of Sebastie appear to be miserably poor," writes Mr. Hardy, " but they showed us every attention in their power, and retired without asking for a present.” In proof of their poverty, Mr. H. mentions that he and his companions had “ slight breakfast, at which we had no coffee as usual, because sufficient fuel could not be procured in this once populous metropolis to boil our kettle ..." Hardy's Notices of the Holy Land, p. 225.

Upon the beautiful and varied aspect of the country after leaving Samaria, another traveller remarks, “It was the inheritance of Joseph, and brought forcibly to our minds the blessing of the fond father in his last hours, when, as his sons were gathered round him, he dilated so feelingly upon the trials and temporal rewards of him who was separated from his brethren.

. Even by the God of thy father who shall help thee, and by the Almighty who shall bless thee with blessings of Heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under,'” &c.Memoir of Mrs. S. L. Smith, p. 171.




“ Then the soldiers, as it was commanded them, took Paul, and brought him by night to Antipatris.”—Acts xxiii. 31.

Antipatris was built up by Herod the Great, and so named in honour of his father, Antipater, on the site of a former place called Caphar Saba. The spot was well watered and fertile; a stream also flowed around the city; and groves of large trees were near. It lay one hundred and fifty stadia from Joppa ; and between the two places Alexander Balas drew a trench, with a wall and wooden towers, as a defence against the approach of Antiochus. To Antipatris the soldiers brought Paul by night from Jerusalem, (doubtless by way of Bethhoron,) on the route to Cæsarea; and then returned, leaving the horsemen to go on with him alone. Antipatris lay between Cæsarea and Lydda, and the distance from Cæsarea

was twenty-six Roman miles. All these circumstances go to show, that Antipatris stood in the midst of the plain, and not upon the sea-coast ... The true position of Antipatris seems to have been lost sight of, from the time of Jerome until the present century; although . . . it appears that the ancient name, Caphar Saba, still exists in the plain, under the Arabic form Kefr Sâba, in the province of Nâbulus ... Prokesch, in travelling northwards through the plain, passed through a village at some distance north of Râs El 'Ain, the name of which he writes “Kaffr Suba ;' and not far from the same position, the great map of Jacotin has the name of a a village “Soufi.'

These may possibly be one and the same name, standing for Kefr Sâba . It seems not to have occurred either to the French or to Prokesch,

that this must be the site of Antipatris.”l_ROBINSON'S Researches, vol. iii. pp. 45–47.



THE herds that fed in Sharon . and the herds that were in the valleys ...”—1 Chron. xxvii. 29.

“I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.”Cant. ii. 1.

“ The earth mourneth and languisheth ... Sharon is like a wilderness.”—Isaiah xxxiii. 9.

“ The excellency of ... Sharon.”Isaiah xxxv. 2.

66 And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks.”—Isaiah lxv, 10.

Mr. Paxton has the following observations upon the Plain of Sharon, as he passed over it from Jaffa to the hill country of Judea : -“ The point of land,” he writes, “on which Jaffa stands, a kind of sandy knoll, is higher than the country back of it. We, of course, made a small descent, and, for a considerable distance, passed through gardens, enclosed lots, and fields, many of them well filled with trees, as fig, orange, lemon, pomegranate, palm. The Indian fig was much used for forming enclosures, and generally planted on a ridge of sand. It makes a very good fence, as the prickles with which it abounds prevent man or beast from coming much in contact with it. Some of these gardens had wells, and water-wheels, many of which were at work... raising water for the benefit of the trees and vegetables.

1 In the same neighbourhood, our lists contain the name of a village, Jiljûlah, corresponding to the ancient Galgula, which Eusebius and Jerome place at six Roman miles north of Antipatris. This was apparently the Gilgal in the region of Dor, whose king was subdued by Joshua. The ancient place must probably be sought somewhere in the vicinity of the village Kúlunsaweh.

« AnteriorContinuar »