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By Robert Gordon Canning

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One of these, the Temple, naturally affected the eastern wall; it was replaced by one side of his great platform. According to Josephus (War 5: 147–55), Herod Agrippa I (ad 37–44) laid the foundations of a new north wall which was completed only during the First Revolt (ad 66–70), but his directions are so vague and the archaeological evidence so ambiguous that the exact trace of this famous ‘Third Wall’ continues to exercise scholars. It is most probable, however, that it followed the line of the 12 Part 1: The City of Jerusalem present north wall [7].

In Arabic it is known as Bab Nabi Daud, ‘the Gate of the Prophet David’, because his tomb is located, according to legend, on Mount Sion. Its pockmarked outer face bears mute testimony to the fierce fighting in 1948 for the jewish quarter (p. 75). Extensive excavations on both sides of the wall between Sion Gate and Dung Gate (Fig. 5) have brought to light interesting remains of virtually all periods in the city’s history, which are readily accessible. Inside the wall. The great square tower (23 × 23 m) with a central pillar [1] is an Ayyubid tower built in 1212 and destroyed only five years later, when it seemed clear that the Crusaders would return; part of it projects outside the present wall [5].

Palestine was left to fend for itself under the capricious authority of pashas whose only concern was to meet their tax quota and to have a little over for themselves. Lack of effective control promoted a sense of insecurity which expressed itself in apathy and a decline in population. The Jews were the one community to grow during this period. Refugees from persecution in Europe and Russia found fragile stability in Palestine where outbursts of anti-Semitism occured infrequently. 5 6 A Brief Historical Outline The Modern Period AD 1918– The Turks sided with Germany in the First World War, and the victors dismembered their empire, Britain being given a mandate to govern Palestine in the name of the League of Nations.

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Arab or Jew? by Robert Gordon Canning


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