Monday, June 4, 2007

The Temples of Mount Moriah by Tuvia Sagiv

The Temples of Mount Moriah by Tuvia Sagiv

Table of Contents

1. General
2. Size of the Moriah Area in Comparison to Similar Areas in the World
3. The Moriah Area in comparison with other areas built by Herod
4. Urban studies aspects for determining the size of the Temple Mount Area in the time of Herod
5. The Stones of the Moriah Area
6. Was the building of the Moriah Area Completed?
7. The Baalbek Area in Lebanon
8. Remains of the Roman Temple in the Moriah Area
9. Drawn Evidence of a Roman Temple in the Moriah Area
10. The Jupiter Temple in Jerusalem According to Written Testimony
11. Hadrian - the man and his work
12. The Error in the Identification of the Temple Mount and the Temple
13. The Remains of Aelia Capitolina
14. Conclusion


A. List of Drawings (not included)
B. Notes
C. Figures referenced in this report (2.9 Mb)

1. General

The walls of the great area, situated in southeastern Jerusalem, and known in Arabic as Haram As-Sharif, are identified by both visitors and historians as the walls of the Temple Mount which were built during the first century before the Common Era by Herod the Great (l).

In this article we will attempt to prove that this present area is not the Temple Mount Area built by Herod. We will attempt to show that the present-day features of the Temple Mount were built in the Second Century of the Common Era by the Emperor Hadrian during the era of the Bar Kochba rebellion.

The dimensions of the Herodian Temple Mount were small in comparison to the dimensions of the present Moriah Area, and it is included within the Hadrianic area. The walls of the Moriah Area are, we believe, the remains of the Terminus of Aelia Capitolina. On it was built the Temple of Jupiter. The Al Aksa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock preserve, in their plans and place, the remains of a Roman Temple dating from the time of Hadrian.

In order to present the subject thoroughly, a number of concepts must be defined:

Temple Mount - A Legal (Halachic) area relating to the holy sections of the Jewish Temple Mount. According to the Mishnah, the measurements of the Temple area were 500 by 500 cubits (2). According to Josephus, the size of the area is "Ris by Ris" (3).

Moriah Area - The Hebrew name used for the archeological area visible today known in Arabic as "Haram As-Sharif' and whose average measurements are 300 by 500 meters.

According to the Mishnah, the measurements of the area were 500 by 500 cubits (2), which is approximately 220 meters by 220 meters, or 50 dunams. According to Josephus, the size of the Temple Mount was "Ris by Ris" (3), which is approximately 90 meters by 190 meters, or 40 dunams.

Despite those modest sizes appearing in the literature sources, the measurements of the Moriah Area visible today are approximately 500 meters by 300 meters, or about 150 dunams (4). (Figures 1) (Note: Figures are shown at the end of this report).The size of the present Moriah Area is three or more times larger then the size of the Temple Mount described in the ancient sources. In order to settle this imbalance, most researchers have previously explained that the Temple Mount described in the sources referred to the "Holy (sanctified area) Temple Mount" and the "Moriah Area" was an extension built by Herod (5). However, this claim does not withstand the test of the witness of Josephus. According to him, the size of the Temple Mount built by Herod, was only "Ris by Ris" in size (6).

Josephus described the royal portico which was on the Southern end of the Temple Mount square. According to his description, the length of the portico was one "ris," which is about 190 meters. He said that the portico continued from one side of the valley until the other side of the valley (7). Therefore, (he meant), from the Kotel (Tyropean or Cheesemaker's) Valley to the Kidron Valley. Today, the length of the southern wall is about 300 meters. It is about sixty percent longer then that described in the sources. Was the present Southern wall of the Moriah Area the same wall upon which the royal portico rested? (See Fig. 2).

While Josephus said that the courtyard around the Temple was doubled in size by Herod, an exact reading of the text shows that Herod doubled the courtyard around the Temple but his intent was not to double the whole area of the Temple Mount.

It must be noted that the descriptions of the two sources, the Mishnah and Josephus, are similar. According to both, the area was square, and its size 200 meters by 200 meters, with only deviations of ten percent (9). The Moriah Area visible today does not match the literary descriptions, either in form or size.

Was the present area really built by King Herod the Great?

2. Size of the Moriah Area in Comparison to Similar Areas in the World

As stated above, the Moriah Area is approximately 500 meters by 300 meters which is about 150 dunams. If the area of the Israel Pool, which was an integral part of the area, is also included, the size of the area reaches approximately 200 dunams (10). (See Fig. 3).

An examination of temple areas throughout the Roman Empire shows that the Moriah Area was the largest area ever built during the Roman Period. (See Fig. 4). In the first century before the Common Era, Herod's era, the size of Roman temple areas ranged from two to twelve dunams. For example, The Augustus Temple Area in Shomron built by Herod was seven dunams in size (11). The Hercules Temple Area in Tivoli, Italy, was seven dunams (12). The Augustus Forum in Rome was ten dunams (13). The Julius Caesar Forum in Rome was 12 dunams (14). The Ostia Temple Area was 15 dunams. (See Fig. 5). Clearly, the Temple Mount - as described in the literary sources - did not exceed 60 dunams in size, but was still a relatively large area for the first century before the Common Era.

In the second century of the Common Era, the Roman Empire was strengthened, its borders were settled and vast resources were directed toward the building of monumental public structures. The areas occupied by Roman temples were expanded and often varied in size from 40 to 150 dunams. For example, the Forum of the Trajan in Rome was 42 dunams (15). The Jupiter Temple Area in Baalbek in Lebanon was 52 dunams (16). The Bal Temple in Palmyra, Syria was 40 dunams (17). The Artemis Temple Area in Gerasa, Jordan was 40 dunams (18). The Jupiter Temple Area in Damascus was 125 dunams (19). (See Figures 6, 7, 8)

In the third and fourth centuries of the Common Era, the areas shrunk and returned to sizes from 18 to 30 dunams. For example, the Cyrene Caesareum Temple Area in Egypt was nine dunams in size (20). The Leptis Magna Area in Libya was 18 dunams (21). The Sun Temple in Rome was 12 dunams (22). The Palace of Diocletian Area in Split, in the former Yugoslavia, was three dunams in size (23). (See Fig. 9).

In light of the sizes of temple areas throughout the Roman Empire it can be stated that the Moriah Area in Jerusalem is comparable in terms of size to the temple areas built during the Second Century of the Common Era and is not comparable to those areas built in the First Century before the Common Era.

3. The Moriah Area in comparison with other areas built by Herod

Herod is known as a great builder; he built not only in Israel but in other regions of the eastern part of the Roman Empire, as well. In Israel he built the Temple Mount, the city of Shomron and the Temple to Augustus, at Paneion at the source of the Jordan River, Cypros Castle and fortresses in Jericho. In Caesaria he built a seaport, a temple to Augustus, an amphitheater, a theater and a market square. He built Antipatris, the Phasael Tower and the city of Phasael near Jericho and Herodian (24).

Outside of Israel Herod funded the building of gymnasia in Tripoli, Damascus and Ptolemy. He built a wall for the city of Byblus, and porticos for Berytus and Tyre. He built theaters in Sidon and Damascus, an aqueduct for the city of Laodicea, and bathhouses and wells in Ashkelon. He rebuilt the Pythian Temple in Rhodes (25).

A comparative examination shows that the areas built by Herod ranged from 2 to 12 dunams (not including the Temple Mount). (See Fig. 10). Additionally, all of the areas built by Herod in all of Israel could be placed within the Moriah Area. (See Fig. 11).

Also compared to larger areas such as city walls or fortresses, the Temple Mount is a contrast to other projects built by Herod, for example, the wall of the city of Caesaria, the wall of the city of Shomron, the wall of Masada, the wall of the fortress of Cypros and the wall of Herodian. In all of these projects there was no meticulousness to build straight angles and generally the directions of the walls matched the topography of the sight. (See Fig. 12)

Conversely, the builders of the walls of the Moriah Area scrupulously preserved straight lines and angles without regard to the topography. The wall changed the form of the wadis, crossed wadis, and rose, or descended according to an arbitrary straight line determined by its designer. (See Fig. 13) This contrast can be seen in comparing the straight lines of the Crusader wall in Caesaria compared to the Herodian wall. (See Fig. 14)

Therefore, it can be assumed that the planner of Caesaria, Shomron, Massada, Cypros and Herodian was not the architect who planned the Moriah Area as we know it today.

4. Urban studies aspects for determining the size of the Temple Mount Area in the time of Herod

It can be claimed that the comparison between Hellenistic temples and the Temple in Jerusalem is not relevant. The Hellenistic temples were scattered throughout the Roman Empire and served local residents as opposed to the Temple in Jerusalem which was the worldwide center for all Jews. Therefore, the Jewish Temple had to have been larger then the Hellenistic temples.

In order to answer this claim, the demographic needs of the era of Herod must be identified. Jerusalem was, of course. the center in which pilgrims gathered for holidays and festivals. The visitors crowded into the city primarily during the days of the three festivals. During Passover, the visitors had to arrive on Passover Eve in order to eat the Passover sacrifice (26). In order to estimate the population of Jerusalem, one must double the area of the city in relation to the estimation of the density of ancient cities.

The area of Jerusalem in the time of Herod was about 700 dunams, not including the Temple Mount. (See Fig. 15) The estimation of the density of ancient cities is 50 people per dunam (27). (In comparison, the estimation of density of modern cities is 20 people per dunam.) If so, there were only 35,000 residents of Jerusalem. The number of people able to crowd into Jerusalem is equal to the area in the city available for dwellings divided by the area needed to sleep. If we assume that fifty percent of the city is available for dwellings and the minimal area needed for sleeping is two square meters, then the number of residents and visitors could not be higher than 175,000.

In order to allow for that number of people to enter the Temple Mount, one square meter per four people is needed (28). The area of the Temple Mount, according to sources, was 500 cubits by 500 Cubits, about 50 dunams. The net area for the movement of people, after the reduction of the Temple area, offices and the altar was about 45 dunams. In this area, it is possible to crowd - according to four people per square meter - about 180,000 people. This number matches the amount of people who could stay in Jerusalem as figured above. Additionally, an accord exists between the urban studies test and the size of the area as described by the sources. If so, who built the area that we see today, which is three times larger then that described by the sources?

An area of comparable usage to the Temple Mount is the mosque at Mecca, which has the Kabba at its center. This area is unique for all Muslims as was the Temple Mount for Jews. There is a mandate for all believers to go up and pray at this sight on a certain date of the year, as there was for Jews. The area of Mecca serves over 300 million believers and its whole area is not larger then 27 dunams in size (29). (See Fig. 16).

The number of Jews in the whole of the Roman Empire was not higher then three million people. If so, why was such a big area of 125 dunams built? If we suppose that Herod did not build the Moriah Area, who built it?

5. The Stones of the Moriah Area

The walls of the Moriah Area are constructed of a number of layers of stones. The lowest layer, placed on top of the ground stone is attributed to Herod, except for the central section of the eastern wall where the stones are considered to be from the pre-Herodian era (30). (See Fig. 17). The stones are identified by their large size. Most stones had an average height of one meter 10 centimeters and their length varied between one and five meters. A few of the stones are of the "Rabba" stone type and are 180 centimeters in height and up to 14 meters in length. The weight of the average size stones are about six tons and the large stones about 300 tons (31).

Other then their large size, Herodian masonry stones are often identified by their embossed frames. Surrounding the stone, a frame was created cutting into the rock. The "pillow," that is the center of the rock on the side was also cut, except for in certain places underneath the street pavement where the pillow was left in its original state (32). The frame cuts were not necessarily uniquely typical of the period of the Second Temple or of the Herodian Era. The use of frame cuts has been known"from the seventh century before the Common Era at the temple in Shomron in the Hasmonian Era and through the Crusader Period. (see Fig. 18)

In light of these facts, it cannot be said that frame cuts were typical of the period. However, it must be noted that in most of Herod's projects neither large stones nor cut frames were used. At Masada, Herodian, Cypros and Jericho, the stones are small and rough and have no cut frames. (See Fig. 19) At David's Tower, Caesaria and Shomron there are cut frame, but the cuts are rough and the stones are small in comparison to the stones of the Moriah Area. (See Fig. 20) As for the Cave of the Patriarchs, also considered to be built by Herod, there is no evidence that the structure was built by him either at the sight or in literary sources (32). Thus, despite the fact that the stones at the Cave of the Patriarchs are large and cut precisely, it cannot be inferred from them about the Moriah Area (33).

The sizes of stones reflect a technical and technological skill, organizational ability and economic means. Despite the vast amount of building done by Herod. none of the projects known to be built by him show the technological, economical or organizational abilities allowing for the construction of a sight such as the Moriah Area.

6. Was the building of the Moriah Area completed?

The planning and completion of the Moriah Area was a impressive engineering achievement. The sight is characterized by its size, the size of the stones, the cuts in the stones and the unique topographical conditions which had to be faced in order to carry out the project.

This engineering operation was never completed. An examination of the walls of the western area, on the northern edge shows, with apologies to the Ministry of Religious Affairs, that this area was never finished. There are stones that had no cut frames and others which had their cuts only partially completed. (See Fig. 21) (34)

If it is assumed that the Moriah Area of today is the Temple Mount then the descriptions of the sources conflict and do not match the facts on the sight. According to Josephus, the work of building of the Temple Mount was completed in the time of Herod Agrippa the Second and 18,000 people were left without work. Government authorities desired to create government projects in order to offer jobs to the unemployed workers (35). If this area were the Temple Mount, why was the work on the Northwestern end not completed? It seems that the work was suddenly abandoned and the builders were unable to complete their work. Thus, it can be supposed that the Moriah Area was not the Temple Mount Area. The Temple Mount was finished and completed before its destruction, while the Moriah Area was not yet finished.

CONCLUSION: In both the size of the area and the size and cuts of the stones, the Moriah Area is different and unique when contrasted with all other buildings existing in Israel. Specifically, it is different and unique from all of the buildings attributed to Herod the Great.

7. The Baalbek Area in Lebanon

In the findings of the existing sights in Israel, there is no building comparable to the Moriah Area in its size and type of stone. But are there other places in the world from the period that we are discussing, whose areas are similar to the Moriah Area?

Let us consider the temple at Baalbek in Lebanon (36). Baalbek is situated in the central Ba'aka region of Lebanon. The city served as a religious center for thousands of years. In ancient times the worship of the god Ba'al developed, thus the name of the city - Ba'al of the Ba'aka - Baalbek. In the Roman Era, the worship of the sun developed and the city was renamed Heliopolis (City of the Sun).

On the base of an ancient shrine, a temple to Jupiter was built by Hadrian and his successors at Baalbek. Surrounding the temple, a raised square of about 50 dunams was erected and stone walls protected the area. Besides the temple to Jupiter, two other temples were built in the square. The wall around the square was made of large stones, the smallest of which weighed an average of five to seven tons, and the largest weighed about 200 tons. There were also giant stones weighing approximately 700 tons. Other than the size, the stones are characterized by the fact that some of the stones have cut frames like the stones of the Moriah Area. (See Fig. 22).

The Jupiter Temple in Baalbek was made up of a number of elements: a temple including an open central area and surrounding pillars, ten pillars on the front and 19 pillars on each side. In front of the temple was a rectangular courtyard with an altar in both the center and front, a multi-sided structure of six sides serving as a profile. In front of the hexagon, stood a rectangular structure from a later period.

Combinations of this type, including the rectangular structure, courtyard, the polygon structure, all built in a symmetrical line, were found throughout the Roman Empire. At times, the multi-sided building was a hexagon, as in Baalbek, and at other times nine sided, such as the temple in Yugoslavia. At other times, the structure was round, such as that of the temple in Basel or that of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. (See Fig. 23) The different shapes reflect different uses of the polygon structure. The purpose of the polygon structure differed at the various sights, just as its form was different. For example, at Baalbek, the structure served as an entrance building, while at other sites, such as the temple in Basel, it served as a meeting center. In Diocletian Temple in Split, Yugoslavia or the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, the structure served as a mausoleum. The rectangular structure always served as a temple.

8. Remains of the Roman Temple at the Moriah Area

A current map of the Moriah Area shows two primary structures, the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aksa Mosque. Despite the fact that they are not built in the center of a square, a symmetrical line passes from south to north, crossing the center of the Dome of the Rock by passing through the foot washing station - Al Kas - and crossing the central portico of the Al-Aksa Mosque. (See Fig. 24).

The placement of the two buildings occurs in association with an square rectangular temple and a multi-sided building with open square between the two. Additionally, the dimensions of the temple at Baalbek are very similar to the dimensions of the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aksa Mosque. (See Fig. 25).

Could the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aksa Mosque be built on top of the remains of a Roman temple?

These two structures were built during the Omaric Period during the development of Islam and its expansion outside of Saudi Arabia. It is relatively surprising to see such refined technological abilities already at the beginning of the Arab conquest. Also, the character of the structures from an architectural standpoint is not typical of the Arabic culture and there are no other Arab monuments similar to the Dome of the Rock. Generally, mosques are built from an arrangement of fields of pillars so that the length of the fields stand uniformly in each section of the structure. In the Al-Aksa Mosque, the central field is wider then the fields in the other sections. (See Fig. 26).

This structure is more typical of a Roman Basilica structure or a Byzantine church structure. (See Fig. 27). It is known that during the Byzantine Period, which preceded the Arabic Period, the Moriah Area was deserted and had no buildings. Therefore, it can be reasonable to assume that the Arabs built the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aksa Mosque upon the remains of Roman structures.

9. Drawn Evidence of a Roman Temple at the Moriah Area

There is drawn evidence that there was a Roman Temple in the Moriah Area during the third century of the Common Era. In Dora Europus, Syria, a Jewish synagogue full of drawings was discovered in the early part of this century. The drawings are mainly of biblical subjects. In the drawings there are figurative characters combined with drawings describing the writings of the sages and Midrashic commentaries (38). (See Fig. 28).

The Synagogue and its drawings caused confusion in regard to the understanding of the relationship of normative Judaism to human figure art, and to the process of incorporating the lessons of the sages into the education and culture of the Jews of the diaspora (39). The subjects of the drawings, their location and their placement in relation to each other offer the researcher many challenges and opportunity for much study.

Two particular drawings are on the side directly facing Jerusalem, therefore it can be assumed that they held special importance for the worshippers and for the designer. In the center of the wall facing Jerusalem there is an indentation. To the left and right over the indentation there are four figures representing important people. To the left of the leftmost figure a temple drawn as a Roman Temple appears with two pillars on the front of the temple, an ark, a Menorah and an altar. To the right of the temple, three priests are shown. Near the largest of them, the word "Aaron" is written. To the left of the altar is another priest. Under the priests are animals meant for ritual slaughter. Under the temple is a stone structure and at the front of this structure there are three arched entrance ways. The central entrance way is larger than the others. The entrances are sealed with wooden doors and the main gate has a rolled back curtain. This drawing is called "The Jewish Temple." (See Fig. 29).

To the right, symmetrical to the previous drawing, is another drawing a temple, also designed in the style of a Roman temple. In its front there are four pillars and two closed wooden doors and on the side, six pillars. A number of stone walls surround the temple. Directly underneath the temple there is a stone wall with three openings. The central opening is larger than the others. The upper overlook of the central opening is horizontal and the upper overlooks of the side opening is in the triangular form of a delta. The openings are sealed by wooden doors on which naked women and animals are engraved. This drawing is called "The Roman Temple." (See Fig. 30).

In both drawings there is a Hellenistic style temple, in front which there are three gates, center gate larger then the others. There is much activity in the Jewish temple - priests hold knives for slaughter, animals await slaughter. The temple is open and in its center are the Holy Ark and the candelabra Menorah. In contrast, the Roman temple is desolate, its doors are sealed and no person can be seen. In fact, this is the only drawing within the variety of drawings within the synagogue where there is no representation of people. The researchers have widely considered the implications of the Roman Temple and its place at the front of the synagogue (40). Taking into consideration the similarity between the two drawings, it can be assumed that "The Jewish Temple" describes the future Temple Mount when the priests return to their work and Aaron returns to serve as the High Priest. In contrast, "The Roman Temple" drawing shows the present Temple Mount and the Roman temple on it, during the third century of the Common Era. The temple is empty, there are no Jews in it, and in its stead stands a Roman temple.

The three gates represent a structure near the Temple Mount; It could be the entrance to Jerusalem, such as the Damascus Gate, or a structure within the area such as the - gate which had two smaller openings on its sides. Perhaps, even this was a depiction of one of the victory arches which were in Jerusalem near the Temple Mount. (See Fig. 31).

In the third century of the Common Era, before the growth of Christian control, the Roman temple stood in the Moriah Area. The Jews in their diaspora hoped and expected that this situation would quickly change and that a Jewish temple would replace the Roman temple. An expression of their belief are the drawings in the Dora Europus Synagogue.

The only structure still standing in the Moriah Area which preserves the Roman temple in its plans of pillars and its style is the Al-Aksa Mosque.

10. The Jupiter Temple in Jerusalem according to Written Testimony

Is there written testimony that there was once a Roman temple in the Moriah Area of Jerusalem? In the second century of the Common Era, in the era of Hadrian, there was a Jewish revolt against the Romans. There is a debate among historians as to the reason for this revolt (41). However, the results of the rebellion are undisputed. Judea was crushed, the leader of the revolt, Shimon Bar Kochba, was killed, and Judean prisoners were dispersed throughout the Roman Empire. The Romans, too, suffered heavy losses.

As for Jerusalem, the Jews were exiled and prohibited from entering the city. The name of the city was changed to Aelia Capitolina and according to later sources, temples were erected to Jupiter and Aphrodite (42). A later source notes a list of public buildings built by Hadrian in Jerusalem. One of them was called "the square" (43). The temple to Aphrodite was built at the site of the present Church of the Holy Sepulcher. As for the location of the Temple to Jupiter, little is known. There are researchers who doubt if a temple to Jupiter was built at all on the Temple Mount (44).

Due to the similarity between the walls at the Moriah Area and the Timinus Wall at Baalbek, the similarity between the Jupiter Temple in Baalbek to the structures in the Moriah Area, the drawings of the Roman temple in the Dora Europus Synagogue plus later evidence of a Roman temple and the Square area built by Hadrian, it can be assumed that the Jupiter Temple was built in the Moriah Area and that the Moriah Area was not built by Herod but by Hadrian. This area is the "square" described by the later sources. This explains the discrepancy between the description of the Temple in the sources and the reality which may be seen today. The Jewish Temple Mount was small in size and is totally contained within the pagan Moriah Area.

11. Hadrian - the Man and his Work

Why did Hadrian build such a large area in Jerusalem, at the edge of the Roman Empire? To understand this, Hadrian's background must be given (45).

Hadrian was the Emperor of Rome during the years 117 - 138 C.E. He was the man who brought peace to Rome. Hadrian returned territory conquered by his predecessor, Tiranus, to the Parthians. He settled the borders of the Empire from Britain in the west to Israel, Lebanon, and Syria in the east. Hadrian was a religious pagan and believed that all of the people of Rome must believe in the gods of the Capital and must be educated in accordance with the Hellenistic culture.

Hadrian was the greatest builder in history. He extended and increased the size of Athens and built public buildings and palaces, for example, The Pantheon, the Mausoleums in Rome known today as San Angelo, Antonopolis in Egypt and the Hadrianic Wall in Britain (See Fig. 32). In the eastern part of the Empire, Baalbek, Lebanon, Damascus, Syria, Jerusalem and Judea, he and his descendants built temples to Jupiter. (See Fig. 33).

Following the peace that he declared, the soldiers of Rome were left without a livelihood. The large building projects offered employment to the soldiers and the placement of the temples at the corners of the Empire delineated the borders of the Hellenistic culture and kept the soldiers along the border areas, far from Rome.

It can be assumed that Jerusalem and its residents presented a problem, necessitating a drastic solution. Jerusalem was the center for conflict from the time of Pompeii during the first century before the Common Era (46). Despite the destruction of the Temple in the times of and Titan, the revolts in Judea continued up until the era of Tiranus and Hadrian (47). The existence of Jewish centers in the Roman Empire and in the Parthian Empire demanded a solution in order to prevent future revolts and rebellions. Hadrian attempted to include the Jews in his cultural revolution by peaceful methods and only when this attempt failed did the Emperor decide to solve the Jewish problem permanently.

Hadrian determined that the center of Jewish rebellion activities was Jerusalem, and specifically in the Temple area. Following the destruction of the Second Temple by Titus, remnants of the Temple could still be seen. Rabbi Akiva and his wife saw a fox leave the area of the Second Temple Holy of Holies (48). Jews still lived in Jerusalem and hoped that they would soon be able to renew the work on their temple. However, Hadrian decided to remove all physical remains of the Temple. He closed off the Jewish Temple ruins, including the Temple Mount and the Antonia outpost, by the erection of a surrounding wall to the South, West and North. He covered the remains of the Temple with a platform so that the place of the Temple could not be identified. Upon the elevated level he erected the Jupiter Temple. (See Fig. 34). Hadrian changed the name of the city to Aelia Capitolina, named after himself and the gods important to his world view. Additionally, he prohibited the entrance of Jews into the city. Hadrian's plan succeeded and from that time, the Jews ceased to be a political factor in the Roman Empire. Until the Seventh Century, Jews were prohibited from entering the city and the Byzantines and Arabs continued to call the city "Aelia" (49).

12. The Error in the Identification of the Temple Mount and the Temple

The total destruction of the Second Temple by Titus, the massive building program by Hadrian and the cutting off of Jews from the city of Jerusalem caused an error in the identification of the Temple Mount and the site of the Temple.

Thus, it was written that in the Third Century of the Common Era, the Jews of Babylon could not identify the sight of the Temple (50). It seems that only the local residents kept track of signs identifying the former location of the Temple. One of those locals was Hyramiomus who lived during the fourth century. In his commentary to the Bible he claims that the statue of Hadrian as a cavalry soldier was exactly over the sight of the Holy of Holies (51). However, according to most authorities, within the complex of the Roman temple, the spot of the cavalry soldier was center of the square before the Temple (52). (See Fig. 35).

If, as according to our theory, the Al-Aksa Mosque is the Roman temple and the original temple square continues to the Dome of the Rock, the place of the Roman cavalry soldier statue was in the center of the square, near Al Kas fountain, and that site is most likely the location of the Holy of Holies (53). (See Fig. 36).

The Byzantine Christians destroyed the pagan temple but left the statue of Hadrian. The Arabs conquered the area, identified it as the Temple Mount, cleared the garbage that had gathered, discovered the remains of the Roman temple and identified it as Solomon's Temple. On this base they built the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aksa. Thus the error was begun: with Christians, with travelers, and later investigators, all of whom claimed that the walls of the area were the remnants of the Jewish Temple Mount.

The identification of the Moriah Area as delineated by the walls of the Temple Mount has become an fundamental principle which needs no proof.

13. The Remains of Aelia Capitolina

One of the unsolved problems in the study of Jerusalem is the small amount of ruins and rubble from the later Roman period: the walls of Aelia Capitolina have not been found and the buildings of the Tenth Roman Legion which was stationed and served in Jerusalem for 200 years have not been found. The famous Cardo is from the Byzantine Period and under it there are no Roman artifacts. Other then coins, tile shards and remnants of victory arches, no significant remains have been found (54). All of this despite the written evidence, albeit written later, describing the massive buildings of Hadrian in Jerusalem (55).

The Moriah Area is therefore the Timinus, the holy area on which was built temples to the gods of the Capital - Jupiter, Juno and Minerva were built. If this is indeed the case, the walls of the Moriah Area, the base of Al-Aksa and the Dome of the Rock are the remains of the building of Aelia Capitolina.

Thus, the discrepancy between the literary sources and the archeological realities upon the Temple Mount can be solved and the remnants of Aelia Capitolina have been discovered.

14. Conclusion

An examination and comparison between the areas and temples built throughout the Roman Empire and among the visible archeological remains in the Moriah Area, and consideration of the written testimonies and drawings lead us to the following conclusions:
  • The Moriah Area is not the Temple Mount built by Herod
  • The Moriah Area as we know it today was built by Hadrian
  • The Al-Aksa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock were built upon the remains of the Roman Temple.
  • The Temple Mount is hidden and enclosed within the Moriah Area
  • The Jewish Temple, or at least its remnants, exist between Al-Aksa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock in the area of Al Kas fountain.

The assumption that the Moriah Area is the work of Hadrian and his successors opens before the investigators new horizons for the understanding of Jerusalem and her secrets (56).

Appendix B - Notes

1. Captain Charles Warren, Plans, Elevations, Sections; Excavation at Jerusalem, 1867 1870, The Committe of the Palestine Exploration Fund.

2. The Temple Mount was 500 cubits by 500 cubits, Mishnah, Kedoshim, Midot 2a

3. The Temple Mount is ris by ris. Josephus, Jewish Antiquities, L.Feldman, London, 1992, 16:11, 1-8.

4. cite Nachman...; Josephus, note 3 supra.

5. cited in Hebrew

6. See note 2, infra

7. Josephus. note, 3 supra, 45:11, 1-7.

8. Josephus, The Jewish War, H. Thackeray, London, 1979, p.___

9. 200 meters x 110% = 220 meters = 500 cubits (according to one cubit equals 0.44 meters)

200 meters x 90% = 180 meters = one ris (according to one ris equals 187 meters)

10. Cpn. Charles Warren, Plans. Elevations. Sections - Excavation atJerusalem 1867 - 1870, The Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund. It can be seen that the side of the Israel Pool on the eastern side is an integral part of the eastern wall.

11. cited in Hebrew

12. P.L. Nervy, general editor, History of World Architecture, Figure 45;36 - Hercules Temple, Tivoli

13. A.B. Ward Perkins, Roman lmperial Architecture - Augustus Forum, Rome.

14. C. Flon, editor, The World Atlas of Architecture, New York, 1988, p.161, Julius Caesar Forum, Rome.

15. Perkins, note 13 infra, p.144 - Ostia Temple

16. Flon, note 14 infra, p.161 - Trianus Temple.

17. Th. Wiegand, Baalbek, Berlin, 1921 - Jupiter Temple, BaalBek, Lebanon.

18. Th. Wiegand, Palmira, Berlin, 1932, p.20-21 - Temple, Palmira.

19. F. Sear, Roman Architecture, London, 1982, p.252 - Artimus Temple - Geresh, Jordan.

20. Th. Wiegand, Damaskus, Berlin, 1921, p.4 - Jupiter Temple, Damascus, Syria.

21. Perkins, note 13 infra, p.367 - Caesar Temple, Egypt.

22. Sear, note 19 infra, p.196 - Leptis Magna, Libya.

23. Sun Temple, Rome.

24. Sear, note 19 infra, p.262 - _________ Temple, Split, Yugoslavia.

25. Josephus, note 8 infra, p.___ - List of projects built by Herod in the Land of Israel.

26. ibid, p. - List of projects built by Herod outside the Land of Israel.

27. cited in Hebrew

28. cited in Hebrew

29. cited in Hebrew

31. cited in Hebrew

32. cicited in Hebrew

33. cited in Hebrew

34. cited in Hebrew

35. Josephus, note 3 infra, 20:9,7

36. See note 17

37. S.D. Goitein, The Historical Background of the Erection of the Dome of the Rock, Jaos LXX, 1950, p.104-108.

38. C.H. Kraeling, The Synagogue, London, 1956.

39. Avi Jona, I.E.J., Vol. 6, 1956. pp.194-196.

40. cited in Hebrew

41. E. Schurer, The Historv of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ, Edinburgh, 1973, p.540-542; 5. Applebaum, Prolegomena to the Study of the Second Jewish Revolt, Oxford, 1976, p.8; E. Smallwood, The Jews in the Roman Empire, Leiden, 1976, p.432 - 434.

42. Dio Cassio, Roman History, Epitome of Book LXIX 12:1-14

43. Chronicon Paschale .Ed .Du Cange in J.P. Migne, PG, vol. 92

44. cited in Hebrew

45. W. Ben Boer, Religion and Literature in Hadrian's Policy, Mnemosyne VIII, 1955, p.123-144

46. cited in Hebrew

47. cited in Hebrew

48. A fox in the Holy of Holies, Tractate Macot 24a

49. Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica, in J.P. Migne, P.G., Vol. 20.

50. "Rabbi Yermiah, son of Babylonia came to the Land of Israel and could not find the sight of the Temple" Tractate Shevuot 1 4b.

51. cited in Hebrew

52. The sight of the Cavalry Statue in the Roman temple. Thanks to R. Z. Koren who directed me to the writing of Hyronimous.

53. Based on consideration of the open spaces, it can be assumed that the remains of the temple are between AL-Aksa and theDome of the Rock, about 16 meters under the present level.

54. Remnants of Aelia Capitalina...

55. cited in Hebrew... "when the temple of the Jews was destroyed, the two ______, the theater....

56. Conclusions of this study demand reevaluation of a number of issues:

1. Were the Hadriatic structures near the Damascus Gate and the Russian Hostel really of secondary use to Herodian building?

2. From what period are the stone arches under the Robinson Arch which are located under the level of the Herodian street.?

3. Is the stone on which is engraved "(Hebrew letters)" part of the stones of the wall?

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