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and power than any pacha in the grand signior's dominions. The deligiitful plain of Zabulon appeared every where covered with spontaneous vegetation, flourishing in the wildest exuberance. The same proof of its fertility is given by other tra. vellers*. As we proceeded across this plain, a castle, once the acropolis of the city of Sapphura, appeared upon a hill, distant from Shef hamer about seven miles. Its name is still preserved, iu the appellation of a miserable village, called Sephou. s'y. An ancient aqueduct
, which conveyed water to the city, now serves to supply several small mills. We were told, that the French had been quartered in all these villages; that their couduct had rendered the name of a Frenchman, once odious, very popular among the Arabs; that they paid punctually for every thing they required; and test belrind them notions, concerning the despotic tyranny of the Turks, which the government of that country will not find it easy to eradicate. We ascended the bill to the village; and found the sun's rays, even at this early hour of the morning, almost insupportable. If we had not adopted the precaution of carrying umbrellas, it would have been impossible to continue the journey. The cactus ficus-indicus, or prickly pear, which grows to a prodigious size in the Holy Land, as in Egypt, where it is used as a fence for tie liedges of enclosures, spronted luxuriantly among the rocks, displaying its gaudy yellow blossoms, amidst thorns defying all human approach. We afterward saw this plant, with a stem, or trunk, as large as the mainmast of a frigate. It produces a delicious cooling fruit, which becomes ripe toward the end of July, and is then sold in all the markets of the country.
* Particularly hy Pococke, Description of the East, vol ij. part i. Lond. 1745. fra the enumeration of the cities of Judah, (Joshua, xv. 55.) this place is menttioned with Carmel, under the name of Ziph. And David is said to have hid himself with the Ziphites, in strong holds in the Hill of Hachilah, (1 Sam. xxiii. 19 ) Harduin, (Num Adliq. illust. p. 480. Paris, 1684.) upon the subject of its appellation, says,
More porro Hebræo Seforin dicimus, quanquam in scribendo Græci æque atque Latini, Lemowprvet Spphorin scribant." Cellarius writes it Sepphoris, from Josephus, (lib. iii. De Bell. cap. 3.) Σέπφωρις μεγίστη ούσα της Γαλιλαίας πόλις. Brocardus, Theat. Terr. Sanct.) as from the Greek, Sephoron, and Sephorum ; also Sephor, under which name it occurs in the writings of some authors. It is, according to Cellarius, the Zippor or Zippari, of the Rabbins. In the Coder Palatinus of Ptolemy, (lib. v. cap. 16.) the name however occurs so pearly according to the manner in which it is. now pronounced. in the country (Elmpoupa), that this ancient reading may be preferred to any other. A curious etymology of Zipporis is noticed by Cellarius, (lib. jii. c. 13. Lips. 1706.) “Judæis est '7758, Zipporis, ut in Talmud. Megill. fol. 6. col. 1. aiunt, quia monti insidet, 7708) sicut avis."
I It is applied to the same use in the West Indies. Baron de Tott notices its importance, as a fence, in the Holy Land. "The Indian fig tree, of which the hedges are formed, serves as an insurmountable barrier for the security of the fields." (Memoirs, vol. ii. p. 312. Lond. 1785.) It might, in certain latitudes, answer temporary purposes, as an outwork of fortification. Artillery has no effect upon it; fire will not act upon it; pioneers cannot approach it; and neither cavalry nor infantry can tra
SAPPHURA, or SEPPHORIS, Dow Sephoury, was once the chief city and bulwark of Galilee.* The remains of its fortifications exhibited to us an existing work of Herod, who, after its destruction by Varus, not only rebuilt and fortified it, but made it the chief city of his tetrarchy. Here was held one of the five Saphedrims of Judæa. I Its inhabitants often revolted against the Romans. It was so advantageously situated for defence, that it was deemed impregnable. In later ages, it bore the name of Diocæsarea. Josephus relates, that the inhabitants of Sepphoris amicably entreated Vespasian, when he arrived in Piolemais.** Harduin commemorates medals of the city, coined afterward, under the Romans, in the reigns of Domitian and of Trajav.fi Wewere pot fortunatein our search for medals, either here, or in any other part of the Holy Land; and, speaking generally of the country, these antiquities are so exceedingly rare, that the peasants seemed unacquainted with the objects of our inquiry. This was not the case among the Arabs in Egypt, nor in any part of Greece. It is true, the French had preceded us, and they might have carried off the few which had of late years been discovered; but they had weightier matters to consider, and the inhabitants among whom we made our inquiry did not mention having supplied them with any reliques of this kind.. When we arrived in the village, we were invited to visit the house of St. Anne. The proposal surprised us, coming from persons in the Arab dress; but we afterward fouod that the inhabitants of Galilee, and of the Holy Land in general, are as often Christians as
* Σίπφωριν, μεγίστην μεν ούσαν της Γαλιλαίας πόλιν, έρυμνότατα δε επέκτισμένην χωρίω, και φρουράν όλου του έθνους έσομένην. « Sepphoris, φuα Galilea maxima, et in Autissimo loco condita, totiusque gentis futura praesidio.' Joseph. lib. iii. Bell Jud. cap. i. p. 832, | Joseph, Antiq. lib. xviij. c. 3.,
Ibid. lib. xiv. c. 10.
of which instances are mentioned by various authors. Οι εν Διοκαισαρεία της Παλα στίνης Ιεδαίοι κατά Ρωμαίων όπλα αντήρων. (Socrat. Ηist. ii. c. 33.) « Judei qui Diocæsaream Palæstinæ incolebant contra Romanos arma sumserunt." Sozomep. Histor. lib iv. c. 7.
Il Cellarius, tom ij. p. 499. Lips. 1706. and the authors by him cited. Hieronymus de Locis Ebr. in ARABA ; “Est et alja villa, Arabâ nomine, in finibus Diocæsarea, quæ olim Saphorine dicebatur." Hegesippus, lib. i. cap. 30. « Præveniens adventus sui nuntio Sepphorim prisco vocitatam nomine, quam Diocæsaream postea nuncupa
** Και κατά ταύτην ύπαιτώσω αυτή την πόλιν οι της Γαλιλαίας Σέπφωριν νεμόμενοι, , των τήδε ειρηνικά φρονούντες. . “ Io hâcporro civitate occurrerunt ei Sepphoritæ, qui Galilææ oppidum incolunt, animis pacis studiosis.” Joseph. lib. iii. Bell. Jud. сар. 1.
* CETIQOPHNON. “ Domitiani ac Trajani pummi, e Cimelio Regio, quorum postremum laudat Patinus, p. 183, cum palmae, efligie, qui Phænices in primis, ac Judææ typus." Harduini Numm. Antiq. illust. p. 449. Paris, 1684. See also Patis. P. 146, and Vailant, Imp. A ugust, et Cæs. Numism. pp. 23, 31. Par. 1698.
they are Mahometans; indeed, they sometimes consider them.
Travels in Egypt and Syria, vol. ii. p. 33. Lond. 1787.
See a note in the last chapter, p. 224. || A very curious account of the Maronite Christians, collected from their own historians, is given by De la Roque, (Voyage en Syrie et du Mont Liban, Par. 1722.) wherein it is stated, that this sect were named from their founder, St. Maron, a Syrian hiermit, who lived about the beginning of the fifth century, and whose life is written by Theodoret. His austere mode of living spread his reputation all over the east. St. Chrysostom wrote a letter to him from ihe place of his exile, (“Ad Maronem Monachum et Presbyterum Epist. S. Joan. Chrysost. 36.") which letter fixes very nearly the time when St. Maron lived, which was about the year of Christ 400. Pococke says (Descript. of the East, vol. ii. p. 94.) that the Maronites are esteemed more honest than any other sect of Christians in the east.
Caliphoruia or New Holland. A series of legendary traditions, mingled with remains of Judaism, and the wretched phaptasies of illiterate ascetics, may now and then exbibit a glimmering of heavenly light; but if we seek for the blessed effects of Christianity in the laod of Canaan, we must look for that period, when the desert shall blossom as the rose, aud the wilderness become a fruitful field.” For this reason we had early resolved to make the sacred Scriptures our only guide throughout this interesting territory, and the delight afforded by the intergal evidences of truth, in every iustance where their fidelity of descriptioo was proved by a comparison with existing documents, surpassed even all we had anticipated.* Such extraordinary instances of coincidence, even with the customs of the country as they are now exhibited, and so many wonderful examples of illustration afforded by contrasting the simple narrative with the appearances presented, made 318 only regret the shortness of our time, and the limited sphere of our abilities for the comparison. When the original compilert of “ Observations ou various passages of scripture” undertook to place them in a new light, and to explain their meaning by relations incidently mentioned in books of Voyages and Travels into the East, he was struck by communications the authors of those books were themselves not aware of having made; and it is possible, his commentators may discern similar instances in the brief record of our journey. But if the travellers who have visited this country (and many of them were men of more than ordinary talents) had been allowed full leisure for the inquiry, or had merely stated what they might have derived solely from a view of the country, abstracted from the consideration and detail of the lamentable mummery whereby the monks in all the convents have gratified the credulity of every traveller for so many centuries, and which in their subsequent relations they seem to have copied from each other, we should have had the means of elucidating the sacred writings, perhaps in every instance, where the meaning has been “ not determinable by the methods commonly used by learned men."I
* Ścio equidem multa loca falso ostendi ab hominibus lucri avidis per universam Palæstinam; ac si hæc et illa miranda opera ibi patrata fuissent, sed hoc tamen negari non potest, aliqua sane certo sciri." Relandi Palæstina, cap. iv. in Thesaur. Antiq. Sacrar. Ugolini, vol. vi. Venet. 1746.
The Rev. Thomas Harmer. See the different editions of his work, 1764, 1777, 1787: and especially the fourth, published in 1808, by Dr. Adam Clarke.
See the title to the work above mentioned.
The House of Șt. Anne, at Sephoury, presented us with the commencement of that superstitious trumpery, which, for a long time, has constituted ihe chief object of devotion and of pilgrimage in the Holy Land, and of which we had afterwardjustances without number.* A tradition prevails that St. Joachim and the mother of the Virgin Mary resided in this place: accordingly, some pious agent of Constantine the First erected over the spot where the monks fancied their house had stood, or, what is more likely, over what they vouched for being the house itself, a most magnificent church, The remaios of this sanctuary were what we had been invited to see; and these now bear the name of the house I have mentioned. The visit was, however, attended by circumstances which may possibly ipterest the reader more than the cause of it will induce him to imagine.
We were conducted to the ruins of a stately gothic edifice; which seems to have been one of the finest structures in the Holy Land. Here we entered, beneath lofty massive arches of stone. The roof of the building was of the same materials. The arches are placed at the intersection of a Greek cross, and originally supported a dome or a tower : their ap. pearance is highly picturesque, and they exhibit the grandeur of a voble style of architecture. Broken columns of granite and marble lie scattered among the walls, and these prove how richly it was decorated. We measured the capital of a pillar of the order commonly called Tuscan, which we found lying against a pillar of granite. The top of this formed a square of three feel. One aisle of this building is yet entire; at the eastern extremity whereof a small temporary altar had been recently constructed by the piety of pilgrims: it consisted of loose materials, and was of very modern date. Some frag. ments of the original decorations of the church had been gathered from the ruins, and laid upon this altar; and, although it was open to every approach, even Mahometans had abstained from violating the sacred deposit. We were less scrupu. lous; for among these, to our very great surprise, we noticed an ancient painting, executed after the manner of the pictures worshipped in Russiant upon a square piece of wood. about half an inch in thickness. The picture, split through the middle, consisted of two pieces: these, placed one upon the
* A house supposed to have belonged to the same persons is also shown in Jerusan lem.
t. See the first part of these travels, chi I!.