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Keys to JerusalemCollected Essays$
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Jerome Murphy-O'Connor

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199642021

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199642021.001.0001

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The Temple and the Antonia

The Temple and the Antonia

(p.37) 2 The Temple and the Antonia
Keys to Jerusalem

Jerome Murphy‐O'Connor

Oxford University Press

Even after the destruction of the Jewish temple by the Romans in ad 70, the memory survived. The location on the east side of the Old City of Jerusalem was known to the Byzantines, to Islam, to the Crusaders, to Ayyubids, Mamluks, and Ottomans. It was not until the twenty-first century that this apparently solidly established identification was challenged. The initial attack came from Ernest L. Martin in a book provocatively entitled The Temples that Jerusalem Forgot. He argued, first, that the vast esplanade hitherto considered to be the site of the temple, now venerated by Muslims as the Haram esh-Sharif, was in fact the site of the Antonia fortress, and, second, that the temple had been built in the City of David on the Ophel Ridge over the spring of Gihon. These points were taken up and elaborated by George Wesley Buchanan in a series of articles. The two parts of the hypothesis are not of equal weight. No one has ever claimed to find physical evidence of a monumental building over the Gihon Spring. Much remains, however, of the great esplanade built by Herod. In consequence, the basis of the discussion is much broader because it has to incorporate tangible evidence. This chapter begins with the question of the Antonia, which is the main focus of Martin's book, and then deals with the arguments in favour of the Gihon temple put forward by Buchanan.

Keywords:   Jewish temple, Jerusalem, Ernest L. Martin, Antonia fortress, Gihon Spring, George Wesley Buchanan, Haram esh-Sharif

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