University of Pennsylvania Press
  • The Christian Appropriation of Jerusalem in the Fourth Century: The Case of the Bordeaux Pilgrim
Keywords

Oded Irshai, The Christian Appropriation of Jerusalem in the Fourth Century: The Case of the Bordeaux Pilgrim, Christian pilgrimage, the Holy Land, Roman Palestine, Roma Nova, Jerusalem

In the past three or so decades there has been a noticeable increase of scholarly interest in the world of Christian pilgrimage in general and that leading to the Holy Land in particular.1 Indeed the birth of Christian pilgrimage to Roman Palestine during the third and fourth decades of the fourth century took place not in the least due to the brilliant Holy Land plan of Constantine, which was, among other matters, aimed at diverting [End Page 465] the attention of the Christian masses from what only just recently had been their lot—horrifying persecutions at the hands of the heathen Roman Empire. At the same time it served to invigorate their interest in their recent heroic, historic, and mythic past that took place in the Holy Land and particularly in Jerusalem.2 In addition to its avowed interest in a new Christian self-identity it seems to me that Constantine’s plan served too as yet another component in the overall scheme to tilt the political and religious center of gravity from the Occident to the Orient—from Rome the civitas aeterna to Roma Nova, which he founded in Byzantium on the banks of the Bosphoran straits and renamed Constantinopolis.3 [End Page 466]

In no time the massive construction work carried out predominantly in (the Holy Sepulcher) and around Jerusalem (Mount of Olives, Mamre [near Hebron] and Bethlehem) was being augmented by the creation of yet another configuration of a spiritual nature, the holy Jerusalem liturgy, which no doubt when finally formed merited the title the “Fifth Gospel” given it by Peter Walker.4 The pilgrims who flocked by the hordes to the holy city were the backbone of the unique religious and cultural transformation that is the Christianization of Jerusalem and of the Holy Land. They captured and disseminated its message as well as its scents. It seems that it must have been to them, as well as to the neophytes gathering in Jerusalem to convert to the new religion, that Cyril the local bishop addressed the following: “One should never grow weary of hearing about [End Page 467] our crowned Lord, especially on this holy Golgotha. For others merely hear, but we see and touch”5

The “end product,” so to say, of the Christian appropriation of the Holy Land in general and of Jerusalem in particular was demonstrated cartographically on the famous mosaic floor of the Madaba Church east of the Jordan River, better known as the Madaba Map.6 This map and possibly other maps7 as well as other components of the Christian Holy Land edifice (relics and tombs) were to an extant a reflection of the circulating verbal accounts of the early pilgrims to Byzantine Palestine. The centrality of these accounts to the understanding of Christian views on [End Page 468] pilgrimage and the Holy Land is beyond doubt, but before we take a closer look at segments of the earliest description of the Holy Land known to us, the one written by the anonymous pilgrim from Bordeaux (333 c.e.), a short précis of the status quaestionis of the early Christian pilgrimage to Palestine and its literary accounts is in order.

Scholars like David Hunt and Zeev Rubin have scoured the intricate historical terrain of Late Antiquity in order to depict for us the hitherto unknown picture of Christian Palestinian pilgrimage set in the unique political and religious circumstances of the empire and in particular in the province of Roman Palestinian.8 Others, like Peter Walker, Robert Wilken, and Robert Markus as well as Piere Maraval, to mention only a few, immersed themselves in the conceptual world of pilgrimage and in the notion of the Holy Land as portrayed in the writings of the Church fathers.9 Still others like John Wilkinson and Ora Limor, took upon themselves to translate and annotate the pilgrims’ accounts.10 In more recent years a more specific venue has been explored, namely, the Jewish component of Christian pilgrimage. Recent studies have looked into the following set of topics. On the one hand, for instance, Ora Limor has [End Page 469] explored the role of the Hebraica Veritas (that is, the intrinsic and concealed knowledge of the Jews of local Judeo-Christian traditions) in the construction of Palestinian Christian sacred topography, and others like Elchanan Reiner have been tracing hints of possible Jewish reactions to this rather new religious and cultural intrusion into their land.11 While the pilgrims’ increasingly visible presence in Palestine in the last decades of the fourth century (as clearly reflected in Egeria’s personal devotional diary) was gaining an ever growing ecclesiastical support, this new phenomenon begins also to attract waves of criticism and disappointment from leading Church authorities such as Gregory of Nyssa.12

The Christian pilgrims carried the banner of a Christianized Roman Empire, and their accounts seem to reflect the transformation of the new local collective mental disposition more than any other form of literature. In terms of spatial transmutation, the tangible and decisive results of this process were witnessed in Jerusalem more than in any other place in the land. Indeed, the painstaking process of adorning Jerusalem with a Christian garment was carried out through an ingenious mechanism of appropriation with touches of supersessionist ideology. Central to the idea of transformation was the conception of just what had to be achieved: the easing of the Jews’ grip on the land. The ways that Christian pilgrims digested and represented Jewish experience both past and present (such as Julian’s abortive attempt to rebuild the Temple) were instrumental in the formation of the newly Christianized City.13 This [End Page 470] essay is an attempt to expose the Jewish element lurking behind the newly formed Christian “façade” of fourth-century Jerusalem.

The itinerary to be discussed here was penned by the anonymous traveler from Bordeaux in 333 c.e. The account seems at first to be an amalgamation of two entirely different types of description. The first is essentially a logbook of stationes (places of rest), mutationes (sites for the change of horses), as well as lists of distances between destinations that connected Europe to the Holy Land, all based probably on contemporary imperial guide books, charts, and maps.14 The second is composed of a lengthy and comparatively detailed list of sites of religious interest in the Holy Land itself—particularly in and around Jerusalem—coupled with descriptions of their historical and spiritual importance.15

Until recently this hybrid account attracted little interest, being described as “a brief, almost stenographic account, noting where the traveler went, what he saw, where he changed his horses, and distances from one place to another . . . The book exhibits almost no theological interest. It moves indiscriminately from one place to another . . . [and] has no hierarchy of place.”16 Indeed, at first glance the account does seem almost haphazard and undifferentiated, not much more than Eusebius’s lexicon of place names, the Onomasticon.17 It appears by far inferior to Egeria’s [End Page 471] personal account which “furnishes a more penetrating glimpse of a Christian traveler.”18

In recent years, however, the anonymous pilgrim from Bordeaux has been receiving new attention and reappraisal. Three studies, two of them published in the course of the 1990s and the third in 2001, have reversed to some extent the scholarly trend. The first, by Blake Leyerle, addresses the uniqueness of the landscape described by the anonymous pilgrim, pointing out the lack of any mention of humans or fauna and flora or descriptive elements of the sites—all in the service of the predetermined focus on the theological veneration and interaction with the past enshrined in the architecture. Thus, she argues, the entire journey, including the various stations, is inferior in interest and importance to the main portion of the account, that of the Holy Land.19 A subsequent study by Glenn Bowman described the Bordeaux Pilgrim’s account as a step preceding that of Egeria, where “scripture begins to dissolve into site.” Bowman contends that “the text, rather than seeking to direct pilgrims to the holy places of the Roman Empire, works to lead catechumens to gateways which open onto a kingdom not of this world.”20

Jaś Elsner’s study of the Bordeaux Pilgrim takes its cue from the Greco-Roman world of the periegesis (most notably that of Pausanias).21 [End Page 472] Elsner demonstrated how the Bordeaux Pilgrim’s account, which essentially still belonged to that genre,22 was beginning to reflect characteristics of an emerging genre of sacred journey, set in the new Christian Roman Empire of Constantine.23 These scholars agree about the long “mishandling” of the text and repeatedly emphasize the view that the Itinerarium is a “carefully structured and deeply theological (text),” a “carefully composed piece with a strong and deliberate ideological message.”24

Yet the contribution with the most relevance to my project is Andrew Jacob’s recent study on the centrality of the Jews to the formulation of the late antique Christian identity within the configuration of a Holy Land. In Palestine, Jacobs asserts, representatives of “imperial Christianity” were able to cast the Jew into the role of the “colonial ‘subaltern’: that dominated object of fear, mistrust, and envy that, through disparate forms of intellectual construction, the Christian can transform into his or her own indispensable shadow.”25 Accordingly he sets out to trace the ghostly presence of Jews past and present in the world of the Bordeaux Pilgrim’s narrative.26 In this essay I build in part on Jacob’s insights and will work to expose and analyze the components of a discourse of Christian appropriation that is reflected in the Bordeaux traveler’s account, as well as the mechanism and narrative traits governing its presentation.

Thus, generally speaking, if we are to adopt Glen Bowman’s catchphrase describing our pilgrim’s story as essentially a “catechetical text,” I’d say that indeed it reflects the “catechetical phase” of the neophyte Christian holy city, whereby the early pilgrims were being exposed to the “new” Christian symbols attached to the local space and set over against [End Page 473] the symbols of the Jewish past.27 It is my contention that here we are able to capture a rare moment of Christian supersessionism at work where the new Christian message is superimposed on the old quintessential symbol of the city, namely, its Temple, here subdued and annexed. Here it is where the bare flesh and bones of the past were being adorned with the new garment of Christian truth. If one wishes, we are gazing here at the moment of immersion (death of the old self, in Cyril’s sacramental language) emerging later in the white gowns of Christian piety in the days of Egeria.

With the above preliminary remarks in mind, the time has finally come to take the interpretation of the Itinerarium Burdigalense yet another step forward and view it as a reflection of the possible local, Jerusalemite Adversus Judaeos atmosphere, being the earliest formative component in the formation of the late antique Christian Palestinian sacred geography literature. Yet before we embark on our guided tour led by the anonymous traveler from Bordeaux, I’d like to suggest that we adopt as our lens the well known rhetorical device (from the Greco-Roman progymnasmata) the ekphrasis (a detailed narrative description of places and objects) that has been recently defined by one scholar as “a picture in words.”28 As I’ll venture to demonstrate, walking us through the ruins of the Temple, our traveler brings to life a full-fledged Christian animation of the Temple Mount’s history.

The Itinerarium Burdigalense as an Adversus Judaeos Text with Supersessionist Overtones

With all of that in mind let us embark on our textual journey and analysis. At the center of the discussion stands the midsection of our traveler’s [End Page 474] account, namely, the one describing the sacred geography of Roman Palestine, which as noted earlier was bracketed on both sides by sections of secular nature, listing routes, distances, and stations. However, a closer scrutiny of that very same midsection reveals yet another hierarchic setting, whereby the Jerusalem segment in the account is enclosed between two symmetrically paralleled sections in which the routes to Jerusalem (from the north) and from it (to the east and south) are dominated by biblical (i.e., Old Testament) and postbiblical traditions, with only very few New Testament citations. Against all of this the description of Jerusalem in the account is studded with Christian historical as well as contemporary traditions, thus rendering the entire site a Christianized sacred space towering in its prominence and eclipsing the entire land.29

Following the stream of traditions and observations made by the anonymous pilgrim, one is able to perceive the gradual shift from the past to the present and even the future. The Jerusalem itinerary is essentially a journey through history predominantly (but not exclusively) Christian, from Christ to Constantine. But it is more than that. The journey along the different sites reflects an effort to imprint a “mental map,” an outline of a “collective memory,” made out of a set of the significant stations in Christ’s life which would serve to explain to the beholder the historical transformation (embedded in a theological logic) which Jerusalem under-went between the days of the persecuted Christ and the Christian renaissance in a Constantinian empire.30 The implicit message of the final [End Page 475] product is an image of a divinely predestined plan to create a Christian Jerusalem, and it is here that we enter the polemical sphere. For all of this necessitates the dispossession of the holy city’s space from the hands of its previous occupiers, the Jews, in the course of which the Aelia Capitolina phase is nearly entirely obliterated from memory.

More than in any other place within the city’s perimeter, an appropriationist hermeneutic manifests itself in the pilgrim’s description of the Temple Mount. It is here, I contend, that our text divulges its deepest polemical intentions and arguments for a Christianized Jerusalem.31 Here we are facing for the first time the innovative mechanism of appropriation and dispossession of space and memory. It is not in an act of extirpation but rather relegation to a secondary status and faded importance—it epitomizes the wider theological supersessionism, or as will shortly be revealed, of superscription. Christianity in fourth-century Jerusalem supplants rather than suppresses Jewish Jerusalem. The mode by which this was achieved was the constant juxtaposition of similar and opposing traditions from both camps, creating a literary and historically symbolic hierarchy in the imagined space (horizontal as well as vertical) culminating eventually in a full picture of the proposed significance and meaning.

To best understand how this plays out in the short literary and interpretative journey of our anonymous traveler, one must recognize the pivotal significance to any religious geography of the Temple Mount of two powerful biblical figures, each of whom has, in the course of the creation of Christian apologetic literature, played a major role: King Solomon and Christ. Let us therefore begin our tour on the Temple Mount.

Our traveler journeys into Jerusalem from the northeast,32 thus implicitly [End Page 476] following Christ’s footsteps in his messianic “Triumphal Entry” (Mark 11.1–11; compare Matt 21.1–11) to Jerusalem prior to his passion.33 More precisely, the set of traditions invoked by our traveler could be seen as an encapsulated exegesis of one single verse in one of the most renowned texts within biblical wisdom literature, the book of Ecclesiastics (attributed to King Solomon) 2.6, 8: “I made myself pools from which to water the forest of growing trees . . . I got singers, both men and women, and delights of the flesh, many concubines.” Near the walls but most probably external to them and beside the Temple he encounters “two large pools erected by Solomon,” a figure that is to play a major role in this section of his account. Right after mentioning this he goes on to describe a “twin pool having five porticoes, which are called Bethesda, there people who were sick for years were cured,” no doubt referring to the very same place where Jesus carried out one of his most celebrated miracles, the curing of the paralytic (of thirty-eight years) on a Sabbath, which in turn aroused Pharisaic anger (John 5). One does not need special skills to note the exceeding sacred value allotted by our writer to the second set of pools.34 The possible unassuming impression initially generated by the two sites which are situated horizontally in close vicinity to one another is transformed by the text’s juxtaposition of the traditions connected each into a hierarchical comparative evaluation: while Solomon created pools of water no doubt for the benefit and mundane needs of the Jerusalem inhabitants, Jesus (not explicitly mentioned) carried [End Page 477] out acts of salvation in similarly designed pools. The recent past scene exceeds in significance and importance the more distant one.35

Thereafter, following our guide we enter the Temple perimeter where our pilgrim tells us we are facing (customarily, without giving an exact location) the “crypt in which Solomon tortured the demons,” once again no doubt referring to a widely disseminated rabbinical and Christian tradition describing how in the course of planning and building the Temple, Solomon was obliged to subdue the demons in order to turn them into his aids.36 Immediately after that our pilgrim points his reader to “the [End Page 478] corner of the most high tower (in the Temple precinct) where the Lord ascended, and he spoke to who was tempting him, and the Lord stayed him: Thou shalt not tempt the Lord,” reminding him of the famous episode of Satan’s attempt to tempt Jesus (Matt 4:5–7 and parallels).37 Here again the juxtaposition of these traditions determines their significance and symbolic meaning. The explicit employment of the presence of two different, separate, and here negating realms of nature in a vertical dimension, the underworld and the heavenly, is reminiscent of the overwhelming presence of this very same theme in another famous lofty literary production from Bordeaux, alas forty years later, the Mosella by Ausonius.38 Yet in the traveler’s account under discussion the vertical dimension is employed to fix a meaningful relationship between the two leading [End Page 479] characters in the scenario created by our pilgrim. Solomon is rendered second to Jesus. For, while Solomon wrestles with the demons in the infernal regions of the world, Christ defies the Devil himself in the realm of the upper world on the highest point of the Temple, itself perceived as the axis between Heaven and Earth. Yet there may be another layer here, which contrasts Jesus and Solomon concerning their links with the demonic worlds. While Solomon is confirmed as having ties with demons,39 Jesus—contrary to his depiction as a sorcerer in late antique rabbinic traditions and Jewish popular lore40—is portrayed here successfully resisting the Devil himself.41

If so far we have encountered in our text an attempt via a comparative mode to generate an appearance of preference for the recent Christian traditions over against the older Jewish Temple Mount heritage, the following sets of dual traditions point the reader to a direction of deeper mode of the Christian appropriation of the site, paving over its older Jewish foundations. The next item on the pilgrim’s itinerary in close vicinity to the former directs the reader to the “Corner Stone (lapis angularis) . . . of which it is said: ‘the stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner’ (Psalms 118.22).” Right after that the pilgrim, while pointing to the “pinnacle of the tower,” refers to what is below it “very many chambers, where Solomon had his palace. There is even a chamber in which he sat and wrote the book of Wisdom. This chamber is actually covered with a single stone. There are there large cisterns for subterranean water and pools constructed with great labor.” Here again we meet the recurring vertical contrast between the “corner stone,” which should not be identified with a foundational stone but [End Page 480] rather with the elevated copestone (= the last stone at the top of the corner of the edifice),42 and the remaining “stone from the (lower) Chamber of Wisdom.” However, apart from that rather clear contrast we enter here a world of a more entangled nature of traditions with far-ranging symbolic meaning. By calling the corner stone “rejected,”43 our pilgrim no doubt meant to allude to Christ himself, metaphorically portrayed as “the rejected corner stone . . . whoever shall fall on (it) shall be broken” (Matt 21.42–44; compare the more explicit saying in Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians 2:20–21). That very same stone in the context of rabbinic traditions concerning the building of the Temple was seen to be placed at the site of the Temple by King Solomon himself with the aid of the demons.44 It is immaterial whether our text was referring by the term “wisdom” to the entire corpus of biblical wisdom literature attributed to Solomon, or whether the reference was to the well-known pseudepigraphic work “The Wisdom of Solomon” (usually attributed to a Jewish Hellenist writer from Alexandria),45 since in either case this scene with Solomon was instrumental in the construction of Jesus’s image as well as his christological and divine profile. Put together as the author does, he [End Page 481] creates a typological literary architecture: Solomon’s foundations and Christ’s edifice, the physical and the symbolic, the terrestrial type and the divine ideal. In this model, Christ relegates the type, namely, Solomon, to a mere shadow.46 If I’m right so far in my analysis of the two-tired dimension in the text, I’d like to suggest that we might have here in addition an early example in the realm of Christian sacred topography of what becomes a central component in later (fifth century) Theodore of Mopsuhestia’s doctrinal and exegetical reading of the world, as reflecting “two conditions,” of superimposed nature—the state of mortality, below, and the immortal state, above—later to play a significant role in Cosmas Indicopleustes’s description of the world.47

By now we are already quite aware of the robust interplay in our text between solid and liquid, between stone or rock and water. This continues to remain the case, but while the stone assumes a more prominent role, the water changes into blood and oil. The next three stops on the Bordeaux Pilgrim’s chart take us into more contemporary history, into the realized sphere of Jesus’s prophetic and apocalyptic world. The text states: “And on the Temple Mount itself where the Temple was which Solomon built, the blood of Zacharias on the marble pavement before the altar (in marmore ante aram) is poured there, you would say . . . today. There are also visible the marks of the shoe nails of the soldiers who slew him . . . so that you think they were made in wax.” There is no confusion as to the Gospel episode referred to here. It is Christ’s lamentation: “Jerusalem, Jerusalem that killeth its prophets” (Matt 23.37 and parallels), referring most probably to the slain biblical Zachariah (Matt 23.35), who serves as yet another type of Christ implicitly prophesying his own martyrdom.48 [End Page 482]

Both episodes of martyrdom invoked the notion of divine retribution and vengeance to be meted out on the slayers (2 Chr 24.22; cf. Matt 27.25), and both instances were seen to herald the coming destruction of the Temples: “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate”; “Verily, I say unto you, there shall not be left here one stone upon another that [End Page 483] shall not be thrown down” (Matt 23.38; 24.2 respectively). Immediately after that, the pilgrim directs our attention to the following: “There are here two statues of Hadrian, and not far from the statues there is a perforated stone, to which the Jews come every year, and anoint it, and lament themselves with moans, and tear their cloths, and thus depart.” In the eyes of our pilgrim, both the stone and the statues signify the consequences of the revengeful wrath of God on his people and his Temple, and its attendant humiliations. The Hadrian statues serve as a visual culmination of Daniel’s prophecy reiterated by Jesus in the course of his “small apocalypse”: “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place” (Matt 24.15).49 The perforated stone is anointed by the Jewish mourners on the annual day of grief for the Temple, the ninth of the month of Av.50 Our text reaches here its climax and symbolic closure; our journey on the Temple Mount and through history comes to its deplorable or triumphal end, having commenced at the rejected corner stone (lapis angularis) and culminated at the “perforated stone (lapis pertusus),” the symbolic stone of rejection.

It will be useful for understanding the rhetorical progression of the text to introduce here yet another powerful extension of the ekphrasis known under the heading of sub oculos subiectio, in which the item described is literally brought to life in front of the audience in an effort to [End Page 484] convey and imprint a particular notion in their minds and memories.51 Thus not only the rejection of the Jews’ and the Christian conceptual appropriation of the most holy place the Temple Mount (and with it implicitly the entire city) are imprinted in the minds of the pilgrims and visitors but also a Christian understanding of the divine retributive action in history is both proven and vindicated.

Having come to the end of our journey on the Temple Mount, some probing questions remain concerning, mainly, the silences and omissions in the anonymous account. Ancient texts as well as later sources are to be assessed not only for what they do divulge but also and not in the least for what they conceal. The pilgrim’s accounts and other “sacred geographies”—texts no less than maps—are notorious for their selectivity. The main question concerns the deep disparity between the reality of what our traveler was seeing and his mental map. All along his tour on the Temple Mount our pilgrim sees the ruins of the magnificent edifices built by King Solomon while in reality the stones before his eyes (notwithstanding some Gospel utterances referring to Solomon’s porch [John 10.22; cf. Acts 3.11] 52) were almost entirely those of the Herodian Temple.53 [End Page 485] A close look at the text reveals a mechanism of a deliberately, not to say deceptively, selective presentation. The underlying New Testament frame in place (from Matthew and parallels) is the atrocious acts of the Jewish people against the prophets leading to the final divine retribution—what Jesus foretold “a stone will not be left upon a stone.” In the pilgrim’s typological mapping, the rubble encountered on the Temple Mount54 was not only seen to be a vindication of Jesus’s prophecy in the more recent past,55 but at the same time also by a leap of logic and imagination as setting the scene for a deceptive and propagandistic wielding, as we saw above, of an earlier more edificatory past of the city and its Temple, that of King Solomon.56

If our expounding of the inner traits of the earliest pilgrim’s account, particularly the segments describing the Temple precinct, is plausible, we have come somewhat closer to understanding the mechanism by which Constantinian-era Christians in Jerusalem were engaged in the construction of a Christian city there, configured as a new and eternal spiritual edifice over the remains and ruins of the local Jewish past. The impression one receives from our anonymous pilgrim is that only after the city’s Jewish center of gravity was appropriated, not to say “repossessed” and granted with its revisionist historical garment, the local Christian community turned to adorn and elevate its own “New Jerusalem.”57 [End Page 486]

Oded Irshai

Oded Irshai is Professor in the Department of Jewish History, and Academic Head of the Ben-Zion Dinur Research Center for Jewish History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Footnotes

1. Suffice it to mention the two recent collections of essays, the first edited by Jaś Elsner and Ian Ratherford, Pilgrimage in Graeco-Roman and Early Christian Antiquity: Seeing the Gods (Oxford, 2005); and a second edited by David Frankfurter, Pilgrimage and Holy Space in Late Antique Egypt (Leiden, 1998). It seems safe to regard the form of devotional (orationis causa) pilgrimage especially to the Holy Land as a rather novel development in the world of fourth-century Christianity. Christian “pilgrimage” prior to that period predominantly reflected another format, that of biblical tourism. In only a few isolated instances can one sense another motivation that is by devotional and pietistic needs. Such was the case of Alexander of Cappadocia (d. 251), later to be appointed as the bishop of Jerusalem, who arrived in the Holy City to pray (Eusebius, HE VI, 11, 2). A strong case for the dismissal of a pre-fourth-century Christian cult of holy places in Palestine was presented by Joan E. Taylor in her study Christians and the Holy Places: The Myth of Jewish-Christian Origins (Oxford, 1993). There (pp. 308–9) she also argues emphatically that “Christians who had visited Palestine prior to the imperial ladies (Helena and Eutropia) did not go to places they believed were imbued with sanctity from ancient times.” More recently on the same topic see, E. D. Hunt, “Were There Christian Pilgrims before Constantine?” in Pilgrimage Explored, ed. J. Stopford (Woodbridge, 1999), 25–40, as well as Beatrice Caseau’s important more general survey, “Sacred Landscapes,” in Late Antiquity: A Guide to the Postclassical World, ed. G. W. Bowersock et al. (Cambridge, Mass., 1999), 21–59, and in a more specific manner, in Pierre Maraval’s overview of early Christian pilgrimage, “The Earliest Phase of Christian Pilgrimage in the Near East (before the 7th Century),” Dumbarton Oaks Papers 56 (2002): 63–74.

2. It is my contention, which I’m currently developing in a separate paper, that the local geographical-conceptual Holy Land map of the locations of the martyrs (between Gaza in the south and Scythopolis in the north) portrayed by Eusebius in his “diary,” the Martyrs of Palestine, was not only meant to record and elevate the memory of the martyrs he himself was acquainted with as claimed among others by Taylor (Christians and the Holy Places, 59) but it was meant to serve as collective memorial as well as a launching pad for the Christian appropriation of the land. I argue here that one ought to read central segments of the account of the Bordeaux Pilgrim in the same vein. The above paradigm offers a sort of fine tuning to the major thesis offered by Robert Markus in “How on Earth Could Places Become Holy? Origins of the Christian Idea of Holy Places,” Journal of Early Christian Studies 2.3 (1994): 257–71.

The contemporary promotion of the local Jerusalemite new Christian imagery was seen to be divinely guided by the legendary discovery of the Holy Cross in the cave on Golgotha upon which the Basilica and Martyrium of the Holy Sepulcher were later built. The legend surrounding the miraculous finding of the Cross by the emperor’s pious mother Helena was being disseminated only much later (initially in an oral form), about which, interestingly enough, Cyril Bishop of Jerusalem (346/7–86) had no knowledge, and only toward the end of the century does it appear in writing many years after the alleged date of the event (early 326 c.e.). On the discovery itself, see Eusebius, Vita Constantini, III, 25–28, (Avril Cameron and Stuart G. Hall [ET and Comm.], Eusebius, Life of Constantine, Oxford 1999, pp. 132–133 [text], 274–77 [commentary]). On the legend and its intricate history, see especially Ian W. Drijvers, Helena Augusta: The Mother of Constantine the Great and the Legend of Her Finding of the True Cross (Leiden, 1992), and Stephan Borgehammar, How the Holy Cross Was Found: From Event to Medieval Legend (Stockholm, 1991).

3. This notion remains yet to be explored. However, early signs of the shift in the center of gravity can be detected in the earliest pilgrims’ accounts, such as the one composed by the Bordeaux Pilgrim. The fourth-century ideology that helped consolidate Constantinople as a New Rome and a Christian center has been quite recently and very insightfully exposed by Clifford Ando in “The Palladium and the Pentateuch: Towards a Sacred Topography of the Later Roman Empire,” Phoenix 55 (2001): 369–405. With all that, one ought not lose sight of Constantine’s building and propagandist activity in the old Rome, which still attracts considerable scholarly attention; see John Curran, Pagan City and Christian Capital: Rome in the Fourth Century (Oxford, 2000), 70–115; and more recently the interesting observations on the images conveyed to the people of Rome by Constantine’s Arch by John R. Clarke in Art in the Lives of Ordinary Romans: Visual Representation and Non-Elite Viewers in Italy, 100 B.C.–A.D. 315 (Berkeley, Calif., 2003), 56–67; and see also R. Ross Holloway’s recent book, Constantine and Rome (New Haven, Conn., 2004). The construction of Constantinople by Constantine infused the newly founded city and imperial center with what Sarah Basset has labeled in her recent book as an “accommodation . . . of the inevitable and fundamentally irreconcilable differences between key members of the empire’s population [i.e. pagan and Christian, on which Roman roots see the sixth century John Malalas, Chronographia, ed. L. Dindorf (Bonn, 1831), 319–20, Elizabeth Jeffreys, Michael Jeffreys, Roger Scott et al., The Chronicle of John Malalas (Melbourne, 1986), 173–74], but also took steps to defuse them by creating the conditions for peaceful coexistence.” See Sarah Basset, The Urban Image of Late Antique Constantinople (Cambridge, 2004), 22–36, esp. 33–36, where she compares the three construction enterprises carried out by Constantine in the three main urban centers of Rome, Jerusalem, and Constantinople. A great effort was made to forge a heroic and mythic ancestral past connecting Constantinople with both Troy and Rome, all via the unique Constantinian statuary collection spread out in different segments of the city (Bassett, 75–78).

4. See infra, n. 9. The liturgy was based on the links between time (historical event) and space (its location in local memory) to forge a systematic ritual. A great deal has been written on the formation of the Jerusalem liturgy, especially on its early manifestations via Egeria’s diary (380s). For the underpinnings of the local Jerusalem liturgy and the conceptual world behind it, see among others the fine study by Jonathan Z. Smith, To Take Place: Toward a Theory in Ritual (Chicago, 1987). For a detailed account of the structure and function of the Byzantine Jerusalem liturgy, see the Hebrew University doctoral thesis by Stéphan Verhelst, “La liturgie de Jérusalem à lépoque Byzantine: Genèse et structure de l’année liturgique” (Jerusalem 2000).

5. Catechetical Lectures, 13, 22, (W. C. Reischel and J. Rupp, eds., Cyrilli Hierosolymarum archiepiscopi opera quae supersunt, vol. 2 [Munich, 1860], 80).

6. For a short description of the scope and aims of sixth-century religious cartography, see, J. B. Harley and David Woodward, eds., The History of Cartography, Vol. 1: Cartography in Prehistoric, Ancient, and Medieval Europe and the Mediterranean (Chicago, 1987), 261–66. As for the details in the Madaba Map and its overall presentation of places and traditions, it is important to note that while the map seems to follow to a great extent the famous fourth-century Eusebian gazetteer, the Onomastikon, its selection of places also diverges from it in rather curious ways, reflecting the use of other sources as well as the artist’s discretion. See now Leah Di Segni, “The ‘Onomasticon’ of Eusebius and the Madaba Map,” in The Madaba Map Centenary, 1897–1997: Traveling through the Byzantine Umayyad Period, ed. M. Piccirillo and E. Alliata (Amman, 1999), 115–22.

7. For instance the Jerome maps, preserved in a medieval MS, no doubt reflecting a much earlier version (according to Konrad Miller, a fourth-century copy) accompanied Jerome’s version to Eusebius’s Onomasticon, De situ et nominibus locorum hebraicorum liber comprised of maps of Asia and Palestine, serving most probably as a Bible study aid (and perhaps useful for pilgrims as well), on all of which see in short Evelyn Edson, Mapping Time and Space: How Medieval Mapmakers Viewed Their World (London, 1999), 26–30. For a view contesting the dating of the so-called Jerome maps to the fourth century, see Susan Weingarten, The Saint’s Saint: Hagiography and Geography in Jerome (Leiden, 2005), 207–8. However, the most important component in the historical effort to reconstruct the cartography behind early pilgrims roots is no doubt the famous fourth-century (?) map, the Tabula Peutingeriana, about which see recently Benet Salway, “The Nature and Genesis of the Peutinger Map,” Imago Mundi 57.2 (2005): 119–35, esp. 120–27, and earlier on but from a more comprehensive outlook, Salway’s “Travel, Itineraria and Tabellaria,” in Travel and Geography in the Roman Empire, ed. C. Adams and R. Laurence (London, 2001), 22–66. On later possible pilgrims’ maps, see Yoram Tsafrir, “The Maps Used by Theodosius: On the Pilgrim Maps of the Holy Land and Jerusalem in the Sixth Century,” Dumbarton Oaks Papers 40 (1986): 129–45. All the above is not intended in any way to diminish the lasting impact of pioneering studies on early Christian Holy Land pilgrimage, such as the one carried out by Bernhard Kötting, Peregrinatio Religiosa: Walfahrten in der Antike und das Pilgerwesen in der alten Kirche (Münster 1950).

8. E. D. Hunt, Holy Land Pilgrimage in the Later Roman Empire, AD 312–460 (Oxford, 1982); Ze’ev Rubin, “The Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Beginning of the Conflict between the Sees of Caesarea and Jerusalem,” Jerusalem Cathedra 2 (1982): 76–106; idem, “The See of Caesarea in Conflict against Jerusalem from Nicaea (325) to Chalcedon (451),” in Caesarea Maritima: Retrospective after Two Millennia, ed. A. Raban and K. G. Holum (Leiden, 1996), 559–74; idem, “The Cult of the Holy Places and Christian Politics in Byzantine Jerusalem,” in Jerusalem: Its Sanctity and Centrality to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, ed. L. I. Levine (New York, 1999), 151–62. The study of pilgrims’ accounts in general and pilgrimages to Palestine in particular has increased immensely in the recent years; see most recently Hagith Sivan’s Palestine in Late Antiquity (Oxford, 2008), 187–229 (on Jerusalem).

9. Robert L. Wilken, The Land Called Holy: Palestine in Christian History and Thought (New Haven, Conn., 1992); Peter W. L. Walker, Holy City Holy Places? Christian Attitudes to Jerusalem and the Holy Land in the Fourth Century (Oxford, 1990); P. Maraval, Lieux saints et pélerinages d’Orient: Histoire et géographie des origines à la conquête arabe (Paris, 1985); Robert A. Markus, “How on Earth”; idem, The End of Ancient Christianity (Cambridge, 1990).

10. John Wilkinson, Jerusalem Pilgrims before the Crusades (Warminster, 1977); Ora Limor, Holy Land Travels: Christian Pilgrims in Late Antiquity (Hebrew; Jerusalem, 1998). Apart from the studies mentioned here there has been a wide array of work devoted to specific topics (Holy Land geography and cartography) or to individual accounts most notably that of Egeria (381–384 c.e.), not to mention the growing list of works on the formation of the Christian liturgy and ritual as reflected in works of the Church Fathers and in the pilgrims’ accounts, like the one by Jonathan Z. Smith’s in To Take Place, and others.

11. Ora Limor, “Christian Tradition—Jewish Authority” (Hebrew), Cathedra 80 (1996): 31–62; idem, “Christian Sacred Space and the Jew,” in From Witness to Witchcraft: Jews and Judaism in Medieval Christian Thought, ed. J. Cohen (Wiesbaden, 1996), 55–77; and see now Andrew S. Jacobs, “The Place of Biblical Jew in the Early Christian Holy Land,” Studia Patristica 38 (2001): 417–22. On the other aspect mentioned, see Elchanan Reiner, “From Joshua to Jesus: The Transformation of a Biblical Story to a Local Myth—A Chapter in the Religious Life of the Galilean Jew,” in Sharing the Sacred: Religious Contacts and Conflicts in the Holy Land: First to Fifteenth Centuries, ed. A. Kofsky and G. G. Stroumsa (Jerusalem, 1998), 223–71.

12. Epistle, 2. See now Anna M. Silvas, Gregory of Nyssa: The Letters (Introduction, Translation and Commentary) (Leiden, 2007), 115–22, and Brouria Bitton-Ashkeloni, Encountering the Sacred: The Debate on Christian Pilgrimage in Late Antiquity (Berkeley, Calif., 2005), 48–57.

13. Very little of this aspect of Christianizing the Holy Land in general and Jerusalem in particular has been so far explored in the scholarly literature. See, however, Ora Limor’s extensive studies on Christian pilgrimage and sanctified space, for instance, quite recently her study “Reading Sacred Space: Egeria, Paula, and the Christian Holy Land,” in “De Sion exibit lux et verbum domini de Hierusalem”: Essays on Medieval Law, Liturgy, and Literature in Honour of Amnon Linder, ed. Y. Hen (Turnhout, 2001), 1–15, and Andrew Jacob’s recent important study, The Remains of the Jews: The Holy Land and Christian Empire (Stanford, Calif., 2004).

14. See O. A. W. Dilke, Greek and Roman Maps (Ithaca, N.Y., 1985), 128–29.

15. The best critical edition of the text is to be found in Paul Geyer and Otto Cuntz, Itineraria et alia Geographica, CCSL 175 (Turnhout, 1965), 1–26.

16. Wilken, Land Called Holy, 109–10. Nor did the account fare better in Walker’s otherwise comprehensive study Holy City Holy Places?, where it received only cursory attention, not being analyzed on its own merits as a treatise of importance but rather merely as a source or list of traditions to be compared with those found in contemporary Church fathers’ writings. In an earlier assessment it was described as “a list of cities . . . a verbal chart designed for the convenience of subsequent travelers, not for the reader’s spiritual exaltation.” See Mary B. Campbell, The Witness and the Other World: Exotic European Travel Writing, 400–1600 (Ithaca, N.Y., 1988), 27.

17. This was produced at the behest of Bishop Paulinus of Tyre, a close friend and ally of Eusebius, and was meant to be used as an aid in the study of the Bible. The work which was part of a more ambitious project requested by Paulinus has been dated by Timothy Barnes to the late 290s and has been regarded in past scholarship to have served as an aid for pilgrims. However, both views have been to a great extent rejected; for a later date for the treatise, see Andrew Louth, “The Date of Eusebius’ Historia Ecclesiastica,” Journal of Theological Studies 41 (1990): 118–20, and on the underlying purpose of the Onomasticon, which was essentially produced as a tool for bible study, see Timothy D. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius (Cambridge, Mass., 1981), 101.

18. Hunt, Holy Land Pilgrimage, 86. To the accounts in Egeria’s category one should add the descriptions and confessions of a group of ladies of repute such as Paula and Estochium who were Jerome’s close companions as well as those by the two Melanias, the Elder and the Younger. I strongly believe that this rather dismissive assessment of the Bordeaux Pilgrim’s “travel log” contributed to, if not paved the way for, many if not most modern studies of early travel and pilgrim literature to begin their description of the genre’s traits with Egeria’s account.

19. Blake Leyerle, “Landscape as Cartography in Early Christian Pilgrimage Narratives,” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 64.1 (1995): 119–43, esp. 119–26, where, using the tools of sociology of tourism, she focuses on “shifts in perceptions” of space and landscape in order to understand the underlying agenda of the ancient pilgrims accounts, and in particular the one by the Bordeaux Pilgrim.

20. Glenn Bowman, “ ‘Mapping History’s Redemption’: Eschatology and Topography in the Itinerarium Burdigalense,” in Levine, ed., Jerusalem, 163–87; the citations are from 165, 168, 183–84 respectively.

21. Much has been written lately on Pausanias’ periegesis. For a recent appraisal of this most important treatise, see Maria Pretzler, “Turning Travel into Text: Pausanias at Work,” Greece and Rome 51.2 (2004): 199–216; William Hutton, “The Construction of Religious Space in Pausanias,” in Elsner and Rutherford, eds., Pilgrimage in Graeco-Roman and Early Christian Antiquity, 291–317.

22. The most obvious text with which to compare the Bordeaux Pilgrim’s account would be Pausanias’s Description of Greece. For a most insightful assessment of Pausanias’s text as a pilgrim’s account, see Jaś Elsner, “Pausanias: A Greek Pilgrim in the Roman World,” Past and Present 135 (1992): 3–29.

23. Jaś Elsner, “The Itinerarium Burdigalense: Politics and Salvation in the Geography of Constantine’s Empire,” Journal of Roman Studies 90 (2001): 181–95.

24. Bowman, “ ‘Mapping History’s Redemption,’ “ 168; and Elsner, “The Itinerarium Burdigalense,” 182 (respectively).

25. Jacobs, Remains of the Jews, 9. A succinct evaluation of Jacobs’s contribution in light of the current trend of postcolonial theory has been offered recently by Elizabeth A. Clark, History, Theory, Text: Historians and the Linguistic Turn (Cambridge, Mass., 2004), 181–85.

26. Jacobs, 109–17. In this context one ought to mention the important observations concerning the play here between the past (Jewish) and present (Christian) offered by Günter Stemberger, Jews and Christians in the Holy Land: Palestine in the Fourth Century (Edinburgh, 2000), 91–93.

27. Essentially in the same manner described by Eusebius in his inaugural sermon on the basilica of the Holy Sepulcher; see H. A. Drake, In Praise of Constantine: A Historical Study and a New Translation of Eusebius’ Tricennial Orations (Berkeley, Calif., 1976), 124–25.

28. The ekphrasis was a standard component in the curriculum, often serving in various literary presentations and modes as bricks in the construction of a symbolic edifice. On the use of ekphrasis as a rhetorical tool in Christian sermons and exegesis, see the example of John Chrysostom in his portrayal of Paul (physique and symbol), described and analyzed in detail by Margaret M. Mitchell, The Heavenly Trumpet: John Chrysostom and the Art of Pauline Interpretation (Louisville, Ky., 2002), 101–4; 118–21. Bearing in mind our author’s origin in Bordeaux I’d like to draw our attention to another contemporary figure and a master in the use of the above mentioned device, the senator and poet Ausonius of Bordeaux, who began his career as a local grammarian. It would take only a short stretch of imagination to assume that our anonymous writer was exposed to the local curriculum of the progymnasmata. On the theoretical underpinnings and the usage of ekphrasis along generations, see the evocative study by James A. W. Heffernan, Museum of Words: The Poetics of Ekphrasis from Homer to Ashby (Chicago, 2004), 9–36.

29. Looking still more carefully at the text, one is able to discern yet another segmentation in the description of the area within the walled city, between the old and the new, between the ruined and deteriorating Jewish center of gravity—the Temple in the East—and the newly built Christian center—the Constantinian basilica of the Holy Sepulcher in the West. However, this calls for comparison is beyond the scope of the current essay and will be dealt with elsewhere.

30. Well aware of the problems this concept generates, I’m using the term “collective memory” rather loosely. Having stated that, however, the setting of fourth-century Jerusalem for the pilgrim makes a good example of a genuine arena for “collective memory”; the authenticity of the sites is secondary, if not marginal, to the mark they engrave in the mind. Cf. Mary Carruthers, The Craft of Thought: Meditations, Rhetoric, and the Making of Images, 400—1200 (Cambridge, 1998), 40–44. For an earlier and pioneering reading of this concept into the world of the early Holy Land’s sacred geography, see Maurice Halbwachs, The Legendary Topography of the Gospels in the Holy Land: A Study in Collective Memory, ed. L. Coser (Paris, 1941; Chicago, 1992). All this essentially meant that Jerusalem belonged to the Christian faithful on account of Christ’s martyrdom in that city and based on the deep conviction that in no other place save Jerusalem could the Christian savior have been arrested, judged, crucified, and resurrected.

31. Please note my emphasis on our “text,” for I find it hard to believe that this perception of the thrust of things came as a result of the traveler’s observations based on his very short visit. Rather it was a textual manifestation of the local Christian establishment’s careful presentation of its deepest beliefs and plans. In other words, the Bordeaux Pilgrim served here as Macarios’s and Maximos’s (the contemporary bishops) mouthpiece. The only reservation I have concerning my own conviction is the difficulty explaining the provenance of some of the Jewish traditions in the text, traditions to which I doubt the local Church clerics would have had access (see more however infra n. 36).

32. According to some maps tracing the route of the pilgrim, this entry point might be disputed, though I find it hard to accept that, coming from the Damascus Gate (to the north of the city), our traveler would have come across what he names as Solomon’s pools before encountering the Bethesda pool, for he explicitly mentions the fact that Solomon’s pools are exterior to the city’s walls, while the Bethesda pool is “interius verus civitati.”

33. On the deep historical and theological significance of this episode, see, for instance, Kim Huat Tan, The Zion Traditions and the Aims of Jesus (Cambridge, 1997), 137–57. It has been remarked that our traveler’s entry into the city in the northeast is rather strange. So too his emphasis on the a detailed description of the Temple precinct and its surroundings especially in comparison with his later short entry on the Holy Sepulcher (Stemberger, Jews and Christians in the Holy Land, 92). If envisaged as a form of imitation of Christ’s triumphal entry into the city, the strangeness of the route taken is somewhat obliterated. In a sense by opening his “tour” of Jerusalem in and around the Temple sanctuary, our anonymous pilgrim was also physically following the example set merely by the gaze of earlier Christian pilgrims who congregated on the Mount of Olives “opposite the (devastated) city and Temple,” as described two decades earlier by Eusebius, Demonstratio Evanglica VI, 18, 22 (ed. I. A. Heikel, GCS 23, Leipzig, 1913), 278.

34. The double portico pool was also known as the probatike; compare the similar tradition in Eusebius’s Onomasticon s.v. Bethsaida (ed. E. Klosterman, GCS 11/1 Leipzig, 1904), 58.

35. The nature of this comparative assessment is made quite explicit in Cyril of Jerusalem’s only surviving homily from the days he served as a mere local presbyter (ca. 346, just over a decade following our pilgrim’s visit). The homily is on the paralytic (John 5) and among other things is concerned with the surroundings, the five-portico pool. In the course of his homily, Cyril introduces the peculiarities of that pool and Jesus’s presence there as a proof of its spiritual traits. Thus, about Jesus’s presence there he says: “When he walks around the pools, it is not to inspect the buildings but to heal the sick.” (One could add here the fact revealed via archaeological excavations that during the Roman period, especially in the days of Hadrian, that location housed a small shrine to Asclepius, on which see the material gathered and discussed by Yaron Z. Eliav, God’s Mountain: The Temple Mount in Time, Place, and Memory (Baltimore, Md., 2005), 111–16, and Estee Dvorjetski, Leisure, Pleasure, and Healing: Spa Culture and Medicine in Ancient Eastern Mediterranean (Leiden, 2007), 352 (Asclepius coins). The other point made by Cyril, who adduces our interpretation of the privileged preeminence of the Probatikē pool over against other pools, is one he makes in the course of the same homily. When discussing the condition of the water with the paralytic, Jesus asks him why is he waiting to be put in the pool when the water is disturbed, on which Cyril adds: “You have the fountain, for ‘with you is the fountain of life’ (Ps 35.10), the fountain which is the source of all fountains. ‘If any one drinks from this waters, rivers will flow from his belly’ (John 7.38), ‘not water that flows downwards, but water that springs up’ (John 4.14)—for Jesus’s water does not make us leap down from above but leap up from earthly things to heavenly—water that springs up to eternal life.” I wish to suggest that this comparative evaluation of the earthly versus the heavenly was already implicit in our Pilgrim’s text. The fact that Cyril of Jerusalem was explicit about the overwhelming spiritual qualities of the Probatikē pool only enhances the notion that these traditions were being amalgamated into the local configuration of sacred topography already earlier on.

36. bGitt 68a and parallels; see too Louis Ginzberg, The Legends of the Jews, vol. 4, trans. H. Szold (Philadelphia, 1954), 149–54. However, it is easier to envision a Christian tradition in the use of our traveler, namely, the Testamentum Solomonis, chap. 5 (hereafter, TS). The TS was partly grounded in the Jewish tradition but contained a section (chaps. 19–26) with an anti-Jewish bias. It was finally redacted, most likely in Egypt, between the late second and early third centuries. In light of this, one ought to postulate the possibility that traditions incorporated in that treatise might have served too as a major source of the Bordeaux Pilgrim’s textual tradition. If right this annuls (at least in regard to the description of the Temple Mount) the long-held notion proposed by S. Klein, “The Travel Book: Itinerarium Burdigalense on Eretz Israel” (Hebrew), Zion 6 (1934): 12–29, that our pilgrim had firsthand knowledge of Jewish or even rabbinic traditions (at least in regard to the traditions relating to the Temple). With all that, I find it difficult to accept the recent attractive proposal by Peter Busch, that the TS was essentially an amalgamation of fourth-century (pre- and post-Constantinian) local (Jerusalem) Temple legends; see Das Testamentum Solomons: Die älteste christlische Dämonologie, kommentiert und in deutche Erstübersetzung (Berlin, 2006), 19–21.

37. On the so-called pterugion on which Christ as well as (according to Hegesippus, apud Eusebius, HE II, 23, 1–23) James the Just stood prior to his stoning by an enraged Jewish mob, consult Yaron Z. Eliav, “The Tomb of James, Brother of Jesus as Locus Memoriae,” Harvard Theological Review 97 (2004): 33–59, and more recently in his God’s Mountain, 72–76. Eliav’s attempts to portray in the course of his latter discussion a convoluted philologically based hierarchy of the evolving traditions concerning the pterugion is rather mechanistic and as such far from compelling; it also does not really allow for the presence of local interests in the usage or suppression of these traditions. On that very same episode with James, see my own discussion, “Jews and Judaism in Early Christian Historiography: The Case of Eusebius of Caesarea (Preliminary Observations and Examples),” in Jews of Byzantium: Dialectics of Minority and Majority Cultures, ed. R. Bonfil et al. (forthcoming).

38. On this governing theme in Ausonius’s poem, see M. Roberts, ’The Mosella of Ausonius: An Interpretation,” Transactions of the American Philological Association 114 (1984): 343–53. Roberts exposes Ausonius’s intricate theme entrenched in the description of the Moselle River and its banks and more so its surface as reflecting notions about boundaries between the vertical realms of air and that of the underwater world on the one hand, and as a meeting point of boundaries of horizontal realms of space on the other hand. It seems that the very same literary ploy is used by our anonymous traveler, as I will venture to demonstrate in the service of creating an image of hierarchy as the right setting for theological and historical supersessionism and appropriation.

39. On Solomon’s links with the daemonic world and magic, see Josephus, Antiquities, 8, 42–49, and Dennis. C. Duling, “Solomon, Exorcism, and the Son of David,” Harvard Theological Review 68 (1975): 235–52; idem, “The Eleazar Miracle and Solomon’s Magical Wisdom in Flavius Josephus’s Antiquitates Judaicae 8.42–49,” Harvard Theological Review 78 (1985): 1–25; for more secondary literature, see Gunter Stemberger, s.v. Salomo II, TRE 29 (1998): 729–30 (with extensive bibliography).

40. See, for instance, a variety of traditions in fragments of the anti-Gospel Toledoth Jeshu, in Samuel Krauss, Das Leben Jesu nach jüdische Quellen (Berlin, 1902), 42, 70–72 and recently, Peter Schäfer, Jesus in the Talmud (Princeton, N.J., 2007), 102–6.

41. One could point out that there is here yet another more subtle polemical contrast between the rabbinic image of Solomon and the Church fathers’ image of Jesus as the rulers of the universe; cf. L. Ginzberg, Legends of the Jews, vol. 6 (notes): 289, n. 38. More on the comparison between Solomon and Jesus, see J. Bowman, “Solomon and Jesus,” Abr-Nahrain 23 (1983/84): 1–13.

42. Ps 118.22 was thus interpreted in the Testamentum Solomonis, 22–23, and in a wide array of other sources; see, for instance, J. Jeremias, “Eckstein- Schlusstein,” Zeitschrift für die Neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 36 (1937): 154–57.

43. See Is 28.16, and compare 1 Peter 2.4–8. On the notion of Christ as the rejected corner stone, see the discussion in W. D. Davies and Dale C. Allison, ICC: Commentary on Matthew, vol. 3 (Edinburgh, 1997), 184–87. The same notion of Christ the corner stone or rock (kepha) was prevalent also in contemporary Syriac Christian discourse (Aphrahat and Ephrem), on which see Robert Murray, Symbols of Church and Kingdom: A Study in Early Syriac Tradition (rev. ed.; Piscataway, N.J., 2004), 206–12 (I thank Rina Talgam for this reference). On the location of the sites mentioned by our traveler in and around the Temple in early Moslem traditions, see Andreas Kaplony, The Haram of Jerusalem, 324–1099: Temple, Friday Mosque, Area of Spiritual Power (Stuttgart, 2002), 187–207.

44. L. Ginzberg, Legends, 2:964.; see too the assemblage of rabbinic sources on Solomon and magic by Gilad Sasson, “Following the Traditions concerning Solomon the Magician in Rabbinic Literature” (Hebrew), Jewish Studies and Internet Journal 6 (2007): 37–53. On the very same tradition, see TS 23.4 and Duling, “Testament of Solomon,” in The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, ed. J. H Charlesworth (New York 1983), 1:985, n. 23, as well as Todd E. Klutz, Rewriting the Testament of Solomon: Tradition, Conflict and Identity in Late Antique Pseudepigraphon (Edinburgh, 2005), 71.

45. Though attributed to a Jewish Hellenist, its earliest surviving form contains Christian material. What is even more striking is that chapter 14 of that treatise was, according to early liturgical traditions, from Jerusalem and was recited on the Encaenia, the inauguration of the Holy Sepulcher (celebrated annually on the week beginning on the 13th or 14th of September).

46. It is important to note that the Jerusalem church adopted the Historical—Typology as one of its main tools in the mechanism of appropriation of the local sacred space amply manifested in Cyril of Jerusalem’s Catechetical Lectures, and especially in his only remaining sermon on the Paralytic (John, 5), Cyrilli Hierosolymarum, 406–27.

47. This vantage point has been recently reemphasized by Maja Kominko in her analysis of Cosmas Indicopleustes’ (6–7th c.) Christian topography; see her 2006 Oxford Ph.D. thesis “The World of Cosmas: Universe Described and Depicted in Byzantine Manuscripts of the Christian Topography” (my assertion here is based solely on her own short précis of her work, published in Imago Mundi 58 (2006): 112–13). The actual notion was identified years ago by Wanda Wolska in her now celebrated edition of Cosmas’s work, La Topographie Chrétienne de Cosmas Indicopleustes: Theologie et Science au VIe siecle (Paris, 1962), 35–61.

48. There is a difficulty in identifying the Zachariah (son of Barachiah) mentioned here (Matt 23.35, but compare Luke 11.51 omitting Barachiah, maybe for being a problematic tradition). Indeed there is more than one candidate (see Davies and Allison, Commentary on Matthew, 317–19), one of them Zechariah the father of John the Baptist. See now the comprehensive treatment of the Gospels’ (Matthew and Luke) setting and wording in relation to their biblical (2 Chr 24.17–25) and Q traditions, as well as the complex identification of the figure Zechariah by C. McAfee Moss, The Zechariah Tradition and the Gospel of Matthew (Berlin, 2008), 103–26. Based on that recent study, and contra Andrew Jacobs (Remains of the Jews, 113, n. 45), the streaming blood in the traveler’s account seems quite plausibly to refer rather to the priest Zacharias the son of Yehoyada, who was stoned in the Temple courtyard during the days of King Joash (2 Chr 24.20–22). This identification is based on the clear link between Abel and Zechariah portrayed by the Gospel tradition; see the tabulated parallels between the two biblical figures cited by McAfee Moss (Zechariah Traditions, 113, and based on H. G. L. Peel’s earlier observations in ZAW 113(2001): 597. Both the murder and the streaming blood of Zechariah generated a chain of legendary tales in rabbinic tradition about the Babylonians’ effort to pacify the gushing blood of the martyr by slaughtering hoards of people and thus creating more martyrs, but to no avail (see, for instance, bGitt 57b and parallels). On the rabbinic traditions see; Sheldon H. Blank, “The Death of Zechariah in Rabbinic Literature,” HUCA 12/13 (1937–1938):327–46; B. Halpern Amaru, “The Killing of the Prophets: Unravelling a midrash,” HUCA 54 (1983):153–80. This in turn led the rabbis to link this horrific incident with the destruction of the first Temple. To that end one may add the rabbinic effort to portray the destruction of the Second Temple with language, motifs, and traditions and images borrowed from the destruction of the first, thus implicitly creating a symmetry between the two events; see Menachem Kister, “Legends of the Destruction of the Second Temple in Avot de-Rabbi Nathan” (Hebrew), Tarbiz 67.4 (1998): 524–26. This would also sustain the logic behind Jesus’s claim about the fate of the “City that killeth its prophets.” On Zacharia’s martyrdom and memory, see Jean-Daniel Dubois, “La mort de Zacharie: Mémoire juive et mémoire chrétienne,” Revue des Études Augustiniennes 40 (1994): 23–38. On Zachariah, see further the early Moslem traditions cited by Kaplony, Haram of Jerusalem, 207. As to the actual location of the site, Yaron Eliav (God’s Mountain, 88–89) has rightly pointed out how our pilgrim emphasizes the fact that the martyr’s blood was located in the elevated area within the sanctum, thus endorsing our overall claim here concerning the centrality of the hierarchical setting of the entire narrative. Though it is tempting to view our travelers account of Zechariah’s murder as a sort of reflection on the martyrdom in the precint of the Temple of James the Just, founder and leader of the Mother Church, who was portrayed as a high priest in local Judeao-Christian tradition (see Hegessipus apud Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History II.23), this is, however, a rather remote possibility.

49. Compare Jerome’s later somewhat parallel testimonies, Commentarii in Matthaaeumt, 4, 24, 15, ed. D. Hurst and M. Adriaen, CCSL 77 (Turnhout, 1969), 226; Commentarii in Isaiam, 1, 2, 9, ed. M. Adriaen, CCSL 73–73A (Turnhout, 1963), 33. There have been scholarly attempts to claim that the part of the account concerning the Hadrianic statues might have been a figment of the Bordeaux Pilgrim’s imagination, conjured up to imprint the Gospel prooftext in the minds of his readers. However, it would seem that this tradition is rather more plausible than other traditions adducing the presence of a Hadrianic temple on the Temple Mount, on which see Eliav’s lengthy discussion, however excessive in its dismissiveness of Christian testimonies (God’s Mountain, 85–94). But in the context of our symbolic chart it is interesting to note that rabbinic sources (Gen- Rab 63.7) drew a parallel between King Solomon and Hadrian. Thus, if this or a similar oral tradition was circulating and was known to our pilgrim’s guides, it may seem that the final seal on Solomon’s Temple fate was the Hadrianic pagan presence.

50. The anointing of the perforated stone reminds us of Jacob’s actions at Beth-El (Gn 28.18); see further Erich W. Cohn, “Second Thoughts about the Perforated Stone on the Haram of Jerusalem,” Palestine Exploration Quarterly 114 (1982): 143.

51. On this rhetorical trope, see Quintilian, Inst. Or. 9.2.40, quoting the following from Cicero (De Oratore, 3.202): “putting something before our eyes (sub oculos subiectio) this happens when, instead of stating that an event took place, we show how it took place, and that not as a whole, but in detail.” This trope was part of a wider set of rhetorical and descriptive devices under the heading of the term enargeia, on the use and origins of which see Gary Zanker, “Enargeia in the Ancient Criticism of Poetry,” Rheinische Museum für Philologie n.f. 124 (1981): 297–311. This very same trope appears again slightly later than in our pilgrim’s account, this time however, describing the footprints of Jesus on the Mount of Olives. Both traditions demonstrate the means and mechanism by which the local mental sacred geography was being created. The citation of a segment of the passage in Sulpicius Severus’s Chronicle, II, 33 describing the latter tradition is thus in order: “It is a remarkable fact that the spot on which the divine footprints had last been left (Mt. of Olives) when the Lord was carried up in a cloud to heaven, could not be joined by a pavement with the remaining part of the street. For the earth, unaccustomed to mere human contact, rejected all appliances laid upon it . . . it is an enduring proof of the soil of that place having been trodden by God, that the footprints are still to be seen, (quin etiam calcati Deopulueris adeoperenne documentum est, ut vestigia impressa cernantur) and although the faith of those who daily flock to that place . . . the earth still preserves the same appearance which it presented of old, as if it had been sealed by the footprints impressed upon it.” See C. Halm, ed., Sulpicii Severi, Chronica, II, 33 CSEL vol. 1 (Vindobonae, 1856) 87.

52. The truth of the matter is that it is hardly likely that segments of Solomon’s Temple were still visible at the Herodian period on the Temple Mount, the only exception being the eastern perimeter of the Temple overlooking the steep Kidron valley where the wall followed the old foundations of the Solomonic wall. Thus it becomes quite clear that the reference to Solomon’s buildings in our text was rather conceptual; see Lee I. Levine, Jerusalem: Portrait of the Second Temple Period (538 B.C.E.–70 C.E.) (Philadelphia 2002), 227.

53. For that matter it is also striking that an important tradition in the local history of the early Jerusalem Christian community is entirely omitted from our traveler’s account, namely, the one describing James’s (Jesus’s brother and leader of that community) martyrdom, which took place in and around the Temple; see Hegessipus apud Eusebius, Church History, II, 23.

54. Ca. 315, Eusebius of Caesarea wrote that the Temple sanctuary serves a quarry and stones from there are being carried away for use in private and public buildings, indeed admittedly in fulfillment of the prophetic utterance in Micah 3.12 (according to Aquila’s translation); see Eusebius, Demonstratio Evangelica, VIII, 3, 392–93.

55. Predictions concerning the fate of the Temple were rather prevalent then; see Craig A. Evans, “Predictions of the Destruction of the Herodian Temple in the Pseudepigrapha, Qumran Scrolls, and Related Texts,” Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha 10 (1992): 89–147.

56. In a way (though without the polemic overtones) like the process described above in the case of Constantinople; see, Basset, Urban Image of Late Antique Constantinople, 75–78.

57. Eusebius, Vita Constantini, III, 33, 135.

Additional Information

ISSN
1553-0604
Print ISSN
0021-6682
Pages
465-486
Launched on MUSE
2009-11-26
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.