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M.Besant E.Walter
Jerusalem, the city of Herod and Saladin

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M.Besant E.Walter
Jerusalem, the city of Herod and Saladin
page 28



stones, and missiles of all sorts, from John's men, was miserable enough. John and Simon fought with each other in the lower ground, the valley of the Tyropœon, which lay between the Temple and Mount Zion. Here were stored up supplies of corn sufficient, it is said, for many years' supply. But in the sallies which John and Simon made upon each other all the buildings in this part of the town were destroyed or set on fire, and all their corn burned; so that famine had actually begun before the commencement of the siege. " And now," to quote the words of the historian, " the people of the city were like a great body torn in pieces. The aged men and the women were in such distress by their internal calamities that they wished for the Bomans, and earnestly hoped for an external war, in order to deliver them from their domestic miseries. The citizens themselves were under a terrible consternation and fear; nor had they any opportunity of taking counsel and of changing their conduct ; nor were there any hopes of coming to an agreement with their enemies ; nor could such as wished to do so flee away, for guards were set at all places, and the chiefs of the robbers agreed in killing those who were for peace with the Bomans." Day and night, he goes on to tell us, the wretched inhabitants were harassed with the shouts of those who fought, and the lamentation of those who mourned, until through the overwhelming fear, every one for himself, relations ceased to care for each other, the living ceased to mourn for the dead, and those who were not among the defenders of the walls ceased to care for anything or to look for anything except for speedy destruction ; and this even before the siege began. And yet, with the city in this miserable and wretched condition, with the certain knowledge that the Bomans were coming, the usual crowds of Jews and Idumeans flocked to the city to keep the feast of the Passover.


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