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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 29



Their profound faith was proof against every disaster. That the Temple should actually fall, actually be destroyed, seems never even to have entered into their heads ; and there can be little doubt that the rude, rough, country people, coming to keep the Passover with their wives and children, were filled with a wild hope that the God of Joshua was about to work some signal deliverance for them. The population thus crowded into the city is estimated by Tacitus at six hundred thousand ; by Josephus at more than double that number. There are reasons for believing the number at least as great as that stated by Tacitus. A register of the buried had been' kept in the city, and the registrar of one gate, out of which the dead were thrown, gave Josephus a note of his numbers. The historian conversed with those who escaped. A list of the captives would be, no doubt, made—the Romans were not in the habit of doing things carelessly, even after a great victory—and they would be accessible to Josephus. So far as these go we ought to allow Josephus's right to the consideration due to an eye-witness; and it seems to us absolutely unwarranted by any historical or other arguments, to put down, as has been done, the population of this city during the siege at sixty or seventy thousand.* This was doubtless something like the ordinary population ; but it was swelled tenfold and twentyfold by the crowds of those who came yearly to keep the feast. Again, the argument based by Mr. Fergusson on the area of the city fails for the simple reason that it is founded on wrong calculations t as to the number of * Fergusson's Art. ' Jerusalem,' Biblical Dictionary. f Taking the shape of the city to be circular and 33 stadia in circumference (it was more nearly circular than square), we find its area to have been rather more than 3,500,000 square yards. This, at 30 square yards to one person, gives about 120,000 for the ordinary population. And there were extensive gardens and numerous villas to the north and east which contained another popu


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