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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 31



yet remains no doubt that the sufferings of the people were very cruel, and that, of all wretched and bloody sieges in the world's history, few, if any, have been more wretched or more bloody than the siege of Jerusalem by Titus. The people knew full well, of course, that the Eomans were coming. Fear was upon all, and expectation of things great and terrible. As in all times of general excitement, signs were reported to have been seen in the heavens, and portents, which, however, might be read both ways, were observed. A star shaped like a sword, and a comet, stood over the city for a whole year. A great light had shone on the altar at the ninth hour of the night. A heifer, led up to be sacrificed, brought forth a lamb in the midst of the Temple. The eastern gate of the inner court, so heavy that it required twenty men to move it, flew open of its own accord in the night. Chariots and troops of soldiers in armour were seen running about in the clouds, and surrounding cities. When the priests were one night busy in their sacred offices, they felt the earth quaking beneath them, and heard a cry, as of a great multitude, " Let us remove hence !" And always up and down the city wandered Jesus, the son of Ananus, crying, "Woe, woe to Jerusalem!" until the siege began in earnest, when he ceased ; for being on the wall, he cried, " Woe, woe to the city again ! and to the people, and to the holy House !" and then, as he added, " Woe, woe to myself also !" a stone from one of the engines smote him and he died. Titus posted the 10th Legion on the Mount of Olives, and the 12th and 15th on Mount Scopus, the 5th remaining some little distance behind. As the 10th were engaged in pitching their camp, the Jews, whose leaders had hastily patched up a kind of peace, suddenly sallied forth from the eastern gate, and marching across the valley of ^ron Λ rii π ^ e charged the Eomans before they had time to form in battle. Titus himself brought a


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