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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 39



of the 10 th legion, which lay a great way off these, were on the north quarter, and at the pool called Amygdalon ; as was that of the 15th legion, about thirty cubits from it, and at the high priest's monument. And now, when the engines were brought, John had from within undermined the space that was over-against the tower of Antonia, as far as the banks themselves, and had supported the ground over the mine with beams laid across one another, whereby the Roman works stood upon an uncertain foundation. Then did he order such materials to be brought in as were daubed over with pitch and bitumen, and set them on fire; and as the cross beams that supported the banks were burning, the ditch yielded on the sudden, and the banks were shaken down, and fell into the ditch with a prodigious noise. Now at the first there arose a very thick smoke and dust, as the fire was choked with the fall of the bank; but as the suffocated materials were now gradually consumed, a flame brake out; on which sudden appearance of the flame â consternation fell upon the Romans, and the shrewdness of the contrivance discouraged them ; and indeed, this accident coming upon them at a time when they thought they had already gained their point, cooled their hopes for the time to come. They also thought it would be to no purpose to take the pains to extinguish the fire, since, if it were extinguished, the banks were swallowed up already [and become useless] to them." The other banks against the west wall were not more fortunate. For Simon's soldiers, with torches in their hands, rushed out suddenly when the engines were beginning to shake the walls. They seized the iron of the engines, which was red hot, and despite this held them till the wood was consumed. The Romans retreated: the guards, who would not desert their post, fell in numbers, and Titus found his whole army wavering under the attacks of a half-starved and haggard mob, whose courage D


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