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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 61



The history of the next hundred years presents nothing remarkable. The persecution of Diocletian raged throughout the East ; the usual stories of miracles are recorded ; a library was founded in Jerusalem by Bishop Alexander ; and meantime the old name of the city was forgotten entirely out of its own country. So much was this the case, that a story is related of an Egyptian martyr who, on being asked the name of his city, replied that it was Jerusalem, meaning the heavenly Jerusalem. The judge had never heard of such a city, and ordered him to be tortured in order to ascertain the truth. And now grew up the spirit of pilgrimage, and the superstition of sacred places began, or rather was grafted into the new religion from the old. Of the pilgrims of these early times we have to speak in another place. At present they interest us only that they brought about two events of the greatest importance to the history of the world and the future of the Christian Church—the building of Constantino's church and the Invention of the Cross by Helena. Well would it have been in the interest of humanity if the cave of Christ's sepulchre had never been discovered, and if the wood of the Cross had still remained buried in the earth. The historians quarrel as much over the birthplace of Helena as that of Homer. She was the daughter of a Breton king named Coël ; she was born in York ; she was the daughter of an innkeeper at Drepanium, near Nico media ; she was a native of Dalmatia, of Dacia, of Tarsus, of Edessa, of Treves. Whether she was ever married to Constantius does not appear. If she was, he deserted her for Theodora, the daughter-in-law of Maximian. But Constantius made his son, Constantine, by Helena, his legal heir, and presented him to the troops as his suc cessor, and Constantine regarded his mother with the greatest affection, surrounded her with every outward sign of respect and dignity, granted her the title of Augusta,


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