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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 448



In 1481 a number of architects and workmen were sent to Jerusalem by tbe Sultan to repair the Haram, and to rebuild the various colleges which had fallen into decay. In 1482 a messenger arrived bearing the Sultan's order that the Christians were to be permitted to take possession once more of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and exhibit therein the customary Easter pyrotechnic display. The order was at first disputed by the Muslim officials, but as the commissioner threatened to indict them for contempt of authority they were obliged to give way. In 1491, Jerusalem was again visited by the plague ; at first from thirty to forty people died of it daily, but in a little time the average rate of mortality was increased to a hundred and thirty. The winter of this year was very severe, and a snowstorm occurred, which lasted several days, and lay upon the ground to the depth of three feet, greatly incommoding and frightening the inhabitants. When it began to melt, the foundations of many of the houses gave way, and serious disasters were the result. Mejir-ed-din's history of this period is very diffuse, and is chiefly devoted to an account of the various Câdhis, and other religious or legal functionaries in Jerusalem. But the ascendency of the Shafiite or Hanefite doctrines, or the intense devotion of an old gentleman who had learned a whole commentary upon the Coran by heart, are not subjects of much general interest ; we have, therefore, confined ourselves to stating the few facts above detailed. We ought, perhaps, to include in our list of Mohammedan pilgrims those from whom all our information is gleaned,— Ibn 'Asaker, and the later Arabic writers who have written on the subject ; their names, however, and the names of their books, although of high authority to the Oriental scholar, could have but little weight with the English reader.


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