The Venerable Bede, DE LOCIS SANCTIS, c. 690 C.E.
BAEDAE, LIBER DE LOCIS SANCTIS. CORPUSed. Paul Geyer, 1898.
SCRIPTORUM ECCLES. LATINORUM, XXXVIIII,
ITINERA HIEROSOLYMITANA, SAECULI IIIIVIII,
REGARDING THE HOLY PLACES
by the Venerable Bede
Transl. Arnold vander Nat, 2001.
I. De Situ Hierusalem
I. The Site of Jerusalem
Situs urbis hierusalem paene in orbem circumactus non parvo murorum ambitu adsurgit, quo etiam montem sion quondam vicinum intra se recipit, qui a meridie positus pro arce urbi supereminet. Et maior pars civitatis infra montem iacet in planitie humilioris collis sita.
The site of the city Jerusalem, circling around in almost a circle, stands out by the not small extent of its walls, by which also it holds itself below the formerly neighoring Mount Sion, which, located to the south, rises above the city like before an arc. And the greater part of the city lies below the mountain, situated on a plateau of a lower hill.
Post passionem quippe domini a tito imperatore destructa, sed ab helio adriano caesare, a quo etiam nunc helia vocatur, instaurata multoque amplior effecta est. Unde est, quod, cum dominus extra portas urbis passus sepultusque sit, modo loca passionis et resurrectionis illius intra eiusdem moenia cernuntur.
To be sure, after the passion of the Lord, the city was destroyed by Emperor Titus, but by Caesar Hadrian Aelius, after whom even now it is called Aelia, it was restored and was made very much larger. Whence it is, that, although the Lord suffered and was burried outside the walls of the city, just now the places of that passion and resurrection are seen to be inside its walls.
Cuius in magno murorum ambitu octoginta quatuor turres, portae vero sex visuntur: prima porta david ad occidentem montis sion, secunda porta villae fullonis, tertia porta sancti stephani, quarta porta beniamin, quinta portula, id est parvula porta ab hac per gradus ad vallem iosaphat descenditur, sexta porta thecuitis.
In whose great extent of walls eighty-four towers and six gates are seen: First, the Gate of David, to the west of Mount Sion; second, the Fuller's Gate; third, the Gate of St. Stephen; fourth, the Gate of Benjamin; fifth, the Small Gate, that is, a very smally gate by which one descends through steps to the valley of Josaphat; sixth, Porta Thecuitis.
Celebriores tamen ex his sunt tres exitus portarum, unus quidem ab occasu, alius a septentrione, tertius ab oriente. A meridie autem aquilone montis sion supercilium supereminet civitati, et ea pars murorum cum interpositis turribus nullas habere portas comprobatur, id est a supra dicta david porta, usque ad eam eiusdem montis sion frontem, quae praerupta rupe orientalem respicit plagam.
But the more famous of these are three gate exits, one indeed from the west, a second from the north, and a third from the east. From the south however the edge at the north of mount Sion rises over the city, and that part of the walls with interposed towers is proved to have no gates, that is, from the Gate of David mentioned aboved all the way to the front of this mount Sion, which looks with steep rock to the eastern region.
Situs quippe ipsius urbis a supercilio aquiloni montis sion incipiens, ita est molli clivo dispositus usque ad humiliora aquilonarium orientaliumque loca murorum, ut pluvia ibidem decidens nequaquam stet, sed instar fluviorum per orientales defluens portas cunctis secum platearum sordibus raptis in valle iosaphat torrentem cedron augeat.
To be sure, the site of the very city begins at the northern ridge of mount Sion, and so it is by a gentle slope, set all the way to the lower regions of the northern and eastern walls, that the rains falling in that place by no means stay there, but like rivers flowing down through the eastern gates with all the polluted plunder of the streets into the valley of Josaphat, it increases the Cedron torrent.
II. De Locis in Ea Sanctis
II. The Holy Places That Are In It
Ingressis ergo ab septemtrionali parte urbem primum de locis sanctis pro conditione platearum divertendum est ad ecclesiam constantinianam, quae martyrium appellatur. Hanc constantinus imperator, eo quod ibi crux domini ab helena matre reperta sit, magnifico et regio cultu construxit . . . .
As one enters the city then from the northern part, the first of the holy places, due to how the streets are turned, is the Church of Constantine, which is called the Martyrium. Emperor Constantine constructed it in that place, with grandiose and regal reverence, because there the cross of the Lord was found again by his mother Helena . . . .
Haec quidem omnia, quae commemoravimus, sancta loca extra montem sion posita cernuntur, quo se ad aquilonem deficiens loci tumor porrexit. In inferiore vero parte urbis, ubi templum, in vicinia muri ab oriente locatum, ipsique urbi transitu pervio ponte mediante fuerat coniunctum, nunc ibi saraceni quadratam domum subrectis tabulis et magnis trabibus super quasdam ruinarum reliquias vili opere construentes oratione frequentant, quae tria milia hominem capere videtur. Paucae illic cisternae in usum aquarum ostenduntur.
Indeed, all these holy places, which we mentioned, are separated places outside Mount Sion, where the failing rise of the place extended itself to the north. And in the lower part of the city, where the Temple, located in the vicinity of the wall from the east, had been connected to the city itself by an access bridge crossing over in the middle, now the Saracens frequent there for prayer a squared house, crudely constructed with raised planks and great beams over certain remains of ruins, which is thought to hold three thousand men. Few cisterns are found there that use water.
In vicinia templi est bethsaida piscina, gemino insignis lacu apparet, quorum alter hibernis plerumque impletur imbribus, alter rubris est discolor aquis.
In the vicinity of the Temple is the Bethsaida pool, it appears distinguished by a double pool, the one of which is mostly filled by the winter rains, the other is discolored with reddish waters.
Ab ea fronte montis sion, quae praerupta rupe orientalem plagam spectat, intra muros atque in radicibus collis, fons siloe prorumpit, qui alternante quidem aquarum accessu in meridiem fluit, id est non iugibus aquis, sed in certis horis diebusque ebullit, et per terrarum concava et antra saxi durissimi cum magno sonitu venire consuevit . . . .
Away from there, by the front of mount Sion, which faces the eastern region with steep rock, and inside the walls, in the roots of the hill, the Siloam spring bursts forth, which in fact flows in the south intermittently with gusts of waters, that is, not with flowing waters, but in certain hours of the days it erupts, and through vaults and caves in ground of the hardest rock, it usually comes with a great sound . . . .