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The third picture is, perhaps, of more modern origin than either of the others, because it is painted upon paper made of cotton, or silk rags, which has been also attached to a tablet of sycamore wood. This is evidently a representation of the Virgin Mary and the Child Jesus, although the words “ The · Holy," in Arabic, are all that can be read for its illustration; what followed having been effaced. Three lilies are painted above the head of the Infant Messiah ; and where the paint has wholly disappeared, in consequence of the injuries it has sustained, an Arabic manuscript is disclosed, upon which the picture was painted. This manuscript is nothing more than a leaf torn from an old copy-book : the same line occurs repeatedly from the top of the page to the bottom; and contains this aphorism :

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Whatsoever may have been the antiquity of these early specimens of the art of painting, it is probable that they existed long prior to its introduction into Italy; since they seem evidently of an earlier date than the destruction of the church, beneath whose ruins they were buried, and among which they were recently

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CHAP. discovered. No value was set upon them :

they were not esteemed by the Arabs in whose
possession they were found, although some
Christian pilgrim had placed the two fragments
belonging to one of them upon the rude altar
which his predecessors had constructed from
the former materials of the building. Not the
smallest objection was made to their removal :
so, having bestowed a trifle upon the Moslem
tenant of the bee hive repository, we took them
into safer custody'.

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Among the various authors who have mentioned Sephoury, no intelligence is given of the church in its entire state : this is the more

(1) The author is further indebted to his learned friend, the Rev. J. Palmer, of St. John's College, Cambridge, Arabic Professor in the University, for the following observations upon these pictures. Professor Palmer travelled in the Holy Land soon after they were dis covered.

“ The antiquity of the Tablets cannot be determined precisely: yet it inay be of importance to remark the absence of any Arabic titles corresponding with me, er, and exOTOKOC, so commonly, not to say invariably, inscribed upon the effigies of the Virgin, some of them more than five hundred years old, which are seen in the Greek churches.

“ I assume, as beyond doubt, that these tablets belonged to some church, or domestic sanctuary, of Malkite Greeks; both from the close correspondence, in figure and expression, between the effigies in their churches, and those on the tablets ; and from the fact, familiar to all who have visited Eastern countries, that such tablets are rarely, if ever, found among Catholic Christians."

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liest edifices in the Holy Land. Quaresmius, although se! who published in the seventeenth century a

copious and elaborate description of the Holy
Land', has afforded all the information we can
obtain concerning the form of this building ;

but even his account is avowedly derived from their remeCTz

a survey of its ruins. Speaking of the city, he
expresses himself to the following effect': “ It
now exhibits a scene of ruin and desolation,
consisting only of peasants' habitations, and
sufficiently manifests, in its remains, the
splendour of the antient city. Considered as
the native place of Joachim and Anna, the
parents of the Virgin, it is renowned, and
worthy of being visited. Upon the spot where

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(2) This work is very little known. It was printed at Antwerp in 1639, in two large folio volumes, containing some excellent engravings, onder the title of " Historia Theologica et Moralis Terræ Sanctæ Elucidatin." QUARESMIUS was a Franciscan friar of Lodi in Italy, and once A postolic Commissary and Præses of the Holy Land. He had therefore every opportunity, from his situation, as well as his own actual observation, to illustrate the ecclesiastical antiquities of the country.

(3) “ Nunc diruta et desolata jacet, rusticanas dumtaxat continens domos, et multas objiciens oculis ruinas ; quibus intelligitur quàm eximia olim extiterit arbs. Celebris est, et digna ut visitetur, quòd credatur patria Joachim et Annæ, sanctorum Dei Genitricis parentum. Et in loco ubi Joachim domus erat fuit posteà illustris ædificata Ecclesia ex quadratis lapidibus : duos habebat ordines columnarum, quibus triplicis navis testudo fulciebatur: in capite tres habebat capellas, in præsentiå in Maurosam domuneulas accommodatas." Quaresmi Elucid. Tert. Sanct. lib. vii. cap. 5. tom. II. p.852.

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CHAP. the house of Joachim stood, a conspicuous sanc

tuary, built with square stones, was afterwards
erected. It had two rows of pillars, by which
the vault of the triple nave was supported. At
the upper end were three chapels; now appro-
priated to the dwellings of the (Arabs) Moors.”
From the allusion here made to the nave and
side aisles, it is evident that Quaresmius believed
its form to have been different from that of a
Greek cross : yet the four arches of the centre
and the dome they originally supported do
rather denote this style of architecture. The
date of its construction is incidently afforded by
a passage in Epiphanius', in the account given
by him of one Josephus, a native of Tiberias, who
was authorized by Constantine to erect this and
other edifices of a similar nature, in the Holy
Land. Epiphanius relates, that he built the
churches of Tiberias, Diocæsarea, and Capernaum;
and Diocæsarea was one of the names given to
Sepphoris. This happened towards the end of

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(1) The testimony of Epiphanius concerning this country is the more valuable, as he was himself a native of Palæstine, and flourished so early as the fourth century. He was born at the village of Besanduc, in 320 ; lived with Hilarion and Hesychius; was made bishop of Salamis (now Famagosta) in Cyprus, in 366; and died in 403, at the age of eighty, in returning from Constantinople, where he had been to visit Chrysostom.

(2) As it appears in the writings of Socrates Ecclesiasticus and Sozomen. Vid. Socrat. Hist. xi. 33. Sozomen. Histor. lib. iv. c. 7.



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fourth century.

“ There was," says

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the life of Constantine ; therefore the church of
Sepphoris was erected before the middle of the

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among them, one Josephus, not the antient writer and historian of that name, but a native of Tiberias, contemporary with the late Emperor, Constantine the Elder, who obtained from that sovereign the rank of Count, and was empowered to build a church to Christ in Tiberias, and in Diocæsarea, and in Capernaum, and in other cities.”

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The æra of its destruction may be referred to that of the city, in the middle of the fourth century, as mentioned by Reland", upon the

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(3) "Ην δέ τις εξ αυτών Ιώσηπος, ουχό συγγραφούς, και ιστοριογράφος,
και παλαιός εκείνος, άλλ' ο απο Τιβεριάδος, ο έν χρονους του μακαρίτου
Κωνσταντίνου του Βασιλεύσαντος, του γέροντος, ός και προς αυτού του
βασιλέως αξιώματος Κομίτων έτυχε και εξουσίαν είληφεν εν τη αυτή, ,
Τιβεριάδι έκκγησίαν Χριστώ ιδρύσαι, και εν Διοκαισαρεία και εν Κατερ-
vaoju, kai tais aklais. “Fuit ex illorum numero Josephus quidam,
non historiæ ille scriptor antiquus, sed Tiberiadensis alter, qui beatæ
memoriæ Constantini Senioris Imperatoris ætate vixit : à quo etiam
Comitivam accepit, cum eâ potestate, ut tum in urbe ipsâ Tiberiadis,
tum Diocæsareæ, Capharnaumi, ac vicinis aliis in oppidis ecclesias in
Christi honorem extrueret." Epiphanii Opera. Par. 1622. tom. II.
lib. i. Adv. Hær. p. 128.

(4) The reader, after a fruitless examination of the pages of Adri.
chomius, and his predecessors, Breidenbach and Brocard, for an
account of this city, may find, in the Palæstine of Reland, every infor-
mation, concerning its history, that the most profound erudition,
joined to matchless discrimination, diffidence, and judgment, could
select and concentrate. It is the peculiar characteristic of Reland's


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