LETTER TO THE PRESBYTER FAUSTUS
by Eucherius, Bishop of Lyons, early 5th c.
Epistola Ad Faustum Presbyterum. Eucherii, Quae fertur, de situ Hierusolimitanae urbis
atque ipsius Iudaeae. Corpus Scriptorum Eccles. Latinorum
XXXIX Itinera Hierosolymitana,
Saeculi IIIIVIII, P. Geyer, 1898.
Letter To The Presbyter Faustus. By Eucherius, What is reported, about the
site of the city Jerusalem and also of Judaea.
Translated by Arnold vander Nat, 2003
Fausto presbytero insulano Eucherius episcopus.
Eucherius, Bishop, to the island presbyter, Faustus.
Hierusolimitanae urbis situm atque ipsius Iudaeae, ut mihi vel relatione cognitus erat vel lectione conpertus, breviter amplexus sum brevi et ipsum praefatione indicans, quia opusculo non diffuso nequaquam esse diffusam praefationem decet. Vale in Christo, decus et praesidium meum.
The situation of the city of Jerusalem and of Judaea, as to me it was known through reports or learned through readings, I have briefly embraced, making it known by a short preface, because for a small work not extensive it is not fitting to have an extensive preface. Strength in Christ, honor and my protection.
Hierusalem ab Aelio Adriano Aelia vocitatur, nam post subversionem Titi conditoris Aelii nomen cum opere suscepit. Natura loci edita adeuntibus eam qualibet ex parte haut dubie ascendendum erit, diutino quippe, sed molli tractu adsurgit.
Situs ipse urbis paene in orbem circumactus est non parvo murorum ambitu, quo etiam montem Sion quondam vicinum iam intra se recipit, qui a meridie positus pro arce urbi supereminet. Maior civitatis pars infra montem iacet in planitie humilioris collis sita.
Jerusalem was called Aelia by Aelius Hadrianus, for after the destruction of Titus the name of the founder Aelius began with the rebuilding. The raised condition of the place, for those going to it, will assuredly be ascended from every side; it rises by a rather long but easy slope. The site of the city is almost circular in shape, by a long enclosure of walls, which now within itself includes the once neighboring Mount Sion, which located on the south, rises above the arc-like city. The greater part of the city lies below the mountain, on the flat top of a lower hill.
Mons Sion latere uno, quod aquilonem respicit, clericorum religiosorumque habitationibus sequestratur, cuius in vertice planitiem monachorum cellulae obtinuerunt ecclesiam circumdantes, quae illic fertur ab apostolis fundata pro loci resurrectionis dominicae reverentia, eo quod ibi promisso quondam per Dominum paracleto repleti sunt spiritu.
Mount Sion, on the one side which faces north, is set aside for the dwellings of priests and monks; whose flat area at the top is occupied by monks' cells surrounding a church, which, it is said, at that place was founded by the apostles for the honor of the place of the resurrection of the Lord, because it was there, as promissed before by the Lord about the Paraclete, that they were filled with the Spirit.
Celebriores tres sunt portarum exitus, unus ab occasu, alter ab oriente, tertius a septentrione. Ingressis a septentrionali parte urbem, primum de locis sanctis pro conditione platearum devertendum est ad basilicam, quae Martyrium appellatur, a Constantino magno cultu nuper exstructam. Dehinc cohaerentia ab occasu loca visuntur Golgotha atque Anastasis; sed Anastasis in loco est resurrectionis, Golgotha vero medius inter Anastasim ac Martyrium locus est dominicae passionis, in quo etiam rupis apparet illa, quae quondam ipsam adfixo Domino crucem pertulit. Atque haec tamen extra montem Sion posita cernuntur, quo se ad aquilonem deficiens loci tumor porrexit.
The three more frequented exit gates are one on the west, another on the east, and a third on the north. As you enter the city from the northern side, the first of the holy places due to the condition of the directions of the streets is to the church which is called the Martyrium, which was by Constantine with great reverence not long ago built up. Next, to the west one visits the connecting places Golgotha and the Anastasis; indeed the Anastasis is in the place of the resurrection, and Golgotha is in the middle between the Anastasis and the Martyrium, the place of the Lord's passion, in which still appears that rock which once endured the very cross on which the Lord was. These are however separated places outside of Mount Sion, where the failing rise of the place extended itself to the north.
Templum vero in inferiore parte urbis in vicinia muri ab oriente locatum magnificeque extructum quondam miraculum fuit, ex quo parietis unius in ruinis quaedam pinna superest reliquis a fundamentis usque distructis. Paucae illic cisternae in usum aquarum ostenduntur.
The Temple in truth, located in the lower part of the city in the vicinity of the wall to the east and built up magnificently, was once a wonderful thing,
out of which a certain pinnacle of one wall in ruins is left, the rest to the foundations thoroughly destroyed. Few cisterns are found there that use water.
In ea parte civitatis, quae ad septentrionem tenditur, vicina templo Bethsaida piscina gemino apparet insignis lacu, quorum alter hibernis plerumque impletur imbribus, alter rubris est discolor aquis. Ab ea fronte montis Sion, quae praerupta rupe orientalem plagam spectat, intra muros atque ad radices collis fons Siloa prorumpit, qui alternante aquarum accessu in meridiem fluit.
Iuxta murum Hierusalem vel templi ab oriente Geennon occurrit, quae vallis Iosaphat vocatur, a septentrione in austrum porrecta, per quam Cedron torrens, si quando pluviarum aquas recipit, decurrit.
In that part of the city that is stretched to the north, near the temple, the Bethsaida pool appears distinguished by a double pool, the one of which is mostly filled by the winter rains, the other is discolored with reddish waters. Away from there, by the front of mount Sion, which faces the eastern region with steep rock, and inside the walls, by the roots of the hill, the Siloam spring bursts forth, which flows intermittently in the south with gusts of waters.
Next to the wall of Jerusalem, that is, of the Temple, to the east, runs Gehenna, which is called the Valley of Jehoshaphat, extending from north to south, through which the torrent Cedron, whenever it receives the waters of the rains, runs down.
Circumiecta Hierusolimitanae urbis aspera ac montuosa cernuntur, quae etiam montem Oliveti mille a se discretum passibus in orientem prospectat. .
Round Jerusalem the country has a rough, hilly appearance, and the Mount of Olives is to be seen on the east at about a mile's distance. . . .