Chapter 4:
The City of David/Jerusalem in the Roman Period

Herod expanded the Baris to become a camp for the Romans and renamed it for Mark

Antony. This expanded camp (the tower of Antonia) is what is called the “temple mount” today.

Herod also expanded Solomon’s temple in the City of David. Tacitus said the temple had a

fountain of water that ran perpetually and the mountains were hollowed underground, describing

the Gihon Spring water system, enclosed by the temple.

Herod expanded the Greek place of exercise under the tower of the temple to become the

Xystus. Hence, it can be located in the lower Tyropoeon Valley, where Josephus says “the city

lay near the temple in the manner of a theater.” This configuration does not describe the

topography near the alleged temple mount, where the ridge across from it in the upper

Tyropoeon Valley is straight.

Josephus’s account of Simon ben Giora’s possessions during the rebellion preceding the

siege of Titus describes the area south of the temple, including the old wall where it bent from

Siloam to the east, the palace of the king of Adiabeni, the fountain (Gihon Spring), the Acra

which was “none other than the lower city,” and the palace of Queen, which was in the middle of

the lower city. All of these features pertain to the southeastern hill only.