HOLY SEPULCHRE. The place where Jesus was entombed. .:\ccording to the New Testament data, the sites of the crucifixion and burial of Jesus were not far apart (John xix. 41). out side Jerusalem (itch. xiii. 12), and near a road (Mark xv. 29; Alan.. xxvii. 3(t). The tooth it self was in a garden (John xix. 41), and ap parently on a slope. The place of crucifixion was called Golgotha (Mark xv. 22; Matt. XN.Vii. 33: John xix. 17). an .\ ratortic word meaning skull. Calvary is but the anglicized form of the Latin call aria, skull. There is no evidence for supposing that the locality was suffieiently ele vated to be called a hill or mount. The Gospels imply that the site was well known when they were written. but the referenees are Riot full enough to make a modern identification easy or certain.
The traditional site of both Golgotha and the tomb of Jesus is that now covered by the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, .100 to 500 yards west of the northern part of the Durant esti-Sherif, or temple area, and well within the modern city of Jerusalem. Here Constantine the Great built a beautiful church on the :spot then supposed to be the place of the Ascension. This identification was not seriously disputed until Jonas Norte, in 1741, claimed that, being within the city walls, it could not be correct. Korte supposed that the modern north wall was in existence at the time of the crucifixion, but in fact it was built later. ln 1811 Edward Robinson. in his itibfi•a/ Researches, disputed the correctness of the tradi tional site, on the supposition that the second wall of Josephus—i.e. the north wall in Christ's dity—passcd to the north of it, and in that case it must have been within the city. Since Robin son, this has been felt to he the chief and fatal olistaele to the view that the modern church actually covers the spot where Jesus was buried. But. the excavations and measurements of Conrad Schick (13s8 and later) have made it all but certain that the wall in.Christ s (lay lay south and east of the disputed site, which therefore was outside the city, and may well have been the scene of the crucifixion and burial. (If other proposed sites, two. both outside the modern city, near the Damascus Gate, bare received strong support. The question is still unsettled, but the thrift of competent opinion is toward aeveptance of the traditional view.
A few years after the erocifixion, the northern area of Jerusalem was inclosed by a third wall, as it was becoming thickly settled. There is no reason to suppose that the early Christians forgot where the ertieifixion and burial had occurred. though there is no probability that they. venerat ed the place as holy. in the .Jewish war with Rome (00-70), this part of the city was oven pied by the Roman army preparatory to the assault on the second wall. From its capture by Titus (71)) to the rebellion of Bar-Cochba (1:32 35), the city was practically in ruins, though not entirely desolate. -\ fter suppressing this rebellion Iladrian rebuilt. Jerusalem as a heathen city. t'alling it _Elia Capitolina, and absolutely forbidding Jews to enter it. On the site of the temple a shrine to Jupiter was built, and on that of the supposed tomb of Jesus a temple to Venus was erected (by Hadrian or one of the later em perors). Ineidentally this may he evidence that Byrn then Christian tradition pointed out that spot as worthy of veneration. In the third cen tury the holy places if the city and vicinity began to attract pilgrims from various parts of the Empire, though there is no evidence that any visited this particular spot. In the fourth cen tury the pilgrimages becaine more popular, and when through Constantine I. the Empire became nominally Christian, it was 1/111., natural that the Emperor, urged on, doubtless, by his mother, determined to rescue the holy sepulchre from oblivion and disgrace. What guided Constantine in selecting this spot was, without doubt, the tradition already current. On removing the ac
cumulated rubbish, the workmen came upon a rock tomb. So astonishing was this coincidence that it was counted as simply miraculous that the precious grave, so long hidden away. should at last have come to light. Legends soon began to multiply--e.g. that lielena, Constantine's mother, miraculously discovered the true cross near by, of which Eusebins, the contemporary and well-informed witness, says nothing. (See CRoss, INVENTION OF TuE.) Constantine now built here a magnificent church. Over the grave was erected a beautiful gilded dome open to the sky, supported by columns and surrounded by a wall, the inside diameter being about 05 feet. From the rotunda eastward extended the basilica, 230 feet in length, with its nave and two aisles, he nave ending in a semicircular choir. Still further to the east, connected with the basilica by three gateways, was the atrium, surrounded with colonnades and containing basins for the customary ablutions. From the atrium three gates led out into the propylaeum, which connect ed the whole edifice with the market street to the east. The entire length of the church or cathe dral so constructed was about 475 feet. It was clue, doubtless, to the necessities of the situation that the propyheum and atrium were to the east rather than, as usual, west of the basilica. In the south aisle, a knob of the native rock, with a cleft in it (the grave of Adam. according to legend). rose a few feet above the level of the floor• inclosed within a silver fence. This was supposed to be the rock in which the cross was set—i.e. Golgotha proper. In A.D. 330. ten years after its foundation, Constantine's church was dedicated by the Synod of Tyre. For nearly three hundred years the edifice remained intact, famed fur its beauty, one of the chief attractions for the numerous pilgrims constantly visiting Jerusalem. During this period legends grew apace, and nu merous miraculous events were associated with the locality. In 014 the church was destroyed, at least partially, by the Persians under Chosroes H. Steps were taken at once by \lodestus, acting Bishop of Jerusalem. to rebuild the edifice, and after ten years' labor,((10.20) the work was com pleted. The new buildings were not of the same plan or dimensions or beauty as their predecessor. The rotunda was rebuilt as a separate church— of the Resurrection—and on the site of the large basilica of Constantine a smaller one, the Mar tyrium. over the place where the cross was said to have been found, was erected. Southeast of the rotunda a new church in honor of the Virgin was built, while over Golgotha. now outside of the basilica, a chapel was placed. These edifices re mained. with occasional damage and consequent repairs. until their destruction by Hakim, Caliph of Egypt. in 1010. With the assistance of the Byzantine Emperor they were restored in 1048, with sonic changes ,of plan. In 1140 the Cru saders bep"an a general rebuilding of all the edi fices on a larger scale. The new church was dedi cated July 15. 1149, but not completed until 110S. The Church of the Crusaders was• de stroyed in 1244. but again rebuilt (c.1300). Ex tensive alterations and improvements took plaee in 1335 and 1719. In ISOS the rotunda was burned and much other damage done to the west ern buildings. The restoration. the work of the Greeks and Armenians, was eompleted in 1810. Since that time, with the exception of the re newal of the dome in ISI18 by Napoleon III. and Alexander 11. of Russia. the buildings have un dergone no scrians alteration.
For plan of the present buildings. with extend ed descriptions. consult Baedeker's Palestine and Snria (Leipzig. 18981; for the plan and extent of the buildings of Constantine. Mommert. Die hciliq arabeskirehe zu Jerusalem in ihrem ur spriingliehen Zustnnde (Leipzig. 189S) ; for the best, bibliography, Guthc's article in the Hauck Herzog Realeneyklopiidie (Leipzig, 1899).