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discharges itself into the larger one which we first met with; the latter we followed for a considerable distance, and then mounting up the hill to the S. W. saw the town of Panias, the great Saracenie castle near it, the plain of the Jordan as far as the lake Houle, and the mountains on the other side of the plain, forming altogether a fine coup d'œil. As we descended towards Panias the country became extremely beautiful; great quantities of wild flowers, and a variety of shrubs just budding, combined with the rich verdure of the grass, corn, and beans, showed us all at once the beauties of spring, and conducted us into a climate quite different from that of Damascus, or of the country which we had passed through since we left that city. About 5 P. M. we entered Panias, crossing a causeway constructed over the rivulet, which as before stated flows from the foot of Djebail Sheikh. The river here rushes over the rocks in a very picturesque manner, its banks are covered with shrubs, and there are the ruins of ancient walls, but whether Saracenic or not I cannot say. The present town of Panias is small, the ground it stands on is of a triangular form, inclosed by the Jordan on one side, the rivulet on the other, and the mountain at the back. The situation being thus compressed, it is evident that the ancient Panias, afterwards Cæsarea Philippi, could not have been of great extent. Josephus, in his "Jewish Antiquities," mentions a temple built by Herod, but we could discover no trace of it. The apparent source of the Jordan is in a cave at the foot of a precipice, in the sides of which are several niches with Greek inscriptions.
The neighbourhood of Panias is very beautiful, richly wooded, and abounds ingame; we devoted a part of the morning of the 25th to shooting, but had poor sport, though we saw plenty of partridges, wild ducks, snipe, &c. Having been directed to follow the Jord to the lake Houle, we left Panias at 11 o'clock, and took that route. The beautifully wooded country did not continue for more than two miles, and we then entered into open rich plains.
found the ground very marshy: after wandering about to find fords over the numerous streams which water the plain, we crossed the Jordan itself; but the country on the other side was as full of marshes and swamps as that we had left, and in several places we nearly lost the horses; at last we succeeded in reaching the road to Safot, which runs at the foot of the hills on the other side of the plain, and to have reached which, we ought, in the first instance, to have passed round the north end of the valley. In consequence of the loss of time in these bogs, we got no further on our journey this evening than a village by the side of a hill, near the N. W. end of lake Houle; the banks of which are low, the hills not approaching it in any part.
February 26.-We ascended from this point to Safot. The plain which we had quitted was literally covered with wild geese, ducks, widgeon, snipe, and water-fowl of every description. There is a village at the foot of the steep ascent to Safot, in which are a few Roman ruins. As we ascended, the lakes of Houle and Tiberias opened to us with much grandeur, and part of the plain of the Jordan being also visible, added to the beauty of the scene. The country in the mountains is, for the most part, cultivated. Safot is beautifully situated; the castle stands by itself on a small hill, at the foot of which is the town, which looks like four distinct villages. The approach is very fine, and the country abounds in olives, vines, and almond trees, which are now in blossom. lake of Tiberias is visible from some parts of Safot, which, from its elevated situation, Maundrell thinks is the city alluded to by our Saviour.* Its ancient name appears in Arrowsmith's map as Japhet. We were detained here by rainy weather, until the afternoon of the 28th, when we started for Tiberias, but only reached an old ruined khan, about two miles to the north of the village of Madjdala by the lake's side. Here we were dreadfully bitten by a
"A city that is set on a hill cannot be Matt. v. 14.
species of vermin, which attacks both men and camels in this country; it was red, and soft like a maggot. In the morning we found ourselves studded all over with deep crimson spots, from which it would appear that there is much venom in the bite of this disgusting animal. A traveller in these countries, however much the thought may shock him at first, must make up his mind to be constantly covered with lice and fleas; we kill every day from ten to twenty of these gentry, which are always to be found on every mat or cushion used in the country. These nauseous visitors seldom get into the head, but crawl about your shirt and clothes. Every native you see is covered with them, and if you ask why they have such a plentiful store, while we are comparatively so little attacked, they tell you "it is the curse of God on them." The other day I cut my foot, and our Arab Seys (who has accompanied us all the way from Yaffa), and is a very cleanly person, washing himself constantly, tore off a small piece of the sleeve of his shirt to apply to the wound; the piece was about three inches long, by two wide, and before using it, I killed on it three lice and two fleas ! This will speak more strongly than all I can say on the subject. Bugs are also very plentiful; in Egypt our rooms were full of them. March 1.-The greater part of our road this day was a descent, passing through a beautiful and wild country covered with shrubs of various descriptions, and occasionally crossing valleys and rivulets. About four miles from Safot there is a picturesque cliff, the sides of which are perforated with a great number of caves, at present inhabited by goatherds; we supposed them to be ancient sepulchres, as indeed did other travellers who, from their ruined appearance, have not thought them worthy of examination; but Mr. Bankes, who leaves nothing unexplored, inspected them, and pronounces them to be only natural cavities. About eight o'clock we reached Tiberias, having travelled for two hours along the side of the lake. More pains appear to have been taken to
construct the road where it was very rocky, than in most parts of Syria which we had visited. The modern town of Tiberias is very small; it stands close to the lake of Gennesaret, and is walled round with towers equidistant from each other. At the northern extremity are the remains of the ancient town, which are distinguishable by walls and other ruined buildings, as well as by fragments of columns, some of which are of beautiful red granite. South of the town are the famous hot baths of Tiberius; they consist of three mineral springs. We had no thermometer, but we found the water too hot to admit of the hand being kept in it for more than fifty seconds; we endeavoured to boil an egg in it, but without success, even though we removed the shell. Over the spring is a Turkish bath close to the lake's side, which is much resorted to, particularly by the Jews, who have also a great veneration for a Roman sepulchre, excavated in the cliff near the spot, which they say is the "Tomb of Jacob." Beyond the baths a wall runs from the lake to the mountain's side, which rather perplexed us when we were taking the measurement of the ancient walls of Tiberias; but we are now convinced that the walls of the town did not extend so far to the south, and that this wall was part of the fortifications of Vespasian's camp; indeed, Josephus places the camp in this position. The lake of Tiberias is a fine sheet of water, but the land about it has no striking features, and the scenery is altogether devoid of beauty; but it is interesting from the frequent allusions to it in the Gospels. We were lodged, as Frank travellers usually are, in the small catholic church, which is under the charge of an Arab priest; this they tell you was the house of St. Peter; but after we had been there a few days, we observed that one of the stones of the building had part of an Arabic inscription upon it, inverted, which proves it to be of much more modern origin; Dr. Clarke, however, seems to believe the assertion of the natives. We found the church so full of fleas,
that we preferred a small open court in front of it for our lodging. The natives have a saying, that "the king of the fleas has his court in Tabaria." We here lived on fish, which is most excellent; there is not much variety, but the best sort, and it is the most common, is a species of bream, equal to the finest perch. It is remarkable that there is not, at present, a single boat of any description on the lake; the fish are caught by the casting-net from the beach, a method which must yield a very small quantity compared to what would be obtained with boats. I imagine this to be the reason why fish is so dear, being sold at the same price per pound as meat. It was on this lake that the miraculous draught of fishes took place.* There is a current throughout the whole breadth of the lake; the passage of the Jordan through it is observable by the smoothness of the surface.
March 2.-To-day, Mr. Bankes arrived after having made a complete tour of the Haouran, and passed round the lake of Tiberias. He proposed that we should join him in a journey, which he contemplates making beyond the Jordan, and round the Dead Sea to Jerusalem; he had expressed a wish to this effect at Aleppo, and had left a letter for us at Damascus to the same purport. We have accordingly resolved to accompany him; we had totally abandoned all idea of making the tour of the Dead Sea, as a hopeless undertaking, notwithstanding we had our poor friend Burckhardt's notes to aid and assist us; Mr. Bankes was, however, resolved to make the attempt alone if we could not have joined him. While he made a short visit to Safot, which he had not yet seen, we determined to inspect Om Keis (the ancient Gadara), in the country of the Gada
March 4.-We quitted Tiberias at eleven, and following the shore of the lake till we came to the site of the ancient Tarichea; forded the Jordan close to the ruins of a Roman bridge, a few hundred yards from the end of
* Luke, v. 4-9.
the lake; thence we passed by the village of Semmack (the Arabic for fish) at the south end of the lake, and turning to the southward, in about half an hour crossed the river Yarmack or Hieromax, a very pretty stream, tributary to the Jordan. There is here a small ancient town, but it contains nothing of interest; the map marks it "Amatha." From this point we ascended the mountains by a very steep road, and before sunset arrived at Om Keis. The natives inhabit the ancient sepulchres. We were very kindly received by the sheikh. The tomb in which we lodged was capable of containing between twenty and thirty people; it was of an oblong form, and the cattle, &c., occupied one end, while the proprietor and his family lived in the other. The walls of the ancient Gadara are easily discernible; within them the pavement of the city is still very perfect; and the traces of the chariot wheels are visible on the stones. remains of a row of columns which lined the main street on either side; two theatres, in tolerable preservation, are within the walls; and without, to the northward, is the Necropolis; the sepulchres, which are all under ground, are hewn out of the rock; the doors are very massive, being cut out of immense blocks of stone; some of these are now standing, and actually turn on their hinges. The hinge is nothing but a part of the stone left projecting at each end, and let into a socket cut in the rock; the face of the doors are cut in the shape of panels. From this place we had a fine view of the lake of Tiberias.
We found the
March 5.-In the morning we descended to the N. E. into the plain of the Yarmack, to visit the thermal springs there; they are not so hot as those of Tiberias. One of them is inclosed by palm-trees, in a very picturesque manner; it is of great depth, and its surface is covered with a species of red moss, somewhat resembling sponge before it has been purified: this the natives told us they apply to their camels when suffering under certain cutaneous disorders. Here are
the ruins of a Roman bath. We found several sick persons at these springs who had come to use the waters. From this point we followed the Yarmack until we came near the place where we had crossed it the preceding evening, and returned by dusk to Tiberias. Mr. Bankes having rejoined us, we employed ourselves from the 6th to the 10th in measuring the circuit of the ancient city, and in making researches in the neighbourhood. Mr. Bankes had discovered a curious ancient fortification, situated to the west of Magdala. On the north side of the entrance of a ravine there is a high perpendicular cliff which, from its projecting situation and steep sides, forms a natural barrier on two sides of a triangle, the other side being defended by a wall of rough masonry, with numerous projecting turrets. Mr. Bankes made a plan of it; we were two days in taking the measurements. The natives call it Callah-el-Hammam, (Castle of the Pigeons,) but we are not aware that any ancient authors mention it, or give a clue to its origin. It may possibly be the ancient "Jotapata" where Josephus was taken, and which he states to have been demolished by Vespasian. It is certainly of very ancient date-prior, Mr. Bankes thinks, to the time of the Romans. The village of Erbed, in which there are a few Roman ruins, stands in a plain at the foot of the Mount Beatitude, on the opposite side of the ravine. There are some curious old convents in the side of the cliff, on the left in going from the village of Majdil (the ancient Magdala) to the Callah-el-Hammam. These convents are very singularly constructed, being excavated several stories high in the perpendicular cliff, with galleries, &c. About two miles south of Majdil are the ruins of six Roman baths; the springs are mineral, but only of a luke-warm temperature. The baths are circular, from 15 ft. to 20 ft. in diameter, inclosed with a wall about 12 ft. high within, and 6 ft. without; at present there is no apparent means of ingress or egress. Their position is very picturesque, being elose to the lake, and overgrown with
shrubs, weeds, and wild flowers; the water is perfectly clear, and about 6 ft. or 7 ft. deep, with pebbles at the bottom; there are also fish sporting about in them; the spring discharges itself into the lake, subterraneously, through the wall. We swam to the Scorpion rock mentioned by Josephus, but saw no scorpions on it.
March 10.-In the forenoon we left Tiberias, and observed, in following the borders of the lake, one of the circular towers, with part of the wall of the ancient town on that side. We left the hot baths about noon. Drawing towards the southern extremity of the lake, we saw, on our right, at the foot of the hills, an extensive aqueduct ; at the entrance are traces of the walls of Tarichea, which appears to have been situated on two eminences, one on the right of our road, and the other bordering on the lower end of the lake, by the Jordan; this latter appears to have been artificially surrounded by water on the other sides. The Jordan winds extremely here, but has little current. The ruins of the Roman bridge which we saw in going to Om Keis, had ten arches: from this point the road continues through rather a naked country, with occasional views of the river. About 3 o'clock we came to a khan near a bridge; and, an hour's ride beyond this, we observed, by the roadside, a Roman mile-stone, but there were only two or three letters distinctly visible on it. Farther on, the pavement of the ancient road is perceivable, and about two miles from Bysan we saw a sarcophagus, on the brow of a slight eminence on the right of the road; here we crossed a small stream, and ascended to Bysan about dusk. During the latter part of this day's journey we remarked a great number of Arab camps. Bysan is supposed to be the Bethshan of Scripture, afterwards called Scythopolis, the largest city of the Decapolis, and the only one that side of the Jordan. It was to the wall of Bethshan that the body of Sau! was fastened after he was slain.*
March 11.-This day we employes
* 1 Sam. xxxi. 10.
ourselves in inspecting the ruins. The most interesting is the theatre, the walls of which can be distinctly traced, although every part of it is completely filled with weeds. It measures across the front about 180 ft., and is remarkable as having those oval recesses half way up the theatre, mentioned by Vitruvius as being constructed to contain the brass sounding tubes. We had never seen these in any other ancient theatre, and we were, at the time, quite at a loss to conjecture to what use they were applied. There are seven of these cells, and Vitruvius mentions, that even in his day very few theatres had them. We were very careful to take a correct plan of this theatre, attending to every minute particular.
We found twenty-four sculls and numerous bones in one of the most concealed vomitories; in one of the sculls a viper was basking, with his body twisted through the sockets of the eyes, presenting a good subject for a moralist. At this place the tombs lie to the N. E. of the Acropolis, without the walls; the sarcophagi remain in some of them; we here found niches of a triangular shape, for the lamps; some of the doors were still hanging on the ancient hinges of stone, and in remarkable preservation. Two streams run through the ruins of the city, almost insulating the Acropolis; there is a fine Roman bridge over the one to the S. W.; beyond it may be seen the paved way which led to the ancient Ptolemais, now Acre. The plains extend in this direction to the sea-coast, without any intervening mountains. On the other side, a little below where the streams unite, the walls of the town cross the rivulet in a singular manner; a high arch in the centre, with a smaller one on each end, appear to have formed a bridge, and the wall of the city was continued along its edge. It would seem as if there had been a grating across the centre arch; the outer part of the two smaller arches was walled up. On the hill near this bridge the ruins of one of the gates of the city are very distinguishable, and amongst the remains are prostrate
columns of Corinthian architecture. The Acropolis is a high circular hill, on the top of which are the traces of the walls which encompassed it. The people are a fanatical set.
March 12.-At eight o'clock in the morning we left Bysan. Near the town are the ruins of many subterranean granaries. Taking guides from an Arab camp to show us the proper place for fording the Jordan, we reached its banks in one hour and twenty minutes. They are very prettily wooded, although the more distant parts of the plains are quite destitute of trees. Near the ford, about half a mile to the south, is a tomb called "Sheikh Daoud," standing on a round hill resembling a barrow. The stream of the Jordan is here much swifter than in the part near the lake of Tiberias. The water at the ford reached above the bellies of the horses. The breadth of the river we found to be 140 feet. We bathed here. From the Jordan we turned to the right of the path to see Tabathat Fahkil, which we reached in about half an hour. Here the ruins of a modern village stand on a hill, bearing E.S.E. from the Acropolis of Bysan; and in a plain to the west of it are the ruins of a square building, with a semicircular end, which appears to have been surrounded by columns. On the east and south sides of the hill are considerable ruins of some ancient city which must have been of great extent. The situation is beautiful, being on the side of a ravine, with a pictu resque stream running at the bottom. As this place appears to be as ancient as Scythopolis, and full two-thirds of its size, it seems unaccountable that history should not mention a town so near "the principal city of the Decapolis" as this is. We searched for inscriptions, but in vain. The ruins of a fine temple are situated near the water-side, and amongst the columns are found the three orders of architecture, Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. The river passing to the south falls into the Jordan. Crossing the rivulet, and following a path to the southward, we entered a small plain very thickly