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Both Lightfoot and Reland supposed that Ituræa and Auranitis were identical; and the principal argument given in favour of their view is, that, while Luke states that Philip was tetrarch of Ituræa and the region of Trachonitis, Josephus says he was tetrarch of Batanæa, Trachonitis, and Auranitis, and a certain portion of the house of Zenodorus." Luke mentions Ituræa but not Auranitis, and Josephus mentions Auranitis but not Ituræa, and it is therefore concluded that the two are the same. This argument has no weight whatever.3

From the several passages above quoted and referred to the general position of Ituræa can be pretty accurately defined. It lay between Hermon and Bashan, and consequently on the south-eastern side of that mountain. In J. de Vitry's · History of Jerusalem 'the position of this province is clearly given as follows:-" After the region of Decapolis, whose borders or extremities are between the sea of Galilee and Sydon, which also extends from the city of Tiberias towards Damascus, is the region of Ituræa, that is, this region is beyond the territory of Sydon and the mountains, in a valley called Bachar, between us and the Saracens; and as it stretches along the base of Libanus, it is called Saltus Libani. This said region of Ituræa adjoins, and is conterminous with, Trachonitis." 4



Lightfoot, Hor. Heb. s. v. Ituræa. In this place may be found an epitome of all the references made to this province in ancient authors. The learning of this author, as evidenced in his many quotations, is generally of far more value than his conclusions.

4 Jac. de Vitriaco Hist. Hierosol. in Gesta Dei per Francos, p. 1074. William of Tyre also describes the position of this province.-Gesta Dei, p. 771 and 1003.

The name and position of this ancient province correspond exactly with the modern district Jedür, which lies on the west side of the great plain of Damascus. It is bounded on the east by the Hâj road, which separates it from the plain that runs along the west side of the Lejah. On the south it has Jaulân. The mountain-range of Jebel esh-Sheikh forms its north-western border; and on the north lies Wady el-'Ajam. The whole region is a table-land, with a gently undulating surface, here and there diversified with conical tells. In a list which I possess of its towns and villages are thirty-eight names, twenty-nine of which have still a few inhabitants. Most of the ruins resemble those in the Haurân.”

5 The province of Jedûr has never yet been explored, and it possesses so few objects of interest that few travellers would wish to spend time in it. The only ancient site hitherto identified within its borders is Sunamein on the Hâj route. An inscription was discovered there a few years ago, proving it to be the Aere of the Itinerary of Antonine.




Ride from Bludân to Zahleh- Character of the Christians of Zahleh

Route over Lebanon Wild scenery and singular caverns of Wady Tarshîsh — The residence of the mountain princes - Beyrout — The ancient roads and sculptures of the Nahr el-Kelb — The valley of the Nahr el-Kelb — Its sources visited - The great natural bridge The Temple of Venus at Apheca — Source of the river Adonis – Adventure with the Metâwely – Distant view of the cedars Scenery of Wady Kadîsha — The Cedars — View from the summit of Lebanon - Topography of the eastern slopes — Bâ'albek — Ride along the Roman road to Bludân.

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July 29th, 1853.—I LEFT my summer residence at Bludân at 5:10 A.M. with the intention of proceeding direct to Beyrout, where business called me, and then returning by way of the cedars and Bâàlbek. I did not wish to follow the ordinary road, which has been often travelled, and has little of interest to divert the attention of the wayfarer; I consequently chose a route equally short with the other, and much more picturesque. I was accompanied as far as Beyrout by two young friends, besides my servant and muleteers.

We rode down the ordinary Bâảlbek road, along the base of the lofty cliffs that overhang the little wady of Zebdâny, and in 40 minutes crossed the rivulet which springs up at 'Ain Hauwar, half an hour on the right, and, flowing down the valley, waters Zebdâny and its lovely plain. We continued in the same northern course, ascend


ing diagonally the bleak mountain-side that shuts in the vale on the west. A fine stream descending from these hills murmured along over its stony bed in a little ravine on our right; it joins the former stream a few yards above the spot where we crossed it. The view on our right, as we approached the summit of the ridge, was very grand. The sun was appearing over the lofty peaks beyond the plain of Surghầya, and their rocky, jagged summits, scantily clothed with the juniper, stood out in dark bold relief from the brilliant background, while the bright beams, like floods of light, poured through the wild ravines between. The whole, however, has a sad appearance of desolation, for, though the slopes are in part cultivated, the total absence of verdure at this season, and the want of trees on the low grounds, render the prospect bleak

and dreary.

At 6.35 we reached the summit, and immediately descended into a deep and picturesque valley, whose sides are clothed with the dwarf oak. It runs for a short distance north-east, in the line of the ridge, and then turning due north falls into Wady Yahfûfeh, at the distance of about a mile and a half. The head of it on our left was like a basin. Crossing it, and skirting a lofty wooded ridge beyond, we turned sharply to the left at 7.15, and entered a fine wady with gently-sloping sides thickly covered with oak and coppice. As we descended we turned again more to the northward, and the scenery became wilder and grander. The bare limestone cliffs here tower overhead, leaving between them but a narrow rugged track for a winter-torrent and summer-path. At 8.30 we entered the Bukâả. There is at this place a wide break in the line of low hills that runs along the base of the main chain, and the interval is rough, stony ground, intersected with ravines. Ialf a mile on our right was the village of Mâsy, and the river Yahfüfeh bursts forth from its sublime glen into the plain a short distance beyond. On the slope on our left stands Deir el-Ghuzâl, containing, as I afterwards found, the ruins of a temple. In 35 minutes more we reached the little village of Reyâk, near the banks of the river, and then saw, a few minutes to the eastward, another village called 'Aly enNahry; both these stand on the left bank of the Yahfûfeh, and are encompassed by fertile fields and verdant meadows.

Our course was now straight across the plain to Kerak, which we reached at 10:50, having crossed the river about half an hour previously. This village is celebrated as containing the traditional tomb of the patriarch Noah, measuring some seventy yards in length! Five minutes afterwards we entered the large village of Muállakah, finely situated at the entrance of a sublime glen. Passing through its crowded and bustling streets, we crossed the river Berdûny, and turned up along its right bank; in 20 minutes more we reached Zahleh. We were immediately conducted to the house of an Arab lady who keeps a kind of hotel, and we found there a clean and comfortable apartment, possessing the rare luxuries of chairs and a table, in addition to the eternal divan.

Zahleh is one of the largest and finest villages in Lebanon. It is said to contain, with its suburb Muallakah, about 10,000 inhabitants, and it is the principal market for the whole surrounding country. As we approached it from the Bukậå we had admired the rich vineyards that


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