In ancient Israel during the time of Jesus Christ there were immense valleys surrounding and protecting Jerusalem, on every side except the north. In fact the north side was the only way of approach if an army were to attack Jerusalem. This is one of the reasons why Jerusalem was considered impregnable. Another reason was because the architect king Herod the Great built the mighty Antonia Fortress on the north side of the city, its vulnerable side. It was intended to be a mighty fortress palace overlooking the Temple of Jerusalem and even the entire city. King Herod
The Antonia Fortress was built on the northwest side of the Temple (see picture below).
These photos are from an archaeological reproduction of first century Jerusalem, located at the Holyland Hotel in Jerusalem.
The Fortress of Antonia was built in 35 B.C. and named in honor of Herodís friend and Roman Triumvir Marcus Antonius also known as Mark Antony. It was actually Mark Anthony who had requested that the Senate make Herod King of Judea as an eastern boundary to the Roman Empire. At some point the Romans took over the Antonia Fortress and placed a garrison there.
Titus Vespasian attacked the city of Jerusalem from the north side in 70 A.D. and overcame it. The legions of Rome slaughtered over a million Jews and 95,000 Jewish captives were taken away as prisoners.
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