Pilgrims who visited the Holy Land between the IV and VII century

Illustrations 7b: Jerusalem - second part (22-24)



The Emperor Caesar
Flavius Valerius Constantinus

Son of the Caesar
Constantius Clorus
and of Helena
(a christian maid-servant)

Emperor from 306 to 337 AD.

This monumental head,
featuring Emperor Constantine,
is preserved at the Museo Capitolino in Rome

22. The Emperor Constantine
Constantine I (the Great) after a brilliant military career, succeeded in becoming master of the Empire. Sympathetic with the Christian Faith, at first he ordered the cessation of persecutions and at the end of his life was finally baptized. By his command three great basilicas were built for the Christians in the Holy Land: one in Bethlehem over the Grotto of Jesus' Nativity, one on the Mount of Olives close to the place of the Ascension, and one in Jerusalem at the place of the Crucifixion and Resurrection. This last basilica was dedicated on September 14th, 335 AD; therefore the pilgrim saw the building when it was still under construction.

23. Jerusalem in the Madaba map

24. The Constantinian basilica 23-24.

The city of Jerusalem, as rebuilt by the Emperor Hadrian in 135 AD and enriched by several Christian Buildings during the Byzantine period, is represented in the 6th century Madaba Mosaic Map (found in Jordan in 1897). In the detail (left) is shown the Constantinian basilica of the Holy Sepulcher. The Complex starts from the main colonnaded street and is composed of different parts. (1) A rectangular basilica called Martyrium, built where Constantine's mother Helena found the true cross. (2) A square atrium called Triporticus, in whose southeast corner the rock of Golgotha stood in the open air. (3) A round mausolaeum called Anastasis (Greek for Resurrection) where the empty tomb of Jesus was the center of the pilgrims' devotion.

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Updated Thu, Dec 9, 1999 at 04:49 by John Abela ofm - Space by courtesy of Christus Rex
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