The Economic History of Jerusalem
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The Economic History of Jerusalem
The English pronunciation of Jerusalem is not the correct historic one. The J should
be pronounced as y rather than the English j. That said, then the name of the city is
composed of two parts, yeru and salem. Salem is the part most easily identified.
It is the name of an ancient god or king or perhaps god-king. The yeru or uru part meant
something like the place where a god was manifested and that god was not necessarily Salem.
The similarity of salem to the word for peace helped preserve the name. However Jerusalem
is anything but the place of peace. It has been captured and recaptured about forty times.
The Geographic Setting
The region is covered by rolling hills whose natural condition is dry to the point of being semi-desert.
The climate might have been somewhat different six thousand years ago when the city was founded.
The basis for the founding a city at that location was a marvelous spring of good quality water. The spring,
named gihon flows through a tunnel that could be accessed from a defensive position on the hilltop
in a time of war.
The Timeline of the
History of Jerusalem
- c. 4000 BCE: The establishment of a settlement near the spring gihon.
- c. 1800 BCE: The first recorded reference to Jerusalem. It was in an Egypytian
text and the city was called Rusalimum. Note the -salim- in this name.
- c.1000 BCE: King David of Israel conquers Jerusalem and makes it his capital.
- 536 BCE: Cyrus, Nebuchadnezzar's successor, frees the Jews in Babylon from their
captivity and permits them to return to Jerusalem.
- 332 BCE: Alexander of Macedonia conquers the Persian Empire. After Alexander's death
his empire is divided up among his generals. Jerusalem fell to Ptolemy who gained the
control of Egypt.
- 198 BCE: The Seleucids, a Greek dynasty in Syria, gains control of Jerusalem
- 168 BCE: The Temple built by Solomon is desecrated by Antiochus Epiphanes.
- 167 BCE; The Maccabees lead the Jews of Jerusalem in revolt.
- 63 BCE: The Roman general Pompey captures Jerusalem for the Roman Empire.
- 37 BCE: Rome makes Herod, a Jewish Arab, king of a state that includes
Jerusalem. Herod starts the rebuilding of the Temple.
- 26 CE: Rome makes Pontius Pilate procurator of Jerusalem.
- 30 CE: Jesus of Nazareth is crucified by Pontius Pilate.
- 70 CE: The Roman emperor Titus orders Jerusalem and the Temple destroyed.
- 132 CE: The Second Revolt of the Jews begins.
- 135 CE: The Roman Emperor Hadrian commands the building of a Roman
city to be called Aelia Capitolina on the site of Jerusalem.
- 324 CE: The Roman Emperor Constantine divided the Empire into an eastern
and western portion. Jerusalem is part of the Eastern Roman Empire, which is
ruled by Constantine
- 325 CE: The construction of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is begun,
- 335 CE: The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is completed.
- 614 CE: An army of the Persian Empire captures Jerusalem and loots it.
- 629 CE: The Eastern Roman Empire recaptures Jerusalem,
- 638 CE: An Arab Muslim army captures Jerusalem.
- 691 CE: The monumental Dome of the Rock is completed by Muslims.
- 1099 CE: The First Crusade captures Jerusalem.
- 1187 CE: Saladin, the Kurdish sultan of Egypt and Syria, recaptures Jerusalem for the
- 1229 CE: Frederick II, the Holy Roman emperor, gains control
of Jerusalem by negotiated treaty.
- 1250 CE: The Mamelukes, the slave-warriors who rule Egypt,
- 1517 CE: The armies of the Ottoman Turks capture Jerusalem.
- 1538 CE: Sultan Suleiman the First, the ruler of the Ottoman Turks
orders the building of new walls for Jerusalem.
- 1917 CE: A British army takes Jerusalem from Ottoman control as
part of campaign of World War I.
- 1948 CE: The end of the British mandate over Palestine,
- 1949 CE: The end of the First Arab-Israeli War. Control
of Jerusalem is divided between Israel and Jordan.
- 1967 CE; The Second Arab-Israli War ends with Israel controlling
all of Jerusalem.
- (To be continued.)