Roman Temples on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount
The Jerusalem Post has an article which summarizes the conclusions of a new work by Hebrew University Professor Moshe Sharon. The article’s final section is the most interesting.
In the final section of his work Sharon builds on the research of Tuvia Sagiv, attempting to prove that the foundations and design of Al-Aksa replicated the Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus, which the Roman Emperor Hadrian had built on the Temple Mount.
Noting that all Roman Temples of Jupiter had an almost identical design, Sharon compares the schematic of the ruins of a Temple of Jupiter in Baalbek to that of the Al-Aksa complex.
"Jupiter's Temple in Baalbek had exactly the three features which we find in the Al-Aksa complex: the polygon building in the front where the worshipers assembled, the open space where the god's statue stood and the rectangular main temple. The same symmetrical line which goes through the three components of Jupiter's Temple also goes through the Al-Aksa complex, and both plans fit each other perfectly," writes Sharon.
Sharon and Sagiv's theory is potentially incendiary because it suggests the Al-Aksa complex was built on pre-existing foundations and was not designed according to Muhammad's famous Night Journey to Jerusalem.
Sharon's research, which questions the Islamic justification for the Dome's existence and describes similar patterns in Jewish and Muslim worship, has inflamed some figures in Israel's Islamic community.
"We Muslims believe that Jews have no right to a single inch in front of the Al-Aksa Mosque, the whole complex - everything within the walls of the holy site. Jews have no right to worship there - under the ground, above the ground or in between the skies," said MK Sheik Ibrahim Sarsur, who heads the Islamic Movement in Israel.
The entire article is here.
HT: Joe Lauer