Antonia Fortress


Antonia Fortress

The Antonia Fortress was a military barracks built by Herod the Great in Jerusalem on the site of an earlier Hasmonean stronghold, named after Herod's patron Mark Antony. The fortress was built at the eastern end of the great wall of the city (the second wall), on the northeastern side of the city, near the temple and Pool of Bethesda. It is thought that the area where the Antonia Fortress was located possibly later became the site of the Praetorium. The Praetorium, or Pretorium, is thought to be the place where Jesus was taken to stand before Pilate.

The historian Josephus described the Antonia as being a tower with four towers at each corner. He placed the Antonia at the Northwest corner of the colonnades surrounding the Temple. Modern depictions often show the Antonia as being located along the North side of the temple enclosure. However, Josephus' description of the siege of Jerusalem suggests that it was separated from the temple enclosure itself and probably connected by two colonnades with a narrow space between them. Josephus' measurements suggest about a 600 foot separation between the two complexes.

Prior to the Jewish War, the Antonia housed some part of the Roman garrison of Jerusalem. The Romans also stored the high priest's vestments within the Fortress.

The Antonia was destroyed in 70 by Titus' army during the siege of Jerusalem. Titus captured the fortress as a precursor to attacking the Temple complex. He had the Antonia leveled to allow passage of siege materials to the temple.

External links

* [http://jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=1614&letter=A&search=Antonia%20Fortress Jewish Encyclopedia: Antonia]
* [http://www.bible-history.com/antonia-fortress/]


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