Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia



Jerusalem is one of the oldest and most historically significant cities in the world, revered by three major monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Jerusalem is the capital city of Israel.

As an extension of its biblical role, Jerusalem is the setting for the early Grail history, including the origins of the Grail, the adventures and trials of Joseph of Arimathea, the Roman Emperor Vespasian’s campaign to avenge Christ’s death, and, eventually, Joseph’s departure for western lands. Christians from Jerusalem followed Joseph of Arimathea and populated Britain.

In the Vulgate MerlinMerlin visits Jerusalem and accurately depicts the Saracen king Flualis’s defeat at the hands of Christians, followed by his own conversion to Christianity. In De Ortu Waluuanii, Jerusalem serves as the site of Gawain’s first triumph: the city became the object of a dispute between Rome and Persia, and it was ruled that the matter would be decided by a single combat. The Persians put forth their best warrior, Gormundus, while the Emperor of Rome sent the young and untried Gawain. After a three-day battle, Gawain killed Gormundus and settled the conflict in Rome’s favor.

Jerusalem is one of the many cities and lands that Arthur conquers in Jean D’Outremeuse’s Ly Myreur des Histors.

Jerusalem | 0 to 16th century AD

Roman and Byzantine Periods | 1st century BC to 4th century AD
At the turn of the era, Jerusalem was part of the Roman Empire, and it was during this period that Jesus of Nazareth lived and preached in the city. In 70 AD, during the First Jewish-Roman War, the Romans, led by Titus, besieged and ultimately destroyed the Second Temple in Jerusalem. This event, known as the Siege of Jerusalem, had profound consequences for Judaism. This event is commemorated by the Western Wall, a remnant of the Temple.

In the early fourth century, Christianity was officially recognized by the Roman Empire under Emperor Constantine the Great, when he converted to Christianity. He ordered the construction of Christian churches in Jerusalem, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, one of Christianity’s holiest sites, as it traditionally is believed to be the site of Jesus’ cruxifixion, burial, and resurecction.

Byzantine Period | 4th – 7th century
Jerusalem became part of the Byzantine Empire after the division of the Roman Empire. The city flourished culturally and religiously during this period. Numerous churches, including the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, were constructed.

In 614 AD, Jerusalem was temporarily captured by the Persian Empire during the Byzantine-Sasanian War.

Islamic Conquest | 638 AD
In 638 AD, Jerusalem was captured by the Arab forces of the Rashidun Caliphate, marking the beginning of Islamic rule in the city. The Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque were later built on the Temple Mount during the Umayyad Caliphate, making it one of the holiest sites in Islam. Despite changing political control, the religious significance of Jerusalem remained prominent.

Umayyad and Abbasid Periods | 7th – 9th centuries
Under Umayyad rule, Jerusalem continued to be a significant religious center for Islam. The Abbasid Caliphate succeeded the Umayyads, and Jerusalem remained under Muslim control.

During the Islamic period, Jerusalem became a center for Islamic scholarship and culture. The city maintained its religious diversity with Christian and Jewish communities coexisting alongside the Muslim majority.

Early Middle Ages | 7th to 11th centuries AD
Jerusalem was part of various Islamic caliphates and dynasties during this period, including the Abbasid Caliphate and the Fatimid Caliphate. The city was a destination for Muslim, Christian, and Jewish pilgrims, and it continued to be an important religious center.

Crusader Period | 1099-1187 AD
In 1099, during the First Crusade, Jerusalem was captured by Christian Crusaders, leading to the establishment of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. The Crusaders built several Christian churches during their rule, but their control was short-lived.

See also
Holy Land | The Legend of King Arthur
The Roman Empire | The Legend of King Arthur

Vulgate Merlin | 1220-1235
Vulgate Estoire del Saint Graal | 1220-1235
De Ortu Waluuanii Nepotis Arturi | Late 13th century
Ly Myreur des Histors | Jean D’Outremeuse, c. 1350