For more on the Jerusalem church, see the following BAR articles: Dan Bahat, “Does the Holy Sepulchre Church Mark the Burial of Jesus?” BAR 12:03; and J.-P. B. Ross, “The Evolution of a Church—Jerusalem’s Holy Sepulchre,” BAR 02:03.


After Jerusalem fell to the Muslims in 638, Christians continued to worship at their churches for centuries. This remained true until the days of al-Hakim (966–1021), whose tenure was marked by persecutions and religious intolerance. As the sixth caliph, or Muslim religious authority, in the Fatimid dynasty, which ruled from Egypt, al-Hakim ordered the destruction of churches throughout Fatimid territory, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. His non-Muslim subjects faced either conversion to Islam or expulsion from their homeland. The destruction of the Holy Sepulchre under al-Hakim became a call to war during the First Crusade of 1099, although by this time the church had been rebuilt.


During the ceremony, celebrated on Easter Saturday to symbolize the Resurrection, a lamp inside the darkened tomb of Jesus was lit—as the faithful believed, miraculously by Holy Fire from heaven—and the flame was then used to light the candles and lamps of worshipers crowded inside the Rotunda. See Jodi Magness, “Illuminating Byzantine Jerusalem,” BAR 24:02.


See the articles on Akeldama by Leen and Kathleen Ritmeyer, “Potter’s Field or High Priest’s Tomb?” BAR 20:06, and Gideon Avni and Zvi Greenhut, “Resting Place of the Rich and Famous,” BAR 20:06.


See Gary Vikan, “Don’t Leave Home Without Them: Pilgrim Eulogiai Ensure a Safe Trip,” BAR 23:04.



Much of this article derives from Robert Ousterhout, “Flexible Geography and Transportable Topography,” in The Real and Ideal Jerusalem in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Art, ed. Bianca Kuehnel, Jewish Art 23–24 (1997–1998), pp. 393–404.


See Gabriel Barkay, “The Garden Tomb—Was Jesus Buried Here?” BAR 12:02; and Jerome Murphy-O’Connor, “The Garden Tomb and the Misfortunes of an Inscription,” BAR 12:02.


Jerome Murphy-O’Connor, The Holy Land (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1998), p. 141.


Eusebius, Life of Constantine 3.40, in Egeria’s Travels to the Holy Land, trans. John Wilkinson (Warminster, UK: Aris & Phillips, 1981), p. 171.


Michael Avi-Yonah, The Madaba Mosaic Map (Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society, 1954); and more recently, Michelle Piccirillo and Eugenio Alliata, eds., The Madaba Map Centenary (Jerusalem: Franciscan Printing Press, 1999).


Virgilio C. Corbo, Il Santo Sepolcro de Gerusalemme (Jerusalem, 1981), 3 vols.


For a summary of the history, see Robert Ousterhout, “Rebuilding the Temple: Constantine Monomachus and the Holy Sepulchre,” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 48 (1989), pp. 66–78. More recently, see Joan Taylor and Shimon Gibson, Beneath the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (London: Palestine Exploration Fund, 1994), for important observations on the site of the Constantinian building; their suggestions for its reconstruction are less useful. See also Martin Biddle, The Tomb of Christ (Sutton, 1999), whose suggestions for redating both the 11th- and 12th-century phases of construction have not been generally accepted.


Eusebius, Life of Constantine 3.26–27, in Wilkinson, Egeria’s Travels, pp. 164–165.


Corbo, Santo Sepolcro, passim.


Ousterhout, “Rebuilding the Temple,” passim.


The best, most thorough and most recent analysis of the Crusader building is that of Jaroslav Folda, The Art of the Crusaders in the Holy Land, 1098–1187 (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1995), pp. 175–245, with its important observations on the chronology of construction, the majority of which he places in the decade 1040–1049.


Robert Venturi, Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture (New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1966).


I have written at length about this. See Ousterhout, “The Church of S. Stefano: A ‘Jerusalem’ in Bologna,” Gesta 20 (1981), pp. 311–321; also Gina Fasoli, ed., Stefaniana: Contributi per la storia del complesso di S. Stefano in Bologna, Deputazione di Storia Patria per le Provincie de Romagna, Documenti e studi 17 (Bologna, 1985).


A. Testi Rasponi, “Note marginale al Liber Pontificalis di Agnello,” R. Deputazione di Storia Patria per le Provincie di Romagna, Atti e memorie 4:2 (1912), pp. 202–203.


Gary Vikan, Byzantine Pilgrimage Art (Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks, 1982); Ousterhout, ed., The Blessings of Pilgrimage (Urbana, IL: Univ. of Illinois Press, 1990).


Charles Rufus Morey, “The Painted Panel from the Sancta Sanctorum,” Festschrift zum sechzigsten Geburtstag von Paul Clemen (Bonn-Dusseldorf: F. Cohen, 1926), p. 150ff.; Vikan, Byzantine Pilgrimage Art, pp. 18–20.


See the seminal discussion by Richard Krautheimer, “Introduction to an ‘Iconography of Medieval Architecture,’” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 5 (1942), pp. 1–33, reprinted in Krautheimer, Studies in Early Christian, Medieval, and Renaissance Art (New York: New York Univ. Press, 1969), pp. 115–150; also see Ousterhout, “Loca Sancta and the Architectural Response to Pilgrimage,” in Blessings of Pilgrimage, pp. 108–124.


J. Hubert, “Le Saint-Sepulcre de Neuvy et les pelerinages de Terre Sainte au XIe siecle,” Bulletin monumental 90 (1931), pp. 91–100.


Friedrich Oswald, Leo Schaefer and Hans Rudolf Sennhauser, Vorromanische Kirchenbauten (Munich: Prestel, 1971), pp. 87–89; Ousterhout, “Loca Sancta,” p. 114.


Karl Young, The Dramatic Associations of the Easter Sepulchre (Madison: Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 1920), pp. 93–94.


Ousterhout, “Flexible Geography,” pp. 399–402.


Ousterhout, “The Temple, the Sepulchre, and the Martyrion of the Savior,” Gesta 39 (1990), pp. 44–53.


Eusebius, Life of Constantine 3.33, in Wilkinson, Egeria’s Travels, p. 167.


Oleg Grabar, The Formation of Islamic Art (New Haven: Yale Univ Press, 1973), pp. 64–65.


Daniel Weiss, “Hec est Domus Domini Firmiter Edificata: The Image of the Temple in Crusader Art,” in Kuehnel, Real and Ideal Jerusalem, pp. 210–217.