Library of Congress

The jagged peaks of Mount Sinai dominate even the imposing walls of St. Catherine’s Monastery. This was one of many lithographs from Roberts’ Holy Land book to be reprinted in various editions of the Bible, including the one found by Dr. Harer. The text accompanying the original volume described the site as “a square fortress of hewn granite, and flanked with towers, of which one or two have cannon. Thus situated, in a country where, from the general helplessness of the Monks, it would not remain unmolested by the Arabs for a single day, its strength forms the chief security of the inhabitants; for it is accessible only by a projecting trapdoor, guarded by another of iron, about thirty feet above the ground [in the center of the wall above the group of people]. The means of access are a capstan and rope, with a loop at the end, to which travelers fasten themselves, and are thus drawn up.”