David’s Jerusalem

Posted in: Ancient Near East Today
Tags: Abbasid caliph Harun al-Rashid, Archaeology, Bible, biblical archaeology, Charlemagne, David, Hebrew, iron age, Jerusalem

Share on Facebook1Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Google+3Email this to someoneShare on Reddit0Share on StumbleUpon0Share on LinkedIn0

By: Daniel Pioske

In a letter sent to Charlemagne sometime just prior to 800 CE, Alcuin of York praised his “David,” as Charlemagne wished to be called later in life, for the benevolence with which he “ruled and governed” over Jerusalem.

“David’s Entry into Jerusalem,” by Frans Francken II (Dutch, early 16th century CE). Hermitage Museum.

“David’s Entry into Jerusalem,” by Frans Francken II (Dutch, early 16th century CE). Hermitage Museum.

 

In truth, Charlemagne’s influence in Jerusalem was restricted to sponsorship of a few religious houses and orders permitted by the actual ruler of the city, the Abbasid caliph Harun al-Rashid. But Alcuin’s pointed association between Charlemagne’s dominion and that of David’s capital attests to just how profoundly the idea of Jerusalem has shaped the worldviews and aspirations of communities, past and present, who are informed by the biblical portrayal of David’s ruling center.

We may deride the many historical inaccuracies strewn throughout famous representations of David and Jerusalem, such as Frans Francken II’s celebrated portrait of David’s entry into his royal city. But such depictions serve as an important reminder that the desire to claim David’s Jerusalem as one’s own did not end with Charlemagne’s reign. Jerusalem is an idea as much as a place.

Archaeological evidence from ancient (more…)

This content is exclusive to Friends of ASOR. If you are a Friend of ASOR, please log in. New users may register below.

Existing Users Log In
 Remember Me  
New User Registration
*Required field

Share on Facebook1Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Google+3Email this to someoneShare on Reddit0Share on StumbleUpon0Share on LinkedIn0
Sign in to view all ASOR Blog content!
If you have not set up a username and password for the ASOR Blog, please close this box by clicking anywhere on the screen then go to the Friends of ASOR option in the menu above. If you have forgotten your password, please click the Forgot Login Password option in the above menu.