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Renowned Professor Will Discuss Jerusalem Temple in Oct. 30 Lecture

For release: October 23, 2013
For press information, contact Gabrielle Maxey / 901-678-2843

Dr. David Jacobson, honorary research Fellow at University College London and editor of PEQ (Palestine Exploration Quarterly), will be guest speaker for a Bornblum Judaic Studies lecture at the University of Memphis on Oct. 30. Jacobson will discuss "The Jerusalem Temple of Herod the Great" at 7 p.m. in the Fogelman Executive Center, room 136. The event is free and open to the public.

In his lecture, Jacobson will speak about Herod the Great, who was one of the most incisive rulers to lead Israel. Herod is best known for his enormous building program, which includes the palace-fortress on the mountain top of Masada, the desert palaces at Herodium and Jericho, and the ruins of the Mediterranean port of Caesarea with its large artificial harbor built using Roman concrete.

Herod also is remembered for his rebuilding of the Temple of Jerusalem, the largest sanctuary complex of classical antiquity, covering an area of nearly 36 acres. Although the temple was destroyed by Titus and his Roman legions in 70 CE, its grand esplanade survives with its magnificent retaining walls of distinctive masonry, part of which is venerated as the Western Wall.

The lecture examines the motivations for Herod's ambitious initiative, traces the architectural influences in the design of Herod's temple complex, including the heikhal (sanctuary), and identifies surviving imprints at the site in the form of structural remains and topographical features, which help to reconstruct the original layout. Finally, ancient inscriptions which cast light on the Temple – some belonging to the actual structure – will be illustrated and discussed.

For more information on Bornblum Judaic Studies, visit

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