In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery; the Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early and Late Middle Ages. Population decline, counterurbanisation, collapse of centralized authority and mass migrations of tribes, which had begun in Late Antiquity, continued in the Early Middle Ages; the large-scale movements of the Migration Period, including various Germanic peoples, formed new kingdoms in what remained of the Western Roman Empire. In the 7th century, North Africa and the Middle East—once part of the Byzantine Empire—came under the rule of the Umayyad Caliphate, an Islamic empire, after conquest by Muhammad's successors. Although there were substantial changes in society and political structures, the break with classical antiquity was not complete.
The still-sizeable Byzantine Empire, Rome's direct continuation, survived in the Eastern Mediterranean and remained a major power. The empire's law code, the Corpus Juris Civilis or "Code of Justinian", was rediscovered in Northern Italy in 1070 and became admired in the Middle Ages. In the West, most kingdoms incorporated the few extant Roman institutions. Monasteries were founded; the Franks, under the Carolingian dynasty established the Carolingian Empire during the 8th and early 9th century. It covered much of Western Europe but succumbed to the pressures of internal civil wars combined with external invasions: Vikings from the north, Magyars from the east, Saracens from the south. During the High Middle Ages, which began after 1000, the population of Europe increased as technological and agricultural innovations allowed trade to flourish and the Medieval Warm Period climate change allowed crop yields to increase. Manorialism, the organisation of peasants into villages that owed rent and labour services to the nobles, feudalism, the political structure whereby knights and lower-status nobles owed military service to their overlords in return for the right to rent from lands and manors, were two of the ways society was organised in the High Middle Ages.
The Crusades, first preached in 1095, were military attempts by Western European Christians to regain control of the Holy Land from Muslims. Kings became the heads of centralised nation-states, reducing crime and violence but making the ideal of a unified Christendom more distant. Intellectual life was marked by scholasticism, a philosophy that emphasised joining faith to reason, by the founding of universities; the theology of Thomas Aquinas, the paintings of Giotto, the poetry of Dante and Chaucer, the travels of Marco Polo, the Gothic architecture of cathedrals such as Chartres are among the outstanding achievements toward the end of this period and into the Late Middle Ages. The Late Middle Ages was marked by difficulties and calamities including famine and war, which diminished the population of Europe. Controversy and the Western Schism within the Catholic Church paralleled the interstate conflict, civil strife, peasant revolts that occurred in the kingdoms. Cultural and technological developments transformed European society, concluding the Late Middle Ages and beginning the early modern period.
The Middle Ages is one of the three major periods in the most enduring scheme for analysing European history: classical civilisation, or Antiquity. The "Middle Ages" first appears in Latin in 1469 as media tempestas or "middle season". In early usage, there were many variants, including medium aevum, or "middle age", first recorded in 1604, media saecula, or "middle ages", first recorded in 1625; the alternative term "medieval" derives from medium aevum. Medieval writers divided history into periods such as the "Six Ages" or the "Four Empires", considered their time to be the last before the end of the world; when referring to their own times, they spoke of them as being "modern". In the 1330s, the humanist and poet Petrarch referred to pre-Christian times as antiqua and to the Christian period as nova. Leonardo Bruni was the first historian to use tripartite periodisation in his History of the Florentine People, with a middle period "between the fall of the Roman Empire and the revival of city life sometime in late eleventh and twelfth centuries".
Tripartite periodisation became standard after the 17th-century German historian Christoph Cellarius divided history into three periods: ancient and modern. The most given starting point for the Middle Ages is around 500, with the date of 476 first used by Bruni. Starting dates are sometimes used in the outer parts of Europe. For Europe as a whole, 1500 is considered to be the end of the Middle Ages, but there is no universally agreed upon end date. Depending on the context, events such as the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453, Christopher Columbus's first voyage to the Americas in 1492, or the Protestant Reformation in 1517 are sometimes used. English historians use the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 to mark the end of the period. For Spain, dates used are the death of King Ferdinand II in 1516, the death of Queen Isabella I of Castile in 1504, or the conquest of Granada in 1492. Historians from Romance-speaking countries tend to divide the Middle Ages into two parts: an earlier "High" and late
The Merovingians were a Salian Frankish dynasty that ruled the Franks for three centuries in a region known as Francia in Latin, beginning in the middle of the 5th century. Their territory corresponded to ancient Gaul and the Roman provinces of Raetia, Germania Superior and the southern part of Germania; the semi legendary Merovech was supposed to have founded the Merovingian dynasty, but it was his famous grandson Clovis I who united all of Gaul under Merovingian rule. After the death of Clovis, there were frequent clashes between different branches of the family, but when threatened by its neighbours the Merovingians presented a strong united front. During the final century of Merovingian rule, the kings were pushed into a ceremonial role; the Merovingian rule ended in March 752 when Pope Zachary formally deposed Childeric III. Zachary's successor, Pope Stephen II, confirmed and anointed Pepin the Short in 754, beginning the Carolingian monarchy; the Merovingian ruling family were sometimes referred to as the "long-haired kings" by contemporaries, as their long hair distinguished them among the Franks, who cut their hair short.
The term "Merovingian" comes from medieval Latin Merovingi or Merohingi, an alteration of an unattested Old Dutch form, akin to their dynasty's Old English name Merewīowing, with the final -ing being a typical patronymic suffix. The Merovingian dynasty owes its name to the semi-legendary Merovech, leader of the Salian Franks; the victories of his son Childeric I against the Visigoths and Alemanni established the basis of Merovingian land. Childeric's son Clovis I went on to unite most of Gaul north of the Loire under his control around 486, when he defeated Syagrius, the Roman ruler in those parts, he won the Battle of Tolbiac against the Alemanni in 496, at which time, according to Gregory of Tours, Clovis adopted his wife Clotilda's Orthodox Christian faith. He subsequently went on to decisively defeat the Visigothic kingdom of Toulouse in the Battle of Vouillé in 507. After Clovis's death, his kingdom was partitioned among his four sons; this tradition of partition continued over the next century.
When several Merovingian kings ruled their own realms, the kingdom—not unlike the late Roman Empire—was conceived of as a single entity ruled collectively by these several kings among whom a turn of events could result in the reunification of the whole kingdom under a single ruler. Leadership among the early Merovingians was based on mythical descent and alleged divine patronage, expressed in terms of continued military success. In 1906, the British Egyptologist Flinders Petrie suggested that the Marvingi recorded by Ptolemy as living near the Rhine were the ancestors of the Merovingian dynasty. Upon Clovis's death in 511, the Merovingian kingdom included all of Gaul except Burgundy and all of Germania magna except Saxony. To the outside, the kingdom when divided under different kings, maintained unity and conquered Burgundy in 534. After the fall of the Ostrogoths, the Franks conquered Provence. After this their borders with Italy and Visigothic Septimania remained stable. Internally, the kingdom was divided among Clovis's sons and among his grandsons and saw war between the different kings, who allied among themselves and against one another.
The death of one king created conflict between the surviving brothers and the deceased's sons, with differing outcomes. Conflicts were intensified by the personal feud around Brunhilda. However, yearly warfare did not constitute general devastation but took on an ritual character, with established'rules' and norms. Clotaire II in 613 reunited the entire Frankish realm under one ruler. Divisions produced the stable units of Austrasia, Neustria and Aquitania; the frequent wars had weakened royal power, while the aristocracy had made great gains and procured enormous concessions from the kings in return for their support. These concessions saw the considerable power of the king parcelled out and retained by leading comites and duces. Little is in fact known about the course of the 7th century due to a scarcity of sources, but Merovingians remained in power until the 8th century. Clotaire's son Dagobert I, who sent troops to Spain and pagan Slavic territories in the east, is seen as the last powerful Merovingian King.
Kings are known as rois fainéants, despite the fact that only the last two kings did nothing. The kings strong-willed men like Dagobert II and Chilperic II, were not the main agents of political conflicts, leaving this role to their mayors of the palace, who substituted their own interest for their king's. Many kings came to the throne at a young age and died in the prime of life, weakening royal power further; the conflict between mayors was ended when the Austrasians under Pepin the Middle triumphed in 687 in the Battle of Tertry. After this, though not a king, was the political ruler of the Frankish kingdom and left this position as a heritage to his sons, it was now the sons of the mayor that divided the realm among each other under the rule of a single king. After Pepin's long rule, his son Charles Martel assumed power, fighting against nobles and his own stepmother, his reputation for ruthlessness further undermined the king's position. Under Charles Martel's leadership, the Franks defeated the Moors at the Battle of Tours in 732.
After the victory of 718 of the Bulgarian Khan Ter
Acts of the Apostles
Acts of the Apostles referred to as Acts, or formally the Book of Acts, is the fifth book of the New Testament. Acts and the Gospel of Luke make up a two-part work, Luke–Acts, by the same anonymous author dated to around 80–90 AD; the first part, the Gospel of Luke, tells how God fulfilled his plan for the world's salvation through the life and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, the promised Messiah. Acts continues the story of Christianity in the 1st century, beginning with Jesus's ascension to Heaven; the early chapters, set in Jerusalem, describe the Day of Pentecost and the growth of the church in Jerusalem. The Jews are receptive to the Christian message, but soon they turn against the followers of Jesus. Rejected by the Jews, under the guidance of the Apostle Peter the message is taken to the Gentiles; the chapters tell of Paul's conversion, his mission in Asia Minor and the Aegean, his imprisonment in Rome, where, as the book ends, he awaits trial. Luke–Acts is an attempt to answer a theological problem, namely how the Messiah of the Jews came to have an overwhelmingly non-Jewish church.
Luke–Acts can be seen as a defense of the Jesus movement addressed to the Jews: the bulk of the speeches and sermons in Acts are addressed to Jewish audiences, with the Romans serving as external arbiters on disputes concerning Jewish customs and law. On the one hand, Luke portrays the Christians as a sect of the Jews, therefore entitled to legal protection as a recognised religion; the title "Acts of the Apostles" was first used by Irenaeus in the late 2nd century. It is not known whether this was one invented by Irenaeus; the Gospel of Luke and Acts make up a two-volume work. Together they account for 27.5% of the New Testament, the largest contribution attributed to a single author, providing the framework for both the Church's liturgical calendar and the historical outline into which generations have fitted their idea of the story of Jesus and the early church. The author is not named in either volume. According to Church tradition dating from the 2nd century, he was the "Luke" named as a companion of the apostle Paul in three of the letters attributed to Paul himself.
The author "does not share Paul's own view of himself as an apostle. He was educated, a man of means urban, someone who respected manual work, although not a worker himself. While no proposed date for the composition of Acts is universally accepted, the most common scholarly position is to date Luke–Acts to 80-90 AD, on the grounds that it uses Mark as a source, looks back on the destruction of Jerusalem, does not show any awareness of the letters of Paul; the earliest possible date for the composition of Acts is set by the events with which it ends, Paul's imprisonment in Rome c. 63 AD, but such an early dating is a minority position. The last possible date would be set by its first definite citation by another author, but there is no unanimity on this. A minority of scholars in the latter camp, conclude that Acts dates to the 2nd century, believing that it shows awareness of the letters of Paul, the works of Josephus, or the writings of Marcion. There are two major textual variants of the Western text-type and the Alexandrian.
The oldest complete Alexandrian manuscripts date from the 4th century and the oldest Western ones from the 6th, with fragments and citations going back to the 3rd. Western texts of Acts are 6.2–8.4% longer than Alexandrian texts, the additions tending to enhance the Jewish rejection of the Messiah and the role of the Holy Spirit, in ways that are stylistically different from the rest of Acts. The majority of scholars prefer the Alexandrian text-type over the Western as the more authentic, but this same argument would favour the Western over the Alexandrian for the Gospel of Luke, as in that case the Western version is the shorter; the title "Acts of the Apostles" would seem to identify it with the genre telling of the deeds and achievements of great men, but it was not the title given by the author. The anonymous author aligned Luke–Acts to the "narratives" (διήγησ
Jacobitism was the name of the political movement in Great Britain and Ireland that aimed to restore the House of Stuart to the thrones of England and Ireland. The movement was named after the Latin form of James. After James II and VII went into exile after the 1688 Glorious Revolution, the English Parliament argued he had'abandoned' the throne of England and offered it to his Protestant daughter Mary II and son-in-law and nephew William III as joint monarchs. In Scotland, the Convention did the same but claimed he had'forfeited' the throne of Scotland by his actions, listed in the Articles of Grievances; this was a fundamental change capturing a key ideological difference between Jacobites and their opponents. However, Jacobitism was a complex mix of ideas. After 1707, many Scottish Jacobites wanted to undo the Acts of Union that created Great Britain but opposed the idea of divine right. Outside Ireland, Jacobitism was strongest in the Scottish Highlands and Aberdeenshire, traditional Catholic areas in Northern England Northumberland, County Durham and Lancashire), plus parts of Wales and South-West England.
The emblem of the Jacobites is the White Cockade. White Rose Day is celebrated on 10 June, the anniversary of the birth of the Old Pretender in 1688. In addition to the 1689–1691 Williamite War in Ireland, there were a number of Jacobite revolts in Scotland and England between 1689 and 1746, plus many unsuccessful plots; the collapse of the 1745 Rising ended Jacobitism as a serious political movement. The first Stuart to be monarch of both Scotland and England was James VI and I, who claimed his authority was divinely inspired, a concept known as divine right, he considered his decisions were not subject to'interference' by either Parliament or the Church, a political view that would remain remarkably consistent among his Stuart successors. When James became King of England in 1603, a unified Church of Scotland and England governed by bishops was the first step in his vision of a centralised, Unionist state. While both churches were nominally Episcopalian, in reality they were different in governance and doctrine.
Attempts by James's son Charles I to impose common practices led to the 1639-1651 Wars of the Three Kingdoms, the execution of Charles in 1649 and the incorporation of Scotland into the English Commonwealth. After the Restoration of Charles II in 1660, political and religious conflict continued. In Ireland, the key issues were land rights and tolerance for the Catholic majority. Retrieving these was a primary aim of the 1641 Irish Rebellion but after the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland, land held by Irish Catholics had fallen from 60% in 1641 to 9%. Only a small minority of large Catholic landowners benefitted from the 1662 Act of Settlement passed after the Restoration. In addition to struggles over religion, the Stuarts resisted the growing strength of Parliament. Louis XIV of France was the greatest exponent of Royal Absolutism in contemporary Europe, which meant many associated political absolutism with Catholicism. Charles II refused to call an English Parliament between 1681–1685, while in Ireland, only one session of Parliament was held between 1660 and 1689.
In 1685, Charles' Catholic brother became James II and VII, with considerable support in all three kingdoms. James' attempts to extend these measures to other Dissenters and his use of the Royal Prerogative to do so evoked memories of the religious and political divisions that led to the Civil Wars and were resisted by the Presbyterian Scots and his English Tory Anglican supporters. However, his Catholic viceroy in Ireland, Richard Talbot, 1st Earl of Tyrconnell, began replacing Protestant office holders with Catholics, while purging them from an expanded Royal Irish Army. In June 1688, two events turned dissent into a crisis. Prosecuting the Seven Bishops seemed to go beyond tolerance for Catholicism and into an assault on the Episcopalian establishment. In 1685, many feared civil war. Representatives from across the political class invited William to assume the English throne and he landed in Brixham on 5 November. Parliament offered the English throne to William and Mary in February 1689. A Scottish Convention was elected in March 1689 to agree a Settlement, with only a tiny minority of the 125 delegates loyal to James.
On 12 March, James began the War in Ire
In Christianity, a minister is a person authorized by a church, or other religious organization, to perform functions such as teaching of beliefs. The term is taken from Latin minister. In the Catholic Church, Oriental Orthodox, Nordic Lutheran, Eastern Orthodox churches, the concept of a priesthood is emphasized. In other Christian denominations, such as the Baptist, Congregationalist, Methodist and Reformed churches, the term "minister" refers to members of the ordained clergy who leads a congregation or participates in a role in a parachurch ministry. With respect to ecclesiastical address, many ministers are styled as "The Reverend"; the Church of England defines the ministry of priests as follows: Priests are called to be servants and shepherds among the people to whom they are sent. With their Bishop and fellow ministers, they are to proclaim the word of the Lord and to watch for the signs of God's new creation, they are to be messengers and stewards of the Lord. Formed by the word, they are to call their hearers to repentance and to declare in Christ's name the absolution and forgiveness of their sins.
With all God's people, they are to tell the story of God's love. They are to baptize new disciples in the name of the Father, of the Son, of the Holy Spirit, to walk with them in the way of Christ, nurturing them in the faith, they are to unfold the Scriptures, to preach the word in season and out of season, to declare the mighty acts of God. They are to preside at the Lord's table and lead his people in worship, offering with them a spiritual sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, they are to bless the people in God's name. They are to resist evil, support the weak, defend the poor, intercede for all in need, they prepare the dying for their death. Guided by the Spirit, they are to discern and foster the gifts of all God's people, that the whole Church may be built up in unity and faith. Ministers may perform some or all of the following duties: assist in co-ordinating volunteers and church community groups assist in any general administrative service conduct marriage ceremonies and memorial services, participate in the ordination of other clergy, confirming young people as members of a local church encourage local church endeavors engage in welfare and community services activities of communities establish new local churches keep records as required by civil or church law plan and conduct services of public worship preach pray and encourage others to be theocentric preside over sacraments of the church.
Such as: the Lord's Supper known as the Lord's Table, or Holy Communion, the Baptism of adults or children provide leadership to the congregation, parish or church community, this may be done as part of a team with lay people in roles such as elders refer people to community support services, psychologists or doctors research and study religion and theology supervise prayer and discussion groups and seminars, provide religious instruction teach on spiritual and theological subjects train leaders for church and youth leadership work on developing relationships and networks within the religious community provide pastoral care in various contexts provide personal support to people in crises, such as illness and family breakdown visit the sick and elderly to counsel and comfort them and their families administer Last Rites when designated to do so the first style of ministering is the player coach style. In this style, the pastor is a "participant in all the processes that the church uses to reach people and see them transformed the second style of ministering is the delegating style, in which the minister develops members of the church to point that they can be trusted the third style of ministering is the directing style where the minister gives specific instructions and supervises the congregation the last and fourth style of ministering is the combination style, which a minister allows directional ministering from a pastoral staff member mention prayer of salvation to those interested in becoming a believer Depending on the denomination the requirements for ministry vary.
All denominations require. In regards to training, denominations vary in their requirements, from those that emphasize natural gifts to those that require advanced tertiary education qualifications, for example, from a seminary, theological college or university. One of the clearest references is found in 1 Timothy 3:1-16, which outlines the requirements of a bishop: This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop must be blameless, the husband of one wife, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach.
Easter called Pascha or Resurrection Sunday, is a festival and holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day after his burial following his crucifixion by the Romans at Calvary c. 30 AD. It is the culmination of the Passion of Jesus, preceded by Lent, a 40-day period of fasting and penance. Most Christians refer to the week before Easter as "Holy Week", which contains the days of the Easter Triduum, including Maundy Thursday, commemorating the Maundy and Last Supper, as well as Good Friday, commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus. In Western Christianity, Eastertide, or the Easter Season, begins on Easter Sunday and lasts seven weeks, ending with the coming of the 50th day, Pentecost Sunday. In Eastern Christianity, the season of Pascha begins on Pascha and ends with the coming of the 40th day, the Feast of the Ascension. Easter and the holidays that are related to it are moveable feasts which do not fall on a fixed date in the Gregorian or Julian calendars which follow only the cycle of the sun.
The First Council of Nicaea established two rules, independence of the Jewish calendar and worldwide uniformity, which were the only rules for Easter explicitly laid down by the council. No details for the computation were specified, it has come to be the first Sunday after the ecclesiastical full moon that occurs on or soonest after 21 March, but calculations vary. Easter is linked to the Jewish Passover by much of its symbolism, as well as by its position in the calendar. In most European languages the feast is called by the words for passover in those languages. Easter customs vary across the Christian world, include sunrise services, exclaiming the Paschal greeting, clipping the church, decorating Easter eggs; the Easter lily, a symbol of the resurrection, traditionally decorates the chancel area of churches on this day and for the rest of Eastertide. Additional customs that have become associated with Easter and are observed by both Christians and some non-Christians include egg hunting, the Easter Bunny, Easter parades.
There are various traditional Easter foods that vary regionally. The modern English term Easter, cognate with modern Dutch ooster and German Ostern, developed from an Old English word that appears in the form Ēastrun, -on, or -an; the most accepted theory of the origin of the term is that it is derived from the name of an Old English goddess mentioned by the 7th to 8th-century English monk Bede, who wrote that Ēosturmōnaþ was an English month, corresponding to April, which he says "was once called after a goddess of theirs named Ēostre, in whose honour feasts were celebrated in that month". In Latin and Greek, the Christian celebration was, still is, called Pascha, a word derived from Aramaic פסחא, cognate to Hebrew פֶּסַח; the word denoted the Jewish festival known in English as Passover, commemorating the Jewish Exodus from slavery in Egypt. As early as the 50s of the 1st century, writing from Ephesus to the Christians in Corinth, applied the term to Christ, it is unlikely that the Ephesian and Corinthian Christians were the first to hear Exodus 12 interpreted as speaking about the death of Jesus, not just about the Jewish Passover ritual.
In most of the non-English speaking world, the feast is known by names derived from Greek and Latin Pascha. Pascha is a name by which Jesus himself is remembered in the Orthodox Church in connection with his resurrection and with the season of its celebration; the New Testament states that the resurrection of Jesus, which Easter celebrates, is one of the chief tenets of the Christian faith. The resurrection established Jesus as the powerful Son of God and is cited as proof that God will righteously judge the world. For those who trust in Jesus' death and resurrection, "death is swallowed up in victory." Any person who chooses to follow Jesus receives "a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead". Through faith in the working of God those who follow Jesus are spiritually resurrected with him so that they may walk in a new way of life and receive eternal salvation. Easter is linked to Passover and the Exodus from Egypt recorded in the Old Testament through the Last Supper and crucifixion of Jesus that preceded the resurrection.
According to the New Testament, Jesus gave the Passover meal a new meaning, as in the upper room during the Last Supper he prepared himself and his disciples for his death. He identified the matzah and cup of wine as his body soon to be sacrificed and his blood soon to be shed. Paul states, "Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast—as you are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed"; the first Christians and Gentile, were aware of the Hebrew calendar. Jewish Christians, the first to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, timed the observance in relation to Passover. Direct evidence for a more formed Christian festival of Pascha begins to appear in the mid-2nd century; the earliest extant primary source referring to East
The Second Temple was the Jewish holy temple which stood on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem during the Second Temple period, between 516 BCE and 70 CE. It replaced Solomon's Temple, destroyed by the Neo-Babylonian Empire in 586 BCE, when Jerusalem was conquered and part of the population of the Kingdom of Judah was taken into exile to Babylon; the Second Temple was a rather modest structure constructed by a number of Jewish exile groups returning to the Levant from Babylon under the Achaemenid-appointed governor Zerubbabel. However, during the reign of Herod the Great, the Second Temple was refurbished, the original structure was overhauled into the large and magnificent edifices and facades that are more recognizable. Much as the Babylonians destroyed the First Temple, the Romans destroyed the Second Temple and Jerusalem in 70 CE as retaliation for an ongoing Jewish revolt; the second temple lasted for a total of 585 years. Jewish eschatology includes a belief that the Second Temple will be replaced by a future Third Temple.
The accession of Cyrus the Great of the Achaemenid Empire in 559 BCE made the re-establishment of the city of Jerusalem and the rebuilding of the Temple possible. Some rudimentary ritual sacrifice had continued at the site of the first temple following its destruction. According to the closing verses of the second book of Chronicles and the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, when the Jewish exiles returned to Jerusalem following a decree from Cyrus the Great, construction started at the original site of the altar of Solomon's Temple. After a brief halt due to opposition from peoples who had filled the vacuum during the Jewish captivity, work resumed c. 521 BCE under Darius I and was completed during the sixth year of his reign, with the temple dedication taking place the following year. These events represent the final section in the historical narrative of the Hebrew Bible; the original core of the book of Nehemiah, the first-person memoir, may have been combined with the core of the Book of Ezra around 400 BCE.
Further editing continued into the Hellenistic era. The book tells how Nehemiah, at the court of the king in Susa, is informed that Jerusalem is without walls and resolves to restore them; the king appoints him as governor of the province Yehud Medinata and he travels to Jerusalem. There he rebuilds the walls, despite the opposition of Israel's enemies, reforms the community in conformity with the law of Moses. After 12 years in Jerusalem, he subsequently revisits Jerusalem, he finds that the Israelites have been backsliding and taking non-Jewish wives, he stays in Jerusalem to enforce the Law. Based on the biblical account, after the return from Babylonian captivity, arrangements were made to reorganize the desolated Yehud Province after the demise of the Kingdom of Judah seventy years earlier; the body of pilgrims, forming a band of 42,360, having completed the long and dreary journey of some four months, from the banks of the Euphrates to Jerusalem, were animated in all their proceedings by a strong religious impulse, therefore one of their first concerns was to restore their ancient house of worship by rebuilding their destroyed Temple and reinstituting the sacrificial rituals known as the korbanot.
On the invitation of Zerubbabel, the governor, who showed them a remarkable example of liberality by contributing 1,000 golden darics, besides other gifts, the people poured their gifts into the sacred treasury with great enthusiasm. First they erected and dedicated the altar of God on the exact spot where it had stood, they cleared away the charred heaps of debris which occupied the site of the old temple. A wide interest was felt in this great movement, although it was regarded with mixed feelings by the spectators; the Samaritans wanted to help with this work but Zerubbabel and the elders declined such cooperation, feeling that the Jews must build the Temple unaided. Evil reports were spread regarding the Jews. According to Ezra 4:5, the Samaritans sought to "frustrate their purpose" and sent messengers to Ecbatana and Susa, with the result that the work was suspended. Seven years Cyrus the Great, who allowed the Jews to return to their homeland and rebuild the Temple and was succeeded by his son Cambyses.
On his death, the "false Smerdis", an impostor, occupied the throne for some seven or eight months, Darius became king. In the second year of his rule the work of rebuilding the temple was resumed and carried forward to its completion, under the stimulus of the earnest counsels and admonitions of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah, it was ready for consecration in the spring of 516 BCE, more than twenty years after the return from captivity. The Temple was completed on the third day of the month Adar, in the sixth year of the reign of Darius, amid great rejoicings on the part of all the people, although it was evident that the Jews were no longer an independent people, but were subject to a foreign power; the Book of Haggai includes a prediction that the glory of the second temple would be greater than that of the first. Some of the original artifacts from the Temple of Solomon are not mentioned in the sources after its destruction in 597 BCE, are presumed lost; the Second Temple lacked the following holy articles: The Ark of the Covenant containing the Tablets of Stone, before which were