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The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity
Konstantin KleinKonstantin Klein


Town 10 km (6 miles) south-west of Jerusalem; according to tradition the birthplace of both King David and Jesus. In 326 Constantine I ordered the construction of the Church of the Nativity to be carried out under the supervision of his mother Helena. From 384 onwards Jerome settled in Bethlehem, where he founded a monastery adjacent to the church and completed several important works, among them his Latin translation of the Bible. The Piacenza Pilgrim (29) describes his tomb and also monuments to David, Solomon, and the Holy Innocents (cf. Adomnán, De Locis Sanctis, II, 4–5). Town and church were damaged in the wake of the Samaritan uprising of 529, and rebuilt by Justinian I. In 614 the city was captured during the Persian invasion, and eventually conquered by ‘Umar b. al-Khattab before 637.

Konstantin Klein


J. E. Taylor, Christians and the Holy Places: The Myth of Jewish-Christian Origins (1993).Find this resource:

    J. W. Drijvers, Helena Augusta: The Mother of Constantine the Great and the Legend of her Finding of the True Cross (1992).Find this resource: