Calvary or Golgotha (English pronunciation: /ˈɡɒlɡəθə/) are the English language/Western Christian names given to the site, outside of ancient Jerusalem’s early 1st century walls, ascribed to the crucifixion of Jesus. The name Golgotha is the Greek transcription given by the New Testament, of an Aramaic name, which has traditionally been presumed to be Gûlgaltâ (but see below for an alternative); the Bible glosses it as place of [the] skull – Κρανίου Τόπος (Kraniou Topos) in Greek, and Calvariae Locus in Latin, from which we get Calvary.
The traditional location of Golgotha derives from its identification by Helena, the mother of Constantine I, in 325. A few yards nearby, Helena also identified the location of the Tomb of Jesus and claimed to have discovered the True Cross; her son, Constantine, then built the Church of the Holy Sepulchre around the whole site. In 333, the Pilgrim of Bordeaux, entering from the east described the result:
|“||On the left hand is the little hill of Golgotha where the Lord was crucified. About a stone’s throw from thence is a vault [crypta] wherein his body was laid, and rose again on the third day. There, at present, by the command of the Emperor Constantine, has been built a basilica; that is to say, a church of wondrous beauty.||”|
In Nazénie Garibian de Vartavan’s doctoral thesis, now published as La Jérusalem Nouvelle et les premiers sanctuaires chrétiens de l’Arménie. Méthode pour l’étude de l’église comme temple de Dieu, she concluded, through multiple arguments (mainly theological and archaeological), that the true site of Golgotha was precisely at the vertical of the now buried Constantinian basilica’s altar and away from where the traditional rock of Golgotha is situated. The plans published in the book indicate the location of the Golgotha within a precision of less than two meters, below the circular passage situated a metre away from where the blood stained shirt of Christ was traditionally recovered and immediately before the stairs leading down to “St. Helena’s Chapel” (the above mentioned mother of Emperor Constantine), alternatively called “St. Vartan’s Chapel”.
- Jerusalem – the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (israel-travel.suite101.com)
- Fear, Emptiness, Decibel: Incantation to Play Their Classic Onward to Golgotha Live in Its Entirety! (metalsucks.net)
- Miracles of Morphing 1 (beliefnet.com)