I hold Josephus by the hand and squint into the wind.
Our view is good, but Herod’s was better. I sit with students on the stump of a tower (or “keep”) estimated to have been 120 feet tall. Herod could climb the stairs of this structure (now tumbled downslope) and scan the horizon from a lofty perch. Looking north along the Judean backbone, he could pick out the Mount of Olives. It cast a shadow over Jerusalem every morning. Looking south, he could see, or almost feel, really, the opening up of a vast desert.