318 PICTURESQUE PALESTINE.
labour. Meadow and pasture-land were turned into tillage, because the cultivation of grain
and fruit was found to be more profitable than the raising of cattle.
Of the productions of this province, the more important seem to have been fish, wine
wheat, fruits, and oil. The Rabbis said, " It is easier to raise a legion, i.e. a forest of olive-
trees, in Galilee, than to raise one child in Judaea." Both Syrians and Phoenicians drew their
supplies of oil from this region, and the traffic in this commodity alone proved a source of
wealth to the Galileans (" Wars," ii. 21, 2). Gischala (El Jish), only six miles from Safed (see
page 328), was a famous centre for the production of oil; and at Jotapata, when that place was
besieged, the supply was so abundant that it was freely used by the inhabitants in repellino- the
assaults of the enemy. Large quantities of it were heated and poured down on all sides upon
the Romans, which soon scattered their ranks. Their troops, scalded, rolled headlong from
the ramparts in excruciating agony. From the particulars given by Josephus, we learn that this
was a terrible and effective as well as a singular means of defence (" Wars," iii. 7, 28). In
Christ's time oil was a common article in the treatment of the sick; and Herod the Great, in
his last illness at Jericho, was almost killed by being plunged into a vessel of oil, when his
physicians hoped that thereby he might obtain relief (" Wars," i. 33, 5). But the fish and the
fisheries of the Sea of Galilee had then a world-wide reputation. The choicest kinds abounded
in this lake, and some varieties existed here similar to those found in the Nile. Tarichaea was
noted for its extensive " fish-factories," and from the business of fishing more than one of the
towns upon the shore are said to have derived their names. People came hither even from
Jerusalem, especially just before the great feasts, to fish in these waters, and thus provide means
of support for the multitudes that, on those occasions, flocked to the Temple. The Jews
distinguished sharply between clean and unclean fish, which custom may be referred to in the
words of our Lord, "They gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away " (Matt. xiii. 48).
Certain places in Galilee were also noted for particular productions of manufactured
articles. Thus the olives of Bethshean (Beisan), which was called " the Gate of Paradise,"
were highly praised, and likewise the fine linen garments which were there produced. Safed
(see page 328) was celebrated for its honey; Shikmonah for its pomegranates; Akhbara for the
raising of pheasants. Sigona furnished the best wine. Arbela (see page 307) was celebrated
for the manufacture of cloth ; Capernaum (see page 313) and Chorasin for the raising of wheat;
Sepphoris (see page 286) for the production of grain and fruit; Sichin and Kefr Chananyah
for the manufacture of pottery. Certain places are mentioned where grain-merchants were
accustomed to congregate in the interests of their line of trade. Even Magdala— Mejdel— (see
pages 308 and 311) boasted of three hundred shops where pigeons for sacrifice were sold.
About this place the indigo-plant flourished then, as now, and the Talmud calls it " the city
of colour." More definitely, one portion of the city was called uthe tower of dyers," and here
were eighty shops where fine woollen cloth was made. Moreover, the women of Galilee were
widely celebrated for a certain kind of linen fabric, in the production of which they were