XIII. (71) Of this temple the outer circuit, being the most extensive both in length and width, was fortified by fortifications adorned in a most costly manner. And each of them is a double portico, built and adorned with the finest materials of wood and stone, and with abundant supplies of all kinds, and with the greatest skill of the workmen, and the most diligent care on the part of the superintendants. But the inner circuits were less extensive, and the fashion of their building and adorning was more simple. (72) And in the centre was the temple itself, beautiful beyond all possible description, as one may conjecture from what is now seen around on the outside; for what is innermost is invisible to every human creature except the high priest alone, and even he is enjoined only to enter that holy place once in each year. Everything then is invisible. For he carries in a brasier full of coals and frankincense; and then, when a great smoke proceeds from it, as is natural, and when everything all around is enveloped in it, then the sight of men is clouded, and checked, and prevented from penetrating in, being wholly unable to pierce the cloud. (73) But, being very large and very lofty, although built in a very low situation, it is not inferior to any of the greatest mountains around. The buildings of it are of most exceeding beauty and magnificence, so as to be universal objects of admiration to all who behold them, and especially to all foreigners who travel to those parts, and who, comparing them with their own public edifices, marvel both at the beauty and sumptuousness of this one. (74) But there is no grove of plantation in the space which surrounds it, in accordance with the prohibitions of the law, which for many reasons forbid this. In the first place, because a building which is truly a temple does not aim at pleasure and seductive allurements, but at a rigid and austere sanctity. Secondly, because it is not proper that those things which conduce to the verdure of trees should be introduced, such as the dung of irrational animals and of men. Thirdly, because those trees which do not admit of cultivation are of no use, but are as the poets say, the burden of the earth; while those which do admit of cultivation, and which are productive of wholesome fruit, draw off the attention of the fickle-minded from the thoughts of the respect due to the holy place itself, and to the ceremonies in which they are engaged. (75) And besides these reasons, shady places and dense thickets are places of refuge for evil doers, since by their enveloping them in darkness they give them safety and enable them, as from an ambuscade, suddenly to fall upon any whom they choose to attack. But wide spaces, open and uncovered in every direction, where there is nothing which can hinder the sight, are the most suitable for the distinct sight of all those who enter and remain in the temple.