As part of the Melville Society’s 2009 international conference “Melville and the Mediterranean,” some members visited the Greek Orthodox monastery at Mar Saba on June 22. Melville stayed here for a night in January 1857 (NN Journal 84), a brief respite in his trek through the Judaean desert that inspired a long section of Clarel, Book 3, Cantos 9-32. Only men were allowed into the monastery while the women remained outside in the meager shade of a tree. The Saba monks allowed photographs in only a few places; fortunately, one was the spacious patio that holds the famous date palm and overlooks the Vale of Kedron. Inspired by the view, Tim Marr read Melville’s panegyric to Saba from Canto 9, lines 33-69. Produced by Dennis Berthold, with music by Matthew Berthold.