The Jewish War
From the time of Herod the Great, Jews in Jerusalem, divided in class conflict between the
more plebian Pharisees wanted to rid the land of Roman rule, the more aritocratic Saducees
were happy with the status quo and served as administrators and capitulators to the Roman
governors. These two groups constantly debated their subsurvience to Roman rule and what they
perceived as an illegitimate dynasty under the Herdion kings. In 66 C.E., Pharisee elements in
Jewish brigades in the Galilee engaged Roman centurions in battle sparking a conflict that lasted
seven years, the destruction of Jerusalem and the second Temple, again on the 9th of Av in the
70 C.E., and wide enslavement and expulsion of the Jewish population. By the year 73 C.E., when
the last vestiges of Jewish resistance had been vanquished, the Romans had fought their longest
and most ruinous war to date.
The Bar Kochba Rebellion
Between 132 and 135 C.E. the Jews that remained in Roman Palestine revolted one last time
against Roman rule. After three years of guerilla type warfare fought from an intracate cave
system from southeast of Jerusalem, the Jews tormented the Romans. Finally in 135 Emperor
Hadrian came and led his centurions to victory and personally oversaw the final expusions of
all Jews from Palestine. In addition he renamed Jerusalem, Aelia Capitolina and built on the
ruins of the second Temple a temple the Roman god Jupiter. Reconstruction of the city included
that of the its fortifcations and a beautifying of its gates. In the picutre to the left, a small part of
the Damascus gate remains below today's Ottoman period gate. Also, the city's infrasturcture
redone and the streets remapped, dominated by a collonaded street/marketplace called the cardo
which ran the length of the city from north to south. The picture at the top of the
page shows some remaining pillars from this period.
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