Depiction of the Temple Menora being taken from Jerusalem on the Arch of Titus in Rome.
|Roman Empire||Jewish Zealots;
|Commanders and leaders|
|Simon Bar-Giora, Elazar Ben-Simon,Yehonatan mi-Gush Halav;
Artemion, Lukuas (Andreas), Julian and Pappus;
Simon bar Kokhba
|Great revolt: 30,000 (Beth Horon) - 60,000 (Siege of Jerusalem)
Kitos War: forces of the eastern legions
Bar Kokhba revolt: 7 full legions with cohorts and auxilaries of 5 additional legions – about 120,000 total.
|Great revolt: 25,000+ Jewish militias; 20,000 Edomeans
Kitos War: loosely organized tens of thousands
Bar-Kokhba revolt: 200,000 – 400,000 militia men
|Casualties and losses|
|Great revolt: Legio XII Fulminata lost its aquila and Syrian contingent destroyed – about 20,000 casualties;
Kitos War: 240,000 civilians killed in Cyprus (per Dio), 200,000 in Cyrenaica;
Bar-Kokhba revolt: Legio XXII Deiotariana destroyed,
Legio IX Hispana possibly disbanded,
Legio X Fretensis - sustained heavy casualties
|Great revolt: 250 thousand – 1,1 million (per Josephus) Jews massacred; enslavement of 97,000;
Kitos War: annihilation of Jewish communities in Cyprus, Cyrenaica and Alexandria;
Bar Kokhba revolt: 400,000 – 580,000 (per Dio) civilians and militia massacred,
985 Judean villages razed (per Cassius Dio).
The Jewish–Roman wars were a series of large-scale revolts by the Jews of Iudaea Province and the Eastern Mediterranean against the Roman Empire. Some sources use the term to refer only to the First Jewish–Roman War (66–73 CE) and Bar Kokhba revolt (132–135 CE) while others include the Kitos War (115–117) as one of the Jewish–Roman wars, although this revolt started among the Jewish diaspora in Cyrenaica, and only its final stages were actually fought within Judaea Province.
The Jewish–Roman wars had an epic impact on the Jews, turning them from a major population in the Eastern Mediterranean into a scattered and persecuted minority. The events also had a major impact on Judaism, as the central worship site of Second Temple Judaism, the Second Temple in Jerusalem, was destroyed by Titus' troops. Although the Samaritans gained some sort of autonomy in the 4th century and the Jews later succeeded in establishing the short-lived Sassanid Jewish Commonwealth in 614 CE, Jewish dominance in parts of the Southern Levant was regained only in the mid-20th century, with the founding of Israel in 1948.
The Jewish–Roman wars include the following:
- First Jewish–Roman War (66–73) — also called the First Jewish Revolt or the Great Jewish Revolt, spanning from the 66 CE insurrection, through the 67 fall of the Galilee, the destruction of Jerusalem and the Second Temple and institution of the Fiscus Judaicus in 70, and finally the fall of Masada in 73.
- Kitos War (115–117) — known as the "Rebellion of the Exile" and sometimes called the Second Jewish-Roman War.
- Bar Kokhba revolt (132–135) — also called the Second Jewish-Roman War (when Kitos War is not counted), or the Third (when the Kitos War is counted).
The defeat of the Jewish revolt altered the Jewish diaspora, as many of the Jewish rebels were scattered or sold into slavery. Before Vespasian's departure, the Pharisaic sage and Rabbi Yohanan ben Zakkai obtained his permission to establish a Judaic school at Yavne. Zakkai was smuggled away from Jerusalem in a coffin by his students. This school later became a major center of Talmudic study (see Mishnah).
Hadrian attempted to root out Judaism, which he saw as the cause of continuous rebellions. He prohibited the Torah and the Hebrew calendar and executed Judaic scholars. The sacred scroll was ceremonially burned on the Temple Mount. At the former Temple sanctuary he installed two statues, one of Jupiter, another of himself. In an attempt to erase any memory of Judea or Ancient Israel, he wiped the name off the map and replaced it with Syria Palaestina, supplanting earlier terms, such as Judaea. Similarly, he re-established Jerusalem but now as the Roman polis of Aelia Capitolina, and Jews were forbidden from entering it, except on the day of Tisha B'Av.
Rabbinic Judaism became a religion centered around synagogues, and the Jews themselves dispersed throughout the Roman world and beyond. With the destruction of Jerusalem, important centers of Jewish culture developed in the Galilee and in Babylonia and work on the Talmud continued in these locations.
- Arch of Titus
- Jewish revolt against Gallus (351) — the Jewish revolt originating in Sepphoris in the Galilee
- Jewish revolt against Heraclius (613) — the Jewish revolt originating in Tiberias in the Galilee.
- List of conflicts in the Near East
- Samaritan Revolts (484–572) — Samaritan incited revolts, originating largely in Neapolis.
- Second Temple
- Siege of Jerusalem (63 BC)
- Siege of Jerusalem (37 BC)
- Siege of Jerusalem (70)
- Siege of Masada
- History of the Jews in the Roman Empire
- "Cyprus". JewishEncyclopedia.com.
- "Legio VIIII Hispana". Livius.
- Rivka Shpak Lissak. "The Roman Policy: Elimination the Jewish National-Cultural Entity and the Jewish Majority in the Land of Israel". Retrieved 15 January 2011.
- H.H. Ben-Sasson, A History of the Jewish People, page 334: "Jews were forbidden to live in the city and were allowed to visit it only once a year, on the Ninth of Ab, to mourn on the ruins of their holy Temple."