The First Jewish Revolt

a.d. 66–73

Years of growing Jewish resentment toward Roman rule and paganism eventually erupted in full-scale revolt in a.d. 66. The revolt was ignited in Caesarea and quickly spread to Jerusalem, Judea, Idumea, parts of Samaria, and Galilee. The following spring, the Roman general Vespasian began his systematic campaign to crush the rebellion, beginning in Galilee and then moving south into Samaria and along the coast. Meanwhile, Jewish forces began to fight among themselves in a bitter power struggle between various Zealots and aristocratic leaders, thus weakening their ability to fend off the Romans as they advanced into Judea. In a.d. 70 the Romans captured Jerusalem and destroyed the temple, but isolated resistance still continued even as late as a.d. 73, when the stronghold of Masada was finally taken by the Romans.

The First Jewish Revolt

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