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Wars between the Jews and Romans: the War of 66-70 CE

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Could you summarize the event leading up to the Rebellion and War against Romans by the Jews in 66 BC and then discuss the main points about the Wars between the Jews and Romans: the War of 66-70 CE? What role did the Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, and Zealots play in this war(s)? How do the walls of Jerusalem fit in? An article would also be helpful. Thanks.

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Solution Summary

This solution summarizes the events leading up to the Jewish rebellion and war against in 66 BC, including the role of the four religious sects (e.g. Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, and Zealots). It also discusses the walls of Jerusalem and is supplemented with an article that details the main points about the Wars between the Jews and Romans: the War of 66-70 CE (e..g, causes, walls of Jerusalem, etc.).

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66 CE - Rebellion and War against Romans

The Roman procurator Florus provokes a Jewish rebellion that turns into full-scale war. The corrupt administration imposes oppressive taxes, pillages the Upper Market, defiles the Temple, kills 3,600 Jews, and demands payment of tribute from Temple funds. Jews are ordered to salute Roman soldiers and the people silently agree. Someone in the crowd calls out against Florus and the soldiers charge. Some Jews flee. Others race toward the Temple to form a line of defense. Stones rain on the soldiers from rooftops. The soldiers withdraw. Florus leaves Jerusalem and returns to Caesarea. The Temple sacrifice in honor of the emperor is stopped. This is the beginning of the Jewish war against the Romans. Pharisees, Sadducees and Essenes join the Zealots. At that time, the population of Jerusalem is approximately 600,000. Zealots march on Jerusalem at the time of the Feast of Sukkot and capture the Antonia Fortress and Herod's palace. During the battle, part of the city is burned including the archives containing the debt records. Menachem, the Zealot leader, is captured and killed while trying to hide in the City of David.

The nearest Roman army is in Syria and a long time passes before Cestius Gallus appears with his legions. Jews attack and defeat the Roman troops from Syria long before they reach Jerusalem. For three years, the city is free of Roman domination. Coins bearing the legend "Jerusalem the Holy" commemorate this period. The Zealots overthrow the first revolutionary government set up by the high priests. Two groups of Zealots led by Yochanan of Gush-Halav and Simon Bar-Giora fight a civil war within the city. They join forces only to fight the moderates. The Sicarii carry out murderous revenge on pro-Roman aristocrats. The city's human, material and food resources are wasted by the unresolved internal conflict. The Jews unite only when the Roman forces approach. The third or outer wall begun by Agrippa I but abandoned by order of the Romans, is hastily completed by the Zealots. Jerusalem is now defended by three main walls (see Diagram attached). The first wall encloses the southern sides of the two hills on which the city stands. The second wall encloses the commercial quarter in a semi-circle. The northern face of the third wall is most vulnerable to attack. With the countries of her empire watching, Rome is forced to use her full military might against the Jews. Emperor Nero sends Vespasian to stop the rebellion after the defeat of the Syrian soldiers. In 68 C.E., he conquers Judea but not Jerusalem. The Jews do not have a single recognized leader to organize the defense. In-fighting rules until the attack reaches the city walls. Nero commits suicide in Rome and Vespasian is appointed emperor. His son, Titus, is put in charge of conquering Jerusalem. For this war, the Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, and Zealots put their religious differences aside and joined forces against the Romans.The walls were a type of protection shield against outside attackers.


Wars between the Jews and Romans: the War of 66-70 CE

There have been several military engagements between the Jews and the Romans:

* the Roman general Pompey subdued Judaea in 63 BCE (after which it became a client kingdom)
* in 6 CE, the emperor Augustus deposed king Archelaus, and his governor of Syria, Quirinius, established the province of Judaea (which ...

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