First Jewish–Roman War

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Aerial view of Masada in the Judaean Desert with the Dead Sea and Jordan in the distance

The First Jewish–Roman War, or The Great Revolt was the first of three major uprisings of Jews in the Judaea provice against the Roman Empire. It happened from 66–70 AD, and ended with the Empire winnng.

The Great Revolt was the first of three wars in Judea against the Roman Empire. It began in 66 AD in Caesarea due to religious tension between the Greek and Jewish population. It became, however, an anti-taxation protest against Rome. In Caesarea, the Greeks sacrificed animals in front of a Jewish Synagogue which resulted in the Jews ceasing sacrifices to the Emperor of Rome. General Gallus went up against the rebels and lost a crucial battle Beth Horon in 68 AD.

After this defeat, Emperor Nero replaced Gallus with Vespasian. He ended up swiftly crushing the Northern and Southern leadership and the rebellion began to fall apart. Later that year, Nero was deposed. The Roman forces besieged Jerusalem and breached the walls by 70 AD. Once they got into the walls, the Roman soldiers burned and ransacked the city also destroying the Second Temple. The final stronghold at Masada was taken in 73 AD and when the Roman soldiers broke through the defences, they discovered all the defenders had committed suicide. As a result, most of the Jews in the area were scattered or sold into slavery. The final death toll, according to Josephus, was over one million.