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First Jewish revolt
Also called: The Great Revolt; First Jewish-Roman War
Hebrew: ha-mered ha-gadol


Rebellion by Jews of Judah against the Romans, lasting 7 years, 6673 CE. Depending on definitions, there was either one or two more rebellions in the 2nd century.
What provoked the revolt was an episode in 66 when Greeks in Caesarea sacrificed a bird in front of a local synagogue. The Roman army did not intervene to protect the interests of the Jews, and the High Priest at the Temple of Jerusalem took to arms, first taking control of Jerusalem, then the rest of Judah, forming a Jewish state in the region.
Prior to this crucial episode, Jews had clashed with the Romans several times, the Romans responding with heavy countermeasures.
The actual revolt would become a most brutal one, the historian Josephus claims it was 1.1 million, but this figure must be extremely exaggerated. But numbers in tens of thousands seem well attested for. The revolt was not only between Jews and Romans, but also between Jewish groups. From around 68, leaders of the north and south were in a regular war, causing the death of all southern leaders. With the fall of Jerusalem in 70, many Jews were driven out of their homelands, or sold as slaves. Victims of this count close to 100,000 .
Our main source of information here, is Josephus, who himself was a general on the Jewish side in the beginning of the war, but who switched sides after being captured by the Romans. The problem of Josephus is that he claims to have been against the revolt, but was accused by Justus of Tiberias of being the one behind it all.

History
66: Joint Jewish forces take control over Jerusalem, expelling the Romans. They continue by taking over the pass of Beth Horon.
— A leadership committee is established, which is successful in taking over the control of most of Judah.
67: Vespasian is sent to Judah by Roman emperor, Nero, and is joined by Titus. First he was met with forces under the leadership of the historian, Josephus, but Josephus would soon surrender and the Roman forces could take back control of part of the country.
— The fortress of Gamla falls to the Romans.
68: Romans secure control over the north. Northern leaders flee to Jerusalem, where internal fighting with the southern leadership begin, a struggle the northern leaders would win.
69: Nero dies, Vespasian leaves Judea to secure for himself the imperial throne.
70 July 30: The Second Temple is destroyed.
August 29: After years of siege, Jerusalem falls to the Romans. The Temple is burned and the Jewish state dismantled.
73: Masada, the last Jewish stronghold, falls to the Romans. All commits collective suicide.




By Tore Kjeilen