Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Siege of Jerusalem (70)

Jerusalem Temple Destruction, AD 70, by Nicolas PoussinThe siege of Jerusalem in the year 70 was a conclusive event in the first Jewish-Roman War.

Despite early successes in repelling the Roman sieges, the Zealots fought among themselves, lacking proper leadership, discipline, training, and preparation for the battles that were to follow.
Titus surrounded the city, with three legions (Legio V Macedonica, Legio XII Fulminata, Legio XV Apollinaris) on the western side, and a fourth (Legio X Fretensis) on the Mount of Olives to the east. He put pressure on the food & water supplies of the inhabitants by allowing pilgrims to enter the city to celebrate Passover, and then refusing them egress. After Jewish sallies killed a number of Roman soldiers, Titus sent Flavius Josephus, a former Jewish commander, now loyal to Rome, to negotiate with the defenders; this failed, and another sally was launched.


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