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Encyclopedia > Fall of Jerusalem, AD 70

The Destruction of Jerusalem (specifically, the Second Destruction of Jerusalem) was the culmination of the successful campaign of Titus Flavius against Judea after an unsuccessful attack four years prior by Cestius Gallus. Although the Roman army was ordered to leave certain structures intact, the city was in short time entirely destroyed, along with the Jewish Second Temple. This event marked the beginning of the Jewish diaspora.

The reported casualties were 1.1 million dead and 96,000 taken prisoner. Evidence of this event is seen enscribed on what is now called the Arch of Titus; it graphically displays Jewish artifacts being carried back to Rome after the victory.

Now as soon as the army had no more people to slay or to plunder, because there remained none to be the objects of their fury (for they would not have spared any, had there remained any other work to be done), [Titus] Caesar gave orders that they should now demolish the entire city and Temple, but should leave as many of the towers standing as were of the greatest eminence; that is, Phasaelus, and Hippicus, and Mariamne; and so much of the wall as enclosed the city on the west side. This wall was spared, in order to afford a camp for such as were to lie in garrison [in the Upper City], as were the towers [the three forts] also spared, in order to demonstrate to posterity what kind of city it was, and how well fortified, which the Roman valor had subdued; but for all the rest of the wall [surrounding Jerusalem], it was so thoroughly laid even with the ground by those that dug it up to the foundation, that there was left nothing to make those that came thither believe it [Jerusalem] had ever been inhabited. This was the end which Jerusalem came to by the madness of those that were for innovations; a city otherwise of great magnificence, and of mighty fame among all mankind.
And truly, the very view itself was a melancholy thing; for those places which were adorned with trees and pleasant gardens, were now become desolate country every way, and its trees were all cut down. Nor could any foreigner that had formerly seen Judaea and the most beautiful suburbs of the city, and now saw it as a desert, but lament and mourn sadly at so great a change. For the war had laid all signs of beauty quite waste. Nor had anyone who had known the place before, had come on a sudden to it now, would he have known it again. But though he [a foreigner] were at the city itself, yet would he have inquired for it.

Christian view

Many Christians believe this event was also the fulfillment of Jesus' warning thirty-seven years before to his followers of Jerusalem's destruction which they were allegedly able to escape during the withdrawal of Cestius Gallus four years hence. Masada was considered the final cleanup of the Jewish rebellion in 73.

See also

External links

  Results from FactBites:
Dates Around 70 AD -- Jerusalem Falls (3150 words)
The fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD was predicted in various places in the Bible.
In July of 70 AD the Roman Army, led by Titus, attacked and overran the city of Jerusalem.
In 70 AD the Roman armies are reported to have killed off those who remained in the city out of fear of the Roman armies.
  More results at FactBites »



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