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Ancient Jewish History V: Titus

Titus was a Roman Emperor that ruled from 79 to 81, but before he landed on the throne, he was a successful military commander. While serving under his father in Judaea, he participated in the First Jewish-Roman War. In this article, you will learn about some of the rebellions that put the Jews and Romans against one another, as well as the people that greatly influenced the outcomes.

During the time that Titus was active in the military, Nero died in 68 and his father made a bid for the imperial power during the Year of the Four Emperors. In 69, Titus’ father was declared emperor and Titus was placed in charge of putting an end to the Jewish rebellion. In 70, he commanded a siege that destroyed the city and Temple of Jerusalem. This achievement earned Titus a lot of recognition and esteem.

In Rome, Titus became a notable figure and began serving as prefect of the Praetorian Guard. In the meantime, controversy swirled when he started a relationship with the Jewish queen Berenice. This called some to question his character, but Titus was a good leader and was respected even after the death of his father in 79. While emperor, he was responsible for completing the Colosseum.

Recap of First Roman-Jewish War

The first war that involved the Romans and Jews took place from 66 to 73 CE (called the First Roman-Jewish War, and is sometimes referred to as the Great Revolt). This event marked the first of three major rebellions associated with the Jews that lived in the province of Judaea, who went against the rule and restrictions of the Roman Empire. It was the religious tensions between the Greeks and Jews that led to the revolt. Other factors played a role, including anti-tax protests and attacks on Roman citizens. The war came to an end with the efforts of Titus, who established four legions that were given the task to ‘cleanse the country.’ He led the siege against those in Jerusalem and destroyed the heartbeat of the rebellion.

Emperor Hadrian

Emperor Hadrian visits the ruins of Jerusalem in Judaea, which came that the hands of the First Roman-Jewish War of 66-73. He rebuilds the city and gives Jerusalem a different name , calling it “Aelia Capitolina”. He forbids the Jews to be in the city. Within the city, he builds a large temple dedicated to the goddess Venus. Hadrian makes laws and regulations that go against the beliefs of the Jews. For instance, he abolished the practice of circumcision, which the Romans and Greeks saw as a form of mutilating the body. They considered the act quite barbaric.