70: Sack of Jerusalem

70: Sack of Jerusalem

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 8. September 70

During the reign of Roman Emperor Vespasian, his son and future successor Titus Flavius became the commander of the Roman army in Judea.

His goal was to quell the Jewish revolt, so he began the siege of Jerusalem with four legions, one of which was stationed on the Mount of Olives. Titus Flavius aimed to weaken the defenders’ food supplies by allowing Jewish pilgrims to enter Jerusalem, but also forbidding them to leave.

After many failed attempts to breach the city, the Roman soldiers eventually managed to sneak into the Antonia Fortress, which allowed them to attack the area of the Temple. The Temple was set alight during the fighting, and that tragic event is still commemorated by the Jews as a day of mourning. In the end the Roman army conquered the entire city, and many of its inhabitants were killed or enslaved.

A small number managed to flee and take refuge in the nearby Masada fortress, which the Romans also besieged later.

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