The Jewish Revolts Against Rome, A.D. 66-135: A Military Analysis

Overview

During the first and second centuries A.D., the supremacy of the Roman Empire was aggressively challenged by three Jewish rebellions. The facts surrounding the initial uprising of A.D. 66-74 have been filtered through the biased accounts of Judeao-Roman historian Flavius Josephus. Primary information regarding the subsequent Diaspora Revolt (A.D. 115-117) and the Bar Kochba Rebellion (A.D. 132-135) is limited to fragmentary anecdotes emphasizing the religious implications of the...

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Overview

During the first and second centuries A.D., the supremacy of the Roman Empire was aggressively challenged by three Jewish rebellions. The facts surrounding the initial uprising of A.D. 66-74 have been filtered through the biased accounts of Judeao-Roman historian Flavius Josephus. Primary information regarding the subsequent Diaspora Revolt (A.D. 115-117) and the Bar Kochba Rebellion (A.D. 132-135) is limited to fragmentary anecdotes emphasizing the religious implications of the two insurrections.

In contrast, this analytical history focuses objectively on the military aspects of all three Judean uprisings. The events leading up to each rebellion are detailed, while the nine appendices cover such topics as the nature and number of the Jewish rebels and the factual reliability of the controversial Josephus. One appendix hypothesizes an alternative history of the war between Jerusalem and Rome.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786444793
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/23/2010
  • Series: History/Military
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

James J. Bloom began writing on military history as a consultant to the Historical Evaluation and Research Organization. His contributions have appeared in The International Military Encyclopedia and 100 Decisive Battles from Ancient Times to the Present. He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.

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Table of Contents

Preface and Introduction 1

I The First Revolt, A.D. 66-74

1 The First Revolt: Causation and Inevitability 16

2 Foundation for the Roman Involvement in Judaean Affairs 23

3 Herod the Great: Judaea Becomes a Roman Client State 35

4 Adding Insult to Injury: Roman Misrule and Escalating Disturbances in Judaea 47

5 Opening of the First Revolt 65

6 Jewish War Preparations, Preliminary Skirmishes 80

7 Josephus Assumes Command in Galilee: His Unstable Tenure and Challenges to His Authority 92

8 Vespasian Versus Josephus 114

9 The Naval/Amphibious War 129

10 Mopping Up in Galilee as Discord in the Jewish Camp Boils Over 135

11 Suspension of the Roman Campaign; Romans Lay Foundation for the Reduction of Jerusalem 148

12 Death Throes: The Final Phases 156

13 Aftermath of the First Revolt 174

II The Second and Third Revolts

14 Interwar State of Affairs, A.D. 73-115 179

15 Kitos (Quietus) War or Tumultu Iudaico (The Tumult of the Jews) 191

16 Bar-Kokhba Revolt 201

17 Subsequent Rebellions and Conclusions 217

Appendices

Appendix A Josephus's Reliability as a Source for the Military History of the First Jewish Revolt 221

Appendix B Disposition of Roman and Allied Forces, A.D. 66-73 227

Appendix C Jewish Combat Effectiveness in the First Revolt 230

Appendix D Factions, Parties and Patron Allegiance in the First Jewish War: John of Gischala Versus Flavius Josephus 233

Appendix E The Jewish Rebels-Zealots, Bandits, Sicarii, and Others: Organization, Motivation, Unit Strengths 238

Appendix F Josephus's Presumptive Life Story 241

Appendix G Estimating Numbers in the First Jewish Revolt 246

Appendix H Epic Stuff: Some Treatments of the First Revolt in Novels, Theater and Motion Pictures 250

Appendix I Judaea Invicta-The Revolt That Might Have Been: A Reflection on the Elements for an Alternative Outcome 259

Critical Bibliography 267

Complete Bibliography 273

Index 279

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  • Posted July 7, 2010

    If I say so myself--something for everyone

    I know--as the author I am probably biased. However, looking at my book through the eyes of the inquisitive layman interested in what was going on in the Middle East during the demise of Temple-based Judaism and the emergence of Christianity as a separate religion, I can say that it has broad appeal. Of course, in keeping with my own interests, it deals essentially with the military aspects of the three Jewish rebellions--one long war over a period of two centuries--but readers will find much more of interest to a broader readership here. Rather than continuing to indulge in self-serving accolades, I am appending the table of contents.

    The book has 286 pages, five maps, a critical and a complete bibliography,
    nine appendices discussing a broad range of issues and a comprehensive index.

    Preface and Introduction 1

    I. THE FIRST REVOLT, A.D. 66-74
    1. The First Revolt: Causation and Inevitability 16
    2. Foundation for the Roman Involvement in Judaean Affairs 23
    3. Herod the Great: Judaea Becomes a Roman Client State 35
    4. Adding Insult to Injury: Roman Misrule and Escalating Disturbances in Judaea 47
    5. Opening of the First Revolt 65
    6. Jewish War Preparations, Preliminary Skirmishes 80
    7. Josephus Assumes Command in Galilee: His Unstable Tenure and Challenges to His Authority 92
    8. Vespasian Versus Josephus 114
    9. The Naval/Amphibious War 129
    10. Mopping Up in Galilee as Discord in the Jewish Camp Boils Over 135
    11. Suspension of the Roman Campaign; Romans Lay Foundation for the Reduction of Jerusalem 148
    12. Death Throes: The Final Phases 156
    13. Aftermath of the First Revolt 174

    II. THE SECOND AND THIRD REVOLTS
    14. Interwar State of Affairs, A.D. 73-115 179
    15. Kitos (Quietus) War or Tumultu Iudaico (The Tumult of the Jews) 191
    16. Bar-Kokhba Revolt 201
    17. Subsequent Rebellions and Conclusions 217

    APPENDICES
    Appendix A. Josephus's Reliability as a Source for the Military History of the First Jewish Revolt 221
    Appendix B. Disposition of Roman and Allied Forces, A.D. 66-73 227
    Appendix C. Jewish Combat Effectiveness in the First Revolt 230
    Appendix D. Factions, Parties and Patron Allegiance in the First Jewish War: John of Gischala Versus Flavius Josephus 233
    Appendix E. The Jewish Rebels-Zealots, Bandits, Sicarii, and Others: Organization, Motivation, Unit Strengths 238
    Appendix F. Josephus's Presumptive Life Story 241
    Appendix G. Estimating Numbers in the First Jewish Revolt 246
    Appendix H. Epic Stuff: Some Treatments of the First Revolt in Novels, Theater and Motion Pictures 250
    Appendix I. Judaea Invicta-The Revolt That Might Have Been: A Reflection on the Elements for an Alternative Outcome 259

    Critical Bibliography 267
    Complete Bibliography 273
    Index 279

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