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Destruction of the Second Temple, 70 CE

Destruction_and_Sack_of_the_Temple

The Destruction and Sack of Jerusalem, Nicholas Poussin, 1625-26

By Passover of 70 C.E. Titus had massed a large force around Jerusalem while Jewish factions inside the city were killing one another. As Titus’s battering rams began to strike, the factions finally came together. One by one the Romans breached the walls of the city, gaining control of the entire city except for the Temple area. By building siege ramparts, Titus was finally able to take the Temple Mount itself. According to Josephus, Titus planned to spare the Temple from destruction, but it was nonetheless engulfed in a conflagration and could not be saved. The ensuing slaughter of men, women, and children and the leveling of the city which followed dealt a lasting blow to Jewish life in the Land of Israel.

This was not the end of the war. While the Temple treasures and the rebel leaders were paraded in Rome, the Romans still had to mop up small bands of Jewish fighters who had taken refuge in other areas of the city, and to take several fortresses scattered through the land where rebel forces were holding out. With the capture of Masada in 73 C.E., the last resistance to Rome was crushed. As the Roman commemorative coins stated, “Judea had been captured.”

The Great Revolt, Lawrence H. Schiffman, From Text to Tradition, Ktav Publishing House, Hoboken, NJ, 1991.

See also-

Nicolas Poussin’s Destruction of Jerusalem, 1625-26

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