Caesarea TheaterEusebius (260-339 C.E.), bishop of Caesarea, writing in the first quarter of the fourth century, relates the story of the revolt. According to him, Bar Kokhba was executed by the Romans and the building of the Roman temple in Jerusalem was a result of the war, rather than a cause. He notes that another consequence of the war was that henceforth the bishop of Jerusalem would be a Gentile Christian as the Romans prohibited Jews from living in the holy city.

6. The rebellion of the Jews once more progressed in character and extent, and Rufus, (133) the governor of Judaea, when military aid had been sent him by the Emperor, moved out against them, treating their madness without mercy. He destroyed in heaps thousands of men, women, and children, and, under the law of war, enslaved their land. The Jews were at that time led by a certain Bar Chochebas, which means “star,” a man who was murderous and a bandit, but relied on his name, as if dealing with slaves, and claimed to be a luminary who had come down to them from heaven and was magically enlightening those who were in misery. The war reached its height in the eighteenth year of the reign of Hadrian in Beththera, (134) which was a strong citadel not very far from Jerusalem; the siege lasted a long time before the rebels were driven to final destruction by famine and thirst and the instigator of their madness paid the penalty he deserved. Hadrian commanded that by a legal decree and ordinances the whole nation should be absolutely prevented from entering from henceforth even the district round Jerusalem, so that not even from a distance could it see its ancestral home. Ariston of Pella (135) tells the story. Thus when the city came to be bereft of the nation of the Jews, and its ancient inhabitants had completely perished, it was colonized by foreigners, and the Roman city which afterwards arose changed its name, and in the honor of the reigning Emperor Aelios Hadrian was called Aelia. The church, too, in it was composed of Gentiles, and after the Jewish bishops the first who was appointed to minister those there was Marcus.

132. Trans. K. Lake, Eusebius- The Ecclesiastical History (Loeb Classical Library; Cambridge- Harvard University Press, 1980), vol. I, pp. 311-13.

133. Tinneus Rufus, Roman governor of Judea at the outbreak of the Bar Kokhba Revolt in 132 C.E.

134. Hebrew, Betar.

135. A mid-second century Christian author whose work is not preserved.