aelia_capitolina2In 132 CE, Hadrian renamed Jerusalem Aelia Capitolina and Judea as Philistia. The name Aelia Capitolina was in honor of Hadrian’s gens (or clan) name Aelia, and of the pagan god Jupiter Capitolinus. The city was rebuilt according to the Roman city plan, with streets on a grid plotted around a central thoroughfare.

Hadrian declared that “It is forbidden for all circumcised persons to enter or stay within the territory of Aelia Capitolina; any person contravening this prohibition shall be put to death.”

Roman enforcement of the Jewish banishment from the city continued until the fourth century CE. At the time, Jerusalem was not surrounded by walls, and the city was guarded by the Roman Tenth Legion which kept Jews out of it.

The transformation of Jerusalem into a Roman city was the cause of the Bar Kokhba Revolt of 132-135 CE.