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This is the story of the military operations and political machinations that created a great emptiness in Aretz Yisrael. One million Jews were slaughtered or driven into exile, the land denuded, the religious center destroyed. A civilization all but vanished. Yet a void, a great contraction of this magnitude, an implosion, creates its own waves.

Out of that space emerged stories and religions - ways of making meaning that wrestled with the fragments that were left, such as textual compendiums like the Jewish bible, and memories of holy teachers, men called Godly and even men called God, and memories of folk customs and legal traditions. In the blank canvas created by the destruction it was possible to imagine and remember new pasts, and find in them the origin stories of a new future. One of those stories ended up conquering the very empire that had seeded it, when Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire under Constantine some years later.

Meanwhile, Jewish mourning for the lost reality, and Jewish realization that there was no political or physical space for Jewish nationhood in the world of Rome, led the Rabbis of the Mishna to imagine an idealized neoplatonic Land of Israel and Jewish People, whose rules and customs could be kept alive, and could keep the Jewish people alive even without an actual Temple or Land.

And other echos followed. Without a Jewish polity, Arab peoples flowed into and multiplied in the land, creating more recent but, let us fiat, no less deeply felt attachments to the land. Why not accept the verdict of Rome and assume that the Jews were dead forever? And then, onward to the present, and the return of the Jewish people to its land, now the land of others too.

For me this book drives home just what a profound world historical event the destruction of the Jewish polity and its temple was. Not only was the Beit HaMikdash one of the grandest structures of the ancient world, but the provinces of Judea constituted a rich and complex civilization, of some one million individuals. Other subject peoples had been willing to pay homage to Rome, and retain their temples and religious practices within the Roman orbit. The Jews rebelled and would not bow. Perhaps they could not bow. Rome's verdict was equally uncompromising.

The resulting slaughter and cruelty were executed on a mind-boggling scale. Battles are detailed here with great precision, down to the names of commanders, and the lay of the land as specific legions march through still familiar valleys, as Jewish rebels attack from the hills, and as the Roman armies surround, besiege and ultimately destroy Jerusalem.

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The illustrations of siege engines and coins, the paintings of battles, and the maps and modern photographs of ruins, all bring home the tactile reality of a turning point, a foundational act of destruction, in Western history. May 21, Glyn rated it it was amazing. Another excellent addition to the Campaign series. Si Sheppard gives a clear, but necessarily brief, overview of the 8 year revolt in Judaea that saw the rise of a new Imperial Dynasty and birthed the Colisseum.

Following the fraught infighting among the Jews particularly in Jerusalem throughout the whole period is a complex issue and Sheppard makes matters as clear as it is reasonably possible to get. The Jewish Revolt was one of the bloodiest campaigns of the Roman Empire, fought when it was at Another excellent addition to the Campaign series. The Jewish Revolt was one of the bloodiest campaigns of the Roman Empire, fought when it was at the zenith of it's glory, and one we are particularly blessed to have an excellent first hand account for, in Flavius Josephus and his Bello Iudaica.


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Sheppard is necessarily reliant upon him but is not uncritical in his acceptance. Sheppard follows the standard template for this series and writes a commendable and readable precis not merely of the fighting but the poilitics and the later revolts including a brief precis of the much ignored Bar Kochba revolt under Hadrian. This has since got it's own title which I am currently reading.

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Feb 12, Igor rated it really liked it Shelves: classic-history. Chronological historic facts, pictures, artefacts and summaries. It is especially useful if read together with more details books.

Rethinking the Jewish War – October 2018

May 20, Alexander Rolfe rated it really liked it. I should have read this while reading Josephus, rather than after. The city diagrams are the most helpful part, although they don't show elevation well. Highly recommended for anyone tackling The Jewish War. Dec 28, Colin rated it liked it Shelves: war. I found it really interesting to get the facts on the fall of Jerusalem. I hope to re-read what Jesus said and see if this book illuminates his words.

Pretty clear description of events, but maybe I'd have liked a bigger map to sort out some the details. Allen Coleman rated it really liked it Mar 02, Andrew chamberlin rated it liked it Jun 19, Honneko rated it it was amazing Feb 03, Kristopher Swinson rated it liked it Jan 14, Mateen Greenway rated it it was amazing Feb 23, Eric Larsen rated it really liked it Oct 28, Brian rated it it was amazing Oct 26, Bruinrefugee rated it liked it Feb 15, Duane E Cox rated it it was amazing May 18, Joseph Farand rated it really liked it Dec 09, Mick rated it really liked it Sep 07, Suresh Ramaswamy rated it really liked it Oct 25, Ellis Lewis rated it it was amazing Jan 13, Ben rated it really liked it Dec 22, Heinz E.

Malon rated it really liked it Jul 05, Adam L. Bert Ricci rated it liked it Jul 26, Derrick Ranostaj rated it really liked it Jul 20, Garrett Olinde rated it really liked it Feb 19, Bennett Vig rated it really liked it Sep 02, Timothy rated it really liked it Dec 12, Ryan Argent rated it really liked it Jun 22, Nathan Trachta rated it really liked it Feb 13, Marcelo rated it liked it Nov 03, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

About Si Sheppard. Si Sheppard.


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Other books in the series. Osprey Campaign 1 - 10 of books. Books by Si Sheppard. Trivia About The Jewish Revolt No trivia or quizzes yet. Christians portrayed them as the people that had crucified God and so faced eternal punishment. We might as well ask whether a song or a mountain is reliable… [The modern] longing for safe, unskewed data is not only a mirage but a recipe for misery. It is organised as a series of topical studies rather than a march through the war year by year, but it manages pretty well to cover the waterfront.

Judaea was not a province but the ethnic zone around world-famous Jerusalem. Cestius Gallus to Jerusalem in autumn of 66 C. Certainly he seems not [to] have known about a province of Judaea or an independent rebel state. At any number of points, events could have unfolded very differently than they did.

Masada, Mason argues, was not the last stand of the most heroic Judaean rebels, but a refugee camp for families which operated on its own bandit economy and so, from a Roman perspective, needed eventually to be shuttered.

The Jewish Revolt AD 66–74 by Si Sheppard and Peter Dennis - Book - Read Online

There is one theme, however, on which, it seems to me, Mason mishandles his own method, namely, the religion of the Judaeans: their god, temple, priests, oracles, and so on. On the Judaean side of the conflict, Mason treats religion as an anomaly: extreme, irrational, and unusual, not to be invoked by way of explanation if simpler, more realist, more human factors e. But I would argue that for the Jews, as for ancient peoples generally though not for us moderns , nothing was more realist or more human than religion.

For just this reason, they often expressed other, ostensibly more realist ideas in the language of religion. By their lights, military intervention by the Parthians was not a different, simpler outcome than salvation by a god.

The former just was the latter. Interestingly, on the Roman side, Mason does allow for the tremendous importance of gods, priests, and sacrifices as social facts see , especially