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Roman Control

ESSENTIAL QUESTION What was the result of Jewish resistance to Roman rule?

The independence of the Jews did not last. After less than a century of self-rule, another foreign power took control.

Rome Conquers Judea In 63 B.C., the Romans conquered Judah, which the Romans called Judea. Roman rulers kept strict control over Judea. The Jews were allowed to have Jewish kings and religious leaders, but these kings and leaders were appointed by Rome.

Resistance to Roman Rule The people of Judea disagreed about how to deal with the Romans. Some wanted to cooperate. Others favored fighting to free Judea.

In A.D. 66, a group of Jews known as the Zealots led a rebellion in Judea against Roman authority in the province. Roman leaders responded by sending General Vespasian to crush the uprising.

Some Jews feared the Romans would destroy the Temple. A teacher named Yohanan ben Zaccai hurried to Vespasian’s camp. He asked the general to set aside a place for Jewish scholars to study. The school that ben Zaccai set up kept alive the traditions of the Jews.

Vespasian put his son Titus in charge of the Roman troops in Judea. In A.D. 70, Titus put down the rebellion, burning the second Temple and taking Jerusalem. Some Zealots fought on at Masada, a fortress overlooking the Dead Sea, but it was taken.

The Diaspora The destruction by the Romans of the second Temple and of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 hastened the movement of the Jews out of Judea. This movement of the Jews to other parts of the world, which had begun peacefully centuries earlier, is known as the Diaspora (dy•AS•puhr•uh), a Greek word meaning “scattered.” The Romans sent many Jews to Rome as slaves. Some Jews remained in Jerusalem.

What was the lasting effect of Jewish resistance to Roman rule?

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