Photo Essay: Jerusalem in the Roman Period

Ryan Abrecht, UC Santa Barbara


Oxford Biblical Studies | Photo Essay: Jerusalem in the Roman Period
The Siege and Destruction of Jerusalem (David Roberts, 1850)
The Siege and Destruction of Jerusalem (David Roberts, 1850)

From the first century BCE to the seventh century CE, Jerusalem's relationship with the Roman Empire was frequently punctuated by misunderstanding, retribution, and violence. The city played a central role in two major Jewish revolts against Rome, culminating in the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE and the eventual replacement of the City of David with the Roman colony of Aelia Capitolina in 135. Despite this contentious history, under Roman rule Jerusalem also became the center of an emerging new religion—Christianity—that irrevocably altered the spiritual life of the Empire and the course of world history. The city first known to the Romans as a troublesome backwater ended up rivaling Rome itself in influence, a legacy which continues to the present day.


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