Bar Kokhba’s Revolt 132–135 CE


Map Code: Ax01134

The revolt of 132 CE was the third major Roman-Jewish conflict. It arose after the Romans began enforcing laws that restricted Jewish religious practices, such as circumcision, and started construction of a Roman city overlaying ancient Jerusalem. Jewish leader Simon Bar Kokhba quickly amassed a large following after being hailed as the new messiah. In 132 CE he began a revolt that pushed the Romans out of much of Judaea whilst killing many Jewish Christians. Bar Kokhba was able to establish a short-lived Jewish state using his initial numerical advantage over the Romans. In 133 Hadrian posted Julius Severus, one of his most trusted generals, to Judea with twelve legions. The Jews fought as guerrillas, which was costly for both sides, but were effectively crushed by 136 CE. The revolt became a defining event in Jewish history, resulting in ejection of Jews from Jerusalem and even greater persecution in an attempt to discourage future revolts.

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