The Jewish diaspora (‘dispersion’) is the term used to refer to Jews who are exiled from their homeland in Israel. Although many Jews were exiled prior to 587, the first major diaspora was in 586 BCE when the Babylonians conquered Judaea and deported much of the population into slavery. Several decades later many were repatriated. By the 1st century BCE, five million Jews lived outside Judaea, with most of them in the Roman Empire. However, after the sacking of Jerusalem in the first Roman-Jewish war in 70 CE, the Romans escalated their repression of the Jewish population by executing, enslaving and exiling them. Between the 1st and 3rd centuries CE, many Jews were exiled to distant provinces throughout the empire, in Europe, northern Africa and the Middle East. There were several revolts against the Romans, including the Bar Kokhba revolt (132–136 CE) where nationalist Jews demanded the restoration of their Judaean homeland.
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