The First Jewish Revolt 66–68 CE


Map Code: Ax01075

The Jewish rebellion began in Caesarea, and quickly escalated to full-scale rebellion, after the Roman governor raided the treasury of the Temple in Jerusalem to recoup unpaid taxes. With the puppet king, Herod Agrippa, fleeing the city, the Syrian legate, Cestius Gallus, was summoned south to quell the uprising. His campaign began as a routine Roman pacification: the inhabitants of Caesarea were massacred as punishment for instigating the revolt; he then moved down the coast, diverting to take Sepphoris and Narbata. After moving inland his army was ambushed in a narrow canyon at Beth-horon, and all but annihilated. The Romans now realized they had a serious situation on their hands, and sent the experienced, if cautious, General Vespasian with four legions to end the revolt. Landing in Ptolemais, he systematically subdued the north, capturing the strongholds of Gamala and Jotapata, and driving thousands of displaced rebels south towards Jerusalem.

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