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Hadrian Rome and the Jews, Emperor

Around 118 A.D., the Jewish people were tired of their living conditions under the Roman rule. Many of them were driven out of their homeland and relocated to various areas within the Roman Empire. There were other Jews who became slaves and had to serve masters all over the world. The biggest blow to the Jewish people came in the form of religious persecution and not being able to worship God according to their belief system. Eventually, they rebelled against Rome from 132 to 135 AD that is where it appears on the Bible Timeline Poster with World history.

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Emporer Hadrian

Emperor Hadrian and the Jews
Emperor Hadrian took power in 118 A.D. and when he came to power, he promised the Jews that they could rebuild their temple and return to their homeland in Jerusalem. Most of the Jews were previously dispelled from their home land in 70 A.D. So when Hadrian made this promise they got excited about the thought of returning home. However, Hadrian tricked the Jews and never had any intention of fulfilling his promise. He outraged them to the point of rebellion when he created a law that forbade them from performing circumcisions.

The Jews Prepare for War
The Jews could no longer take being treated inhumanely, so they started to secretly prepare for war. They started to build, and stock hideouts in caves and they started to amass weapons in secrecy. This went on for five years. Word of this rebellion spread to different Jewish communities around the empire, and many Jews started to prepare in the same manner. They had a leader named Joshua ben Hananiah, who kept them from rebelling until the time was right. Another leader named Shimon Bar Kokhba then became the most important leader of the movement. He then started to send his forces around the empire to terrorize Roman forces. Hadrian stayed in Jerusalem for a short while because he wanted to turn the city into a new metropolis called Aelia. The Jews did not revolt while he was there but when he left they decided to start the war.

The Jews Rebel
Around 132 A.D., the Jews attacked the Romans after the emperor decided to harass the Jews even further. The Jews spread the word to rebel to other cities and the Jews all over the empire began to revolt. Cyrene Libya was one of the most active places where the Jews were attacking the Greeks and Romans. They were killing and massacring many people, and Hadrian had no choice but to send his forces to this area and in Alexandria, Egypt to stop them.

The Jews initially defeated the Romans in Syria and other key areas. They primarily took over fortresses and cities that would be their undoing in the end. The Romans were losing a lot of ground and could not contain the fury of the Jewish rebels so they decided to capture as many fortresses and cities as they could from the Jews. When they did, they ended up cutting off important supplies and food from the Jewish rebels.

The Jews slowly starved, and they could no longer continue to fight without food and supplies. They staged a final battle in Bethar near the headquarters of Bar Kokhba. The Romans surrounded the Jews in this area, and the final showdown began. Every Jew who was present at Bar Kokhba lost their life during this battle. The Romans suffered heavy casualties and were extremely angry about the situation. The remaining Jewish people could not bury their country men for at least 6 days after the conflict ended.

When the war was finished, Hadrian immediately set out to finish off any last resistance. He then exiled and deported Jews to different parts of the empire. He passed many anti-Jewish laws and changed the name of Judea to Syria-Palestine. Though Jerusalem is still remembered by its primary name, Hadrian changed its name to Aelia Capitolina. The few Jews that remained in the city were fortunate enough to still call this place home even though they could no longer worship or live as they pleased.