Archaeology, or archeology, is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. The archaeological record consists of artifacts, biofacts or ecofacts and cultural landscapes. Archaeology can be considered a branch of the humanities. In North America archaeology is a sub-field of anthropology, while in Europe it is viewed as either a discipline in its own right or a sub-field of other disciplines. Archaeologists study human prehistory and history, from the development of the first stone tools at Lomekwi in East Africa 3.3 million years ago up until recent decades. Archaeology is distinct from palaeontology, the study of fossil remains, it is important for learning about prehistoric societies, for whom there may be no written records to study. Prehistory includes over 99% of the human past, from the Paleolithic until the advent of literacy in societies across the world. Archaeology has various goals, which range from understanding culture history to reconstructing past lifeways to documenting and explaining changes in human societies through time.
The discipline involves surveying and analysis of data collected to learn more about the past. In broad scope, archaeology relies on cross-disciplinary research, it draws upon anthropology, art history, ethnology, geology, literary history, semiology, textual criticism, information sciences, statistics, paleography, paleontology and paleobotany. Archaeology developed out of antiquarianism in Europe during the 19th century, has since become a discipline practiced across the world. Archaeology has been used by nation-states to create particular visions of the past. Since its early development, various specific sub-disciplines of archaeology have developed, including maritime archaeology, feminist archaeology and archaeoastronomy, numerous different scientific techniques have been developed to aid archaeological investigation. Nonetheless, archaeologists face many problems, such as dealing with pseudoarchaeology, the looting of artifacts, a lack of public interest, opposition to the excavation of human remains.
The science of archaeology grew out of the older multi-disciplinary study known as antiquarianism. Antiquarians studied history with particular attention to ancient artifacts and manuscripts, as well as historical sites. Antiquarianism focused on the empirical evidence that existed for the understanding of the past, encapsulated in the motto of the 18th-century antiquary, Sir Richard Colt Hoare, "We speak from facts not theory". Tentative steps towards the systematization of archaeology as a science took place during the Enlightenment era in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. In Europe, philosophical interest in the remains of Greco-Roman civilization and the rediscovery of classical culture began in the late Middle Age. Flavio Biondo, an Italian Renaissance humanist historian, created a systematic guide to the ruins and topography of ancient Rome in the early 15th century, for which he has been called an early founder of archaeology. Antiquarians of the 16th century, including John Leland and William Camden, conducted surveys of the English countryside, drawing and interpreting the monuments that they encountered.
One of the first sites to undergo archaeological excavation was Stonehenge and other megalithic monuments in England. John Aubrey was a pioneer archaeologist who recorded numerous megalithic and other field monuments in southern England, he was ahead of his time in the analysis of his findings. He attempted to chart the chronological stylistic evolution of handwriting, medieval architecture and shield-shapes. Excavations were carried out by the Spanish military engineer Roque Joaquín de Alcubierre in the ancient towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum, both of, covered by ash during the Eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79; these excavations began in 1748 in Pompeii, while in Herculaneum they began in 1738. The discovery of entire towns, complete with utensils and human shapes, as well the unearthing of frescos, had a big impact throughout Europe. However, prior to the development of modern techniques, excavations tended to be haphazard; the father of archaeological excavation was William Cunnington. He undertook excavations in Wiltshire from around 1798.
Cunnington made meticulous recordings of Neolithic and Bronze Age barrows, the terms he used to categorize and describe them are still used by archaeologists today. One of the major achievements of 19th-century archaeology was the development of stratigraphy; the idea of overlapping strata tracing back to successive periods was borrowed from the new geological and paleontological work of scholars like William Smith, James Hutton and Charles Lyell. The application of stratigraphy to archaeology first took place with the excavations of prehistorical and Bronze Age sites. In the third and fourth decades of the 19th-century, archaeologists like Jacques Boucher de Perthes and Christian Jürgensen Thomsen began to put the artifacts they had found in chronological order. A major figure in the development of archaeology into a rigorous science was the army officer and ethnologist, Augustus Pitt Rivers, who began excavations on his land in England in the 1880s, his approach was methodical by the standards of the time, he is regarded as the first scientific archaeologist.
He arranged his artifacts by type or "typologically, within types by date or "chronologically"
Nero was the last Roman emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. He became Claudius' heir and successor. Like Claudius, Nero became emperor with the consent of the Praetorian Guard. Nero's mother, Agrippina the Younger, was implicated in Claudius' death and Nero's nomination as emperor, she dominated Nero's early life and decisions. Five years into his reign, he had her murdered. During the early years of his reign, Nero was content to be guided by his mother, his tutor Lucius Annaeus Seneca and his Praetorian prefect, Sextus Afranius Burrus; as time passed, he started to play a more active and independent role in government and foreign policy. During his reign, the redoubtable general Corbulo conducted a successful war and negotiated peace with the Parthian Empire, his general Suetonius Paulinus crushed a major revolt in Britain, led by the Iceni Queen Boudica. The Bosporan Kingdom was annexed to the empire, the First Jewish–Roman War began. Nero focused much of his attention on diplomacy and the cultural life of the empire, ordering theatres built and promoting athletic games.
He made public appearances as an actor, poet and charioteer. In the eyes of traditionalists, this undermined the dignity and authority of his person and office, his extravagant, empire-wide program of public and private works was funded by a rise in taxes, much resented by the middle and upper classes. Various plots against his life were revealed. In 68 AD Vindex, governor of the Gaulish territory Gallia Lugdunensis, rebelled, he was supported by the governor of Hispania Tarraconensis. Vindex's revolt failed in its immediate aim, but Nero fled Rome when Rome's discontented civil and military authorities chose Galba as emperor, he committed suicide on June 9, 68 AD, when he learned that he had been tried in absentia and condemned to death as a public enemy, making him the first Roman Emperor to commit suicide. His death ended the Julio-Claudian dynasty, sparking a brief period of civil wars known as the Year of the Four Emperors. Nero's rule is associated with tyranny and extravagance. Most Roman sources, such as Suetonius and Cassius Dio, offer overwhelmingly negative assessments of his personality and reign.
Suetonius tells that many Romans believed that the Great Fire of Rome was instigated by Nero to clear the way for his planned palatial complex, the Domus Aurea. According to Tacitus he was said to have seized Christians as scapegoats for the fire and burned them alive motivated not by public justice but by personal cruelty; some modern historians question the reliability of the ancient sources on Nero's tyrannical acts. A few sources paint Nero in a more favorable light. There is evidence of his popularity among the Roman commoners in the eastern provinces of the Empire, where a popular legend arose that Nero had not died and would return. At least three leaders of short-lived, failed rebellions presented themselves as "Nero reborn" to enlist popular support. Nero was born Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus on 15 December 37 AD in Antium, he was the only son of Agrippina the Younger. His maternal grandparents were Agrippina the Elder, he was Augustus' great-great grandson, descended from the first Emperor's only daughter, Julia.
The ancient biographer Suetonius, critical of Nero's ancestors, wrote that Augustus had reproached Nero's grandfather for his unseemly enjoyment of violent gladiator games. According to Jürgen Malitz, Suetonius tells that Nero's father was known to be "irascible and brutal", that both "enjoyed chariot races and theater performances to a degree not befitting their position."Nero's father, died in 40. A few years before his death, Domitius had been involved in a political scandal that, according to Malitz, "could have cost him his life if Tiberius had not died in the year 37." In the previous year, Nero's mother Agrippina had been caught up in a scandal of her own. Caligula's beloved sister Drusilla had died and Caligula began to feel threatened by his brother-in-law Marcus Aemilius Lepidus. Agrippina, suspected of adultery with her brother-in-law, was forced to carry the funerary urn after Lepidus' execution. Caligula banished his two surviving sisters and Julia Livilla, to a remote island in the Mediterranean Sea.
According to The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome, Agrippina was exiled for plotting to overthrow Caligula. Nero's inheritance was taken from him and he was sent to live with his paternal aunt Domitia Lepida, the mother of Claudius' third wife Valeria Messalina. Caligula's reign lasted from 37 until 41, he died from multiple stab wounds in January of 41 after being ambushed by his own Praetorian Guard on the Palatine Hill. Claudius succeeded Caligula as Emperor. Agrippina became his fourth wife. By February 49, she had persuaded Claudius to adopt her son Nero. After Nero's adoption, "Claudius" became part of his name: Nero Claudius Caesar Drusus Germanicus. Claudius had gold coins issued to mark the adoption. Classics professor Josiah Osgood has written that "the coins, through their distribution and imagery alike, showed that a new Leader was in the making." David Shotter noted that, despite events in Rome, Nero's step-brother Britannicus was more prominent in provincial coinages during the early 50s.
Nero formally entered public life as an adult in 51 AD—he was around 14 years old. When he turned 16, Nero married Claudius' daughter (
Textual criticism is a branch of textual scholarship and literary criticism, concerned with the identification of textual variants in either manuscripts or printed books. Scribes can make alterations. Given a manuscript copy, several or many copies, but not the original document, the textual critic might seek to reconstruct the original text as as possible; the same processes can be used to attempt to reconstruct intermediate versions, or recensions, of a document's transcription history. The objective of the textual critic's work is a better understanding of the creation and historical transmission of texts; this understanding may lead to the production of a "critical edition" containing a scholarly curated text. There are many approaches to textual criticism, notably eclecticism and copy-text editing. Quantitative techniques are used to determine the relationships between witnesses to a text, with methods from evolutionary biology appearing effective on a range of traditions. In some domains the phrase "lower criticism" is used to describe the contrast between textual criticism and "higher criticism", the endeavor to establish the authorship and place of composition of the original text.
Textual criticism has been practiced for over two thousand years. Early textual critics the librarians of Hellenistic Alexandria in the last two centuries BC, were concerned with preserving the works of antiquity, this continued through the medieval period into early modern times and the invention of the printing press. Textual criticism was an important aspect of the work of many Renaissance Humanists, such as Desiderius Erasmus, who edited the Greek New Testament, creating the Textus Receptus. In Italy, scholars such as Petrarch and Poggio Bracciolini collected and edited many Latin manuscripts, while a new spirit of critical enquiry was boosted by the attention to textual states, for example in the work of Lorenzo Valla on the purported Donation of Constantine. Many ancient works, such as the Bible and the Greek tragedies, survive in hundreds of copies, the relationship of each copy to the original may be unclear. Textual scholars have debated for centuries which sources are most derived from the original, hence which readings in those sources are correct.
Although biblical books that are letters, like Greek plays had one original, the question of whether some biblical books, like the Gospels had just one original has been discussed. Interest in applying textual criticism to the Quran has developed after the discovery of the Sana'a manuscripts in 1972, which date back to the 7–8th centuries. In the English language, the works of Shakespeare have been a fertile ground for textual criticism—both because the texts, as transmitted, contain a considerable amount of variation, because the effort and expense of producing superior editions of his works have always been viewed as worthwhile; the principles of textual criticism, although developed and refined for works of antiquity and the Bible, for Anglo-American Copy-Text editing, have been applied to many works, from contemporary texts to the earliest known written documents. Ranging from ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt to the twentieth century, textual criticism covers a period of about five millennia.
The basic problem, as described by Paul Maas, is as follows: We have no autograph manuscripts of the Greek and Roman classical writers and no copies which have been collated with the originals. The business of textual criticism is to produce a text as close as possible to the original. Maas comments further that "A dictation revised by the author must be regarded as equivalent to an autograph manuscript"; the lack of autograph manuscripts applies to many cultures other than Greek and Roman. In such a situation, a key objective becomes the identification of the first exemplar before any split in the tradition; that exemplar is known as the archetype. "If we succeed in establishing the text of, the constitutio is advanced. The textual critic's ultimate objective is the production of a "critical edition"; this contains the text that the author has determined most approximates the original, is accompanied by an apparatus criticus or critical apparatus. The critical apparatus presents the author's work in three parts: first, a list or description of the evidence that the editor used.
Before mechanical printing, literature was copied by hand, many variations were introduced by copyists. The age of printing made the scribal profession redundant. Printed editions, while less susceptible to the proliferation of variations to arise during manual transmission, are nonetheless not immune to introducing variations from an author's autograph. Instead of a scribe miscopying his source, a compositor or a printing shop may read or typeset a work in a way that differs from the autograph. Since each scribe or printer commits different errors, reconstruction of the lost original is aided by a selection of readings taken from many sources. An edited text that draws from multiple sources is said to be eclectic. In contrast to this approach, some
Book of Revelation
The Book of Revelation called the Revelation to John, the Apocalypse of John, The Revelation, or Revelation, the Revelation of Jesus Christ or the Apocalypse, is the final book of the New Testament, therefore the final book of the Christian Bible. It occupies a central place in Christian eschatology, its title is derived from the first word of the text, written in Koine Greek: apokalypsis, meaning "unveiling" or "revelation". The Book of Revelation is the only apocalyptic document in the New Testament canon; the author names himself in the text as "John", but his precise identity remains a point of academic debate. Second-century Christian writers such as Justin Martyr, Melito the bishop of Sardis, Clement of Alexandria and the author of the Muratorian fragment identify John the Apostle as the "John" of Revelation. Modern scholarship takes a different view, many consider that nothing can be known about the author except that he was a Christian prophet; some modern scholars characterise Revelation's author as a putative figure whom they call "John of Patmos".
The bulk of traditional sources date the book to the reign of the emperor Domitian, the evidence tends to confirm this. The book spans three literary genres: the epistolary, the apocalyptic, the prophetic, it begins with John, on the island of Patmos in the Aegean Sea, addressing a letter to the "Seven Churches of Asia". He describes a series of prophetic visions, including figures such as the Seven Headed Dragon, The Serpent and the Beast, culminating in the Second Coming of Jesus; the obscure and extravagant imagery has led to a wide variety of Christian interpretations: historicist interpretations see in Revelation a broad view of history. The name Revelation comes from the first word of the book in Koine Greek: ἀποκάλυψις, which means "unveiling" or "revelation"; the author names himself as "John", but modern scholars consider it unlikely that the author of Revelation wrote the Gospel of John. Pope Dionysius of Alexandria set out some of the evidence for this view as early as the second half of the third century, noting that the gospel and the epistles attributed to John, unlike Revelation, do not name their author, that the Greek of the gospel is stylistically correct and elegant while that of Revelation is neither.
Tradition ascribes the authorship to John the Apostle, but it seems unlikely that the apostle could have lived into the most time for the book's composition, the reign of Domitian, the author never states that he knew Jesus. All, known is that this John was a Jewish Christian prophet belonging to a group of such prophets, was accepted as such by the congregations to whom he addresses his letter, his precise identity remains unknown, modern scholarship refers to him as "John of Patmos". The book has been written about 95 AD; the date is suggested by clues in the visions pointing to the reign of the emperor Domitian. The beast with seven heads and the number 666 seem to allude directly to the emperor Nero, but this does not require that Revelation was written in the 60s, as there was a widespread belief in decades that Nero would return. Revelation is an apocalyptic prophecy with an epistolary introduction addressed to seven churches in the Roman province of Asia. "Apocalypse" means the revealing of divine mysteries.
The entire book constitutes the letter—the letters to the seven individual churches are introductions to the rest of the book, addressed to all seven. While the dominant genre is apocalyptic, the author sees himself as a Christian prophet: Revelation uses the word in various forms twenty-one times, more than any other New Testament book; the predominant view is that Revelation alludes to the Old Testament although it is difficult among scholars to agree on the exact number of allusions or the allusions themselves. Revelation quotes directly from the Old Testament, yet every verse alludes to or echoes older scriptures. Over half of the references stem from Daniel, Ezekiel and Isaiah, with Daniel providing the largest number in proportion to length and Ezekiel standing out as the most influential; because these references appear as allusions rather than as quotes, it is difficult to know whether the author used the Hebrew or the Greek version of the Hebrew scriptures, but he was often influenced by the Greek.
He frequently combines multiple references, again the allusional style makes it impossible to be certain to what extent he did so consciously. According to several studies including a review by Dr James Tabor and Dr J. Mass
Domitian was Roman emperor from 81 to 96. He was the younger brother of Titus and the son of Vespasian, his two predecessors on the throne, the last member of the Flavian dynasty. During his reign, the authoritarian nature of his rule put him at sharp odds with the senate, whose powers he drastically curtailed. Domitian had a minor and ceremonial role during the reigns of his father and brother. After the death of his brother, Domitian was declared emperor by the Praetorian Guard, his 15-year reign was the longest since that of Tiberius. As emperor, Domitian strengthened the economy by revaluing the Roman coinage, expanded the border defenses of the empire, initiated a massive building program to restore the damaged city of Rome. Significant wars were fought in Britain, where his general Agricola attempted to conquer Caledonia, in Dacia, where Domitian was unable to procure a decisive victory against king Decebalus. Domitian's government exhibited strong authoritarian characteristics. Religious and cultural propaganda fostered a cult of personality, by nominating himself perpetual censor, he sought to control public and private morals.
As a consequence, Domitian was popular with the people and army, but considered a tyrant by members of the Roman Senate. Domitian's reign came to an end in 96, he was succeeded the same day by his advisor Nerva. After his death, Domitian's memory was condemned to oblivion by the Roman Senate, while senatorial authors such as Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, Suetonius propagated the view of Domitian as a cruel and paranoid tyrant. Modern revisionists instead have characterized Domitian as a ruthless but efficient autocrat whose cultural and political programs provided the foundation of the peaceful second century. Domitian was born in Rome on 24 October 51, the youngest son of Titus Flavius Vespasianus—commonly known as Vespasian—and Flavia Domitilla Major, he had an older sister, Domitilla the Younger, brother named Titus Flavius Vespasianus. Decades of civil war during the 1st century BC had contributed to the demise of the old aristocracy of Rome, which a new Italian nobility replaced in prominence during the early part of the 1st century.
One such family, the Flavians, or gens Flavia, rose from relative obscurity to prominence in just four generations, acquiring wealth and status under the emperors of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Domitian's great-grandfather, Titus Flavius Petro, had served as a centurion under Pompey during Caesar's civil war, his military career ended in disgrace when he fled the battlefield at the Battle of Pharsalus in 48 BC. Petro managed to improve his status by marrying the wealthy Tertulla, whose fortune guaranteed the upward mobility of Petro's son Titus Flavius Sabinus I, Domitian's grandfather. Sabinus himself amassed further wealth and possible equestrian status through his services as tax collector in Asia and banker in Helvetia. By marrying Vespasia Polla he allied the Flavian family to the more prestigious gens Vespasia, ensuring the elevation of his sons Titus Flavius Sabinus II and Vespasian to senatorial rank; the political career of Vespasian included the offices of quaestor and praetor, culminated in a consulship in 51, the year of Domitian's birth.
As a military commander, Vespasian gained early renown by participating in the Roman invasion of Britain in 43. Ancient sources allege poverty for the Flavian family at the time of Domitian's upbringing claiming Vespasian had fallen into disrepute under the emperors Caligula and Nero. Modern history has refuted these claims, suggesting these stories circulated under Flavian rule as part of a propaganda campaign to diminish success under the less reputable Emperors of the Julio-Claudian dynasty and to maximize achievements under Emperor Claudius and his son Britannicus. By all appearances, the Flavians enjoyed high imperial favour throughout the 60s. While Titus received a court education in the company of Britannicus, Vespasian pursued a successful political and military career. Following a prolonged period of retirement during the 50s, he returned to public office under Nero, serving as proconsul of the Africa Province in 63, accompanying the emperor Nero during an official tour of Greece in 66.
That same year Jews from the Province of Judaea revolted against the Roman Empire, sparking what is now known as the First Jewish-Roman War. Vespasian was assigned to lead the Roman army against the insurgents, with Titus — who had completed his military education by this time — in charge of a legion. Of the three Flavian emperors, Domitian would rule the longest, despite the fact that his youth and early career were spent in the shadow of his older brother. Titus had gained military renown during the First Jewish–Roman War. After their father Vespasian became emperor in 69 following the civil war known as the Year of the Four Emperors, Titus held a great many offices, while Domitian received honours, but no responsibilities. By the time he was 16 years old, Domitian's mother and sister had long since died, while his father and brother were continuously active in the Roman military, commanding armies in Germania and Judaea. For Domitian, this meant that a significant part of his adolescence was spent in the absence of his near relatives.
During the Jewish–Roman wars, he was taken under the care of his uncle Titus Flavius Sabinus II, at the time serving as city prefect of Rome.
Christianity is an Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, as described in the New Testament. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Old Testament. Depending on the specific denomination of Christianity, practices may include baptism, prayer, confirmation, burial rites, marriage rites and the religious education of children. Most denominations hold regular group worship services. Christianity developed during the 1st century CE as a Jewish Christian sect of Second Temple Judaism, it soon attracted Gentile God-fearers, which lead to a departure from Jewish customs, the establishment of Christianity as an independent religion. During the first centuries of its existence Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire, to Ethiopia and some parts of Asia. Constantine the Great decriminalized it via the Edict of Milan; the First Council of Nicaea established a uniform set of beliefs across the Roman Empire.
By 380, the Roman Empire designated Christianity as the state religion. The period of the first seven ecumenical councils is sometimes referred to as the Great Church, the united full communion of the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy, before their schisms. Oriental Orthodoxy split after the Council of Chalcedon over differences in Christology; the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church separated in the East–West Schism over the authority of the Pope. In 1521, Protestants split from the Catholic Church in the Protestant Reformation over Papal primacy, the nature of salvation, other ecclesiological and theological disputes. Following the Age of Discovery, Christianity was spread into the Americas, sub-Saharan Africa, the rest of the world via missionary work and colonization. There are 2.3 billion Christians in the world, or 31.4% of the global population. Today, the four largest branches of Christianity are the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and Oriental Orthodoxy.
Christianity and Christian ethics have played a prominent role in the development of Western civilization around Europe during late antiquity and the Middle Ages. In the New Testament, the names by which the disciples were known among themselves were "brethren", "the faithful", "elect", "saints" and "believers". Early Jewish Christians referred to themselves as'The Way' coming from Isaiah 40:3, "prepare the way of the Lord." According to Acts 11:26, the term "Christian" was first used in reference to Jesus's disciples in the city of Antioch, meaning "followers of Christ," by the non-Jewish inhabitants of Antioch. The earliest recorded use of the term "Christianity" was by Ignatius of Antioch, in around 100 AD. While Christians worldwide share basic convcitions, there are differences of interpretations and opinions of the Bible and sacred traditions on which Christianity is based. Concise doctrinal statements or confessions of religious beliefs are known as creeds, they began as baptismal formulae and were expanded during the Christological controversies of the 4th and 5th centuries to become statements of faith.
The Apostles' Creed is the most accepted statement of the articles of Christian faith. It is used by a number of Christian denominations for both liturgical and catechetical purposes, most visibly by liturgical churches of Western Christian tradition, including the Latin Church of the Catholic Church, Lutheranism and Western Rite Orthodoxy, it is used by Presbyterians and Congregationalists. This particular creed was developed between the 9th centuries, its central doctrines are those of God the Creator. Each of the doctrines found in this creed can be traced to statements current in the apostolic period; the creed was used as a summary of Christian doctrine for baptismal candidates in the churches of Rome. Its main points include: Belief in God the Father, Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the Holy Spirit The death, descent into hell and ascension of Christ The holiness of the Church and the communion of saints Christ's second coming, the Day of Judgement and salvation of the faithful; the Nicene Creed was formulated in response to Arianism, at the Councils of Nicaea and Constantinople in 325 and 381 and ratified as the universal creed of Christendom by the First Council of Ephesus in 431.
The Chalcedonian Definition, or Creed of Chalcedon, developed at the Council of Chalcedon in 451, though rejected by the Oriental Orthodox churches, taught Christ "to be acknowledged in two natures, unchangeably, inseparably": one divine and one human, that both natures, while perfect in themselves, are also united into one person. The Athanasian Creed, received in the Western Church as having the same status as the Nicene and Chalcedonian, says: "We worship one God in Trinity, Trinity in Unity. Many evangelical Protestants reject creeds as definitive statements of faith while agreeing with some or all of the substance of the creeds. Most Baptists do not use creeds "in that they have not sought to establish binding
Siege of Jerusalem (70 CE)
The Siege of Jerusalem in the year 70 CE was the decisive event of the First Jewish–Roman War, in which the Roman army captured the city of Jerusalem and destroyed both the city and its Temple. The Roman army, led by the future Emperor Titus, with Tiberius Julius Alexander as his second-in-command and conquered the city of Jerusalem, controlled by Judean rebel factions since 66 CE, following the Jerusalem riots of 66, when the Judean provisional government was formed in Jerusalem; the siege of the city began on 14 April 70 CE, three days before the beginning of Passover that year. The siege lasted for over four months, with the battle for the city lasting for close to another week after that; the siege ended on 30 August 70 CE, with the burning and destruction of the Second Temple, the Romans entered and sacked the Lower City. The destruction of both the First and Second Temples is still mourned annually during the Jewish fast on Tisha B'Av; the Arch of Titus, celebrating the Roman sack of Jerusalem and the Temple, still stands in Rome.
The conquest of the city was complete on 8 September 70 CE. Despite early successes in repelling the Roman sieges, the Zealots fought amongst themselves, they lacked proper leadership, resulting in poor discipline and preparation for the battles that were to follow. At one point they destroyed the food stocks in the city, a drastic measure thought to have been undertaken in order to enlist a merciful God's intervention on behalf of the besieged Jews, or as a stratagem to make the defenders more desperate, supposing, necessary in order to repel the Roman army. Titus began his siege a few days before Passover, on 14 April, surrounding the city with three legions on the western side and a fourth on the Mount of Olives, to the east. If the reference in his Jewish War at 6:421 is to Titus' siege, though difficulties exist with its interpretation at the time, according to Josephus, Jerusalem was thronged with many people who had come to celebrate Passover; the thrust of the siege began in the west at the Third Wall, north of the Jaffa Gate.
By May, this was breached and the Second Wall was taken shortly afterwards, leaving the defenders in possession of the Temple and the upper and lower city. The Jewish defenders were split into factions: John of Gischala's group murdered another faction leader, Eleazar ben Simon, whose men were entrenched in the forecourts of the Temple; the enmities between John of Gischala and Simon bar Giora were papered over only when the Roman siege engineers began to erect ramparts. Titus had a wall built to girdle the city in order to starve out the population more effectively. After several failed attempts to breach or scale the walls of the Fortress of Antonia, the Romans launched a secret attack, overwhelming the sleeping Zealots and taking the fortress by late July. After Jewish allies killed a number of Roman soldiers, Titus sent Josephus, the Jewish historian, to negotiate with the defenders. Titus was captured during this sudden attack, but escaped. Overlooking the Temple compound, the fortress provided a perfect point from which to attack the Temple itself.
Battering rams made little progress, but the fighting itself set the walls on fire. Destroying the Temple was not among Titus' goals due in large part to the massive expansions done by Herod the Great mere decades earlier. Titus had wanted to seize it and transform it into a temple dedicated to the Roman Emperor and the Roman pantheon. However, the fire spread and was soon out of control; the Temple was captured and destroyed on 9/10 Tisha B'Av, at the end of August, the flames spread into the residential sections of the city. Josephus described the scene: As the legions charged in, neither persuasion nor threat could check their impetuosity: passion alone was in command. Crowded together around the entrances many were trampled by their friends, many fell among the still hot and smoking ruins of the colonnades and died as miserably as the defeated; as they neared the Sanctuary they pretended not to hear Caesar's commands and urged the men in front to throw in more firebrands. The partisans were no longer in a position to help.
Most of the victims were peaceful citizens and unarmed, butchered wherever they were caught. Round the Altar the heaps of corpses grew higher and higher, while down the Sanctuary steps poured a river of blood and the bodies of those killed at the top slithered to the bottom. Josephus's account absolves Titus of any culpability for the destruction of the Temple, but this may reflect his desire to procure favor with the Flavian dynasty; the Roman legions crushed the remaining Jewish resistance. Some of the remaining Jews escaped through hidden underground tunnels and sewers, while others made a final stand in the Upper City; this defense halted the Roman advance as they had to construct siege towers to assail the remaining Jews. Herod's Palace fell on 7 September, the city was under Roman control by 8 September; the Romans continued to pursue those. The account of Josephus described Titus as moderate in his approach and, after conferring with others, ordering that the 500-year-old Temple be spared.
According to Josephus, it was the Jews who first used fire in the Northwest approach to the Temple to try and stop Roman advances. Only did Roman soldiers set fire to an apartment adjacent to the Temple, a conflagration which the Jews subsequently made worse. Josephus had acted as a mediator for the Romans a