Under Roman Rule
With the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, and especially after the Bar-Kokhba revolt of 132 – 135 CE, the Roman style asserted itself throughout the land. The exhibition halls housing material from the second to fourth centuries CE are full of mosaics, sarcophagi, statues, and pottery bearing the human form, and at times even depicting erotic scenes. One of the Museum’s world-renowned masterpieces is the expressive bronze bust of the Roman emperor Hadrian, found in a field not far from Beth Shean. At the same time, however, Jewish culture and learning continued to flourish in Palestine. At the beginning of the third century CE the Mishnah (the first written collection of the Oral Law) was compiled under Rabbi Judah the Patriarch, establishing a normative Judaism which dominated Jewish life for centuries, and still holds sway among many Jews today.