63 BCE – 324 CE
The Roman Period lasted about four hundred years and was replete with events of major significance for the history of Western culture and the fate of the Jewish people. It begins with the conquest of the land by Pompey in 63 BCE and the consolidation of Roman culture in the region; continues with the relentless struggles that led to the loss of Judean independence; and ends with the entrenchment of Christianity in the Empire and the Land.
The Roman conqueror brought with him many cultural, political, and technological innovations. These blended in with the fabric of local life, but frequently fomented unrest.
The Great Revolt, also called the Jewish War (66–70 CE), and the ensuing destruction were a turning point in the history of the Jewish people. The Tenth Roman Legion was permanently stationed in Judea, and its camp was built over the ruins of Jerusalem.
Two generations later, flying in the face of reason, the Jews once again rebelled against the Romans under the leadership of Bar Kokhba (132–135 CE). The revolt was a complete failure, bringing about destruction so great that in its wake any chance for Jewish independence was lost, and all hope of redemption was delayed until time hereafter.
See the department curators on the senior staff list.