The Fall of Jerusalem, AD 70

S.G.F. Brandon describes how the Roman conquest of Jerusalem marked a crisis in the early development of Christianity, and paved the way for a general acceptance of the Pauline message.

During the excavations at Khirbet Quamran, on the site of the settlement of the Jewish community whose library is now known as the Dead Sea Scrolls, tragic evidence was found of its disastrous end. Broken walls, arrow-heads and signs of burning witnessed to the victorious assault of the troops of the Xth legion, who in June a.d. 68 under the Roman general Vespasian wiped out Jewish resistance in the area east of Jerusalem.

Two years later on August 10th, the Roman legionaries, under Vespasian’s son Titus, stormed the last defences of the great Temple at Jerusalem and, with the fall of the insurgent capital, the four years of heroic, but fanatical, resistance which the small Jewish nation had offered to the might of Imperial Rome were brought to a catastrophic end.

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