Thursday, September 27, 2012

Divided We Fall: The Roots of the Great Jewish Revolt against Rome

Via Ancient History

Pilate, Washing His Hands
Pilate, Washing His Hands (Photo credit: elycefeliz)
During the Roman occupation of Judea, lasting from 6-638 CE, the well-being of the Jewish population was hardly guaranteed. For the early part of this period, the Judean Jews were given a large degree of autonomy over their own affairs, and Rome allowed them considerable religious free- dom. However, between 66-73 CE (and again in 132-135 CE), the province of Judea engaged in active revolt against Roman rule. During this time, Judean society was factionalized, therefore the decision to revolt was not unanimous, but it was instead divided into three camps. A small minority, called the Kanaim (Zealots), was composed of radicals who actively cam- paigned for revolt from the outset of hostilities. The second group was the old aristocratic, Tzdokim (Sadducees), who wanted peace at all costs, and the last group was composed of the mainstream Prushim (Pharisees), who initially did not favor revolt, but who became active participants once the rebellion was underway.