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400px-Ercole de Roberti Destruction of Jerusalem Fighting Fleeing Marching Slaying Burning Chemical reactions b

15th century painting by Ercole de Roberti depicting the Siege of Jerusalem in 70 CE

In the year 66 CE the Jewish people of Israel rebelled against the Roman Empire. The Jews fought fiercely against the Romans but were eventually overwelmed by the strengh of the armies of Rome. By 70 CE the Romans laid seige to Jerusalem, just as the Babylonians and previous invaders had done over a thousand years earlier.

Soon Roman legions invaded the holy city under the command of Titus, the future Roman Empire. Despite resistence by the Jewish defenders, they were defeated. As the fighting continued to Mount Moriah, the Temple Mount a Roman soldier threw a burning flame into the Temple of Herod which started a fire. Titus did not want to destroy the Temple but instead he wanted to the transform it into a new temple, dedicated to the Roman Emperor. The fire soon got out of control and the outer Temple walls were destroyed and their stones were thrown to the streets below by the Roman soldiers. Most of the Temple expansions King Herod the Great had made years earlier were also destroyed, including Robinson's Arch. The fire in the Temple also destroyed many other building in Jerusalem.

The Temple treasures were stolen by the Romans, even the menorah was stolen and taken back to Rome. By September 7, the city was once again back in Roman hands. The Temple lay in ruins, almost all the Temple walls were destroyed. One small wall, known as the Western Wall, was left standing as the Roma
220px-NinthAvStonesWesternWall

The stones of the Temple still remain were they were thrown in 70 CE.

ns thought it was too insignificent to destroy. It still stands to this day as one of the most important locations in Judaism. Almost all of the Jews were exiled from Jerusalem and many became slaves. Very few Jews were left in the city and according to Josephus, a Jew who worked for the Romans, 1,100,000 people were killed during the seige and that most of them were Jewish. A small numbers of Jews who did still remain in the city had to live in the ruins and Jerusalem's Jewish population slowly declined throughout the years to come.

Many Jews who were not exiled yet fled to Masada and held out for three more years fighting against the Roman Empire but in the end they were defeated and the nation of Israel would be no more.

The Arch of Titus in Rome bears many inscriptions and engraved pictures. Some include images of victorious Roman soldiers marching back to Rome carrying the Temple Treasures.

Today Jerusalem still retains the scar of the siege, the stones from the Temple still remain where they were ever since the Roman soldiers threw them down on to the streets, some still bear the burn marks. Many Jews pray and weep at the Western Wall, hoping and praying that the Temple will be rebuilt.

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