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Rome and Jerusalem: The Clash of Ancient Civilizations

Author(s): Martin Goodman

ISBN13: 9780375411854

ISBN10: 0375411852

Publisher: Doubleday

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  • A magisterial history of the titanic struggle between the Roman and Jewish worlds that led to the destruction of Jerusalem.

    In 70 C.E., after a four-year war, three Roman legions besieged and eventually devastated Jerusalem, destroying Herods magnificent Temple. Sixty years later, after further violent rebellions and the citys final destruction, Hadrian built the new city of Aelia Capitolina where Jerusalem had once stood. Jews were barred from entering its territory. They were taxed simply for being Jewish. They were forbidden to worship their god. They were wholly reviled.

    What brought about this conflict between the Romans and the subjects they had previously treated with tolerance? Martin Goodman, equally renowned in Jewish and in Roman studies, examines this conflict, its causes, and its consequences with unprecedented authority and thoroughness. He delineates the incompatibility between the cultural, political, and religious beliefs and practices of the two peoples. He explains how Romes interests were served by a policy of brutality against the Jews. He makes clear how the original Christians first distanced themselves from their origins, and then became increasingly hostile toward Jews as Christian influence spread within the empire. The book thus also offers an exceptional account of the origins of anti-Semitism, the history of which reverberates still.

    An indispensable book.



    Martin Goodman has divided his intellectual life between the Roman and Jewish worlds. He has edited both the Journal of Roman Studies and the Journal of Jewish Studies. He has taught Roman History at Birmingham and Oxford Universities, and is currently Professor of Jewish Studies at Oxford. He is a Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford, and of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies. In 1996 he was elected a Fellow of the British Academy. In 2002 he edited the Oxford Handbook of Jewish Studies, which was awarded a National Jewish Book Award for Scholarship. He lives with his family in Birmingham.
  • Martin Goodman



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Rome and Jerusalem: The Clash of Ancient Civilizations