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Model of Jerusalem in c.30 CE. Orientalis, Nijmegen (Netherlands). Photo Jona Lendering.
Model of Jerusalem in c.30 CE (Orientalis, Nijmegen)
Jerusalem: capital of Judah or Judea, sacred city of Judaism.



  • "David's City": between Kidron valley with Gihon springs and Tyropoeon valley
  • In the south Hinnom valley
  • In the north Mount Moriah, with temple
  • In the east Mount of Olives; in the west Mount Zion, the online home of Ancient Warfare magazine
Siloam Inscription. Arkeoloji Müzesi, Istanbul (Turkey). Photo Marco Prins.
Siloam Inscription (Arkeoloji Müzesi, Istanbul)

Bronze Age

  • First human occupation end of fourth millennium
  • New foundation c.1800; wall
  • King Abdi-Hepa of U-ru-sa-lim mentioned in the Amarna texts (letter to Akhenaten)
  • Tunnel to Gihon
  • According to the Bible (Joshua 15.8 and 18.16) between tribes of Judah and Benjamin
  • According to the Bible (2 Samuel 5.6-9), captured by David

Catapult stones. Citadel of Jerusalem. Photo Marco Prins.
Catapult stones (Citadel of Jerusalem)

Iron Age: capital of Judah

  • Solomon builds the temple
  • From this age several Phoenician-style tombs
  • Two kingdoms
  • Not mentioned by Shoshenq; looted, according to the Bible
  • After the fall of Samaria, many refugees; Siloam; expansion to the west
  • Siege by Assyrian king Sennacherib in 701 bought off
  • 587 captured by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar; city apparently abandoned (an earlier deportation: text)

Menorah from Jerusalem. Photo Jona Lendering.
Menorah from Jerusalem (Hecht Museum, Haifa)

Second Temple Age

  • Cyrus defeats the Babylonians; Jews at some point returned to Judah
  • Ezra
  • Nehemia rebuilds the walls (mid fifth-century?)
  • Fortress: Bira
  • After Alexander, who seizes Judah in 332 (text), the city part of the Ptolemaic Empire
  • After 200 BCE, city in Seleucid Empire (high priest Simon the Just)
  • Conflicts within the aristocracy; crisis during the reign of Antiochus IV Epiphanes; second citadel (Akra); rise of the Hasmonaeans
  • Akra demolished; Bira renamed Baris
  • Expansion to the west
  • 63 Captured by Pompey
  • After 40 Captured by Herod the Great; large construction works; splendid temple (inscription), temple terrace, western palace, and so on; Baris renamed Antonia
  • c.30 Death of Jesus
  • James the Just is leader of the Christians of Jerusalem
  • Herod Agrippa: new wall
  • City destroyed by Romans in 70

Model of the Temple (left) and Antonia (right). Orientalis, Heiliglandstichting (Netherlands). Photo Jona Lendering. Temple Inscription. Arkeoloji Müzesi, Istanbul (Turkey). Photo Marco Prins.
Burned house, Jerusalem. Photo Marco Prins. Tile of X Fretensis. Davidson Center, Jerusalem (Israel). Photo Marco Prins.
Temple and Antonia (Orientalis, Nijmegen) Inscription from the Temple (Arkeoloji Müzesi, Istanbul) Burned house
Tile of X Fretensis (Davidson Center)
The Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher. Photo Marco Prins.
Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher

Aelia Capitolina

  • Jerusalem base of X Fretensis
  • 130 Rebuilt by Hadrian; temples of Aphrodite and Jupiter Optimus Maximus on Christian and Jewish sacred sites; cardo; the new name is Aelia Capitolina; the city has the rank of colonia (Ulpian, Digests, 50.15.1).
  • 132-136 Bar Kochba
  • Constantine converts to Christianity

The Dome of the Rock. Photo Marco Prins.
Dome of th Rock

Late Antiquity

  • Christian churches (Holy Sepulcher) and monasteries; Helen finds the True Cross
  • Important diocese (patriarchate 451 Chalcedon)
  • Byzantine identifications of holy places
  • Justinian's new buildings (Procopius)
  • 614 captured by the Persian general Shahr-Baraz (fighting for king Khusrau II in the big war between the Sasanian and Byzantine Empire); True Cross seized
  • 630 recaptured by the Byzantines; True Cross returned
  • 636 Battle of the Yarmuk
  • 638 Jerusalem Islamic
  • 689-691 Dome of the Rock

This page was written to offer background information
to the real articles on Livius.Org. One day, this webpage will be
improved. A list of completed articles can be found here.
© Jona Lendering for
Livius.Org, 2012
Revision: 16 Aug. 2012
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