Fronto on Bar Kochba

Simon ben Kosiba, surnamed Simon bar Kochba ("son of the star") was a Jewish Messiah. Between 132 and 135, he was the leader of the last resistance against the Romans. After the end of the disastrous rebellion, the rabbis called him "Bar Koziba", which means "son of the lie".

The following texts was written by a Roman author: a teacher of the emperor Marcus Aurelius. The interesting aspect about this letter, written in 162 CE, is that it presents the war against Bar Kochba as a defeat. The translation was made by C.R. Haines.

 


Fronto, Letter to Marcus Aurelius

[] The god who begat the great Roman race has no compunction in suffering us to faint at times and be defeated and wounded. [...] But always and everywhere he turned our sorrows into successes and our terrors into triumphs. But not to hark back too far into ancient times, I will take instances from your own family. [...] Under the rule of your grandfather Hadrian, what a significant number of soldiers were killed by the Jews.