Roman-Jewish Wars: name of several military engagements between the Roman Republic (later: Empire) and various groups of Jews between 63 BCE and 136 CE.
Chronology of the Jewish War, 66-70
The Jewish historian Flavius Josephus offers a consistent chronology of the Jewish War that started in 66 and culminated in the destruction of the temple in 70. However, there is a problem. He uses the Macedonian names for the months, but does not say what he means. There are three possibilities:
- He uses the normal Macedonian calendar, which we can corroborate with the calendar of Tyre or Antioch;
- He uses Macedonian names for the Julian months of the Roman calendar (e.g., 1 Panemus = 1 July);
- He uses the Babylonian-Judaean lunar calendar (e.g., Artemisius = Iyar).
At first sight, it seems that Josephus used all systems but preferred the Roman one (which suggests that he had access to a Roman military source), except for the period before the legions arrived in Judaea and for Jewish liturgical dates.
This looks like a plausible solution, but is in fact too simple, because it implies that the killing of the emperor Vitellius (20 December 69) was recorded by the Romans before it actually happened.
In the following table, you will find a comparison. Preferred dates bold; certain dates red; religious festivals green; contemporary events (Year of the Four Emperors; Batavian revolt) here.
|JW, 2.284||Artemisius||19 May-18 June||May||15 May-12 June||Beginning of rebellion|
|JW, 2.315||16 Artemisius||3 June||16 May||31 May||Unrest in Jerusalem|
|JW, 2.430||15 Lous||3 September||15 August||27 August||Antonia attacked|
|JW, 2.440||6 Gorpaeus||24 September||6 September||15 September||Palace besieged|
|JW, 2.515||15-23 Tishri||20-28 September||Festival of Tabernacles; Cestius in Lydda|
|JW, 2.528||30 Hyperberetaeus||16 November||20 October||9 November||XII Fulminata attacks|
|JW, 2.555||8 Dius||25 November||8 November||15 November||XII Fulminata defeated|
|JW, 3.142||17 Artemisius||4 June||17 May||21 May||Roman advance-guard at Jotapata|
|id.||21 Artemisius||8 June||21 May||24 May||Josephus at Jotapata|
|JW, 3.145||22 Artemisius||9 June||22 May||25 May||Vespasian arrives at Jotapata|
|JW, 3.282||20 Daesius||6 July||20 June||21 June||Roman attack repulsed|
|JW, 3.306||25 Daesius||13 July||25 June||26 June||Fall of Japha|
|JW, 3.315||28 Daesius||15 July||27 June||28 June||Fall of Gerizim|
|JW, 3.316||1 Panemus||20 July||1 July||2 July||Fall of Jotapata|
|JW, 3.409||4 Panemus||23 July||4 July||5 July||Vespasian at Ptolemais|
|JW, 3.542||8 Gorpaeus||26 September||8 September||6 September||Fall of Tarichaeae|
|JW, 4.69, 83||23 Hyperberetaeus||9 November||23 October||21 October||Fall of Gamala|
|JW, 4.413||4 Dystrus||21 March||4 March||26 February||Fall of Gadara|
|JW, 4.449||2 Daesius||20 June||2 June||24 May||Vespasian at Corea|
|JW, 4.450||3 Daesius||21 June||3 June||25 May||Vespasian at Jericho|
|JW, 4.550||5 Daesius||23 June||5 June||13 June||Vespasian invades Judaea|
|JW, 4.577||Xanthicus||18 April-18 May||April||12 April-10 May||Simon in Jerusalem|
|Tac., Hist. 2.79||-||-||3 July||-||Vespasian proclaimed emperor|
|JW, 4.654||3 Apellaeus||20 December||3 December||8 December||Death of Vitellius|
|JW, 5.99||14 Xanthicus||1 May||14 April||14 April||Passover; John enters temple|
|JW, 5.133, 567||14 Xanthicus||1 May||14 April||14 April||Titus encamps against Psephinus|
|JW, 5.302||7 Artemisius||25 May||7 May||7 May||First wall taken|
|JW, 5.466||12 Artemisius||30 May||12 May||12 May||Siege works building|
|id.||29 Artemisius||15 June||29 May||29 May||Works finished|
|JW, 6.22||1 Panemus||20 July||1 July||28 June||Jewish sally|
|JW, 6.67||3 Panemus||22 July||3 July||30 June||Antonia attacked|
|JW, 6.68||5 Panemus||24 July||5 July||2 July||Antonia falls|
|JW, 6.94||17 Panemus||5 August||17 July||14 July||End of daily sacrifice|
|JW, 6.166||24 Panemus||12 August||24 July||21 July||Romans fire portico|
|JW, 6.177||27 Panemus||15 August||27 July||24 July||Western portico burns|
|JW, 6.220||8 Lous||27 August||8 August||4 August||Earthworks complete|
|JW, 6.236||9 Lous||28 August||9 August||5 August||Roman council of war|
|JW, 6.250||10 Lous||29 August||10 August||6 August||Temple burns|
|JW, 6.374||20 Lous||8 September||20 August||16 August||Siege of upper city|
|JW, 6.392||7 Gorpaeus||25 September||7 September||1 September||Upper city attacked|
|JW, 6.407||8 Gorpaeus||26 September||8 September||2 September||Fall of Jerusalem|
|JW, 7.401||15 Xanthicus||3 May||15 April||31 March||Fall of Masada|
Flavius Josephus does not mention the year in which Masada fell. Most scholars have assumed 73, but archaeologists have discovered coins of that year on top of the rock. 74 is, therefore, much more plausible, although 73 cannot be ruled out.
This table was based on Barbara Levick, Vespasian (1999 London), pp.40-42; with some some modifications.