70 CE1 The Destruction of the Temple and the Jewish Dispersion
Jews have lived in the Land of Israel for nearly 4000 years, going back to the period of the Biblical patriarchs (c.1900 BCE). The story of Jewish life in ancient Israel is recorded in detail in the Hebrew Bible (the Christian “Old Testament”).
The dispersion of the Jewish people is traditionally dated from the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE, an event considered by the Romans to be a victory of such significance that they commemorated it by erecting the triumphal Arch of Titus, which still dominates the Roman Forum. The Roman historian Cassius Dio records that in a subsequent revolt in 135 CE some 580,000 Jewish soldiers were killed; and following that revolt the Emperor Hadrian decreed that the name “Judea”2 should be replaced by “Syria Palestina” – Philistine Syria or “Palestine”3.