Useful Notes: Jewish Revolts
"Since we long ago resolved never to be servants to the Romans, nor to any other than to God Himself, Who alone is the true and just Lord of mankind, the time is now come that obliges us to make that resolution true in practice...We were the very first that revolted, and we are the last to fight against them; and I cannot but esteem it as a favor that God has granted us, that it is still in our power to die bravely, and in a state of freedom."
—credited to Elazar Ben Yair at Masada
These were a series of revolts by the Jews against The Roman Empire
, which ended with the Jews uprooted from the province of Judea and scattered. This began the Diaspora era, in which the Jews were scattered across the globe. They were not to return to their ancient lands as a nation again until the founding of the State of Israel
Despite the tragedy of this episode, there is one thing Jews can take pride in. No one had given Rome a fight like that
for generations. The defense of the province of Judea was ferocious to the point of fanaticism and required the utmost effort — so much so that the final victory was considered worthy of a Triumph for Titus (he declined it, saying there was no honor in defeating people forsaken by their own god), the Roman general in command, and lifted him to the highest rank
. The Arch of Titus in Rome today, while not intended as such, comes off accidently as a backhanded tribute to the valor of the Jews
This war was ritualistically mourned by Jews through the ages. It was the beginning of the custom of pouring part of the Passover wine on the ground in mourning for the lost Temple as well as the Catch Phrase
"Next Year In Jerusalem". It was also the beginning of adjustments in Jewish doctrine which included the end of the priesthood, and the increase in the prestige of the Rabbinate, with their expertise in the study of The Talmud
- Badass Israelites: Of course, the next...say...1800 years were a tale of Jewish dispersion and military weakness. They got better, of course.
- Berserk Button: In 66, Gessius Florus, the Procurator ordered a massacre in the market of Jerusalem for no clear reason, which the Jews regarded as the last straw. Whereupon the Jews rose and slaughtered the soldiers responsible. The Romans considered that a This Means War!.
- Better to Die Than Be Killed: Masada
- Catch Phrase: More than one Catch Phrase referencing the Jewish revolt including "Next year in Jerusalem" and "Masada shall not fall again"
- Cold-Blooded Torture: A lot of the prisoners were crucified.
- Cycle of Revenge
- David Versus Goliath: Which is appropriate as Jerusalem is the "City of David".
- Downer Ending: From the Jewish point of view
- Dying Moment of Awesome: The whole war really.
- The Empire: Rome
- The Emperor: Titus. Apparently the Romans decided that being able to conquer Jews automatically made a person such a Badass that he deserved to be Emperor.
- They may have had a point...
- Being the eldest son of the previous Emperor probably helped a bit too.
- The Exile: the Jews
- Jewish Money is Proof of Rebellion: Coins were minted at the time by the Jews as a Take That to The Roman Empire. On them are Catch Phrases like Jerusalem the Holy, Freedom of Zion, and For the redemption of Zion.
- Historical Hero Upgrade: Titus received this for many centuries, with non-Jews like Dante viewing him as "the good Titus, who, with the aid of the Supreme King, avenged the wounds" of Christ. The Jews begged to differ.
- Honor Before Reason: Masada.
- Or not. Considering the way Romans normally treated prisoners of war suicide was perhaps not that unreasonable an option to embrace.
- I Will Fight No More for Two Thousand Years: After which time they changed their minds and became Badass Israelis again.
- Kill 'em All
- La Résistance: The Jews
- Last Stand: The whole war
- Let's Get Dangerous: The Jews, Very Dangerous. Don't make them mad, even if you own the whole Mediterranean. You Wouldn't Like Them When They're Angry.
- Patriotic Fervor
- Principles Zealot, Obstructive Zealot, and any other kind of Zealot: Trope Namer
- Privateer: A number of Jewish raiders scoured the local seas and made them unsafe. Which is odd because even Badass Israelis are not usually thought of as a naval people. But this really did happen and it added to making life miserable for The Roman Empire.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown
- Occupiers out of Our Country: Subverted. The occupiers stayed.
- The Quisling: Josephus. While it is perhaps rather unreasonable to be angry at him for not committing suicide (and for not preferring revolution to the peace and prosperity he believed Rome to have brought), he seemed just a wee bit too comfortable with the Romans ruling his native land.
- Rape, Pillage, and Burn
- The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: The extreme Zealots, who were reportedly killing fellow Jews whom they deemed too tepid in revolutionary fervor, at the very moment Jerusalem was falling to the Romans.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Villified
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Something of a mutual Roaring Rampage of Revenge, taken Serial Escalation.
- The Roman Empire
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Many Roman historians claims that many Roman soldiers ended up as this due to the last war's brutality that was so brutal even to them.
- Synagogue Militant
- The Siege: Jerusalem and Masada are the most famous.
- Stone Wall: Masada is a literal example of this: a fortress built atop a towering mesa. No projectiles could come close to reaching the top, and it took a 30-foot high rampnote for the battering ram to reach it. It also lacked both the weaponry and manpower to fend off the Romans when they did reach the fortress.
- Suicide Pact: Josephus escaped from Yodfat, which he had defended with some credit, with forty companions who resolved to die rather than surrender. They made an arrangement to draw lots and kill each other in turn (technically not suicide), but Josephus was either very lucky or very cunning and wound up one of the last two survivors and managed to talk the other guy down. And then surrendered to the Romans.
- Taking You with Me
- Tear Jerker: For a lot of Jews it is this, and thinking of it that way is not unknown among gentiles either.
- The Remnant: The modern Rabbinical Judaism. And Christianity.
- Underestimating Badassery: Who would ever have believed such a small country could have stood up to Rome?
- Urban Warfare
- We ARE Struggling Together: Factionalism tended to hurt the Jewish cause. Appropriate, given the Trope Namer.
- Put two Jews in a room together and pose a question, any question, and you are guarenteed at least three different answers. Very old Jewish joke probably dating to this period.
- Avalon Hill's The Siege of Jerusalem