Ancient Palestine was a ferment of social conflict and ideological rivalries. Full-scale insurrectionary revolt exploded in AD 66, a revolt which took on a revolutionary character as moderate upper-class Jewish leaders were pushed aside and replaced by more radical plebeian elements. The defeat of local Roman forces led to the appointment of Vespasian to command and the invasion of revolutionary Palestine by a huge Roman army in AD 67. The war was characterized by hard guerrilla fighting in the countryside, bitterly fought sieges - culminating in the siege, fall and destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70-1 - and appalling atrocities. Mopping-up operations ended with the spectacular siege of Masada in AD 73. The author synthesizes textual and archaeological evidence to produce an essentially narrative account to these events, but also deals in detail with the historical and cultural context of the revolt.
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