An internal history of the four tragic years of the Jewish rebellion, which began with militant optimism in the year 66 and ended with the destruction of the Temple and city of Jerusalem four years later. The main theme is internal collapse: from the decades before the war, when deepening factionalism throughout Jewish society contributed to the ultimate outbreak of revolution, to the Temple meeting of 66, when an alliance among competing factions was insecurely riveted together and an "army" with conflicting enthusiasms was formed; from the toppling of the first regime in 67/81, to the disintegration of the second regime from 68 to 70; and from the siege, during which the famine fell on different segments of the population with sadly unequal weight, to desertion, the patterns of which provide a negative image of the constantly shifting political fortunes of revolutionary partners. Classical, rabbinic, archaeological and numismatic evidence is brought to bear on a new interpretation of Josephus' "Bellum Judaicum"
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