Book Review: The Jewish Revolts Against Rome, A.D. 66-135: A Military Analysis


by James J. Bloom

Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2010. Pp. viii, 286. Maps, appends., biblio., index. $45.00 paper. ISBN: 0786444797

Rome’s Jewish subjects proved the most restive of the many people who were gathered into the Empire. Yet, as defense analyst and historian Bloom notes, despite the fact the Jewish Revolt of A.D. 66 is better documented in ancient sources than any of Rome’s other wars, it has been rather neglected by modern historians. 

Bloom then proceeds to gather the existing evidence on the protracted conflict (A.D.66-73), drawing upon the highly detailed works of Josephus, supplemented by those of Tacitus and other historians, plus archaeological finds and the extensive literature on Roman military practice, to produce a survey account of the war within the framework of contemporary events. To this, he adds shorter looks at the poorly documented wars of 115-117 and 132-135, and an extensive series of appendices discussing critical problems in historiography. 

Although not a scholarly treatment, The Jewish Revolts Against Rome is the most useful look at the subject so far available, and an important read for anyone interested in the Roman Empire.
Reviewer: A. A. Nofi   

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