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Flavius Josephus and Flavian Rome$
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Jonathan Edmondson, Steve Mason, and James Rives

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199262120

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199262120.001.0001

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Flavian Religious Policy and the Destruction of the Jerusalem Temple

Flavian Religious Policy and the Destruction of the Jerusalem Temple

Chapter:
(p.145) 7 Flavian Religious Policy and the Destruction of the Jerusalem Temple
Source:
Flavius Josephus and Flavian Rome
Author(s):

James Rives (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199262120.003.0008

This chapter focuses on the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, looking at it from the point of view of Flavian religious policies. Vespasian and Titus were fully aware of the ramifications of the destruction. In Roman religious terms, their actions would result in the elimination of the major cult centre of the Jews. The removal of the chief cult objects (the menorah, the table, and the sacred vessels) to Rome symbolized the end of the cult in Jerusalem, and emphasized the notion — found in Josephus — that the Jewish God had abandoned his people and gone over to the Roman side. In some senses this amounted to a sort of evocatio of a foreign deity, as so often occurred when Roman armies captured enemy cities. Vespasian was keen to close down cult centres that he considered potential focal points for further Jewish resistance against Rome.

Keywords:   Flavian emperors, Flavian victory, Judaea, religious policy, Roman religion, Evocatio deorum, Temple of Jerusalem, Temple at Leontopolis, Jews

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