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In Rome and Jerusalem: The Clash of Ancient Civilizations, Martin Goodman explores the history of a titanic struggle whose repercussions are still felt today. In 70CE, after four years of Jewish rebellion, Roman legions devastated the great city of Jerusalem. Sixty years later, its ruin was completed when Emperor Hadrian built a new city on top of it that Jews were forbidden even to enter. In this highly acclaimed book, Martin Goodman examines the background and course of this titanic conflict - from the political ambitions of Roman military leaders to the spread of Christian influence through the empire - and its lasting consequences. 'In this remarkable book Martin Goodman casts a truly fresh eye over well-known figures and events' History Today 'Important and powerfully expressed ...The best available general account of a turning point not just in the history of the Roman Empire but also in the development of the modern West' Simon Goldhill, The Times Higher Education Supplement 'Should be read by anyone seeking seriously to understand modern Middle Eastern tangles ...a lucid account of ancient tragedy' Diarmaid MacCulloch, Guardian 'Splendid ...an important book, on a difficult subject : the reason why Romans sought to destroy the Jews and Judaism completely. Only one man would have written it' Paul Johnson, Tablet Martin Goodman has divided his intellectual life between the Roman and Jewish worlds. He has edited both the Journal of Roman Studies and the Journal of Jewish Studies. He has taught Roman History at Birmingham and Oxford Universities, and is currently Professor of Jewish Studies at Oxford.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780140291278
ISBN-10: 014029127X
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 29mm)
Pages: 656
Imprint: Penguin Books Ltd
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Publish Date: 31-Jan-2008
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Reviews

US Kirkus Review » A comprehensive and accessible study of two great ancient cities that finally came to fatal blows.As a scholar of both Roman and Jewish studies, Goodman (Jewish Studies/Oxford) displays impressive depth in his fleshing out of the two cities in terms of their sense of identities, communities, lifestyles, government, politics and religion. Relying on the writings of the "main witness" Josephus, a priest in Jerusalem who eventually turned sides, Goodman demonstrates how Roman rule of Judea was relatively benign since Herod was appointed king in 40 BCE and devoted himself to rebuilding Jerusalem and embellishing his Temple. Both cultures adapted to the Hellenism pervasive in the area since Alexander's conquest, and both were fairly tolerant of diversity. The first signs of trouble, writes Goodman, were mainly isolated skirmishes "largely internal to Jewish society rather than symptoms of widespread resentment to Roman rule." After a series of venal Roman governors, the Captain of the Temple, Eleazar son of Ananias, persuaded his fellow priests in 66 CE to stop offering sacrifices made to the Jewish God on behalf of the Roman emperor - an assertion of war by the ruling elite. Roman reaction was swift and brutal over the next four years, culminating in Emperor Vespasian's instructions to his son Titus to squelch the rebellion at any cost. With the razing of the Temple in the summer of 70 CE, 60 years of rebellion followed, and Hadrian's new Roman city Aelia Capitolina was established on the site. Goodman pursues the growth of the Church in the wake of Constantine's embrace of Christianity, which changed the nature of the region and pushed Jews increasingly to the margins. He also devotes a fine epilogue to the origins of anti-Semitism.Absorbing work by a strong, capable writer and teacher who imparts his vast knowledge with great style and clarity. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Martin Goodman

Martin Goodman has divided his intellectual life between the Roman and Jewish worlds. He has edited both the Journal of Roman Studies and the Journal of Jewish Studies. He has taught Roman History at Birmingham and Oxford Universities, and is currently Professor of Jewish Studies at Oxford.

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