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The Jewish Revolt AD 66-74 (Campaign, Band 252) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 22. Oktober 2013

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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Si Sheppard graduated this year with a Ph.D. in political science from Johns Hopkins University. He currently teaches American Government at Long Island University in Brooklyn, New York. This is his second Osprey title in a projected trilogy detailing the fall of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Empire.


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Amazon.com: HASH(0x9fc56854) von 5 Sternen 23 Rezensionen
10 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x96165bc4) von 5 Sternen Good and well-illustrated overview 24. Oktober 2013
Von JPS - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
First posted on Amazon.co.uk on 20 October 2013

This was in my view one of the better Campaign titles, with none of the biases that I have found in a number of other books on the Jewish revolts against the Romans. The historical context of the campaign, the campaign (or rather the series of campaigns) culminating in the destruction of Jerusalem, and the aftermath, with the two main subsequent revolts, are presented clearly, concisely and yet as comprehensively as possible.

The main Roman characters come out well, including rash and impatient Titus who almost got himself killed a couple of times and ordered his men into quasi-suicidal attacks a couple of other time. Also well depicted is the cautious, systematic and methodical generalship of his father Vespasian, who laid out the groundwork of the campaign and left his son to finish it off by besieging and taking Jerusalem. The Jewish leaders are presented in less detail, although their violent and bloody internal conflicts, and the damage that this did to their cause, are well rendered. Also well shown is the way in which they managed to squander whatever mobile forces they had towards the beginning of the insurrection in an ill-conceived attack on Ascalon.

The various operations are generally well described, from Vespasian's methodical campaign to reconquer each and every city to the interminable and bitter siege of Jerusalem. Both are described in detail, step by step, and well-illustrated through well-chosen photos and plates. The failure of the Governor of Syria's first attempt to crush the insurrection is mostly also well told. However, although a humiliating defeat, it may not have been the utter disaster that it is sometimes portrayed to be. The core reason for this defeat is clearly shown. It was mainly due to Roman over-confidence, a mistake that Vespasian would be very careful to avoid repeating.

Also valuable is the section on the aftermath, with the bit on the siege of Massada carefully to "demystify" the "sicarri", showing that they had contributed nothing to the revolt once they had been expelled from Jerusalem and had spent the next six years or so pillaging all the surrounding towns and villages to feed their growing community and stockpile reserves.

There is a little glitch with regards to the second Jewish revolt, at the end of Trajan's reign. While the author means that this and the Bar Kochva revolt took place during the apogee of the roman Empire, the first did occur during a period of relative weakness, after Trajan had concentrated the army against Parthia and drawn down troops from across the whole Empire. The seriousness of both this and the Bar Kochva revolt should not be minimised, although both are much less well known. The first of the two essentially hampered Trajan's conquest and was probably one of the main reasons why Hadrian essentially put an end to it. The second saw the emergence of an entirely independent Jewish State, a reminiscence of the Maccabees, and it took the Romans three years to destroy it.

This is a great title which also has some interesting illustrations of archaeological findings. Five stars.
13 von 14 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x96164f9c) von 5 Sternen "A victory? What have we won?" 3. November 2013
Von D. C. Stolk - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
"The Jewish Revolt AD 66-74" by Si Sheppard, a volume in the Osprey Campaign series, is a superb account of how an army of peasant guerrillas fought against the most powerful empire and war machine of antiquity: The Roman Army. The Jewish Revolt started when a local disturbance in Caesarea caused by Greeks sacrificing birds in front of a local synagogue exploded into a pan-Jewish revolt against their Roman overlords. It was finally ended when the last Jewish remnants of the revolt, who held out in the mountain fortress of Masada until AD 73, committed mass suicide when the Romans were breaking down the walls, bringing the revolt to an end.

"The Jewish Revolt AD 66-74" provides, in 96 pages, a concise presentation of the Roman campaign to crush the rebellion. The opposing commanders are introduced, as well as the opposing armies and their war-aims, before the narrative switches to the campaign itself. It was a campaign mainly of sieges, and those of Jotapata, the seaport Joppa and Gischala to give an example are covered. Most of the attention is given to the five-month siege of Jerusalem in the summer of AD 70, which ended with the fall and destruction of the city amid dreadful atrocities. Even by Roman standards, the human toll was appalling. But Jewish resistance was not broken yet, and this is also covered in this Campaign-title. Isolated redoubts still remained in rebel hands. Masada was one of them, on the western bank of the Dead Sea. Although a postscript to the Revolt, this is the best-known part of it to the general public (see below). The Roman Flavius Silva led the siege of Masada, which lasted three years, and the ensuing "death before dishonor" resolution of the Sicarii holdouts has gone down in history as the famous last stand of a defiant-until-death Jewish nation.

Kudos must go to author Shi Sheppard, who manages to present the convoluted story of this Jewish War in a clear and comprehensive way. The only thing lacking in this campaign title is a section on how the soldiers of the opposing armies were trained and armed. The strength of the Osprey format is also its weakness: at 96 pages, there's no room for anything more than a concise recounting of the highlights of a campaign, always leaving you with just a taste of what's to offer but not the full meal. This is compensated with an abundance of pictures, maps and full-color artwork you (usually) won't find in a regular history book.

The casual reader may know about this Jewish Revolt through "Masada" (1981), the epic four-part television mini-series that was shot on location in Israel, starring Peter O'Toole, Peter Strauss and Barbara Carrera. The title of this review is a quote from that series. The full quote goes: "A victory? What have we won? We've won a rock in the middle of a wasteland, on the shores of a poisoned sea," and was uttered by the Roman warrior Flavius Silva (Peter O'Toole) after the Romans finally take Masada and discover the corpses of the suicides. For those interested in reading more about this revolt, I recommend "Apocalypse: The Great Jewish Revolt Against Rome AD 66-73" by Neil Faulkner, "Jerusalem's Traitor: Josephus, Masada And The Fall Of Judea" by Desmond Seward and "Rome and Jerusalem: The Clash of Ancient Civilizations" by Martin Goodman.
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x9617b498) von 5 Sternen Superb Addition to the Campaign Series 22. Januar 2014
Von R. A Forczyk - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Most historical works on Ancient Warfare follow either one of two methodological paths: either basing their narrative on an Ancient literary source, such as Caesar or Thucydides, or basing their narrative on modern archaeological findings. In Osprey’s The Jewish Revolt AD 66-74 by veteran historian Dr. Si Sheppard, the author is fortunate in having a plethora of resources. The Jewish War, written by Josephus in the 1st Century AD, provides the literary backdrop and that other included an extraordinary amount of detail for an Ancient writer. Furthermore, since most of the action of the Jewish Revolt occurred around Jerusalem, there has been a tremendous amount of modern archaeology that fills in many details missing from Josephus’ account. Dr. Sheppard is a veteran writer and he skillfully weaves together both literary and archaeological details to construct a historical narrative of the campaign that is both eloquent and gripping. When combined with excellent maps and attractive artwork by Peter Dennis, The Jewish Revolt AD 66-74 becomes a superb addition to Osprey’s Campaign series.

The author spends a dozen pages outlining the overall situation in Judea in the mid-First Century AD and the initial outbreak of the Jewish Revolt in AD 66. The retreat – and defeat – of the 12th Legion is covered in detail and Peter Dennis’ artwork complements this action, which really sets the stage for what followed. In essence, the Romans lost the province quickly and had their local forces badly defeated, so reconquest of the rebellious province became the order of the day. The author also makes clear that this campaign was bitterly fought by both sides from the beginning, with no quarter becoming the norm. The usual sections on opposing commanders and opposing armies are quite good. The author notes that the Jewish rebels lost most of their best troops in an ill-judged attack upon Ascalon before the Roman’s even began their reconquest and that tactically, the rebels never developed a counter to Roman cavalry. I also enjoyed the manner in which the Romans displayed a professional attitude about suppressing the rebellion, choosing to limit their losses and wear the enemy down.

The campaign narrative itself is some 48 pages long and begins with Vespasian’s methodical pacification of Galilee. The author’s descriptions of Roman assaults upon mountain fortresses such as Jotapata, Joppa and Gamala are enhanced by color photos of the modern sites – some of these would be difficult positions for modern infantrymen to capture. The author discusses the struggle for power between various rebel factions within Jerusalem – which weakened their ability to hold the city – as well as the delay imposed upon the Roman reconquest by the “Year of the Four Emperors” in AD 69, with Vespasian coming out on top. While the Romans had to put off a direct descent upon Jerusalem, they conducted a series of merciless punitive expeditions throughout Judea in AD 68-69 that began to isolate the main rebel stronghold in Jerusalem. The author’s narrative on the siege of Jerusalem between April-September AD 70 is excellent and complemented by two very helpful 3-D BEV maps and excellent color photos. Indeed, the 3-D maps in these volumes, particularly the one on Masada, are some of the best ever produced by Osprey.

After the fall of Jerusalem, the author summarizes the siege of Masada and the follow-on Jewish revolts in the early 2nd Century AD that led to the Diaspora. The author notes that the death toll from the Jewish Revolt was immense, probably upward of 500,000 locals and unknown number of Roman troops. This was a tough, bitter campaign against a fanatical foe and well-deserving of study by modern military professionals.
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HASH(0x9617b18c) von 5 Sternen THE JEWISH REVOLT, AD 66-74 29. Dezember 2013
Von Robert A. Lynn - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch

Uniquely among the disparate peoples of the Roman Army, the Jews refused to accept the Graeco-Roman culture all around them, proudly aware that they had a tradition to rival it. The Romans, despite initial good intentions and a total lack of understanding, couldn't understand a people so different; in their exclusive monotheism, from any of their other subjects. Situated between the wealthy provinces of Syria and Egypt, Judaea was too strategically important to be ignored, however. The Jewish Diaspora, which had started about three centuries before followingthe conquests of Alexander the Great, meant that Jews were already spread across the eastern part of the Roman Empire, and there was a Jewish community in Rome by Julius Caesar's time.

Herod the Great, who died in 4 B.C., had pursued a pro-Roman and Hellenizing policy. But upon his death, the Romans ended the monarchy and split the country into three with Galilee and land east of the Jordan River being detached from the main portion which was ruled by Herod's eldest son, Archelaus. He ruled for ten years but his tyranny caused the people to appeal to Rome and he was deposed and banished. Judaea then came under the direct and heavy-handed rule from Rome. In 66 A.D., the Jews rose up against the procurator, Gessius Florus, and drove out the Roman garrison.

The governor of Syria, Cestius Gallus, was ordered to suppress the revolt but with inadequate forces; was defeated and withdrew. Rome wouldn't let this stand and so sent Vespasian and three legions to re-conquer Judaea and Galilee. Vespasian was already a successful general with a good record of storming forts twenty years earlier in Britain. He invaded Galilee in early 67 A.D. and, largely through the treachery of Josephus, the Jewish commander, overcame all resistance.

The Jews then split into three armed factions who fought each other leaving Vespasian to conquer the rest of the country except Jerusalem. He waited for the internal conflicts to weaken the Jew' still further. This happened when Vespasian became emperor in 70 A.D. and leaving his son Titus to complete the conquest. He besieged Jerusalem in the spring of 70 A.D. and captured it and destroyed the Temple in August of that year. All Jewish resistance ended in 71 A.D. by the Governor, Lucilius Bassus except for Masada which was later captured by Governor Flavius Silva, the 10th Legion, and several thousand prisoners after a long siege which ended in 73 A.D.

THE JEWISH REVOLT, AD 66-74 is a detailed account that throws new light on an extremely important and currently relevant topic. The author has provided a comprehensive examination of a campaign that was fought over a region in the world that is sacred to three great monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. This book, in the Osprey Campaign series, is both well-illustrated and has a number of high quality maps that help the reader understand the personalities, strategies, tactics, and politics of that time period.

Lt. Colonel Robert A. Lynn, Florida Guard
Orlando, Florida
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x9617b804) von 5 Sternen Informative. 21. Dezember 2013
Von Marcus Regulus - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Another informative book in this series. I thought the maps were especially helpful . They highlighted why certain moves were made by both sides. I definitely would recommend this as a good first step in studying this particular conflict.
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