Bar Kokhba: The Jew Who Defied Hadrian and Challenged the Might of Rome by Lindsay Powell
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Foreword: Eric H. Cline
In AD 132 began the bloody struggle between two strong-willed leaders over who would rule a nation.
One was Hadrian, the cosmopolitan ruler of the vast Roman Empire, then at its zenith, who some regarded as divine; the other was Shim’on, a Jewish military leader in a district of a minor province, who some believed to be the ‘King Messiah’. It is also the tale of the clash of two ancient cultures. One was the conqueror, seeking to maintain control of its hard-won dominion; the other was the conquered, seeking to break free and establish a new nation: Israel.
During the ensuing conflict – the ‘Second Jewish War’ – the highly motivated Jewish militia sorely tested the highly trained professional Roman army. The rebels withstood the Roman onslaught for three-and-a-half years (AD 132 – 136). They established an independent nation with its own administration, headed by Shim’on as its president. The outcome of that David and Goliath contest was of great consequence, both for the people of Judaea and for Judaism itself.
So, who was this insurgent Shim’on known today as ‘Bar Kokhba’? How did Hadrian, the Roman emperor who built the famous Wall in northern Britain, respond to the challenger? And how, in later ages, did this rebel with a cause become a hero for the Jews in the Diaspora longing for the foundation of a new Israel in modern times? This book describes the author’s personal journey across three continents to establish the facts.
BAR KOKHBA is lucidly written by the author of the mould-breaking Augustus at War and the acclaimed biographies Germanicus and Marcus Agrippa. Drawing on archaeology, art, coins, inscriptions, militaria, as well as secular and religious documents, Lindsay Powell presents a fascinating account of the people and events at a crucial time in world history.
With a foreword specially written by bestselling archaeologist Eric H. Cline, Lindsay Powell tells the compelling story of the rebel whose legend helped found a nation: Israel.
Year first published: 2021