The Bar Kokhba Revolt

In 130 AD the Romans decided build a new city upon the ruins of Jerusalem and rename it as Aelia Capitolinus. Also they planned to build a temple dedicated to Jupiter on the Temple Mount. The Legio X Fretensis was involved in the construction of the new city and also in road networks across Judea. The remaining Jews were angered with all this and in 132 AD a revolt erupted again, led by Simon Bar Kokhba (also known as the Third Romano-Jewis War). The revolt was well planned, and the Romans were taken by surprise as the Jews stormed the city. The 10th legion had to evacuate its fortress at Jerusalem. The Jews restored their own cult in the Temple. To commemorate all this, many Jewish coins were issued.

The war raged on, with the Romans having to bring more legions to help the X Fretensis to suppress the organised Jewish rebels using guerrilla tactitcs, including the VI Ferrata, XXII Deiotariana, V Macedonica and XI Claudia Pia Fidelis. In 136 AD the war was brought to an end with the siege of the last rebel stronghold, the Fortress of Betar with the Romans killing large numbers of Jews.

After the war, Judea was renamed as Syria-Palestina and many atrocities were committed against the Jews, making them a minority in their own country. While Legio X Fretensis continued to garrison the Jerusalem area, VI Ferrata remained also in the province occupying Galilee.

Further Readings
  • Dabrowa, Legio X Fretensis. A Prosopographical Study of its Officers (I-III C AD) (1993)
  • E. Dabrowa, “Legio X Fretensis”, in: Yann Le Bohec, Les légions de Rome sous le Haut-Empire (2000 Lyon) 317-325
  • Flavius Josephus (Author), Betty Radice (Editor) E. Mary Smallwood (Editor), G.A. Williamson (Translator) The Jewish War: Revised Edition (Penguin Classics).
  • H. Geva, “The Camp of the Tenth Legion in Jerusalem: an Archaeological Reconsideration,” in: Israel Exploration Journal 34 (1984) 239-254.
  • Josephus Flavius (Author) by G.J. Goldberg … A Chronology of the First Jewish Revolt against Rome ((
  • M. Gichon, “The siege of Masada”, in: Yann Le Bohec, Les légions de Rome sous le Haut-Empire (2000 Lyon) 541-554
  • Peter Schäfer (editor), Bar Kokhba reconsidered, Tübingen: Mohr: 2003.
  • Eck, ‘The Bar Kokhba Revolt: the Roman point of view’ in the Journal of Roman Studies 89 (1999) 76ff.
  • Y. Meshorer, “Two Finds from the Roman Tenth Legion”, in: Israel Museum Journal 3 (1984), 41-45.
© Copyright - Legio X Ftretensis Malta