Eastern Mediterranean 66 AD: Great Jewish Revolt
Tensions between the Roman Empire and its Jewish population had steadily escalated since the annexation of Judea in 6 AD. When the Roman governor raided the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem over outstanding taxes in 66 AD, mass violence erupted. The Jews overthrew the Roman garrison in September, defeating an invading Roman legion at Beth Horon the following month.
[Actual date uncertain: Map depicts Jewish situation before Roman forces arrive in September/October.]
63 AD Treaty of Rhandeia▲
In the spring of 63 AD Parthian demands over Armenia reached Rome, but were rejected by Nero and the Senate who instead opted to “accept a dangerous war over a disgraceful peace”. The Roman general Corbulo reorganized the legions in the East and crossed the Euphrates, compelling the Parthians to compromise. At the Treaty of Rhandeia—chosen as a location to acknowledge the Parthian victory the year before—Rome agreed to recognize the Parthian prince Tiridates as king of Armenia, while Tiridates in return accepted his crown as a Roman client. Also, at about this time, Rome annexed the neighboring kingdoms of Lesser Armenia and Sophene.
64? AD Annexation of Pontus▲
In 64 or possibly 65 AD Nero compelled the client king Polemon II to abdicate the throne of the kingdom of Pontus, on the southern shore of the Black Sea, possibly to secure the eastern border after the war over Armenia. Pontus was incorporated into the Roman province of Cappadocia, while Polemon continued to govern in Cilicia until his death a decade later.
66 AD Alexandria riot▲
Amid rising tensions between Greeks and Jews in Alexandria, a great number of Jews were attacked while attempting to join a public assembly in the amphitheater in early 66 AD, provoking Jewish riots across the city. In May the new Prefect of Egypt, Tiberius Julius Alexander, convinced the Jews to end their rioting, but, when many remained seditious, he sent a punitive force of two legions and 5,000 additional troops into the streets. In the ensuing massacre, 50,000 Jews of all ages were killed and their houses set fire, with the slaughter only ending when the remainder put themselves at the mercy of the prefect.
??–Sep 66 AD Jerusalem riots of 66▲
In 66 AD a Jewish revolt broke out in Caesarea, capital of Roman Judea, as a result of Jewish grievances over both religious desecration and taxation. Unrest exploded in Jerusalem soon after, when Roman governor Gessius Florus raided the Second Temple’s treasury to compensate for unpaid taxes and arrested a number of city leaders. Jewish rebels quickly overran the Roman military garrison, seizing control of Jerusalem in September and much of Judea thereafter. The pro-Roman king Agrippa II fled the city, while Jewish militias turned on Romans and their supporters.