Eastern Mediterranean 68 AD: Zealot Temple Siege
In 67 AD Vespasian began the Roman suppression of the Jewish Revolt by retaking Galilee. This dislodged the radical Zealots, who fled south to Jerusalem and quickly came into conflict with the Judean Provisional Government (JPG) that had been set up there. Accusing the JPG of preparing to negotiate with the Romans, the Zealots seized control of the Temple and then all Jerusalem.
Oct 66 AD Battle of Beth Horon▲
In response to the revolt in Judea, the Roman legate of Syria, Cestius Gallus, advanced south with the Syrian legion XII Fulminata and accompanying units, auxiliaries, and allies—some 30,000–36,000 troops in all. Reconquering Galilee, Caesarea, and Jaffa, Gallus marched inland towards Jerusalem but abandoned his attempt on the city after a short siege. As he was withdrawing, Jewish rebels ambushed his forces at Beth Horon, killing 6,000 Roman troops and wounding many more. Defeated, Gallus fled back to Syria, leaving most of Judea in rebel hands.
Apr–?? 67 AD Vespasian’s Galilee Campaign▲
In April 67 AD the Roman general Vespasian landed at Ptolemais (Acre) to subdue the Jewish rebels in Galilee. Most surrendered without a fight but some—including the rebel leader and later historian Josephus—held out at Yodfat (June–July) and Gamla (October). The last town to fall was Gush Halav (Jish), whose Zealot defenders fled south to Judea.
Jan–Feb 68 AD Zealot Temple Siege▲
When Galilee fell to the Romans in 67 AD, the radical Zealots fled south to Jerusalem, where the Judean Provisional Government (JPG) held sway. In January 68 AD, claiming that the JPG was preparing to negotiate with the Romans, the Zealots seized control of the Temple but were soon besieged by JPG loyalists. In desperation, the Zealots convinced the rulers of neighboring Idumea (Edom) that the JPG had capitulated to the Romans and drew 20,000 armed Idumeans into the city. In the ensuing carnage, 12,000 people were killed including the heads of the JPG, Ananus ben Ananus and Joseph ben Gurion. Later learning that they had been tricked, the Idumeans repented and left Jerusalem.