Eastern Mediterranean 70 AD: Destruction of Jerusalem
Upon becoming Roman emperor (69), Vespasian left suppressing the three-year-old Jewish revolt in the hands of his son Titus. In April 70 Titus besieged the Jewish capital and holy city of Jerusalem, capturing it in September and razing the city and its temple to the ground.
Aug 69 AD Flavian Revolt on Danube▲
The three legions in Moesia had been loyal to Otho in his war with Vitellius and became fearful of retribution following the latter’s victory. When Vespasian was proclaimed emperor in Alexandria (July 69 AD), they quickly declared for him and soon persuaded the other Danube legions—in Illyricum and Noricum—to join them as they marched on Rome under the leadership of Marcus Antonius Primus. The Roman client states on the middle Danube also sided with Vespasian.
??–Oct 69 AD Anicetus’ Revolt▲
After Rome’s Asian provinces sided with Vespasian in mid-69 AD, Anicetus—a former prefect of the (Roman?) fleet—incited an uprising in Pontus in the name of the emperor Vitellius. Raiding Trapezus (Trabzon) and massacring a cohort there, Anicetus escaped by sea with his followers and began conducting pirate raids in the Black Sea. Vespasian sent a detachment to deal with this menace, capturing Anicetus taking refuge with the Sedochezi (in Colchis) in October.
?–21 Dec 69 AD Fall of Vitellius▲
In winter 69 AD the Roman fleet at Misenum (near Naples) revolted in favor of Vespasian, bringing the civil war to Campania. Meanwhile, the Danube legions advanced towards Rome through Umbria, persuading the Vitellian army guarding the Appenine pass at Narnia to defect. Realizing it was all over, Emperor Vitellius attempted to resign but was prevented from leaving the palace by his supporters. On 19 December Vespasian’s supporters (the Flavians) marched into Rome in three columns, defeating the Vitellians in a brutal two-day battle which destroyed much of the city and killed thousands. Captured, Vitellius was stabbed to death by the mob on the Gemonian stairs.
70 AD Garamantian War of 70▲
In the confusion of the Roman civil wars of 68–70 AD, differences between the African towns of Oea (Tripoli) and Leptis Magna escalated to the point of regular armed confrontations. In early 70 the people of Oea aligned with the Garamantes of the desert interior, who proceeded to terrorize the Lepititani and forced them to retreat behind their walls. At this point the Roman auxiliaries arrived and, in possibly the first Roman use of camels in the Sahara, routed the Garamantes and chased them back south into the desert.
14 Apr–8 Sep 70 AD Titus’ Siege of Jerusalem▲
Upon becoming Roman emperor, Vespasian placed his son Titus in command of the Jewish campaign. On 14 April 70, three days before the beginning of Passover and after the failure of negotiations, Titus began the siege of Jerusalem, breaking into the city on 30 August. The Romans burned and destroyed the Second Temple, completing the conquest of the city on 8 September after over a week of street fighting. Jerusalem was then razed to the ground, its gardens and trees destroyed, and its surviving citizens sold into slavery.
70 AD Roman Rhodes▲
In 70 AD (early in the reign of Vespasian) the client state of Rhodes fell under direct Roman rule and was annexed to the senatorial province of Asia. Except for a few brief interludes, Roman rule in the island would last until the 13th century.