Kitos War

Kitos War

Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Kitos War

caption=Roman Empire after 120
place=Cyprus, Libya, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Judea, Syria
result=Revolt was suppressed by the Roman Empire
combatant1=Roman Empire
combatant2=Jews of Iudaea
commander1=Lusius Quietus
commander2=Lukuas or Andreas
casualties1=Roman & Greek deaths: 200,000 in Cyrene, 240,000 in Cyprus (per Cassius Dio). Unknown deaths in Egypt, Mesopotamia, Judea, and Syria.
The Kitos War (115117) ( _he. מרד הגלויות: "mered ha'galoyot" or "mered ha'tfutzot" (מרד התפוצות), translation: Rebellion of the exile) is the name given to the second of the Jewish-Roman wars. The name comes from the Mauretanian Roman general Lusius Quietus who ruthlessly suppressed a Jewish revolt in Mesopotamia and was sent to Iudaea to handle the revolt there as procurator under Trajan, a position he held until he was recalled to Rome and executed by Hadrian, due to being a potential rival.

In 115, the Roman army led by Trajan was fighting against one of its major enemies, the Parthian Empire. The diasporic Jews started a revolt in Cyrenaica that also involved Aegyptus and Cyprus. In Cyrene (Cyrenaica), the rebels (led by a Lukuas or Andreas, who called himself "king" according to Eusebius of Caesarea), destroyed many temples, including those to Hecate, Jupiter, Apollo, Artemis, and Isis, as well as the civil structures symbols of Rome, the Caesareum, the basilica, and the thermae. The Greek and Roman population was exterminated.

Gibbon, quoting Dion Cassius, states of Jewish insurrectionaries: "In Cyrene they massacred 220,000 Greeks; in Cyprus, 240,000; in Egypt a very great multitude. Many of these unhappy victims were sawn asunder, according to a precedent to which David had given the sanction of his example. The victorious Jews devoured the flesh, licked up the blood and twisted the entrails like a girdle round their bodies. See Dion Cassius, l. lxviii. [c. 32] p.1145" [ [] The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Edward Gibbon. ch.16, footnote 1 ] [Cite web
title=Dion Cassius quotation at Project Gutenburg

According to the Jewish Encyclopedia on the Cyrene massacres, "By this outbreak Libya was depopulated to such an extent that a few years later new colonies had to be established there (Eusebius, "Chronicle" from the Armenian, fourteenth year of Hadrian). Bishop Synesius, a native of Cyrene in the beginning of the fifth century, speaks of the devastations wrought by the Jews ("Do Regno," p. 2). [ [ - CYRENE: ] ]

Then Lukuas moved towards Alexandria, entered the city abandoned by the Roman troops in Egypt led by governor Marcus Rutilius Lupus, and set fire to the city. The pagan temples and the tomb of Pompey were destroyed. Trajan sent new troops under the "praefectus praetorio" Quintus Marcius Turbo, but Egypt and Cyrenaica were pacified only in autumn 117. The situation was pacified also in Cyprus, where Jews led by Artemion had taken control of the island. According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, "Under the leadership of one Artemion, the Cyprian Jews participated in the great uprising against the Romans under Trajan (117), and they are reported to have massacred 240,000 Greeks (Dio Cassius, lxviii. 32)." [ [ - CYPRUS: ] ] The Roman army reconquered the capital and the Jews were forbidden to live in the island.

A new revolt sprang up in Mesopotamia, while Trajan was leading his troops against the Parthians, in the Persian Gulf. Trajan reconquered "Nisibis" (Nusaybin in Turkey), the capital of Osroene "Edessa", and "Seleucia on the Tigris" (Iraq), each of which housed ancient and important Jewish communities. After the end of the revolt, Trajan was uneasy with the situation, and sent the Mauretanian general Lusius Quietus, to kill Cypriot, Mesopotamian and Syrian Jewish suspects, appointing him governor of Iudaea.

The insurrection of the Jews of Cyrene, Cyprus, and Egypt in the last years of the emperor Trajan had not been entirely suppressed when Hadrian assumed the reins of government in 118. The seat of war was transferred to Iudaea, whither the Jewish leader Lukuas had fled. [Abulfaraj, in Münter, "Der Jüdische Krieg," p. 18, Altona and Leipsic, 1821] Marcius Turbo had pursued him, and had sentenced to death the brothers Julian and Pappus, who had been the soul of the rebellion. But, according to indications present in the Talmudic tradition, Turbo was himself executed upon special orders sent from Rome, and the lives of the brothers were saved. [Sifra, Emor, viii. 9 [ed. Weiss, p. 99d] ; Meg. Ta'anit xii.; Ta'anit 18b; Sem. viii.; Eccl. R. iii. 17] Lusius Quietus, the conqueror of the Jews of Mesopotamia, was now in command of the Roman army in Iudaea, and laid siege to Lydda, where the rebel Jews had gathered under the leadership of Julian and Pappus. The distress became so great that the patriarch Rabban Gamaliel II, who was shut up there and died soon afterward, permitted fasting even on Ḥanukkah. Other rabbis, such as the peace-loving R. Joshua b. Hananiah, condemned this measure. [Ta'anit ii. 10; Yer. Ta'anit ii. 66a; Yer. Meg. i. 70d; R. H. 18b] Soon afterward Lydda was taken and masses of the Jews were executed; the "slain of Lydda" are often mentioned in words of reverential praise in the Talmud. [Pes. 50a; B. B. 10b; Eccl. R. ix. 10] Pappus and Julian were among those executed by the Romans in the same year. [Ta'anit 18b; Yer. Ta'anit 66b]

The foregoing paragraph narrates the most important events of the campaign of Quietus as mentioned in rabbinical sources. [See also "Revue Etudes Juives," xxx. 212] However, this account is not altogether historically accurate.Fact|date=December 2007 In the first instance, not only was Marcius Turbo not executed, but he remained in favour to the extent that he was eventually appointed prætorian prefect under the Emperor Hadrian. Lusius Quietus, on the other hand, whom the Emperor Trajan at one time intended to formally name him as his successor, was stripped of his command the moment that Hadrian assumed the Imperial title, and was in fact executed in the summer of 118.

The situation in Iudaea remained quite tense for the Romans, who were obliged, under Hadrian to permanently move the Legio VI "Ferrata" to control Iudaea, and to counter the later Bar Kokhba's revolt.


Further Reading and External links

*" [ BAR KOKBA AND BAR KOKBA WAR] " article from [ Jewish Encyclopedia] (public domain)
*" [ Cyprus: In Roman Times] " article from [ Jewish Encyclopedia] (public domain)
*" [ Cyrene] " article from [ Jewish Encyclopedia] (public domain)
* " [ The revolt against Trajan] ", from []
* [ Eusebius "Ecclesiastical History" 4.2]

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