At Jerusalem [Hadrian] founded a city in place of the one
which had been razed to the ground, naming it Aelia
Capitolina, and on the site of the temple of the god
he raised a new temple to Jupiter.
This brought on a war of no slight importance nor of brief
duration, for the Jews deemed it intolerable that foreign
races should be settled in their city and foreign religious
rites planted there.
So long, indeed, as Hadrian was close by in Egypt and again
in Syria, they remained quiet, save insofar as they purposely
made of poor quality such weapons as they were called upon
to furnish, in order that the Romans might reject them and
they themselves might thus have the use of them; but when
he went farther away, they openly revolted.
To be sure, they did not dare try conclusions with the Romans
in the open field, but they occupied the advantageous positions
in the country and strengthened them with mines and walls,
in order that they might have places of refuge whenever
they should be hard pressed, and might meet together unobserved
under ground; and they pierced these subterranean passages
from above at intervals to let in air and light.
At first the Romans took no account of them. Soon, however,
all Judea had been stirred up, and the Jews everywhere were
showing signs of disturbance, were gathering together, and
giving evidence of great hostility to the Romans, partly
by secret and partly by overt acts . . .
Then indeed, Hadrian sent against them his best generals.
First of these was Julius Severus, who was dispatched from
Britain, where he was governor, against the Jews. Severus
did not venture to attack his opponents in the open at any
one point, in view of their numbers and their desperation,
but by intercepting small groups, thanks to the number of
his soldiers and his under-officers, and by depriving them
of food and shutting them up, he was able, rather slowly,
to be sure, but with comparatively little danger, to crush,
exhaust, and exterminate them. Very few of them in fact
Fifty of their most important outposts and nine hundred
and eighty-five of their most famous villages were razed
to the ground. Five hundred and eighty thousand men were
slain in the various raids and battles, and the number of
those who perished by famine, disease, and fire was past
finding out. Thus nearly the whole of Judea was made desolate,
a result of which the people had forewarning before the
war. . . . Many Romans, moreover, perished in this war.