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An Ecclesiastical History To The 20th Year Of The Reign Of Constantine by Eusebius

AS the revolt of the Jews again proceeded to many and great excesses, Rufus, who was lieutenant-governor of Judea, having received an augmentation of forces from the emperor, and using the madness of the people as a pretext, destroyed, without mercy, myriads of men, women, and children in crowds; and by the laws of war, reduced their country to a state of absolute subjection. The Jews were then led on by one Barchochebas, signifying a star, but who was in other respects a murderer and robber. But by means of his assumed title, among a degraded race, now reduced to the condition of slaves, he pretended to many miracles, as if he were a light descending from heaven, whose object was to cheer them in their oppression. But in the eighteenth year of the reign of Adrian, when the war had reached its height at the city of Bitthera, a very strong fortress, not very far from Jerusalem, the siege was continued for some time, and the revolters were driven to the last extreme by hunger and famine. The author of their madness had also suffered his just punishment, and the whole nation from that time were totally prohibited, by the decree and commands of Adrian, from even entering the country about Jerusalem, so that they could not behold the soil of their fathers even at a distance. Such is the statement of Aristo of Pella. The city of the Jews being thus reduced to a state of abandonment for them, and totally stripped of its ancient inhabitants, and also inhabited by strangers; the Roman city which subsequently arose, changing its name, was called Ælia, in honour of the emperor Ælius Adrian; and when the church of the Gentiles was collected there, the first bishop after those of the circumcision was Marcus.








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