Yodfat by Misgav Israel (English)

Yodfat, Tsafon, Israel
Distance: (Map)

Station No. 1- Introduction

Yodfat  by Misgav Israel  (English) - Cya On The Road

Yodfat was established during the Hellenistic Era in the 3rd Century BCE. The city was conquered by the Maccabees and subsequently became a Jewish city.

 The Great Revolt of the Jews against the Romans began in 65 CE in a series of riots and skirmishes between Jews and pagans.

 Nero, the Roman Emperor at the time, understood the seriousness of the revolt. He appointed Vespasian, an experienced senior Roman military commander, to take command of the legions charged with suppressing the Judean revolt.

In the fall of 66 CE, the rebel government in Jerusalem appointed Jewish governors across the country. Joseph ben Matityahu, later known as Josephus Flavius, was appointed military commander and governor of the Galilee. He was charged with preparing the civilian, military and organizational infrastructure of the region in advance of the Roman military invasion.

Vespasian and his son Titus arrived in Akko at the head of three Roman legions during the summer of 67 CE. His objective was to crush the rebellion that had broken out in the Galilee. Following the surrender of Tzipori, Vespasian stormed and laid siege to the fortress city of Yodfat. The siege lasted 47 days after which the city surrendered. Joseph ben Matityahu, commander of the Galilee and Yodfat commanded the Jewish forces from within Yodfat throughout the siege. Following the city's fall, he and 40 of the city's 'best and brightest' escaped to hideout in a cave. After being discovered, they decided to commit suicide. Joseph recounted that after all of the fighters had died at their own hand, only he and one other fighter remained alive; they surrendered themselves to the Romans.

In 70 CE, the Romans conquered Jerusalem and destroyed the Holy Temple.

Yodfat was the first battle waged between the Roman army and Jewish rebels.

Following his period of captivity Joseph arrived in Rome and with the backing and support of the emperors Vespasian and Titus, became the noted historian Josephus Flavius. Throughout the rest of his life, he wrote extensively about the history of the Jewish People and its wars. We possess a first person account written by Joseph that documents the events that occurred during the war at Yodfat.

 Between the years 1992-2000, an archeological excavation was conducted at the site by the University of Rochester and the Israel Antiquities Authority.

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