Jacob and Simon uprising
The Jacob and Simon uprising was a revolt instigated in Roman Judea by brothers Simon and Jacob in 46–48 CE. The revolt, which was concentrated in the Galilee, began as a sporadic insurgency and when climaxed in 48 CE was quickly put down by Roman authorities and both brothers executed.
The Crisis under Caligula (37–41) has been proposed as the "first open break between Rome and the Jews", even though problems were already evident during the Census of Quirinius in 6 and under Sejanus (before 31).
Josephus' Jewish Antiquities states that there were three main Jewish sects at this time, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the Essenes. The Zealots were a "fourth sect", founded by Judas of Galilee (also called Judas of Gamala) in the year 6 against Quirinius' tax reform, shortly after the Roman Empire declared what had most recently been the tetrarchy of Herod Archelaus to be a Roman province, and that they "agree in all other things with the Pharisaic notions; but they have an inviolable attachment to liberty, and say that God is to be their only Ruler and Lord." (18.1.6)
Judah of Gaulanitis is regarded as the founder of the Zealots, who are identified as the proponents of the Fourth Philosophy. In the original sources, however, no such identification is anywhere clearly made, and the question is hardly raised of the relationship between the Sicarii, the upholders of the Fourth Philosophy, and the Zealots. Josephus himself in his general survey of the various groups of freedom fighters (War 7:268–70) enumerates the Sicarii first, whereas he mentions the Zealots last.
Others have also argued that the group was not so clearly marked out (before the first war of 66-70/3) as some have thought.
Revolt of 48 CE
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The information on the revolt which erupted in Galilee, then part of the Roman Judea province, is limited. The sources however indicate that the revolt was motivated by anti-Roman sentiments and driven by Zealots. The revolt, which was concentrated in the Galilee, began as sporadic insurgency and then climaxed in 48 CE.
18 years after the events of the revolt in Galilee the entire province of Judea revolted against Rome, in what became known as the Great Revolt of Judea.
- H. H. Ben-Sasson, A History of the Jewish People, Harvard University Press, 1976, ISBN 0-674-39731-2, The Crisis Under Gaius Caligula, pages 254–256: "The reign of Gaius Caligula (37–41) witnessed the first open break between the Jews and the Julio-Claudian empire. Until then — if one accepts Sejanus' heyday and the trouble caused by the census after Archelaus' banishment — there was usually an atmosphere of understanding between the Jews and the empire ... These relations deteriorated seriously during Caligula's reign, and, though after his death the peace was outwardly re-established, considerable bitterness remained on both sides. ... Caligula ordered that a golden statue of himself be set up in the Temple in Jerusalem. ... Only Caligula's death, at the hands of Roman conspirators (41), prevented the outbreak of a Jewish-Roman war that might well have spread to the entire East."
- "Josephus, Antiquities Book XVIII".
- Jewish Encyclopedia | second edition | vol 21 | pg 472
- Richard Horsley's "Bandits, Prophets, and Messiahs" and Tom Wright's "The New Testament and the People of God"
- H.H. Ben-Sasson, A History of the Jewish People, Harvard University Press, 1976, ISBN 0-674-39731-2, page 275