Lukuas during the Kitos War
In 115 large scale Jewish revolts, known as the Kitos War, erupted across the Eastern parts of Roman Empire. In Cyrenaica, the Jewish rebels were led by one Lukuas (or Andreas), who called himself "king" (according to Eusebius of Caesarea). His group destroyed many temples, including those to Hecate, Jupiter, Apollo, Artemis, and Isis, as well as the civil structures that were symbols of Rome, including the Caesareum, the basilica, and the public baths.
Lukuas then moved towards Alexandria, entered and set fire to the city. Alexandria had been abandoned by the Roman troops in Egypt under the leadership of governor Marcus Rutilius Lupus. 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.
In the aftermath, Lukuas fled to Roman Judea. Marcius Turbo pursued him and sentenced to death the brothers Julian and Pappus, who had been key leaders in the rebellion. Lusius Quietus, the conqueror of the Jews of Mesopotamia, was now in command of the Roman army in Judea, 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 afterwards, permitted fasting even on Ḥanukkah. Other rabbis condemned this measure. Lydda was next taken and many of the Jews were executed; the "slain of Lydda" are often mentioned in words of reverential praise in the Talmud. Pappus and Julian were among those executed by the Romans in the same year.
- Abulfaraj, in Münter, "Der Jüdische Krieg," p. 18, Altona and Leipsic, 1821
- Ta'anit ii. 10; Yer. Ta'anit ii. 66a; Yer. Meg. i. 70d; R. H. 18b
- Pes. 50a; B. B. 10b; Eccl. R. ix. 10
- Ta'anit 18b; Yer. Ta'anit 66b
- Eusebius, History of the church 4.2.1-5
- Lukuas (115 CE) on livius.org
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