Aelia Capitolina

Christianity / Israel / Yerushalayim

Aelia Capitolina

Today 23 Shvat 5730 AD Tuesday, (21 September 2021)
ap of the city of Elia Kapitolina

Map of the city of Elia Kapitolina

In 130 AD Emperor Hadrian ordered the construction of a Roman colony on the ruins of Jerusalem, which was given the name of Elia Kapitolina [34]. The city is modeled after the Roman military camp: a square, inside which intersect at right angles to the street. On the site of the Temple, Hadrian ordered the erection of a sanctuary dedicated to Jupiter, and in the very place where the Holy of Holies once stood, an equestrian statue of Hadrian was erected. According to the testimony of the Greek historian Dion Cassius (155-235), this caused a "fierce and protracted war". A new Jewish uprising against Rome broke out (Bar-Kokhba Revolt or 2nd Jewish War, 132-136 gg.).

The rebelling Jews took possession of the city and built a temporary temple, where for a short time the sacrifices resumed. Jerusalem remained in the hands of the insurgents for almost three years (132-135), until in the summer of 135 the insurrection was suppressed and the Romans again captured the city. Adrian issues a decree according to which all who have been circumcised, access to the city was banned.

The remains of the city of Elia Capitolina

The remains of the city of Elia Kapitolina

In 361, Julian (361-363) ascended to the throne of the Roman Empire, whom Christians call the "Apostata", for his desire to return to the old pagan "religion of the fathers". In December 361 year, reigning on the throne in Constantinople, Julian began to enforce a new imperial religious policy. He declared freedom of worship on his territory, including, for various Christian sects, and about the return of confiscated property of pagan temples. Among other things, Julian also published his plan for the restoration of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. However, on May 26, 363 years of work on the restoration of the Temple were stopped due to a fire that arose as a result of a natural disaster or an accident on the Temple Mount. And a month later, Julian fell in battle, and his place was occupied by the Christian commander Jovian, who put an end to all his plans.

After the collapse of the Roman Empire begins the Byzantine period. Jerusalem is gradually acquiring a Christian face. Half a century before Julian, Constantine the Great and his mother Elena erected the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.